What does it mean to be an adventurer? Adventurous is defined as being willing to take risks without knowing possible dangers; trying new experiences, new methods or new ideas. It means choosing to step outside your comfort zone for the sake of bettering yourself. It’s as big as giving a speech in front of hundreds of people when your public speaking experience is limited and as small as raising your hand in class to offer a solution to a given problem. Adventure is as simple as getting off of the couch, putting on your shoes and stepping outside. It’s for everyone, at any time, anywhere.
So, why am I writing about adventure? A few weeks ago I dubbed this month DIY July with every intention of having an “everything from scratch” home come the 31st. Not because of laziness, but because of a desire to spend as much of my time as possible outside is this deadline extended to…whenever. Instead of spending most of my time cleaning and shopping for bulk goods, I decided to spend it mostly on the trails of Mt. Rainier, the bluffs of Spokane and among the trees of Washington Park. I chose adventure via sweat, sunshine, mountains and Clif bars and yeah, it was worth it.
I haven’t grocery shopped in about three weeks, but I ran through a park in a torrential down pour while thunder rolled overhead and everyone else was running out. While my husband and I should be watching the mileage on our leased Prius we are instead driving our silent little car back and forth and up and down across our state with backpacks, cats and muddy shoes on board. I’m reflecting on all of these things because if you asked me if I was an adventurer I’d be hesitant to say yes. In my mind an adventurer has always been someone who goes kayaking for a week straight or spends a month exploring in South America. It has made adventure in the real world of jobs, bills and responsibilities impossible. However, these hikes, these hours of trail time and nights I’ve spent sleeping on the ground have made me think about adventure and its importance in our daily lives. Now, reflecting back on my life and my past month I would answer confidently, yes. I am an adventurer.
We can all agree that choosing to step outside of our comfort zone is difficult and obviously, uncomfortable. If you’ve ever done it, however, I bet you can look back and see that you grew, you conquered, you found new confidence where insecurity used to be. I have friends and family who are all over the map of adventure. Some are at the beginning, the scary part where everything is unknown and you have no idea if things are going to go well or crumble into a million pieces. I know someone who is debating whether or not they are capable of starting their own business because it means going back to school after many years, the possibility of failure and the uncertainty of success. I have friends moving away from everything they’ve ever known to a place they’ve never been to fulfill a lifelong dream. My husband is in the middle of adventure, discovering new opportunities in a world he never thought he was qualified to be a part of.
Kids are avid adventure seekers because they have so much to learn; so much of the world they don’t understand, but can’t wait to figure out. This is why kids are constantly covered in cuts and bruises. They try and they fall. They bleed and they learn. They get up and try again. Adventure is scary, but thrilling. It’s risky, but rewarding. It’s a long, strenuous uphill hike with spectacular views at the top. Trust me when I say, I’m with you on the climb.
One of my favorite characteristics about the outdoors is that it begs you to be adventurous. You can’t look at a waterfall without getting the urge to jump in and swim underneath it. A field of wildflowers begs to be frolicked in. Tall mountains yearn to be climbed. Wildlife sits and waits for you to watch. Waves roll in waiting to be played in. Forests shade the path for you to walk on. Every time you look out your window there’s an opportunity for adventure calling out. I urge you to put on your dirtiest pair of shoes and begin the climb.