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 KrakauerInto the Wild

now, go out, and live your adventure, dear readers. peace.

0 thoughts on “conversations about the open road of adventure.

  1. Liz, this post really spoke to me. Like the guy in the letter I went to the grand canyon and fled home afterward a little over a year ago. This year is all about adventure for me, too, so your words here are meaningful to me 🙂

  2. I so agree about travel and/or new experiences really fulfilling something deep inside of us. And, it’s not necessary to travel great distances to experience something new. I like to say, “the only constant, is change” (or maybe someone else said it first?). 🙂

    Any time I read something like you’ve quoted, though, I do have a private whinge because not all of us are as capable to get-away as others. For myself, I have to think, think, think (like Pooh-bear) of economical ways for this single mum to expose my kids to new things (money being tight) whilst accounting for them having uni & secondary school schedules which do not have the same off times…I’m getting better at it, with practice! We do day trips when I can convince them it will be far better than a day of Facebook or League of Legends, that is? 😉

    1. Well stated, Tracy.

      I hear you, and I understand. I truly do. The first time I travelled anywhere major (on a plane) was when i was 21. Before that, I had been only as far as Florida & NYC (as a 15 year old with my school class). Other than that, I hung around NC, VA, GA, TN & GA – and not too far into any of those states. Truly, I’d say that I explored only all of NC.

      My parents did not jet themselves, me, or our family off to anywhere – mostly economic reasons. What they did is instilled a sense of adventure within me, in everything that we did. We took road trips on Saturdays, we were spontaneous, and they pointed out everything that could teach me about being in love with life, with exploring, with adventure, with history, and with humanity. They taught me how to look at a drive downtown, or a day at the beach that we visited frequently, or an afternoon ride in the countryside, as an adventure – an opportunity to see, hear, taste, touch, feel something new, exciting. And all of those experiences jumbled together have made a very fun-filled and exciting childhood for me.

      My sense of adventure did not come from visiting all of the countries of the world, but to having parents who exposed me to all different kinds of people & activities & carefree lifestyles in the middle of my home state. And I must have been born with some adventure gene as well. 🙂

      So, cheers to you, for getting away however you can & want to with your kids! I think your days of going down to the beach as days of adventure for you. And moving to Australia, what could be more adventurous than that?! I have a feeling that you have presented a life & love of adventure without even knowing it.

      And one day, when I make it to Australia, I’ll stop for a visit & we can have a little adventure together!

      Perhaps I’ve just come to the conclusion that adventure is a state of mind, more than a physical journey. Perhaps there will be a blog post coming up on all of this… 😉

      Thanks, as always, for getting me thinking!

  3. I am so grateful to my parents that they didn’t just put us in a plane to an all-inclusive hotel on a beach every year. They always went for the hard way. The 4 kids in a 24hour-train-journey-way. As grumpy as I might have been about it as a teenager without them I wouldn’t have seen most of the European capitals, I wouldn’t have trekked the Swiss mountains, taken the boat all the way down the Rhein and cycled around the Netherlands. I wouldn’t have been motivated to speak a little bit of the language of every country I visited. Well my parents just decided to move to South Africa for the next 4-5 years. I guess that will be the next culture I will get to see up close thanks to them. Bring on the adventure.

      1. absolutely. In fact I think we should go on that trip together? We’ve done Sweden and Ireland a few times together now and I think it’s safe to say we’re a good travel foursome. So we should think about expanding… oh and still wanna come to NC with you!!! Gaaaah not enough time and money. KRAMAR

        1. YES! let’s do it together! i totally agree, traveling with y’all comes naturally & is so much fun. we’re totally game for expanding. it’s time! so, look out NC & S. Africa! i pretend to ignore the time & money issue as long as possible. 🙂 we can make it happen. KRAM KRAM!

  4. Great advice. Thanks so much. While reading the quote I already got an idea for urban adventures and I’m really excited about that. Good and healing adventures and thoughts to you.


    1. i am already waiting for your blog post. 😉 can’t wait to hear about what adventures you come up with. love & peace, my dear.

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