Thursday, November 29, 2012

To go on an adventure...

I like to tell people that I love adventure because I do. I like to travel, to visit new places, to meet new people and I haven't lived anywhere for more than 9 months since I was 18. But what exactly is adventure?

In college one of my closest friends (Hey Molly B!) and I would sometimes take off after class in my 1999 Dodge Minivan - nicknamed the Silver Bullet - and drive to Whole Foods. We'd pick a new, fun and exciting treat at the store, stop at McDonalds on the way home and consider it an adventure. And it was. Maybe not everyone would find adventure in that, but Mols and I did and it was wonderful. Every time. The point was to try something new or meet someone we'd never met before.

So, in my old age (30 is just around the corner) I'm realizing that I don't think adventure needs to happen when someone goes someplace new. Adventure happens wherever you allow it to find you. Adventure isn't necessarily going to the Eiffel Tower, climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro or sailing the seas of the South Pacific Ocean. A lot of the time, it's an internal journey. Henry David Thoreau wrote "Explore your own higher latitudes. Be a Columbus to whole new continents within you, opening new channels, not of trade, but of thought."

Sometimes adventures come by accident too. They can be positive or not-so-positive. They can be huge accomplishments or found in brief moments. Regardless of the type, they teach you something. Some adventures are chosen and some adventures seem to grab hold of you, shake you up and spit you out a completely different person. I think Peace Corps (as a whole) is doing this to me.

This week wasn't easy. I wasn't sure I was capable of handling such emotional highs and lows in such a short amount of time. I'm finding that from moment to moment I can go from being on top of the world to thinking that the sky is falling. It's a weird feeling and it's has me thinking hard about choosing my attitude and what this experience is changing within me. I'm learning to treasure my worst experiences "as gripping new chapters in the epic novel that is my [your] life" (Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel by Rolf Potts). I'm maintaining a positive attitude and trying to be okay not being super busy all the time - this is so hard for me. I am looking for adventure in the little things (How will I get rid of my trash without burning it? And I'm enjoying the ride.

What adventures have you taken recently?


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