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.