how to have an adventure every day.

earth

earth

all of us seem to want more. at least i do.

more adventure. more excitement. more meaning in our lives. more connection with something.

and we seek to fill our desire for more with many different things, material & spiritual.

we have, perhaps, felt “it” before. more fully us. more amazed. more whole. more inspired. more alive.Β and all we want is to return to those feelings. to experience it again. there must be more to living than this life we have now. there must be more out there somewhere. and we seek the key that holds the lock to More. we seek it through religion. or adrenaline-rushing activities. or on journeys around the world. or dreams. or by living vicariously through other people. like junkies looking for our next hit, we frantically go about our daily lives wanting it… More.

little do we realize that what we seek, we already have. it’s true.

let me back up a little…

at the beginning of 2013, i decided that this would be my year of adventure. i’d be tapped into my inner free-spirit and ride the high of one adventure to the next, never pausing for a moment of ordinary life. determined to feel alive every single day, i mean really alive. dead set on being true to myself & my dreams, of making them a reality. of having moment after moment of amazingness – courtesy of the experiences i will have, the people i will meet, the things i will see, the words i will read, the life that i will lead in the year that lay ahead.

now, it’s true that i do have tons of adventures (what we normally think of adventures as) lined up, so it seems like a pretty easy thing for me to do (though i didn’t know about all of them when i decided that 2013 would be the “year of adventure” for me).

  • a weekend trip to berlin (never been there before = new city to explore!)
  • a 2 week trip to china (what?! how can i be actually doing that?!)
  • a complete change of life by moving to the states in the summer (there are no words for how huge this is)
  • a new job (what that will be, i have no idea. eeee!)

so, it seems that when i say that life is an adventure, and that we are all invited to live the life we dream of, that if we crave More, then we just have to go for it, it seems like that’s easy for me to say. like my life is perfect. like i have adventures coming out of my ears. and well, i do. of course i can think of life as an adventure because , well, look what some of my plans are for this year. true. i agree with you. it’s easy for me to say that, based on the life that i lead. but there’s more to me than just these crazy adventures and amazing trips i find myself on. there’s a reason my life is so adventurous.

for me, when i say adventure i actually mean 2 different things:

  1. i mean adventure in the sense of doing something new, bold, crazy, wild – like taking a trip, or para-gliding (not that i want to do that), or hiking the amazon, or singing on stage. anything that is way out of the ordinary of regular, real life.
  2. but, i also mean adventure as a state of mind. a way of thinking. this, of course, is the most important kind of adventure. this is where we tap into discovering that the More that we are seeking is right under our noses. we’re standing on it. we’re living it. it’s adventure in the middle of our everyday lives.

both of these ideas of adventure require decisions. but, one of them usually requires money & time as well. the adventure of daily life just requires a certain belief or mindset that the More we are looking for already exists. and it is our decision to be aware or it, or not. yes, the big, crazy adventures inspire us and fill our wanderlust and adrenaline- kick desires. but, i propose that adventure can be lived out every day… in between those crazy, wild adventures. and then, our whole life becomes one big adventure.

that’s the kind of adventure i’m talking about for 2013.

dadandme
dad & me on grandfather mountain. north carolina. circa 2008.

that’s the kind of adventure that my parents taught me about.

we didn’t have tons of money when i was growing up. we never took an airplane anywhere. we never had grand vacations in exotic places. the first time i flew i was 20. the first time i left the country i was 20. although our adventures were confined to the southeastern united states, my parents instilled in me the sense of adventure. going on a ride on a sunday afternoon (which i hated back then) was an adventure because we had no plan. we rode & rode, stopping where we wanted to. stopping for pictures of a barn or a field. or for fresh veggies on the side of the road. or for an old cemetery where ancestors were laid to rest. or a general store where we spent way more time than was necessary because we were touching & examining all the little nooks & crannies. a 3 hour road trip might just take us 6 -8 hours. a regular saturday morning that i thought would lead to a day at home would turn into a 4 hour drive to the beach just so we could dip our toes in the ocean & eat some yummy seafood before heading back on a four hour drive home, arriving in the middle of the night.

my parents taught me spontaneity. and that everything was beautiful, if we only stopped to look. that life was exciting. that people were generally good, if we just started a conversation with them. that anything is possible if you just do it. adventure is way more simple than we think it is. they never said these things to me, they just lived their lives. and they made every little second of my childhood an adventure, even going to the grocery store – because who knew where would would end up before or after we picked up our groceries. they raised my brother & me to care about family… to understand that that was the most precious adventure of all – to be a part of a family through all the good times & the bad times. that, when nothing else is left, family is always there.

