I recently got to wondering about what distinguishes a safe, cautious, ordinary life from one filled with joys and glory that linger vividly and fondly in the memory forever. And I’ve concluded that it’s the willingness to put oneself out there and have adventures. I’m not talking about holidays or vacations. And certainly not business trips. Nope. Honest to god adventures, complete with challenges, risks, and rewards.
You see, most friends and acquaintances don’t really want to hear stories about your work, because work is something they all experience. And they may or may not sit patiently through tales of your trips & travels, because any of them can travel where you have if they want… all it takes is time & money. But what they do want to hear about are your adventures. Because your adventures are uniquely yours. They are your own stories that no one else will ever be able to experience. Not everyone has the opportunity, nerve, or fortitude to take on a true adventure. A job is what you do to earn a living… your adventures are you living.
An adventure has all the elements of the ancient hunt or quest… challenges, uncertainty, bravery, daring, and thrills. All for a sought-after goal or treasure. The safe outcome of an adventure is never assured. And it’s that risk, that uncertainty, that makes it taste so much sweeter than our normal experiences.
You can’t just book adventures on Travel.com. Adventures present themselves to you. An adventure takes spirit, courage, and the willingness to let go of the safety rope, to expose yourself to the fates, and trust your instincts & abilities to see it through to the end. Whether it’s backpacking across Europe, hang-gliding off El Capitan, volunteering with OXFAM, tending an island lighthouse, losing 70 pounds, or trying your hand at standup comedy, it’s your adventures that define who you truly are. It’s your adventures that show what you’re made of.
Adventures can happen at any time, but the best time for them is when you’re young. That’s when you should not only be prepared for them, but looking for them. You can’t put it off, thinking that you’ll get around to taking exciting chances later in life. Because with age comes responsibility and caution. Oh sure, you may have the time & money when you’re older, but by then you may lack the courage, the daring, the freedom, or the good health that a real adventure demands of you. No, the time to put yourself out there, to throw your fate to the wind and brace yourself for the challenge, is when you’re young, fit, and foolish.
Adventures can be scary. But we need them to feel alive. Because, when all is said and done, it’ll be your adventures that you’ll recall most fondly, that will define who you were during your life… and that will make for the best stories.
I’m just sayin’