I’m a sucker for a good adventure. But the term for adventure has gotten a bad rap for being something huge or expensive that is usually out of the state or country. College was filled with adventures, but these adventures meant spending no money and staying within the city limits. Adventure meant going to the park in the middle of the night accompanied by hot chocolate, friends and a guitar. Adventure meant driving around the city with the windows down and the music turned up to see how lost we could get. Adventure meant sledding down the biggest hill on campus and landing in a heap at the bottom, laughing with complete strangers.
As I have gotten older, I have fallen into the trap of thinking an adventure has to cost an arm and a leg and take up an entire weekend. Though these are usually amazing experiences, I think I understood the true meaning of adventure in college. An adventure can be anything that makes me take deep breaths of air from laughing too hard or learning something new from someone I just met. An adventure makes me leave my comfort zone and familiarity behind. An adventure makes me question authority, make decisions based on experiences and find alternative ways to accomplish the ordinary.
These adventures don’t always have to involve a lot of people. Some of the most meaningful adventures are the ones that I take by myself. The day that I went to lunch after taking the dog to the park and realized that I had my camera in the car. Snapping pictures that day made me realize that photography is something I love and could see myself pursuing further. The day I went to the art museum by myself and while musing over a particular piece, met someone who I had a wonderful conversation with regarding it’s significance. This person who I later found out, was the artist, who helped reawaken my love for expressing feelings though paint. Adventures by myself have revealed in me a sense of confidence and enlightenment that I would have never received if it were shared with someone else.
Adventure is about tasting the richness of life (whether that be with many people or alone) for as long as I possibly can. I am at my best in every area of life when adventure is made a priority. It is where my spontaneous and free spirit are nurtured and I truly feel that each part of me becomes whole.
I recently took a writing class. During this class I wrote goals for myself to move forward with a life filled with adventure:
- Don’t be afraid of the adventure you have with yourself. Make this adventure one that is filled with wonder, excitement, learning and gratitude.
- Do not live your life settling. Do not settle for a half-assed approach to anything. Do not settle for a man who doesn’t challenge, encourage and try to understand you.
- Be present. Be present for the important decisions that you make everyday. Be present in the lives of the ones you love. Be present in pursuing the things that mean the most to you and go after them with full force.
- Do not let your insecurities or comparison to the lives of others diminish your journey. Every decision you have made, brought you to this point. You life is going in the direction it is supposed to. Know that what you do is enough, who you are is enough and what you have to offer the world is enough.
- Be, create, inspire and pursue JOY! There is enough pain, suffering and hatred in the world. Do not let yourself sucked into it. Surround yourself with people, places and events that foster joy. When you look back on your life, these things will be the things you remember.
- Create! You will not be satisfied with your life if you do not have an outlet for your individual voice. Your best way to make a difference in this world is through the visual. Do not be so proud that you do not share this gift with the rest of the world.
- Find a way to see the world. Regardless of money or means, see the world. Experience new cultures. Meet new people without judgement. Hear their story.
Even the smallest adventures can have significance. When we make the most out of these moments, we can expect to truly feel alive.
“The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.”
― Christopher McCandless