Hitching & Hearting

When I was younger I was massively into the beat writers such as Jack Kerouac and Tom Wolfe. Spent much time sitting in trees, on benches and against walls thumbing my way through well read paper backs.

A few years later I found my feet and went hitching.

I loved it. It quenched my sense of adventure like nothing else.

Yet looking back I get cringy at how dangerous it was. In fact, I feel like I ought to ring my mum up and beg forgiveness at the shock, horror and fear she must have felt when she discovered what I was doing.

Now I wouldn’t dare hitch hike unless the circumstances were extreme. After all, now I’m much more sensible and grownup (says nodding sagely).

But looking back I had some great adventures at that time. Life was so open, so abundant with possibility. I once hitched to West Kennet Long Barrow with a friend, was picked up by an old man who was playing Country Western and we all drove along the motorway belting out “Country road, take me home, to the place I belong, West Virginia … blah, blah, blah” at the tops of our voices (old guy included).  Then he dropped us off, we said thanks and goodbye and the next adventure  began.

Another time someone picked me up and I climbed into the back to find loads of dead pigeons on the floor. I quickly discovered that the driver, besides collecting dead birds, was also partial to driving through red lights and not hearing when I asked him to let me out. Hmm. That was an interesting drive. Not one I’d fancy repeating.

And despite a few adventuresome blips (such as dead-bird man) I still crave adventures. Every so often, when the lull becomes dull or I hit some landmark like “sheeet, I turned thirty!!” I look around at life – the routines that come with parenthood, the groundedness that comes with having a job, the sense of “yeah, been there, done that, got the t-shirt” and I think what happened?

When did life get so adventure-less?

And I don’t think I’m the only one who ever asks that question. Am I …? Am I ….? You who reads this? Am I alone?

So many people who come on my Goal Mapping workshops are there because they too want to make a change, shake things up, leap back in, get a taste of adventure back into their lives.

We all neeeeeeeeeed adventures.  

And here is the great news … adventures are all around us – all the time. We’ve just got to get out of our heads … and by that I mean, out of our usual patterns of thinking.

We’ve got to take off the “seen it, done it” t.shirt and instead put on a fresh vest? of possibility. We’ve got to revitalise the way we look at things, stop perceiving everything through the same old eyes and bring out our childlike wonder again. I mean – we’re grown ups! We can do all the things we once dreamed of when we were kids … and more.

 I think that my writer’s curiosity (ie. looking for stories) has kept my heart open to adventures. It’s kept me alert to the fact that Adventure Potential exists in the every moment of the day. 

Adventure Potential Lurks Everywhere. See below:

Only last week I had an argument,

went for a drive,

headed down a dirt track,

hit a pot hole, 

exploded my tyre and being a mobile-less wonder, 

headed to the nearest house to ask if I could use the phone to which the house-owner begrudgingly agreed.

I then had to phone  Angry Husband (who I’d argued with then abandoned at home to drive)

and beg him to pick me up

whilst the phone/home owner’s wife

– who obviously had dementia of some sort –

kept bringing me her empty bowl of soup from the living room and telling me to wash it up.

The best bit was that when Angry Husband came to get me the argument had magically been forgotten.

Sigh. What a great little adventure to have on a drizzly February day.

*

Just for today commit to having an adventure.

 You can have this on your own or with someone else (children are perfect adventure companions and can see excitement and intrigue wherever they go).

Or simply do whatever you normally do – but do it with an open heart to having an adventuresome time. See every moment as a chance for something exciting and brilliant to occur. You might meet a new person, hear a wonderful idea, discover something strange and treacherous about the world, overhear a wildly raucous conversation or maybe just look really closely at something you’ve taken for granted (for example the lawn. That’s always quite an interesting one and will give any curious neighbours something to report back on when they sit down with their other half for dinner).  

The world needs to hear your adventures – your perspectives – your journeys. Please declare them here in the comments even if they are just tiny, squiggly ones and in the meantime, have yourself a rad little day.

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7 thoughts on “Hitching & Hearting

  1. I love this Bethan, I to read Kerouac and hitched everywhere when I was younger (did it on the Island the other day as well). I am now also having little adventures, usually started by forgeting, losing or lock myself out of somewhere. but I always enjoy them and they usually lead to meeting someone very nice. In a time when everything is so organised its nice to have a little chaos and adventure, it give life a chance to break in and offer something new.

    • Leigh – you nutter!! You still hitch?? If I see you I will pick you up I promise. The last time I picked up a hitcher it was this nutty, psychedelic bird who lives down my road. Feeling I was committing a random act of kindness I offered her a lift only for her to spend teh whole journey moaning about me near her house. Pah, but hilarious!!

  2. Love it Bethan. Really do. An inspiring tale and a wonderful perspective- one which I try my very best to live by also but Do need reminding sometimes. I have certainly been seeing adventure through the boys eyes just lately- they are so much fun and I’m LOVING living in the moment with them . Lots of love Anna xxxx

  3. Thanks Anna. Kids are amazing Adventurers aren’t they? It doesn’t matter what the weather or where you are going, it can almost always be turned into some sort of mission or expedition. XXX

  4. Dearest Bethan, I should of written this after your first blog! Just to say i LOVE reading your tales and not only does it give me a great excuse to sit down with my daily decaf cappucino but also makes me STOP, THINK, DIGEST and SMILE! Too often in this world we get so bogged down with the mundane aspects of life and tend to rush through our days without seeing the beauty around us and/or within us and those that surround us. Thank you for your words of wisdom Bethan……….xxxxxxx

  5. Hi Jodie and thank you so much. It’s so reassuring to know that people I love and admire are reading this and getting something from it. In fact, our convo earlier has just given me some inspiration for a future post, so keep a look ou while you’re supping your decaf cappuccino. (Incidentally, get to Coffee Republic and try their “chocolate latte chai”. Perfect combination of chocolate, comfort milk infused with Indi-aaaaaaaaaah. Must be good because I’d never normally mention Coffee Republic on this blog!)XXX

    • Chocolate chai latte…..hhhhmmmmmmm yummy sounds like just the tonic you need when faced with the nightmare that is newport! Will of course look out for future posts. lots of love xxxx

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