Life of Adventure ~
What does the word adventure mean to you? I think most people imagine a bucket list trip or outdoor activity guaranteed to thrill. I’m sure I would get two very different answers if I asked a suburban family at a mall and a group of hikers at the trailhead. And I believe both answers would be correct…for them.
Words like risky, exciting, unknown, activities, and experiences were found in the definition of adventure. That covers many events in different people’s life.
Setting up my blog is what made me really start thinking about this. My initial definition of adventure centered around outdoor activities. This blog, for the most part, will contain posts about, well, outdoor adventures. A life of adventure can look very different to everyone, but I think the common thread is that adventure is an attitude.
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Check Your Attitude
How do you approach activities and events in your life? With excitement and joy or boredom and dissatisfaction?
I think there are probably some people that appear to be the ultimate adventurer – bagging mountain peaks, kayaking wild rivers, or traveling around the world – that have an unhappy life and are trying to fill a void. Perhaps with each accomplishment is an expectation to do more. What are your true motives for adventure?
You could easily encounter an average, everyday person full of anticipation that is “just” starting a new career, getting married or even only going to a local park. These events are adventures to them. I know starting this blog has been an adventure for me. It is exciting and scary, emotionally risky and unknown territory.
Do you want to live a life of adventure, pursuing and embracing what you love? Let’s look at some steps to develop an attitude of adventure regardless of how you have defined adventure in the past.
Attitude of Gratitude
The quickest way to spark a new zest for life, is to be thankful. Dwelling on what you haven’t done, can’t do and don’t have is a straight road to a state of depression.
Have you ever felt sorry for yourself when you see what some else is doing in their life? As fun as it is to follow Instagram accounts, Facebook pages, and blogs that showcase what you love, it is easy to feel discouraged rather than inspired if you forget to be thankful for your own life.
I am a list maker and have found it helpful to actually write down everything in my life that I am thankful for. Give it a try and be sure to include everything you can think of. Wish lists and buckets lists are fun to make, but there is truly something humbling and satisfying in listing what you are thankful for. It is a wonderful reminder in how blessed we really are.
Escape the Comparison Trap
It only seems natural that getting caught in the comparison trap follows forgetting to be thankful. Have you ever been excited about something in your life only to have your spirits plummet when you find yourself comparing it to someone else and thinking it comes up short?
Be proud of yourself for completing that short hike. Longer hikes do offer a different and sometimes better experience, but a short hike may be all you need. If your family loves your RV, don’t feel like your aren’t a real camper because you aren’t sleeping in a tent. Sure there is a difference in camper camping and tent camping, but both are valid.
I love reading about families hiking the Appalachian Trail together. It is really neat, but honestly, just the thought of attempting even a week on the trail with my grandsons exhausts me!
I took my grandsons on a short hike around the campground we were staying at and it was an adventure for us. We had so much fun jumping the little creek, finding ferns, discovering cool mushrooms and chasing each other ( well, me chasing them! ) up the hills.
We didn’t cover a lot of miles or reach a summit with breathtaking views, but the hike accomplished everything this Nana and her little guys needed that Fall day.
Remember, different doesn’t always mean better. You can’t enjoy your life if you are always comparing it to others.
Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
Now that I’ve spent the beginning of this post reassuring you that you do and can have a life of adventure, I’m going to encourage you to do something different.
I am not saying that what you are doing now isn’t enough. I have no idea what you are doing. I do know that stepping out of your comfort zone will heighten your sense of adventure.
I love floating the river, and I will never forget the first time I went rafting on the Ocoee River with its class IV and V rapids. I wanted to go, but I was a little scared. The nervous anticipation was rewarded with a wild experience.
Maybe you want to do something not associated with outdoor adventure. Perhaps you want to move or start your own business, begin college classes, join the gym or get more involved at church. Truly, the opportunities for stepping out of your comfort zone can be endless.
Your comfort zone will be completely different than mine. Again, no comparing here, because what is “safe” and “normal” for one person, may not be for the next. Some people don’t flinch hiking Angel’s Landing at Zion National Park. The narrow ridge and sheer cliffs would terrify me, regardless of the chains provided for handholds. The main thing is to do something that challenges you and makes you feel more adventurous.
A life of adventure shouldn’t bring stress, sadness, or fear. It is one thing to “stress” a little when planning things and being a little scared when you embark on your adventures, but a life of adventure should bring you joy. Have fun, laugh a little. No, laugh a lot.
Laugh at yourself when you huff and puff up that hill, laugh at your friends (never be cruel though) when they are trying to put their tent up in the crazy wind, and laugh with the children in your life. Laughter is the best medicine -well aside for the joy of God! Proverbs 17:22 says a merry heart does good like a medicine.
There will be times when life stinks, your plans flop, your boat won’t float, (been there on the Hiwassee River) and the very thing that was supposed to bring you happiness is stressing you to the max. Try to find something to laugh at anyway. Have you heard the saying “if I didn’t laugh I would cry”? Believe me, I don’t say this lightly. I know there are times when it seems impossible to even smile.
Laugh on your adventures and during the little moments of your life.
Do You Have An Adventurous Attitude?
So what do you think? Do you live a life of adventure? Do you have an adventurous attitude, even if you are not an “outdoor adventurer”? And if you have been chasing outdoor adventures, are you loving it!!?? I know this is just a few ways to spark an adventurous spirit, so let me know what a life of adventure looks like to you.