Countless movies have been made about it. Facebook statuses and Instagram captions aplenty speak of it. Regardless of the madness that surrounds my generation’s undercover obsession, here’s the real truth about adventure: Everyone wants it, most people fake it, and commercialism capitalizes on it. But the most important truth about adventure is that the definition is – and should be – different for every person.
Let’s Start Over
I am not a fan of crosswalk lights. I understand why they are there, I just cannot handle the formality of being told when I can and cannot cross the street. Lights mean nothing to me, so I cross when I please. I’m kind of a rule-breaker, and I naturally live a bit outside the ropes. It doesn’t matter how inconsequential a rule is, it on matters to me that it can be broken…in a moral way, of course.
I also love to travel. I experience things deeply through music. I get excited about activity, and energized by trying things that scare me to death. It’s the way I explore.
Some people explore through their community with others. Some find adventure through creating art. Some on the sofa with a good book. Others even find it in their work. What works for me doesn’t have to work for anyone else. The reality is this: Adventure isn’t any more an Everest expedition or sky dive than it is a field of wildflowers or a great dessert. In fact, noteworthy experiences rarely involve parachutes.
As I mentioned, traveling has been a large part of my personal adventure. It’s been incredible, but I have learned along the way that travel is not in itself the adventure. I’m somewhat ashamed to admit that I’ve seen things some people could only dream of in their lifetime, and been underwhelmed. I have found myself standing in grand plazas of the world’s most coveted cities, or gazing in awe at scenery that would rival any fiction – and make everyone on social media jealous – and thought to myself “It was supposed to be cooler than this.” This forced me to explore some tough questions about why I was there and what I was truly in search of. Was I there so I could put a thumbtack on a map, or have a cool story to tell later when out with friends? Or was I there because it caused something inside of me to be alive?
To see the world, things dangerous to come, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other, and to feel. That is thepurpose of life.”
This excerpt from The Secret Life of Walter Mitty helped me ascend the crux of the wall representing the facade of an adventurous life. Besides the heavy spiritual relevance it has for me personally, it also relates to the things I seek and the way they help me explore myself. Here’s how I translate this – and I offer it as somewhat of an adventure template.[yes_list]
- To see beauty in every piece of the world.
- To explore, and be curious about things outside my comfort zone.
- To draw closer to things that bring me peace.
- To love other people truly, the real way.[/yes_list]
Finally, I pose a challenge
Find fulfillment in things that last, and create experiences you won’t forget. Trends, gadgets, and threads all break and go out of fashion, but being yourself will never be out of style. Let’s do stuff because we want to do it, not so others will perceive our name synonymous with “adventurous.” While being you, be brave. Take chances, but don’t be forced to do something because you want people to think you live life on the edge. Discover what adventure is for yourself, and live from the edge of that.