“Adventure” is one of my favorite words. It is a word so full of possibilities, excitement and the sheer thrill of the unknown right around the corner! But as you will see in this post, adventure most definitely has it’s ups and downs.
When I was very young, we lived in a small farming community in Washington state. We rented a home on a farm out in the middle of several wheat fields. It would seem like an isolated place to live, but I had four older siblings and my imagination to keep me company. I had a generally happy childhood and was content with my life until one “fateful day”. I remember being about 5 or 6 years old, standing in the middle of the wheat fields and staring at the hills and mountains that surrounded me. All of a sudden, I had this intense desire and curiosity to see what was beyond those hills and mountains. And that’s when it began…the desire for adventure.
Since that time as a child, I have been fortunate enough to have experienced many adventures, both good and bad. Have you ever heard of the phrase “Curiosity kills the cat”? Well, that would be me. Like a famous character out of my favorite book, Anne of Green Gables, curiosity regarding this world has thrown me into some pretty unbelievable situations. This blog has described but a few of them.
Yet, adventure has also allowed me the incredible opportunity of seeing many parts of the world. I have sweated profusely in the jungles of the tiny island of Palau and frozen in the bitter winds of a Northern England winter. I have reveled in the beauty of an ideal Hawaiian beach and basked in the warm, Autumn twilight on a mountaintop in the Rockies. I have awed at palaces in London and visited dirty, cramped cement rooms in a 3rd world prison. I have walked on 500-year-old castle walls in Cartagena, Colombia and skimmed across gray waters on a Seattle ferry boat. From each place I have been, I have taken away many beautiful memories, lessons learned and lifetime friendships.
I know that this sounds exotic and exciting and may even seduce you to leave your current life and travel the world, but the life of an adventurer is not always one to be envied. One must remember that to be an adventurer, one must give up other things in life. I have been lonely, poor and sad many times. At times, I have felt like a will-‘o-the-wisp scattered upon the winds. I have lacked the security that comes from a home in one place with roots. I have lived out of a suitcase sometimes and have never owned my own house. I have seldom ever had more money than what was needed to pay the basics. I have never held my “dream job” and I have worked more temporary positions and done more boring tasks than I ever want to remember!
Traveling the world and visiting new cultures has been a dream come true and so for me, some of the sacrifices were worth the rewards. But I am now at an age where my desire for adventure struggles with my desire to become established in one place. I still yearn to see many places in the world, but my energy wanes and curling up at night with a book and listening to music is often more enticing than crossing distant oceans.
Though I know this world still has eventful experiences in store for me (because as noted above, I seem to have the curious habit of just “falling” into them) I have discovered that the greatest adventure of life is the adventure of love within the walls of your own home with your own family. And that, my friends, is an adventure I want to experience over and over again.