All adventures don’t start out the same.  

Stepping into a small unassuming stone building near the beach on a cloudy day, I was on a mission. I intended to find an adventure. Not content with staying in on a less than ideal beach day, my mind was open to possibilities in an unfamiliar area. I’d passed that doorway with the “Visitor Information” banner dozens of times before. This time it was my intended destination.

I hoped to find something to do but walked away with 5 surprising reminders about adventure.

1. Finding adventure is a choice.

Excitement isn’t typically the first emotion that hits when you realize a planned beach day is going to be cloudy, cool and overcast. It would have been remarkably easy, maybe even a natural response to roll over and sleep much of the day away. But, we were on an abbreviated trip to a neighboring state. I recognized how precious our time was. It you are open to new adventures in life, you need to adopt an “if not this than what” attitude. If it rains on your parade figuratively or literally, choose to find an opportunity you would have missed otherwise. Try a new coffee shop, restaurant, go hiking, skydiving, or glass blowing. Think outside the box. Life is full of opportunities to really live, to really embrace the time we have. Experience it. Soak it in. Refuse to let “cloudy days” cause you to live a grey existence. Adventure won’t knock on your door but you can choose to seize the day and knock on its door instead.

2. Some adventures aren’t on your current map.

Having done a bit of homework on the area before we traveled there, I’d already booked a glass blowing class at a local glass studio. In addition for looking for other options, I asked the woman working where on the large map on display the studio was. She checked the address and began searching her map. Soon she realized that her oversized map cut off before the studio’s neighborhood. She pulled out another, much smaller map and quickly found my destination. Had we only looked for options on her original map, I wouldn’t have located one of the destinations for the day. Sometimes in life our next adventure is just beyond what we know, what we can see, and even just beyond where we’re comfortable. Be open to needing a map that goes beyond what you know at this moment.

3. Hidden gems are often nearby.

As we looked at the oversized map in the tourist center, the woman eagerly pointed out attractions, restaurants, and other points of interest in our immediate vicinity. I was amazed how many “nuggets” of local history or activity were just steps away from the sidewalks we’d be down many times before. Sometimes adventure is noticing what is right where you are. It’s not a flight or long trip away but right on your current path. It can be the small and simple – like noticing the garden that’s bloomed in your path or sitting on a park bench next to a nearby lake.  Or, it could be something far more active or involved. Be open to life that is waiting just outside your door. Take time to embrace it. Step out of the routine and accept mini adventures tucked as hidden gems near you in your everyday life.

4. How you define “adventure” is individual.

How you define your adventures is up to you. You may be a daredevil and welcome giant roller coasters or sky diving. Or, for you adventure may be an art museum or a hike in the mountains. For you, it may be something in between those extremes or altogether different. The important thing is to keep finding your adventures based on who you are. Embrace life. Don’t be afraid to try something new but be OK passing on an adventure that isn’t for you. That will leave you the time and energy to focus on the opportunities that help you make the most out of life.

5. Adventures open future opportunities.

Trying something new can lead to a new hobby, interest, or even passion. An adventure can open a world of possibilities that you never knew existed. Or, you may realize something that you thought you’d enjoy wasn’t for you at all. Learn and grow from your experiences. Meet new friends along the way with the path you take. And, be open to opportunities that may unfold when you step out for a new adventure.

It’s your turn

Where ever life has you today, I hope you find your sense of adventure. Take time to smell the roses. Refuse to let clouds figuratively or literally make your world grey. Look for opportunities to embrace life. Try something new. Smile and enjoy. Each day is a gift and life is truly a treasure. After all, life is what you make it. Make it well!

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The best part of our adventure that day was our glass blowing class. It was nothing like anything I’ve done before. What does adventure look like for you? Are you encouraged to go embrace life outside of your doorstep? I’d love to hear from you.

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