15 August 2014

Find your adventure

I was wearing an old t-shirt the other day, nothing fancy or particularly special, just a t-shirt; but one gotten from my pre-USMC days, during my dot-com days, working with QuokkaSports, specifically in this instance, on online production of Eco Challenge 2000 Borneo. The shirt was from an online travel company for off-the-grid travelers, the company was Adventureseek, and their motto was "Find Your Adventure." I always found that line appealing, and not because I could imagine myself trekking across some remote outpost, austerely outfitted in only what I procured from the locals (which I have done and don't highly recommend).
Flashback Friday:
At Humboldt Redwoods State Park, 1998, I think!
It is because the notion of adventure to me is life-encompassing, that weird search for those things that both get your heart racing and keep you enthralled, long after the initial surge of adrenaline, whether because of memory or circumstance. We also tend to think of adventure on a grand scale, and when I reflect on my adventures, I've had many on that plane: traveling to Gili Trawangan on a whim and learning to scuba dive; dog-sledding and cross-country skiing on a November midnight in Alaska; running in the south of France and jumping off the cliffs at Cassis; a four-month solo tour of Europe and learning snowboard at Kleine-Scheidegg, walking through the streets of Paris at four a.m. and attending Las Fallas in Valencia; and hang-gliding off the top of Mt. Tamalpais onto Stinson Beach, among many others. (The list of my adventures with the Corps and with my running would carry on for days, so for the sake of brevity, I omit those.)

Other adventures are smaller, but no less impactful: finding a fabulous cafe with splendid coffee and a perfect croissant, opening a new book and being so absorbed that I lose track of everything else, completing the Friday NYT crossword (always in pen), finding a new running route, and, of course, teaching the munchkins' their "firsts" and seeing them fearlessly try something new.

An adventure is that thing that either opens me up to something new or pushes me out of my "known" zone - whether a nudge just outside the border or completely out of my comfort level. It is that thing that I risk trying, regardless of outcome - especially when I don't know the outcome. Saying "yes" is probably the greatest way to start an adventure. It doesn't mean you can't plan but it also means you shouldn't try to control where it takes you (unless it's swimming in crocodile-infested waters, then, you should reconsider....).

I think adventure is all about the willingness to try.... just to see... that maybe, this might be the coolest thing you've ever done. 

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