There are only 45 days until I depart for India – so I’ll be writing about my preparations and experiences every five days until I leave. You can find these quick posts in the new section ‘Travel and Adventure’. Thanks!
Over the last couple of weeks, as the news of my travel plans has rippled across the office and beyond, I’ve grimaced my way through conversations about how “brave” or “adventurous” my trip is more than a handful of times. While I take the compliment, I also take issue with how often ‘having an adventure’ feels as though it is regarded as unattainable or unrealistic. That makes me uncomfortable.
For me, a life can be defined by the stories we can tell in the Pub at the end of it.
That definition of a life-worth-living leaves plenty of room for subjectivity, right? We certainly all like stories of different kinds. Thankfully though, a good blend of risk to personal safety, challenge, comedy, drama, triumph and romance could be almost universally agreed to as elements of a good story – and therefore a good life.
In my humble opinion, ‘Adventurers’ are simply those who are out there earning their own stories – venturing off the well trodden path in search of something new and fascinating to talk about. They are embracing the unknown, for everything known can be planned for, risk managed and therefore sterilised as far as an intriguing plot line goes (you know – experiencing life through the condom of the Health and Safety executive…). They refuse to act the way society demands, forging a different way until they’ve found peace in the uniqueness of the stories they can tell.
So to round back to the point – if you value your life and the unique and single opportunity you have to thrive, of course you’re going to head off in search of new experiences – and at some point those experiences are going to be far removed from what you’ve known and come with an element of danger. It’s no more ‘brave’ than it simply ‘is’ – and if you can’t see that, maybe you’re walking around with your eyes closed, stuck on the hamster wheel? As a close friend of mine said yesterday on the subject…
“It’s way more frightening to consider waking up at 50 and realising you’ve wasted the bulk of your life chasing things that don’t matter”
Anyone can start their own story, at any point. Just make a commitment, turn up and go along with the flow – the story will take care of itself!