From 13,000 feet, you can see for miles in every direction. We’re 20 miles inland, but I can still see the Pacific Ocean gleaming on the horizon under the hazy cloud cover. I quickly glance back at my husband, and then shuffle to the doorway.
My breath catches in my throat with a slight tinge of fear, but I barely have time to acknowledge it. Before I know it, my instructor hurdles us out of the door. The wind rushes in all around us as the plane quickly fades into the sky above us and the adrenaline kicks in.
I extend my arms and legs as we glide effortlessly through the air. After a blissful and fleeting sixty seconds, my instructor pulls the shoot, which quickly jerks us upward and stops the earth from rushing towards us.
All goes quiet, save the thuds of my pounding heart from the previous minute’s excitement. I look over and see my husband and his instructor laughing and swirling their parachute in circles not far from us. I smile and float serenely to the ground.
Pure adventure. I can’t get enough of it!
“At its core, adventure is the willingness to commit to an uncertain outcome with an open heart and an open mind. It’s the ability to take a leap into the unknown with mindfulness and grace.” – Matt Walker from Inner Passage.
Why is it so important to have adventures?
Adventures lead us to discover more about the world, each other, and ourselves. They take us to places where we can explore and learn. Adventures challenge our minds, expand our worldview, and bring us closer to becoming our best selves. And, they’re just plain fun!
Adventures are a first class ticket to experience life fully.
…around the world.
Growing up as an Air Force brat, I’ve been fortunate to do a lot of traveling in my relatively short life. I’ve had the privilege of making friends from many races, religions, and countries all over the world. I’ve seen incredible sights and I’ve plunged head first into the unknown.
I’ve climbed through secret tunnels under castle ruins. I’ve watched fireworks from the banks of the Mosel River. I’ve driven to Belgium to shop at one of the largest bazaars in Europe.
I’ve accidentally floated down to a nude beach in Italy. I’ve woken up at 5am to run and jump into a freezing cold spring in the Swiss Alps. I’ve gone sledding down white sand dunes in New Mexico.
I’ve driven from Pennsylvania to Colorado and back in an 18-wheeler. I’ve hugged a sloth in Colombia. I’ve camped under the stars from the top of an extinct volcano in Arizona.
A huge smile spreads across my face and I get an immediate boost of energy as these memories float through my mind. These are just a tiny snapshot from the much larger reel of adventures I’ve had.
Other ways to have world adventures:
- Go to Paris and don’t go visit the Eiffel tower. Seek out the treasures that only locals know about.
- Visit Colombia and stop by a road-side stand to get the best arepas you’ve ever tasted.
- Go snowboarding in Germany and spend an hour coming down one hill.
- Swing by San Francisco to get your hiking yoga on.
- Take a cruise around the Caribbean and sip coffee from your balcony while gazing out into the sea.
- Spin a globe, point your finger, and find out where you’re headed next!
…in your backyard.
I came bounding out of port-a-potty and raced toward the starting line with a dozen other late arrivals. Minutes before, the gun had just fired for the start of the Air Force Half Marathon. This would be my first time running more than 8 miles in my entire life.
I was hardly prepared, but here I was, running along with thousands of others through the streets of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. A mix of my favorite songs pounds in my ears, along with my racing heart, and the mingled sounds of cheers from hundreds of bystanders gathered in support.
Is this runner’s high? I’ve never felt anything quite so incredible. I hardly notice the steadily increasing aches and pains as I jog through the streets, grabbing an occasional cup of water or packet of gooey gel from an outstretched hand.
Finally, I taste sweet victory as my feet carry me across the finish line and an Air Force colonel drapes a well-earned medal around my neck (the kind everyone who crosses the finish-line gets). This is the kind of adventure you can only get to with your own two feet. Wow, and worth every step!
Other ways to have backyard adventures:
- Go out and find the best trails in your area and hike one new one every month.
- Make a new friend.
- Crank up your radio and sing at the top of your lungs.
- Try geocaching and discover all the treasures buried in your neighborhood.
- Ride your bike to work.
- Take your dog for a walk and try to see the world through his eyes.
…in your mind.
I’ve walked through a wardrobe into an enchanted forest. I’ve stepped out of the safety of the Shire on a quest to save Middle Earth. I’ve tossed floo powder into a chimney and magically appeared in Diagon Alley.
I’ve fallen in love with a vampire. I’ve eaten gelato in Italy, scrubbed floors in an ashram in India, and had conversations with an old medicine man in Bali. I’ve jumped onto a train and landed in the middle of a circus. I’ve even created my own world with a purple crayon.
All of this, I’ve done without stepping a foot out my door. Books have the power to take us anywhere, limited only by our own imagination!
Other ways to have mindful adventures:
- Practice meditation.
- Listen to an audiobook.
- Write your own fiction novel.
- Spend a few minutes doing nothing at all.
- Learn a new language.
- Take a sweet stroll down memory lane.
…on your computer.
One of the greatest things about blogging is all the cool adventures I get to take with everyone else. Just to name a few, I’ve taken a ride on a red bus through London with Arvind Devalia. I’ve drank wine with Scott Dinsmore in a very local wine bar in Croatia. And, I’ve gone simple joy-riding with Katie Tallo.
Blogging and reading other people’s blogs has taken me to places I never thought I’d go. It’s taken me on incredible journeys, to peaceful places, and deep into the hearts and minds of amazing people. I look forward to all the wonderful adventures we’ll be having together!
Other ways to have virtual adventures:
- Watch Planet Earth.
- Connect with someone new on Twitter.
- Play an interactive video game.
- Write a personal email to a new commenter on your blog.
- Play Words with Friends on your iPhone.
- Research a place you’ve never been.
My upcoming adventure
This coming week, I’m heading to the Berkshire Mountains of Western Massachusetts to the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. I’ll be participating in their Inner Quest Intensive program, where I will be “immersing myself in living yoga and discovering my most authentic self.” This will involve driving to a place I’ve never been, meeting new people, and taking a journey into the depths of my inner self. Who knows what challenges and blissful moments await me. I can’t wait to tell you all about it when I get back!
How are you bringing adventure into your life?
Please share some good stories from your recent adventures or favorite memories! I would love to hear about your experiences, whether they include hiking Mt Fuji, planting a garden for the first time, or anything in between!