The What, How, and Most Importantly, the Why of River Valley

The What of River Valley

What does River Valley actually do?

Funny question I suppose, but if you look at our advertising you would say that we provided adventures. Those adventures provide excitement, stunning vistas, thrills and yes sometimes, spills. A variety of adventures, just like lots of other companies that provide a variety of adventures.

Why doesn’t “adventure” truly resonate with you or me?

Grade 5 rafting on the Rangitikei River, New Zealand. Fulcrum Rapid

Does The Answer Lie In “How We Do It”?

Maybe the answer to getting excited is to look at how we do it.

How we go adventuring is in rafts and on horses. Now, not many other companies have both rafts AND horses, but there are plenty of other adventure companies out there who have either rafts OR horses.

Does the relationship that we are trying to create with you, our customer, spark up because we are a company that provides adventures on rafts or horses – and we have lots of cool pictures to show you how we do it? Pictures of red rafts, white water, excited faces, big scenery, classic horse and hills shots.

Maybe for some of you that is enough. You are now ready to purchase. A purchase decision based on emotive pictures of cool adventures on rafts or horses.

But for many of you, and for me, there is still something missing.

The Thing That Is Missing Is “Why We Do It”

Why do we do it? Why do we get out of bed each morning and feel a sense of anticipation for each day. Why after 31 years is there still a River Valley at all?

This is a way harder question to answer than “What We Do” or “How We Do It”. As well as that, whatever answer we come up with will only resonate with some of you. That’s okay.

The reason that is okay is the “Why” is not mass market, it is not for everyone. The “Why” resonates with people who see the world as we see the world. The “Why” talks to the people who see themselves as part of a community or tribe that we also belong to. The “Why” is a feeling and not a thing. The “Why” is what makes us different.

Connecting with the landscape, your horse and each other on a Full Day Horse Trek

So What Is The River Valley “Why”?

This is where it gets really hard to articulate. Finding the right words to express what is actually a feeling is not that easy. I have spent several days tossing this around in my head, trying to find the words, even trying to find a start point.

But here goes. When I think about why River Valley still exists. When I think about why we do, what we do, (and trust me there are a great many other endeavours that would make a lot more money), what comes to my mind are a series of pictures.

Pictures of people, their faces lit up with excitement and joy as they come off a Grade 5 river trip. Pictures of people standing in rapt concentration as a horse trekking guide explains how to connect with a horse in a natural way. Pictures of people in rafts surrounded by beautiful scenery, quietly sitting as we float downstream, connecting with the natural world around them.

Pictures of a camp fire surrounded by people in camp chairs, connecting with each other and sharing the days experiences. Pictures of tables at the Lodge, the table top covered in bowls of food, people connecting and sharing a meal.

The Answer To The “Why”

At the end the answer to the ‘Why” question is easy. The “Why” we do what we do is for the connections. River Valley exists for connections, connections to the natural world, connections to each other, and ultimately , connecting with ourselves. The anticipation and desire to see and experience this each day is what gets me out of bed each morning.

This is what resonates with our tribe, our community, our most valuable customer, those of you who see the world as we do. A world where natural connections are at the heart.

Brian Megaw