The Everyday Adventurer

October 15, 2010

Many of my posts focus on simple pleasures, as I try to slow down and appreciate what a richly blessed life I have. But there is a second part to the tagline of “Catching Happiness”—what about everyday adventures?

I’m not what I would automatically think of as an adventurous person. Sky diving, bungee jumping, sailing around the world and other feats don’t appeal to me. But is that really what being adventurous means?

As adventure consultant Matt Walker wrote in “Climb Ev’ry Mountain,”  “At its core, adventure is the willingness to commit to an uncertain outcome with an open heart and an open mind. It is the ability to take a leap into the unknown with mindfulness and grace. Framed this way, opportunities for adventure present themselves to us every day…”

(Notice the word “open” in there?!)

He continued, “Adventure isn’t something that’s reserved for the extreme athlete or the daredevil. It is an expression of your heart’s intention and passion for life.”

I may not be a stereotypical adventurer, but I truly am passionate and curious about life. I’m interested to see what each day brings, even when it scares me to death. Personally, I’ve found marriage and parenthood to be incredible adventures…talk about your commitment to an uncertain outcome!

Walker concludes that to bring more adventure into your life, you don’t have to scale mountains or travel the world. You invite adventure in by making small changes to your routine. Perhaps changes like choosing a different sandwich at your favorite lunch place or picking up a magazine you’ve never read before.

I see many of my blogging friends opening up to this sort of adventure: Teresa at Blueberries, Art and Life taking on Twenty-Minute Challenges and sharing what she learns, Cheryl at Scrappy Cat participating in a new author challenge, and Laure of Painted Thoughts stepping outside the studio to paint and sketch on location. I’m inspired by their efforts, and encouraged to make more small changes of my own. I recently went to the movies by myself—something I’ve never done before. Soon I’m going to try packing up my laptop and working at the library (where I can’t be distracted by laundry). Very small changes, true. But that’s the way it goes for an everyday adventurer.

Tell me, how do you invite adventure in?

The road less traveled?


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  1. I guess I invite adventure in by not saying no. To look at what is before me and thinking "well, why not?!"

    Life is far richer and a whole lot less boring that way, but more importantly (to me), it broadens my horizons, challenges my thinking and presents me with opportunities to grow.

  2. P.S. Nice post and I love the photo of the trail!

  3. I love that definition of adventure. I agree that marriage and parenthood are adventures - uncertain outcome for sure! I wouldn't have thought of my participation in a new author challenge as much of an adventure, but thank you for the mention. Your road less traveled is beautiful - where is it?

  4. Laure--"Well, why not?!"--what a perfectly adventurous attitude! Doesn't that trail make you want to follow it?

  5. Cheryl--your new author challenge might not seem very adventurous on the surface, but it opened up small, new pathways for you, and who knows where they will end up?

    The picture was taken on a mountain in Highlands, NC--beautiful area.

  6. Hi Kathy,

    You explained that all so well!

    What do I do for adventure? I keep my purse packed with two cameras and fresh batteries at all times, and I am always on the lookout for a good picture. (Three, if you count my cell phone.) Even going to the store around here gives me plenty of opportunity for a photo adventure. Plus, my husband and I go on lots of drives.

    I really like what you said about varying your routine. That is so true. I took a slightly different route on the way home from a trip on Thursday, and ended up with some fantastic images that resulted in memories that I could share.

    Take care, and let us know how writing at the library vs home works out!


  7. I usually adventure by trying something new with art. Sometimes I try new recipes. Very small adventures. I tell my son who likes to go to foreign countries to surf or just visit, who climbs mountains and skied the expert slope on his first try at skiing, that my adventures are on a small scale but still adventures for me. Your post has said it well and my first thought was marriage and then you said it!

  8. Kathy--I love your adventurous attitude--and that you're always prepared to chronicle your adventures. That's probably why you have so many interesting pictures on your blog. I'll let you know how the library experiment goes. I'm not sure it if will be good or bad, since I find libraries to be places of enchantment, and that could prove just as distracting as laundry!

  9. Timaree--your adventures sound right up my alley. (And your son sounds like my son!) It doesn't matter how big or small our adventures are--as long as we keep seeking them out. That's my philosophy, anyway!