Oh that adventure thing that instagrammers do so well. It’s hard for me to believe anymore. It’s not reality. Sometimes the people who mean to “inspire” and uplift actually leave their audiences feeling like they aren’t adventurous enough and they should be doing MORE all the time.
I’m calling bull on that narrative.
I’m in Mississauga, Ontario sitting in a Starbucks eating a bagel which I smuggled in from Tim Hortons (because it’s so much cheaper) writing this. I’m not on a plane, I’m not on a mountain. My phone is off and Spotify is on. I have a notebook opened beside me with scribbles about future roadtrip thoughts, which may or may not happen and there’s a man my age in front of me with a sketchbook full of equations that look like sorcery.
Is this what you thought a person like me would be doing on a Tuesday afternoon?
If you looked at my Instagram, probably not. If you know me well, still, probably not. But to be honest, I love this. I love writing, I love sitting and observing people.
I appreciate that adventure is not reaching every sunrise and sunset you can. In fact, driving at 4 am on 3 hours of sleep is actually really dangerous, who knew?
Adventure is completely relative to what you love, what you fear and how motivated you can be.
Adventure does not have to be travelling all the time, adventure is not starting blogs or vlogs or whatever else gives people public recognition. Adventure is not necessarily climbing mountains all the time, contrary to what we see online. For people who’ve been hiking their whole life, long hikes are routines not adventures, ones that now come with crowded trails and six-foot long selfie sticks blocking the views (I kid you not, these actually exist).
People who choose to learn/do/feel something new every day. That’s adventurous. Taking care of yourself in the process plays just as big of a role.
So you want to know how to feel adventurous every day?
Try dropping the phone.
Spend 5 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour, maybe even a whole day without looking at it. The world is so much bigger and way more beautiful than the one you see online. It will be uncomfortable but set your intentions with it very early on. If you’re not used to life without a phone or computer to keep you occupied then you may be in for the biggest adventure of your life just by putting it away.
Learn about the people creating influential businesses.
Listen to influential podcasts, watch TED talks by entrepreneurs that you’ve come across and that you admire. Ask questions to people who have created something real. Here are a couple of my favourite podcasts to start you off. My Favourite Murder, S-Town, Strangers, Accidental Creative, and TED Radio Hour.
Take a risk every day.
You don’t have to jump off a bridge. A risk is just something that’s uncomfortable but doable. Try out a new workout class. Get your heart rate high and keep it there. Push yourself to a state of mind that’s new and let your breath tell you when it’s time for rest. Learn phrases in a new language. Try to make a new dish every day for a week. Learn how to build a piece of furniture. Compliment a stranger. Whatever it may be, it will be new, it will feel weird, you will have to read things, you may fail and have to start over but you will finish it.
Adventure means you have to stop with the convenient stuff.
Convenient friends, convenient jobs. You have to be the one to reach out to people who think like you and love like you. Surround yourself with them. Say no to the people who make you feel like you or your life are worth less than them. Just because an opportunity presents itself doesn’t mean that it’s right for you so set a high standard for yourself and your work.
And finally, write down the things you want to do and start ticking them off the list!
Rent a cottage with 10 friends. Learn to wakeboard. Get a tattoo. Search for the Northern Lights. Learn to love your body. Fall in love with someone else. Volunteer at wildlife sanctuaries. Teach in a different country. Visit the places you’ve always wanted to visit. Learn the history of the places you go, learn the environmental, social obstacles and make the list for YOU not “the gram”. Whatever is on your list, pick a date, and GO.
Your adventurous life may not be climbing mountains; your adventure may be finding a way to cope with your anxiety or in changing someone’s life, multiple people maybe?
I hope so.