No Way Around It

Ben Stookesberry and Chris Korbulic are the expedition kayakers. Over the past decade, the duo have made first descents of over 120 rivers in wildly remote locations across 36 countries and 6 continents. In 2016, Ben and Chris traveled to Myanmar to complete a source to sea descent of the Irrawaddy River.

They both say it was the first time they failed completely to accomplish their objective–and also one of the richest experiences they’ve ever had.

“Had we have floated freely down the Irrawaddy, I don’t know that we would’ve learned nearly as much about what actually was going on,” says Ben. “The corruption that’s occurring in that area stopped us from running the river. It wasn’t just a side note. It was directly in front of us.”

Today, we bring you a story about the intersection of politics and adventure, and about the richness in failure.


You can read more about Chris and Ben’s trip to Myanmar here.


Music: If Walls Could Talk by Jacob Bain & Nis Kotto    •    The Return by nisei23    •    The Departure by nisei23    •    The Undefeated by Vienna Ditto    •    Sunset by Kai Engel    •    hope! by The Fucked Up Beat    •    Desert Castles by Little Glass Men    •    Original Score by Amy Stolzenbach

Tracks provided by Free Music Archive and with permission from the artists.


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