“Let us step into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure.”
– Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Because you’re here, I’m assuming you’re someone who also feels beckoned by that flighty temptress, adventure.
Maybe you’re sitting in an office somewhere, staring out the window and wondering if there is more to life than always choosing the safe route. Or you could be a recent graduate, newly navigating the world of adulthood and feeling the weight of other people’s expectations. Perhaps your life has just been turned upside down by a sudden and unexpected event, like an illness diagnosis or the death of someone close to you, that has reminded you that our time on this earth is limited.
You’ve begun to question if the path you’re on is the right one. You wonder whether you’re making the most of your minutes and hours, or if you’re just wasting them away doing the same things, accumulating the same stuff, and watching the same crap TV as everyone else. You aren’t contributing much, you’re not creating anything new, you’re not making the world a better place. You’re just existing, squeaking by, enjoying a few fun hours here and there, but the days and months and years are starting to blend together.
You’re wondering where all the thrills of adulthood are that you imagined as a kid.
You worry that sooner than you realize, it will all be over, and you’ll be wondering why you didn’t start questioning your complacency sooner.
I know the feeling. Only a few years go, I found myself working 80+ hours a week in a stressful job, and although I liked my career, I felt like it was slowly crushing who I was. Time with family, all the creative projects I dreamt of doing and trips I wanted to take were always being pushed aside in the name of work. It seemed like I was a cog in the wheel of consumption, working for someone else to pay for more things that society told me I needed.
I wasn’t terribly unhappy, I just wanted to reclaim more time for myself and the things I cared about. What’s more, I wanted to feel challenged. I wanted to grow as a person (aside from just becoming better at my job) and push my own boundaries. I didn’t want to stay stagnant, sitting in an office and losing the years in routine.
So I made a commitment – at least once a week, I would do something that I haven’t done before. These “somethings” would preferably take me out of my comfort zone in some way, even if it was simply checking out a new local hike or trying a weird art project on a Saturday when I would have otherwise sat on the couch watching Netflix. I stayed open-minded and kept my eyes peeled for new opportunities. I called these little somethings “adventures.”
After a year of trying new things, I noticed I felt more confident. With each adventure, my horizons expanded ever so slightly. I met fun, weird people who liked what I liked. I started looking further from home and finding adventures out on the road while working.
Then in 2014, I took two months off between contracts and traveled around Asia for two months. My first solo backpacking trip was a bit scary, but some awesome happened – I fucking loved it. Being on my own gave me a freedom I’d never felt before. More importantly, I met a myriad of interesting people from around the world that were traveling long-term, either working on the road or with large savings they had from simplifying their life back home.
When I saw these people living a life I assumed I’d need to win the lottery to live, I knew I wanted to do it too. As soon as I got back to the States, I began saving my money, moved out of my apartment and slowly sold all of my stuff. Then in September of 2015, I took an indefinite career break and left for 15 months of travel around the world.
Since then, I’ve hiked up a volcano, dived the Blue Hole in Belize, paraglided over Lake Atitlan, sailed between Thai islands in the Andaman Sea, and trekked through endless rice terraces in Vietnam, and made a hell of a lot of progress on my Life List.
Don’t get me wrong – I don’t have it all figured out. I am still living mostly off my savings, and I’m not sure what the future holds for me. I can’t say if I’ll go back to adventuring while having another full-time job of if I’ll keep traveling indefinitely. But I can say is, without any doubt, I am making the most of my time on this earth.
I’m spending my healthiest years seeking awesome experiences most people only dream about. I’m growing mentally stronger each time I challenge myself to step a little further outside of my comfort zone. I’ve met interesting people from all over the glove and done things I never imagined I would be capable of. Doors of opportunity have even opened for me to keep this lifestyle going forever, if I want it to.
And it all started with a little decision to spice things up with a bit more adventure.
I don’t tell you all this because I think you should do exactly what I did. On the contrary, I know full-time travel isn’t for everyone. I’m writing this because I believe adding in a little adventure into your life is a practice everyone can do. Adventure is not just for explorers, astronauts, super spies, adrenaline junkies or rich people! You don’t have to quit your job and book a one-way ticket across the world to find it. It’s right there in your backyard, believe it or not.
No matter who you are, whatever your age, location, career, family or financial situation, you can start broadening your horizons by saying yes to adventure.
I don’t only think it’s possible, but I also think you should do it. Regularly seeking out extraordinary experiences that challenge you is good for you. They’ll help grow you into a more whole and interesting person, and you’ll be surprised what kind of new opportunities will arise from these adventures.
Not to mention you’ll have a hell of a lot of fun in the process!
So tell me: are you up for a little more excitement? Are you interested in finding out how to sprinkle in more rich experiences with opportunity for growth into your life?
Are you ready to shake things up?
Continue to The 7 Tenets of Adventure —->
Cheers to more adventures for all, and see you very soon!