Here you will find some of the more commonly asked questions about MSA and our programs. If you want more information about anything below—or if you're question is not answered here—you can simply contact us and we'll get back to you as quickly as possible!
WHY THE NAME "MUDDY SHOE ADVENTURES"?
Our name really speaks to the two most critical elements of our programs: Physical adventures and personal exploration. When you get out there and begin exploring your world, seeing all of the amazing people and cultures and places and experiences available to you, it is very possible that you will literally end up with muddy shoes. More importantly, however, this process of exploration will take you deep into your own mind and heart and will provide you with opportunities to explore where and who you truly are. You will re-discover yourself, your desires, your passions, and your purpose that may have been buried deep beneath the mud of expectations and responsibilities that have accumulated in your life over the years. Once unearthed, you will be empowered to create whatever it is you want in life!
WHY TRAVEL WITH MUDDY SHOE ADVENTURES?
Because MSA is committed to helping you transform your life or organization! Based on our own personal experiences, decades of experience, lots of reading, and findings from Michael's doctoral research, we have developed a unique model for delivering life-changing adventure travel experiences. Muddy Shoe Adventures' programs combine travel, physical adventures, cultural interactions, and inspirational group discussions to support you in creating real change in your life. Along the way, you'll learn new outdoor skills, connect with nature, meet amazing new people, see all that the world has to offer, and have a generally amazing time!
WHAT KIND OF PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT WORK ARE WE GOING TO DO?
The foundation of every Muddy Shoe Adventure is the journey of exploration and discovery you will be undertaking. Michael's research found 7 critical elements of a truly transformational adventure experience, each of which is baked into every Muddy Shoe Adventure. Click here to learn more. With those elements as our foundation, the process you will go through on a Muddy Shoe Adventure—while impossible to describe fully here—can be summed up in 5 critical questions:
- What called you to this Adventure?
- Where are you now in your life's journey?
- Who are you?
- What is your vision for the future? What do you want?
- What's your plan for making that vision a reality?
Muddy Shoe Adventures' program leaders work to masterfully combine the adventure experiences you have throughout the program with the questions above in a variety of personal development activities. Some examples of these are:
- Group Discussions
- Personal Reflection
- 1-on-1 Coaching
In all of the activities we do, we invite you to engage in the development process. We will never force you to do something you do not want to do [although we may challenge you to push your own comfort zones!].
WILL WE SING KUMBAYA?
It's possible :)
OK, WHAT DOES A MUDDY SHOE ADVENTURE LOOK LIKE IN ACTION?
Envision this scenario:
You are deep in the rainforest in Central America, staying in an eco-friendly and locally owned lodge. You wake up early in the morning to the aroma of fresh brewed coffee and the chirping of the forest birds. You decide to start the day off by participating in a guided meditation and yoga session. Afterwards, you satisfy your hunger with a well-deserved breakfast of fresh fruits, pastries, and juices. Next, we spend an hour introducing the day's theme [Living with Passion!] and reviewing what we experienced yesterday before heading out for today's challenging class III-IV white-water rafting experience!
You feel refreshed, energized, and invigorated as you and your new friends hit the water. Our expert guides safely help the group navigate through the rapids; our facilitators challenge you to think about what strengths you are using to successfully run the river. You bond with the other members of the group as you work together to overcome both physical and mental obstacles. During lunch, the group takes time to share their experience so far on the rafting trip, and reflect upon the metaphor of the river being like our passions—always flowing and extremely powerful! Afterwards, you have a few moments to chat with an MSA program leader about your experience, what you learned, and how you can apply those lessons to an opportunity you are facing in your life. You immediately begin thinking about what you are going to do when you get home to capitalize on this amazing opportunity you have been presented with, and write down your ideas in your journal. A contented and satisfied smile is plastered across your face the rest of the day.
We return to the lodge later that afternoon, clean up, and have a drink and some delicious local food. We gather the group to continue our conversation about our experiences that day and focus on the theme of Living with Passion. You explore and discuss when and where passion is present in your life, and how you can begin doing more each and every day to do something you love and bring more passion into your life. After our meal, you spend an hour sitting with some members of the group, sharing your stories from the day and discussing loved ones back home. Eventually, you retire for the night, and you drift off to sleep feeling simultaneously exhausted and inspired about your life.
WHO ARE THE PEOPLE THAT WILL LEAD MY PROGRAM?
Muddy Shoe Adventures' program leaders have all been carefully selected to lead your Adventure based on their expertise and experience working as a coach, mentor, and/or facilitator. Many of our program leaders have:
- Worked in education for years as teachers, administrators, or counselors
- Spent serious time as executive coaches, organizational consultants, and leadership development gurus
- Earned advanced degrees such as Masters or Doctoral degrees
- Written books on personal development, organizational leadership, and/or travel
- Been featured on news or television programs.
