conversations about the open road of adventure.
there are a lot of really great & interesting people where i work. and they come in all shapes, sizes, & ages.
yesterday, i had the joy of sitting with 3 completely different people during our afternoon fika break (coffee break, but way more cozy & relaxing) in the cafe at the church where i work. sitting with me was a middle-aged iranian woman, a young swedish woman, and an older, distinguished swedish man. and then, me… the 30-something american expat. somehow the conversation turned to travel & adventure – a topic that you know (if you’ve frequented my blog often, or even a little perhaps) i love. ok. more than love. other than my family, writing/photography, & spirituality/theology, it is my passion. i’m always ready for the next adventure.
anyway. the older man spoke of his travels to australia & the time he lived in africa, relaying story after story of crazy amazing experiences involving giant spiders or poisonous snakes his kids played with. i dropped that lina & i are going to china in a few months, and of course he had tips for us, seeing as he’d visited there often. of course he had. i want his life. and then, i went on to mention a time i was in LA, and he piped up & said, you know, my wife & i lived in LA for a year & a half. and then we chatted about sunset boulevard, which happened to be like a block from where he lived. now i really want his life. as i listened, i secretly coveted this man’s adventures & all the places he has lived & visited. how has he done it all? well, that is my next conversation with him. in the meantime, my life ain’t too shabby at all.
i have come to the conclusion, after this conversation, that, though i am focusing of embracing my carefree, free-spirited nature in 2013, the drive behind that is one word: adventure.
and the other day, i wrote about adventures in wild, exotic, amazing countries and adventures just around the corner from where i live. so, i am thinking that what is happening is that the word “adventure” is the actual inspiration that is guiding my year. my thirst for adventure, the desire to live life to the fullest, to love deeply, to experience all that i can, to see new & strange things, to find the beauty in the ordinary, to soak up every single moment, is at an all-time high right now. and it feels amazing.
with all that said, i now have some beautiful, wonderful words of advice to share with y’all about… what else? adventure! they are not my words, but jon krakauer’s. so, take a moment, and forget all that i have said so far… read these words and let them sink into your soul.
“I’d like to repeat the advice that I gave you before, in that I think you really should make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.
If you want to get more out of life, Ron, you must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life that will at first appear to you to be crazy. But once you become accustomed to such a life you will see its full meaning and its incredible beauty. And so, Ron, in short, get out of Salton City and hit the Road. I guarantee you will be very glad you did. But I fear that you will ignore my advice. You think that I am stubborn, but you are even more stubborn than me. You had a wonderful chance on your drive back to see one of the greatest sights on earth, the Grand Canyon, something every American should see at least once in his life. But for some reason incomprehensible to me you wanted nothing but to bolt for home as quickly as possible, right back to the same situation which you see day after day after day. I fear you will follow this same inclination in the future and thus fail to discover all the wonderful things that God has placed around us to discover.
Don’t settle down and sit in one place. Move around, be nomadic, make each day a new horizon. You are still going to live a long time, Ron, and it would be a shame if you did not take the opportunity to revolutionize your life and move into an entirely new realm of experience.
You are wrong if you think Joy emanates only or principally from human relationships. God has placed it all around us. It is in everything and anything we might experience. We just have to have the courage to turn against our habitual lifestyle and engage in unconventional living.
My point is that you do not need me or anyone else around to bring this new kind of light in your life. It is simply waiting out there for you to grasp it, and all you have to do is reach for it. The only person you are fighting is yourself and your stubbornness to engage in new circumstances.”
― Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild