For military families, daily life requires us to find strength in adventure. To me this means feeling emboldened, confident in your actions, and proud of yourself. Going on an adventure lends itself to those feelings. Just the very act of getting out of your comfort zone, whether it’s physically, mentally, or emotionally, is an adventure. You’re bravely stepping into the unknown and you trust yourself enough to know that you’ll be stronger and better for it in the end.
We transferred to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria swept through the island and it’s been quite the adventure. The first part of it was just getting here! We took a three-week cross-country road trip. Love road trips! We explored the Rocky Mountains, checked out a wall of dinosaur fossils on the Utah side, and stood in the Center of the Universe, which is apparently in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Now we’ve got island adventures like dodging falling iguanas, hoarding fresh water, and snorkeling with sharks. Falling iguanas is at the top of the excitement scale. Those guys are big!
Of course, not every adventure turns out the way we expect. When the water outages get to be too frequent, I remind myself that life is one big adventure, and this is part of it. And adventure is really about growth. There’s no way you can walk away from any adventure the same person you were when you walked into it. Stepping out of your comfort zone is how you grow as a person. Even if it was a terrible adventure ,as some of them can be, you’re still learning, pushing your limits, and you end up stronger because of it. I think that’s incredibly empowering.
During our current period of social distancing finding strength in adventure is more important than ever before.
WAYS TO EMBRACE ADVENTURE
I know things have been crazy lately, but here are a few ways we can foster growth, curiosity, and adventure in our everyday lives:
First things first, put your adventure pants on. Spoiler: they’re the ones you’re wearing right now. You might be wondering what adventure pants are. They’re pants (or shorts, or a skirt, or a bathing suit, or whatever you have on) that gets you to look at the world with an increased sense of wonder and curiosity. When you have them on, you’re ready for anything that gets thrown your way.
Take a drive down a road you’ve never been on. State, region, and country rules are different regarding outdoor access right now, but if you can, take a drive or a walk down a new-to-you road. The one you keep passing by and the voice in your head says, “Huh, I wonder what’s down there,” or “That looks kind of cool.” Go explore it!
Explore the small things. Many of our foreseeable adventures may be from home, so let’s embrace it! Get down and take a super close look at your garden, your potted plants, the artwork hanging on your walls. Notice every single brush stroke. Go for a walk around your yard and home and truly take in all those tiny details you overlook on a regular day. I promise you’ll find something new.
Plan a scavenger hunt. Create a scavenger hunt for your kiddos or spouse. Nothing like exploring your house by way of codes and riddles. Use directions like, “In the northwest corner of the yard, you’ll find something ancient and old, hidden inside is the next clue card, probably getting cold.” Perhaps the clue is in an old tree stump outside or under a doormat, etc. Make it as easy or hard as you want and, of course, have an awesome prize at the end!
Randomly yell “Adventure Day!” It’s hard not to get excited when you’re yelling “Adventure Day!” Adventures are a state of mind. They’re not a place or an activity. They can be those things, but really, they are what is in your head. If you decide today is an “Adventure Day,” then it is. Everything you do from that moment on will be based on a foundation of excitement and enthusiasm.
To find strength in adventure, look at your world with a sense of wonder, awe, and endless curiosity. Do something that makes you feel confident and proud of yourself. Open up your imagination and keep that feeling of adventure with you wherever you go. As with all adventures, please respect the places you visit and the people and animals you meet along the way.
So, what adventure is waiting for you today?
Hi! My name is Sarahanne (pronounced Sarah Anne, the H really gets people) and I’m a landscape photographer with Paper Airplane Expeditions, writer/editor, military wife, cat + dog mom, and former park ranger. There’s a huge place in my heart for adventures and I believe they’re accessible, no matter who you are, where you’re from, or where you are right now. All it takes is an optimistic outlook!
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