Above all else, they are people who are passionate about helping you re-connect to yourself, re-discover who you are and what you are capable of, and begin to once again live on purpose and with passion!
DOES MUDDY SHOE RUN THE ADVENTURE PART OF THE PROGRAM?
We do not—MSA's expertise is designing and delivering high-powered, life-changing personal and corporate development programs. Our team works hand-in-hand with some of the top adventure operators and destinations on the planet to ensure that every Muddy Shoe Adventure is handcrafted to utilize the unique elements of each destination, including the physical environment, local culture and history, and available adventure activities.
HOW PHYSICALLY DEMANDING ARE THE ADVENTURES? DO I NEED TO BE AN EXPERT TO GO?
NO! All Muddy Shoe Adventures are designed to be enjoyed by people at varying degrees of experience and physical fitness. Of course, it is important that you have a degree of physical conditioning to be able to participate in many of the adventures, so there is that baseline. But—unless otherwise stated—you do NOT need to have any specific technical expertise to go on an Adventure with us.
WHAT TYPE OF ACCOMMODATIONS WILL WE BE STAYING IN?
Accommodation types vary from program to program. On each Adventure's page, you will find an Accommodation Level listed. There are 3 levels of accommodation:
- BASIC: Camping or sleeping in a dormitory style hotel or lodge with shared facilities and/or minimal amenities
- COMFORT: Staying in a single or shared room with a private en suite bathroom with normal hotel amenities
- LUXURY: Deluxe rooms and suites with all of the amenities you can think of (and probably some you can't!)
NOTE: Some itineraries dictate that you stay in a variety of accommodation levels; for example, our Baja Kayaking trip includes both hotel stays (Comfort) and camping (Basic). As such, the Accommodation Level is listed as Comfort/Basic.
WHAT KIND OF GEAR WILL I NEED FOR THIS TRIP?
Each trip is completely different; you will be sent a gear and packing list specific to your program shortly after signing up for your Adventure! In most cases, all technical gear [think: Kayaks, rafts, ropes, etc.] are provided for you. Other items such as tents, sleeping bags, etc. are either included or available to rent through MSA or our partner adventure operator. As a general rule, you will need to bring most of your own clothing; for some adventures, MSA and our partners will provide you with some clothing/equipment [Ex: On our Norway program, we provide you with jackets and other special clothing for keeping warm while you run your dogsledding team].
WHAT ELSE DO I NEED TO PREPARE?
When you receive your gear and packing list, you will also receive a list of recommended reading materials for you to immerse yourself in prior to the program. These materials have been hand-picked by our program leaders as important to the success of the program, so we strongly encourage you to follow their instructions and hit the books! And, depending on your program type, we always suggest hitting the gym and/or the outdoors to make sure you are in the shape that you need to be to successfully participate in your program. You can always contact us if you have specific questions about getting ready for your Adventure.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I HAVE A MEDICAL CONDITION THAT MAY PREVENT ME FROM PARTICIPATING IN SOME ACTIVITIES?
Being physically and mentally fit to go on an Adventure with us is critical — not only for your own health and well-being, but for the good of everyone on the program. If you have questions or concerns about your ability to participate in some portion of the program due to medical issues, we encourage you to contact us AND your physician before deciding to apply. All applicants will need to fill out a medical form as part of the application process. Should we feel that there is significant risk to you, other participants, and/or our facilitators, Muddy Shoe Adventures reserves the right to deny any application. Please see our Terms & Conditions for more information.
WHAT ARE THE TERMS & CONDITIONS FOR PARTICIPATING IN A MUDDY SHOE ADVENTURE?
DO I HAVE TO FILL OUT A WAIVER OF LIABILITY?
YES! MSA requires that all participants sign our Waiver of Liability form before participating in a Muddy Shoe Adventure. You can review the Liability Waiver here. Be sure to "sign" at the bottom by entering in your name, email address, and then clicking AGREE if you agree to the Waiver of Liability.
SHOULD I BUY TRAVEL INSURANCE?
If you are interested in purchasing comprehensive travel insurance prior to program departure, please visit www.TravelGuard.com or your preferred insurance provider.
DO YOU OFFER CUSTOMIZED PROGRAMS?
YES! We would be happy to design a customized program for you and your group. If you have a destination in mind, a timeframe for when you want to go, and/or a specific idea of a program that you want to experience, we'll do our best to make it happen! Just give us a call: (424) 216-8339 or fill out our online form!
IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE I NEED TO KNOW?
If you are a resident of the great state of Florida, due to Florida state Seller of Travel laws that limit / restrict the sale of travel to FL residents, we are unable to offer our programs to you. We apologize for the inconvenience!
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I HAVE QUESTIONS THAT ARE NOT ADDRESSED HERE?