"Instead of trying to make your life perfect, give yourself the freedom to make it an adventure, and go ever upward." -Drew Houston
I debated what to call this travel blog for a long time. I wanted it to be travel-related, but I hesitated to use words like "travel", "wanderlust", or other such terms. Something about those words felt limiting. Then I thought of the word adventure and it felt, well... different.
I tried to figure out why. What does adventure capture that those other words never could? So I looked it up. Honestly. I pulled out my dictionary and looked up the definition of adventure. This is what I found:
"an unusual and exciting experience or activity; the exploration of unknown territory."
It couldn't have been more perfect. When creating this blog, I wanted to capture more than the fun of visiting new places. I wanted to capture the uniqueness of stepping outside of your comfort zone and experiencing something entirely unknown. I started this blog because I wanted to write about travel. But as I continue to run this blog I have realized I was onto something when I named it as I did. Because I do want to write about travel, of course, but I want to write about something more than that.
I want to write about living in New York City. I want to write about studying in Edinburgh. About changing jobs, falling in love, dying my hair blue, making homemade bagels for the first time... I want to write about adventure. But what is adventure?
Adventure is a way of life.
There's something more to adventure than simply going places you haven't been before. Don't get me wrong; my travels have been some of my most incredible adventures. But they have by no means been my only ones. The more I embrace (or rather, seek out) adventure, the more I have come to realize that adventure isn't doing a certain thing or going to a certain place. Adventure is a way of looking at the world. A way of living.
Adventure is saying yes when it's easier to say no. Adventure is taking a new route on your way home from work. Adventure is ordering that thing on the menu that you cannot pronounce. Adventure is walking through the door when you have no idea what you'll find on the other side.
I've been a traveler for years, but I like to believe I have been an adventurer my entire life.
Adventure is not fearlessness
I often find that people conflate adventure and fearlessness. Many, many people have called me fearless through the years. They couldn't be more wrong. I am very afraid. Of a lot of things. Every time I've started a new adventure (be it a job, a relationship, a trip, a degree, or something else) I've been scared. Scared that
I was making the wrong decision and scared that everything would go wrong.
But I still did it. And that's the key. Adventure isn't about a lack of fear, but about overcoming that fear.
Adventure is everywhere
There's a feeling I get whenever I take on a new adventure. My heart starts to race and my breath grows shallow. Every nerve on my skin becomes hyper-sensitive and I am filled with a hopeful yet nervous energy that makes it hard to sit still. To me, that feeling is what is at the heart of any adventure. And it is everywhere.
It's bungee jumping over a waterfall in Africa, but it's also pressing the submit button to send my story in for consideration. I have an insatiable hunger for adventure, and travel has filled a lot of that space, but just because I am not traveling every day doesn't mean I'm not on an adventure.
To wrap up this post, I'd like to end with a challenge. I challenge you to embark on an adventure. Do something out of your comfort zone this week. Get your heart racing in a new way. Then let me know how it goes.