[MUSIC PLAYING] SPEAKER: One of my favorite quotes that I think about almost every single time I climb a tree is that the strength of a tree lies in its ability to bend.
SPEAKER 2: An explorer is someone who is willing to look outside of the normal way of thinking.
SPEAKER 3: I think a lot of times, they don't really necessarily know what they're looking for. It's like you're trying to answer the unanswerable question. It's not the noun, it is the verb. It is the action behind exploring that makes one an explorer.
SPEAKER 4: I think exploration is exposing yourself to a different set of values than the one that you're used to.
SPEAKER 5: Taking thought and concept and putting adventure into it. For me, it definitely embodies an air of excitement.
SPEAKER 6: Learning something or acquiring knowledge about some new technique. And then applying that, and see how that application pans out.
SPEAKER: When I think of exploring, I think of finding and discovering something new. You're not only exploring something external, but also internal. Some sort of feeling. Some-- anything.
SPEAKER 3: You're bound to fall into what you were looking for. And even better, you find answers to questions that you didn't even think to ask.
SPEAKER: There are so many things in life that everyone needs to explore themselves. Things can have been explored before, but that doesn't mean that you shouldn't explore them. You will definitely find new things there. And they will find things in you.
SPEAKER 2: Through the process of exploration, I think you'll discover things. You may discover something about yourself. You may discover something about your environment, or about a culture, or about a person. And that discovery is what makes the exploration worth it.
Most people who grow up near hardwood forests, at some point in their childhood have climbed trees.
SPEAKER 5: I've done rock climbing. Conceptually, I loved it. But was tree climbing and the uniqueness of it-- really, really added to it. And I just love it.
SPEAKER 6: I'm perfectly content, in a lot of aspects, just staying inside. So a trip like this is super outside of what I would just jump up and do on my own.
SPEAKER 4: Some people are a little uneasy about just going somewhere with people that they don't know in a place that they don't know. But I think it's something that's really eye-opening to realizing what's out there.
SPEAKER: I could read about rural communities in South America, and not really understand what that looks like. What they're dealing with on the ground. What the environment is like. What trees are like there. But discovery is ownership. And it's a very active thing. And you have to seek it out. And also, make space for it.
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'Explore to Discover' is a short documentary that follows six members of the Cornell Tree Climbing Institute to Costa Rica during an annual expedition of canopy exploration. Along the way, the team asks the important and difficult questions of what it means to explore and ultimately discover. Expedition team members: Zoe Maisel, Wesley Schnapp, Jerry Diamond, Peter Kearns, Laura Kaminsky, Diana Reilly, Dave Katz.
Credits: Filmed by Dave Katz; Edited by Tia Lewis; Additional photography by Diana Reilly. A Tenacity in Pursuit Production. Special thanks to: Maricel Gamboa Calvo, Rolando Rojas Alfaro, Gretel Gamboa Calvo, Mark Holton, Keith Luscinski.