Adventure is right under our noses...
We think of adventure as a sum up of experiences you would encounter in an action or exploration movie. "Indiana Jones", "Tomb Raider". Even tales from epic fantasy like "The Lord of the Rings" could be classified as an adventure.
However, adventure is something that happens WITHIN us rather than out there.
One of the things I love most about traveling is the possibility of adventure. I will not deny that I am not the most intrepid hiker/rock climber/bear wrestler out there. In fact I am a long ways to go to be able to wrestle just any kind of animal. As a matter of fact, let's not wrestle animals and just leave them alone. Jokes aside, adventure goes beyond the intensity of our actions; it is not what we do, but how we do it, or even better from where.
So let me tell you about my last trip to the Seattle Area...
“Not all who wander are lost,” a famous phrase from writer J.R.R. Tolkien
I would have to say that the best journeys I have been in can find relation with the above quotation. As part of the course I am studying this year, 2018, we are required to assist in an in-person manner on three separate occasions: all of them three-day gatherings in Washington (in or around Seattle). For the first meeting, the location was around Bothell and even though this was my first time in Seattle, I opted out of taking an Uber and tried my luck with the kindness of strangers and the esteemed reputation of the public transport system. Needless to say I got there in one piece and that was that.
The reason I mention this first time in Seattle is because all in all I did not consider that feat an adventure. The second time around it was a different experience despite virtually following the same actions I did earlier in the year. This time I went to Monroe, Washington, from the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Again I opted out of taking an Uber and decided to try my luck once again with public transportation and friendly strangers. What changed the whole experience was the intention of the journey. My first time around I had one clear goal: get to the rented house. Five months later, I had the same final goal: get to the rented house. But I had an added purpose: have fun and explore.
How often do we let ourselves just have fun and explore?
In all honesty, I do not consider myself the most enthusiastic human being around. I am optimistic and sometimes too much of a dreamer. However, often times I let the nature of my day-to-day dictate my mood and as such possibilities like having fun and exploring become 2nd priorities or even worse forgotten moods.
On my second trip, while heading to Monroe, not only did I get to uncover the wondrous landscapes, and meet amazing selfless people in the way; I got to learn about the people who live there, got to download apps that supported me to get around out of recommendation, got to bridge the gap with future potential clients and last, but not least, got to taste the best tea I have ever had in a Chinese restaurant in the middle of the road. So the question is: what changed between the first and second experiences? The intention behind them.
Being open to wonder and wander
“Only those who will risk going too far, can possibly find out how far one can go” - T.S. Eliot
So does that mean that I have to travel to a remote location to have fun and explore? No. What I have learned about having fun and exploring is that it has a lot to do with being open to wonder and wander. Anything can be an adventure; any situation, any relationship, any spent second. Asking that person out. Yes, you know who. Asking your boss for a raise. Taking a different route from what you are used to. Being free.
To round things up a bit...
Let us not waste more time waiting for adventure! Let's be open to wonder and wander! Let's have fun and explore this moment, this place, this relationship! Let's be free!