By Ryan Allan

Please check out our OWL Adventure Lab crowdfunding page. You can contribute directly, buy a perk or find answers to questions about the Adventure Lab.

Check out OWL Adventure Lab Crowdfunding Journal #1 here.

Check out OWL Adventure Lab Crowdfunding Journal #2 here.

Check out OWL Adventure Lab Crowdfunding Journal #3 here.

Remember when we were hustling? Flyering all day? We started the day getting a cup of coffee. There was a guy at a nearby table. Skinny guy. Red stocking cap. I noticed him because of the hat. It reminded me of the orange ones in the film “The  Life Acquatic” by Wes Anderson. And then we left.

Movie Still from The Life Acquatic with Steve Zissou
Movie Still from The Life Acquatic with Steve Zissou

We were hitting every surf shop, outdoor gear store, coffee shop and so on. Somewhere along the line I saw the same guy again. The hat…An easy identifier. We kept moving. We hit more shops and we ended up at the Vissla/Shaper Studios Self Shape Surf comp which was an awesome beach break (pun intended). We got back on the bikes and started to head North.

Then, there in the parking lot at Seaside Reef, I saw the SAME GUY again. It couldn’t just be coincidence. Something was telling me to stop and talk to this guy right? I veered off course and pulled up in front of him. Skinny guy, red stocking cap, Minolta film camera. 

Surfer during the Shaper Studios Vissla Self Shape Surf Competition“Hi, I don’t normally talk to strange men in parking lots, but I’ve seen you three times already today. I’m taking that as a sign that I should introduce myself. I’m Ryan.” I stuck out my hand. At least that’s how I remember it. The words might be off a bit here or there. 

He shook my hand and laughed. His name was Trevor & he works in marketing for Shaper Studios. We talked about his camera. I gave him a flyer and he gave me a business card. As we were leaving I had a thought…

I’m not sure that was the same guy!

A few days later I followed up via e-mail. He took the time to respond and give me some marketing advice including the suggestion to reach out to VanLife Surfing Adventurer Cyrus Sutton. A connection made. I looked him up on LinkedIn. Turns out we were already connections, and later on he sent me an e-mail saying he had found e-mails between us from an old socalsessions.com article I had written. 

Cyrus Sutton's Van in Glen Horn's DrivewayA few days later I got around to looking up Cyrus. Turns out he’s pretty internet famous. The first blog post of his I saw was about his VanLife, and his transition from an old van to his newly built out Sprinter Van. He kept referencing his friend Glen, who worked on the build out, in the article. Then there was a picture of his van & Glen’s unique El Toro truck in Glen’s driveway.

Glen is MY neighbor. And I had walked my dog past Cyrus’ van every day Glen was working it. I even took a picture of the beautiful woodwork inside to save as inspiration for the OWL Adventure Lab. I remember sharing a nod & hellow with someone I now believe to be Cyrus as I walked by the day he picked it up.

Now, is it all coincidence? I don’t know. I do know that I can draw a distinctive line from seeing a guy in a red stocking cap at Coffee Coffee in Leucadia to meeting a guy I had already met who then directed me to a social media star who happened to be friends with my neighbor and whose van I’ve used as inspiration while dreaming on OWL Adventure Lab.

I know what I don’t know. I know that we can never predict what action will lead to what connection which will lead to an action so it’s best just to appreciate the thread of connections we’re all weaving when given the opportunity.

Today I reached out to Cyrus on Instagram. We’ll see where it goes. I told Glen the story, and we talked about the connectedness of things. Trevor sent me a follow-up to my follow-up that led me to The Inertia website, and an e-mail with their editor who just happens to be coming to the San Diego Surf Film Festival this weekend where OWL Adventure Lab is co-hosting the daily Beer/Art/Film social known as CheerSD. 

OWL Adventure Lab Indiegogo Crowdfunding Campaign What a coincidence. 

Please check out our OWL Adventure Lab crowdfunding page. You can contribute directly, buy a perk or find answers to questions about the Adventure Lab.

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