Local author, adventurer Shelby Stanger to release new book ‘Will to Wild’

Shelby Stanger
(Sarah Lee)

Shelby Stanger offers advice on how to take potentially life-changing adventures


Solana Beach author Shelby Stanger is coming out with a new book about “how we can use adventure to change our mindset.”

“Will to Wild: Adventures Great and Small to Change Your Life,” published by Simon and Schuster, will be released on June 6. The author will also be holding a book signing at 7:30 p.m. June 6 at Warwick’s in La Jolla, followed by a TEDx talk on June 11 at the Conrad in La Jolla.

"Will to Wild: Adventures Great and Small to Change Your Life" book cover.
“Will to Wild: Adventures Great and Small to Change Your Life” book cover by Shelby Stanger.
(Shelby Stanger)

“There are a lot of things you can do right now to change your life, but I think choosing an adventure is the most exciting way,” said Stanger, who grew up in North County and has lived in Solana Beach for the last eight years. “And the side effects of nature are profound.”

Over the years through her writings, podcasting and other content, Stanger has interviewed countless people who have pursued adventures big and small. Her new book details the feats of a suburban mom who became an ice-climbing guide, a group of boogie boarding women ages 56 to 96, surfers, paddle boarders, runners and many other case studies.

“I’ve interviewed thousands of people who have pursued adventure,” said Stanger who has participated in many adventures all over the world herself. “I really believe that adventure is a great catalyst to transform your life, even if it’s a small adventure.”

“Will to Wild” has been included on the Next Big Idea Club’s June 2023 Must-Read Books list.

Inspiration for the book also goes back to when Stanger was 16 and teaching surf lessons at an all-girls surf school in La Jolla Shores. Many of the women contacted her down the road to let her know that they found the confidence to make a big move across the country, end a relationship or take other meaningful steps in their lives.

“I think that phenomenon stuck with me so much that I kind of accidentally made it my life’s work to study people who pursued adventure and wild ideas full time,” Stanger said. “And so this book is everything I’ve learned about it. It’s a guidebook on how to take a wild idea from just an idea to actually making it happen.”

Stanger’s previous projects include the podcast “Wild Ideas Worth Living,” which became an REI Co-op production.

“I’ve always been blown away by how even a little adventure can transform someone’s life,” she said.

“Will to Wild” will be available in multiple formats on June 6. For more information on how to purchase the book, as well as additional book signing dates and other events, visit shelbystanger.com.