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6 Explorers that Give New Meaning to "#YOLO"

You only live once, the youth of today proclaim while downing solo cups of whatever cheap, high-fructose-corn-syrup filled, carcinogenic laced trash can punch they can find. And they are correct in the literal sense. As far as anyone can tell you really do only have one life to live, as the soap opera coined in 1968. While some of us might interpret YOLO more cautiously, i.e. “I better be careful getting out of the bathtub #YOLO” or “I just scheduled my third mammogram #YOLO!” there are some adventurers that have taken it to the next level. Unfortunately for us left behind, people like Amelia Earhart, Percy Fawcett, and Ferdinand Megellan didn’t have Twitter feeds for us to pour over–but if they had, they would have hash-tagged the shit out of life. 

Amelia Earhart
“Excited for the trip @FredNoonan better bring my soy curls! #Electra #aviatrix #YOLO”

    Amelia Earhart’s disappearance is still a mystery to this day, with many believing that survived on a small Pacific island for many years after disappearing near Howland Island. While no one knows exactly what happened, despite a wonderful dramatic interpretation by Hilary Swank, her life before her transglobal trip was nothing to scoff at. She was the first woman to fly solo over the Atlantic and the first woman to receive the U.S. Distinguished Flying Cross proving that even without the absurd phrase “YOLO” Amelia lived a very adventurous life.

Percy Fawcett
Practicing map skills with @JackFawcett! #Father/SonAdventure #LostCityZ #YOLO

    While exploring uncharted parts of the Brazilian rain forest, searching for what is more popularly known as El Dorado, Percy Fawcett and his eldest son Jack Fawcett were lost, never to be seen again. His fate has been dissolved into rumors: he was murdered by natives (likely), he was killed by the 100,00 ways there are to die in the tropical rainforest (CRAZY likely), he was taken in by a tribe of cannibals and made their chief (less likely).


Ferdinand Magellan
Off to convert the natives, with God’s help nothing could go wrong LOL #LapuLapu #Let’sgetthisSTRAIT #YOLO

    Unfortunately for Magellan, everything went wrong. After setting forth towards the small Filipino island, Lapu-Lapu, in order to convert their people to Christianity, Magellan was killed via bamboo spear, and thus never finished his voyage to the Pacific Ocean. Homeboys though didn’t leave him hanging and the strait that was used to pass from the Atlantic to the Pacific was coined, “The Strait of Magellan”.


David Douglas
Sun, beach, and beautiful botany #DouglasFir #HawaiinDreamVACA #Lovin’Bio #YOLO

    While exploring Hawaii’s big island in search of new plant species, Scottish botanist, David Douglas (of which the Douglas Fir is named) fell into a pit trap and was gored to death by a wild cow gifted to King Kamehameha by George Vancouver. Bummer.


Peng Jiamu
Getting my biology on #LopNor #Bringthelotion #YOLO

    Peng Jiamu is our most recent example of explorers that “YOLOed” (can you even say YOLOed?). One of China’s most beloved adventurers, Peng Jiamu was leading a team of biologists, geologists, and archaeologists to Lop Nor, one of the driest places in the world. Peng Jiamu disappeared after leaving camp to go find water and despite exhaustive efforts by the Chinese government, his remains have never been recovered.


James Cook
UGH! More Repairs to the Resolution #Shipproblems #FML #HawaiianDrama #YOLO

    Proving that small misunderstandings can become large when you don’t understand culture or language, James Cook met his untimely fate while awaiting repairs on his ship the Resolution in Hawaii. After a seemingly small misunderstanding about giving gifts to the natives, Captain Cook was eventually killed, along with several of his men, while attempting to retrieve stolen goods from the Hawaiin natives. To add to the level of cultural misunderstanding, Cook was then (as was tradition for great men), disemboweled, baked, and then boiled and returned back to the British. Does Lonely Planet have a guidebook for that?


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