sunrise

so, you see, my idea of adventure is grounded in something deeper than just crazy thrills & trips around the world. i know that we don’t all have the money or the time to do whatever we want, whenever we want. i certainly don’t. i just decide to spend money on trips sometimes more than clothes or other things. and i know that the opportunities i do have are major blessings, ones i do not ever take for granted.

i know that adventure actually comes from an idea, a belief, that life can be exciting. it’s all about our attitude and our willingness to see what’s around us as beautiful, amazing, and thrilling. i know that adventure is actually about soaking up the moment that you are in right now. wherever you are. it is stopping to smell the roses. it is being aware – of the birds singing outside your window. of the stranger walking by who stops to ask for directions. of the tiny flower peeking through the concrete. of the graffiti on the train that passes by. of the hug you receive from a loved one. of the sunset.

to live a life of adventure only takes one thing: openness.

yes, it’s great to have money & opportunity. but it is even more amazing to be open. open to possibilities.open to other people. open to see and hear and touch and smell and taste the world around us, even in our own homes.

so, yes, i am seeking More in life. i’m always seeking More. and i will find it wherever i am, as long as i am aware. as long as i am humble. as long as i promise myself to live life, from moment to moment. dreaming & hoping, but staying grounded and present at the same time.

i truly believe that it is possible to have an adventure every day. and i’m committed to living like that.

lover of life

here’s to hoping for great adventures for us all! peace.

now more than ever.

i’m freaking out. and i guess it’s time. perhaps i deserve it. i mean, i’ve had all this time off. you know, the two weeks i spent in the states enjoying life. i guess i need to face reality and stop bitching. ok. i’m not really bitching, i’m just freaking out.

but, when did this happen? when did i go from having all the time in the world to having no time at all?

  • year one in sweden: too much time on my hands & no motivation to use that time to write. i couldn’t. i felt paralyzed in one way, as i tried to find my place here.
  • year two in sweden: work, internship, life moving at warp speed, and all the motivation to write but no time to do it.

oh, the irony. it’s just crazy. hey, isn’t there a balance somewhere? does it really have to be so extreme, or at least feel so extreme? why does it seem to be all or nothing?

well, it’s more good than bad with all of the craziness in life… it just makes my head feel like it might explode, and i find myself dreaming of (obsessing about) spending an entire day in my pjs – which ain’t gonna happen any time soon. nevertheless, it’s really good (reaaaally good!) to have found my place here, to feel like i belong, to build my own life (with my love) here; and today at work was really good. really productive. really fun. i was listening to some swedish (which of course i do all the time because, well, that’s life), and i realized that it was me talking. i was goin’ to town speaking swedish, not necessarily like everyone else, but it was flowing easily out of my mouth. feeling natural in some way. oh yeah. felt awesome. again, i say, it’s really good to be building my life here.

when i got home after the super, super cold 8 block walk & a trip to the grocery store for milk , i was ready to put on my cozy pants, pull on my favorite t-shirt, slip on my slippers, wrap up in my blanket, and spend the rest of the day with my love. i did exactly that & it has been great. we’ve been chatting some about some trips (YAY!!!) that we are planning… paris in the spring (hello. i’m dying here!) and a possible early summer trip with our friend to gotland, an amazing swedish island. old, cozy, beautiful, natural, fairy-tale-like, i hear. in looking at our calendars, it came to my attention that every weekend, and i mean every weekend is booked from now until may.

and that made me freak out. lina too, i think.

Β me not freaking out.

how am i gonna make it? i need & crave down time. i’m a recluse with a hermit’s heart. i mean, i enjoy spending time with people, hanging out with friends, and doing all the awesome stuff we have planned, but i also really enjoy (need)Β time to just be. when is that going to happen? and then i remembered… my 30 minutes of quiet every day - used to read, meditate, write, take pictures, walk, be. no phone. no computer. no internet. just me, a cup of coffee (if the activity allows it), a book/journal, a camera (depending on the day), and some music (if i want it). the only way i will survive this crazy, fun, over-the-top-busy spring is if i prioritize my “me time”. it is so necessary.

now more than ever.

here’s wishing you an amazing week. and some time to chill squeezed in somewhere, somehow. just do it. i’m gonna.

peace & quiet.