On January 23rd, I posted a simple challenge on the BikeHike Facebook Page – “Tell us your definition of ‘Adventure’ using just three words.”
It was an ambitious request. Defining much of anything in three words is a difficult task, let alone one as subjective as adventure! None-the-less, I was pleased with the responses – many of them shedding light on aspects of adventure I might not have considered.
I got the idea from a Carl Zimmer article where scientists were asked to define “life” in just three words. While the scientist’s definitions of life neatly boiled down to an amicable “self-reproduction with variations,” the adventure responses were much more varied. Here’s a list of some of the best ones:
- Life fully explored
- Challenging your limits
- Exploring new territory
- Experience the world
- Trying something new
- Pushing your limits
- Just do it
- Overcoming your fears
- Life affirming surprises
The differences are many. Some definitions focus on the new and unique aspect of the experience while others focus on challenge. Some are personal in nature, while others focus on the world around us. At any measure, it seems that we may all have our own personal definition of adventure. Which leads me to my next point.
Adventure isn’t just about travelling the world and discovering foreign cultures and activities – these are merely subsets of adventure (and damn good ones at that!). Instead, the true nature of adventure is a way of life (to use an irresistibly apt cliché). To harness adventure in our lives is to reap the benefits of the adventurous lifestyle. And to achieve an adventurous lifestyle, we need to go beyond what we have to do and embrace the overwhelming plethora of life’s little extras.
Here are five ways you can invite adventure into your life:
1 » Learn
If adventure stems from the unknown (as many of our Facebook friends believe), than discovery is the answer – for there is no better tool for wading through the unknown than self-propelled education.
A personal barrier to adventure is our much-cherished comfort zone. If you’re too comfortable, chances are you’re more than a stone’s throw from adventure. In most cases, the simple act of saying “yes” will lead you right out of your rut.
3 » Go out of your way
Adventure doesn’t always beat down your door. It can be hidden in the game of life. Think of your day as a story. Make the harmless choices that are most likely to result in an exciting storyline by the end of the day. You’ll find yourself smiling more.
There are approximately 7 billion unique approaches to life on this planet – and they’re happening all around us. What’s perfectly common and boring to your neighbour may be your new and exciting change. All you have to do is connect. Clear your throat, grab a glass and join the cocktail party that is life! Adventure will soon follow.
5 » Travel
Although not a prerequisite for adventure, travel is surely the meat and potatoes of the adventurous life. Adventure travel is the perfect blend of new sights, sounds, people, and experience, keeping our eyes wide and heart ticking. Whether it’s international or down the street, travel is the ambassador of adventure.