As 2017 draws to a close, the team at The Mission is taking a moment to pause and reflect.

It’s been a year of hard work, sacrifices, tragedies, setbacks, triumphs, and we’re honored that you’ve joined us for it.

We’ve been blessed with a string of adventures this 2017

Today, The Best is brought to you by MVMT.

MVMT is about supplying you with the “technology” you need to have great adventures. If you’re a fan of The Mission, you know that we like to define technology as anything that helps us do more with less. Some people might glance at MVMT and think, “oh, they make nice looking watches and sunglasses”. Yes, MVMT does, but their products are technology in a sense that they don’t distract you. When you unplug for the weekend and go hiking or on an adventure up the coast, you still need to tell the time and protect your eyes. Enter: MVMT watches and sunglasses. No notifications, no distractions, just tech that works and looks good. A big thanks and shoutout goes out to MVMT for supporting independent media like The Mission!

1 Silicon Valley

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We (Chad and Steph) moved out to Silicon Valley a little over a year and half ago.

Photo: Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

In that time, we’ve discovered a wonderful area and people.

It’s easy to glance over this area and judge or hate, but harder to come gain the direct experience and first-hand perspective. Sidenote: Of course it’s literally hard to come do this because housing costs are out of control! But so are the levels of opportunity! We recently resettled The Mission HQ to the Palo Alto area, and couldn’t be happier with the area and people. Silicon Valley was started by those with skin and soul in the game. We’ve found many people here who are working hard to rekindle the essence, and we’re proud to count ourselves among them.

The 3 best entries points to vicariously explore the stranger than fiction world of Silicon Valley:

Marc Andreessen’s library

Steve Blank’s Secret History of Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley, HBO (half serious)

2 Japan on a Workcation

The three biggest lessons we took away from Japan were: Kaizen, Mushi, and the direct experience of traveling through Hakone.

3 The Pacific Northwest

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We got in a whirlwind trip through Oregon and parts of the Pacific Northwest.

It’s home to some amazing waterfalls, writers (especially science fiction), excellent coffee, and technology giants like Amazon and Microsoft.

The 3 best entries points to vicariously explore the PNW:

The Waterfalls

List of Waterfalls in Oregon

The waterfalls up close:

💦 If you want a teacher, try a waterfall. -McKenna

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Amazon’s urban campus

Amazon’s new headquarters. Photo by Elaine Thompson, AP and the source article.

One of the best bookstores in the world, Powell’s books!

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4 Big Sur

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Two and half hours south of us lies Big Sur. If you’re not familiar:

Big Sur is a lightly populated, unincorporated region on California’s Central Coast where the Santa Lucia Mountains rise abruptly from the Pacific Ocean. The coast is frequently praised for its rugged coastline and mountain views. As the “longest and most scenic stretch of undeveloped coastline in the [contiguous] United States,”[1] it has been described as a “national treasure that demands extraordinary procedures to protect it from development”[2] and “one of the most beautiful coastlines anywhere in the world, an isolated stretch of road, mythic in reputation.”[3] Big Sur’s Cone Peak at 5,155 feet (1,571 m) is only 3 miles (5 km) from the ocean.

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Big Sur is magical.

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Check out the history of the infamous Esalen Institute.

Three vicarious entry points to Big Sur:

A view of modern Esalen: A recent profile in the NYTimes

“They wonder if they’re doing the right thing for humanity,” Mr. Tauber said. “These are questions we can only answer behind closed doors.”

A view of classical Esalen: One of Terence McKenna, Ralph Abraham, and Rupert Sheldrake’s trialogues:

5 Switzerland for Work

Travels

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Many people online and IRL say that Europe is lost. No, Europe is poised (like many places thanks to the internet) for a cultural and technological revolution.

6 Yosemite

Photo from Wikipedia, taken by Ansel Adams

If you love hikes in nature, Yosemite is for you. The area is breathtaking, dynamic, and always one spark away from intense forest fires. We visited during a few, and the park is so big that you can be driving through smoke one moment, and a few minutes later you can emerge on El Capitan. Gorgeous.

One classical gateway into Yosemite is Ansel Adams.

7 The California Coast

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Okay, we know we already included Big Sur, but the CA Coast got thrown in here again. It’s massive and is a must-see experience type of experience.

Our recommended entry point is Visit California.

If you’re visiting SF, try to make it to Alamere Falls.

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The *Bonus* Never Ending Adventure with Toasty

It's toasty by the fire 🔥

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Toasty turns everywhere we go into an adventure. Check out one of his most epic battles ever with a miniature Wheaten Terrier. Toasty has been telling this war story to every other dog he meets.

Watching Toasty and Henry play. It never gets old! 😂 🐶

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That wraps up today’s edition of, The Best!

A big thanks goes out to all of our readers from our team at The Mission, and Toasty. We couldn’t create, curate, and deliver stories that matter without your love and support. 2017 was packed with adventures, and as I see our 2018 calendar already being filled with client meetings, work trips, and travels, I couldn’t be more excited to share them all with you as we continue to grow.

Cheers to adventures!