Adventurous Spirit: ‘The Raft’ Star Payge McMahon

If one of your bucket list goals includes seeing the whole world, people may say you’re a dreamer (like John Lennon). And may your fellow dreamers with such adventurous spirit inspire you to action. Look no furtha than Payge McMahon who quit her comfy Wall Street job and sold all of her belongings. Nothing seems to get in the way of her getting out there and living her life.

Step Aside Cheryl Strayed, Meet Payge McMahon

On the topic of adventure stories about women going out into the wild, Payge McMahon and Cheryl Strayed, author of the bestselling memoir, “Wild” (the movie directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, got Reese Witherspoon a Best Actress nomination just this year) seem to have a lot in common. Both are women who had a strong, beautiful relationship with their mother’s. Both lost their mother’s to lung cancer. And most of all, both are hard-core adventure-seekers. 

Through it all all, McMahon keeps a part of her mother with her. Literally. McMahon keeps a bit of her mother’s ashes in a pendant around her neck. For her mother’s inability to complete her bucket list, McMahon sprinkles her mother’s remains around the world while she tries to do just that.

The reason for this beautifully heartfelt gesture? When McMahon’s mother passed away from lung cancer, her faithful daughter found a list of expeditions and destinations that she dreamt of experiencing in the nightstand. Like Strayed’s Pacific Crest Trail hike, finding this list was like a calling, a mission…a way to heal.

While her mother wasn’t an adventure traveler, she wanted this adventurous spirit for her children, always teaching them to try new things. After her mother retired, she did do her share of travel (Panama, Hawaii, Ireland, etc.). However, the earliness of the sickness didn’t allow her to accomplish the items on her bucket list. McMahon didn’t want the same to happen to her, and that was enough motivating factor.

Adventurous Spirit: 'The Raft' Star Payge McMahon - Clapway

Just few of the things Payge McMahon has done: Summiting Mount Fiji and Mount Kilimanjaro. Trekking an Inca Trail and through an Egyptian desert. Cycling through Southeast Asia, and dog sledding in Alaska. National Geographic catching wind of McMahon’s epic journeys, asked her to try out for their new show adventure/surival show where they drop two strangers in the middle of the Bermuda Triangle without food or water, hundreds of miles apart, to survive for a week until reaching land. This show premiers today.

To bask a little more in Payge McMahon’s adventurous spirit, visit her blog. You can also watch ‘The Raft’ on National Geographic and maybe even pick-up some survival skills in case you ever end up stranded upon the The Bermuda Triangle (though that’s surely not a thought most would voluntarily have).

For more in the spirit of hardcore adventure, meet ‘No Regrets’ a pair of German adventurers taking Alaska’s awe-inspiring outdoors: