The Definition of Adventure
Do a quick google search and this is what you’ll find as the definition of “adventure”:
an unusual and exciting, typically hazardous, experience or activity.
"her recent adventures in Italy"
synonyms: exploit, escapade, deed, feat, experience
engage in hazardous and exciting activity, especially the exploration of unknown territory.
"they had adventured into the forest"
Nowadays it seems like everyone loves going on “adventures”. They write of their incessant “wanderlust” and love of “exploring”. But what does that really mean? In truth, it depends on who you talk to. Some people will say it isn’t an adventure unless you get lost, almost die, or fear death. Others will say that driving to their nearest national park and getting a great pic for Instagram is an adventure. Maybe they’re both right.
Until my best friend, Traci, became my best friend. I didn’t really know what adventure was to me. Now, I know what it is. It’s deciding to do something spontaneous. Minimal planning that leads to places you might not have otherwise gone. Just recently we went to visit friends in San Francisco and decided to take a day trip out to Tahoe. Traci and my friends wanted to ski/snowboard. I am not much of a skiier anymore, so I decided I’d go “explore”. We got to the ski resort, I asked the locals where I should head, and I was off.
Some people don’t see the use in driving 3.5 hours to get somewhere you’re only going to spend about 4 hours before heading back. Was it worth it? Yes. Is it always? No. Sometimes you wish you could go back and make a different decision. Decide to stay put. Decide not to jump. But that’s all part of adventure. You don’t know what you’re going to get. Just like anything in life. But it shouldn’t stop you from trying.
Those hours you spent driving might have been spent on the couch watching TV (not that I don’t love a good veg out day in front of Netflix, but you get my point...). Is that really what you’d rather do? I could have opted out of Tahoe. I don’t ski or snowboard. It was cold. I would be by myself for a few hours. But man. MAN. Am I glad I did. It was stunning. And it was exhilarating to breathe in that crisp air and soak up this beautiful place in what I get to call my home state.
I’m not saying that I had some epiphany as I wandered around the snow covered beaches of the lake. I’m not saying that I was able to clear my head and that I came back feeling refreshed and ready to take on the big bad world. In fact, more often than not, when I come back to reality from a fun trip like that, I feel pretty down. I go back to this place that feels like work. Even though I am blessed with an incredible network of people who love and support me. Even though things aren’t so bad. There is usually a low after a high.
The adventure distracts me a bit. It is helpful to give my brain a rest and just live in the moment and enjoy. Or, at least, try to. I’d like to say that while away I lived every moment in the present. That I didn’t think about the future. I didn’t think about the things that are missing from my life. Didn’t think about pain or struggle. But I did. I’m a great multitasker. And yet! I came back from this trip and was inspired to write again. I hadn’t written in a couple months. And it was eating at me that my creativity was stuck along with so many other parts of my life. That feeling of stuckness...you don’t get that on an adventure. You’re always moving. Unless you literally get stuck somewhere...like your foot gets jammed in between rocks and you literally can’t get out...But hey, that’s an adventure too.