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Life Lessons learned in ADVENTURE

15 Aug

There is a book that I tried reading (couldn’t finish) and I thought it was so boring… the main character hitchhikes through the U.S. and essentially leaves towns after he’s broken enough hearts, cheated enough people, done enough drugs and drank himself silly.  Hardly a character that I admire.  I could never really put my finger on why I didn’t like it, outside of the obvious moral issues, until I was accused of not understanding the true meaning of the book, which I have been told is: “adventure” I just went and read a few reviews to refresh my memory to make sure I didn’t miss something… here is a piece of a review that I feel sums up the book pretty well: 

“…the outlet of a generation’s desire and inner need to get out, break its confinement, and find freedom, liberated from any higher belief, notion, or ideology. The desperation and the lack of fulfillment made these youths feel that ‘the only thing to do was go’, searching for their personal freedom, and finding pleasure in sex, drugs, and jazz.”

wow.  real exciting.  and that’s written by someone that actually LIKED the book. 

So it’s taken me a couple of years, and I am finally able to pinpoint why this book doesn’t sit well with me – I live in an adventure.  To me this fictional story is 100x less exciting than my actual life, and especially the lives of my friends!  I’ll give you their numbers and you can grab a drink with them… or at the very least, read their blogs 😉  In the meantime – you are stuck with me and my blog (sucka!!!).  So that’s my motivation – here’s my list:

Life adventures leading up to The Year of 25:

The more obvious ones that other people would call an adventure include:

  • Study abroad in Oxford encompasses a lot – the biggest thing I learned is that the most breathtaking things that you’ll ever see can’t be captured by a camera (in the deep thoughtful way.. but typically just because the security guards won’t let you!) Highlights include:
    • Eating dinner at “The Bird and Babe” in the same booth where CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien frequently met
    • Walking through the field where Alice and Wonderland was created
    • Stonehenge
    • Climbing the stairs of the Eiffel Tower
    • Celebrating the 500 year anniversary of William Wallace… in Scotland
    • Sitting next to the director of the Sound of Music on a train to Salzburg
    • Vatican City
    • Taking pictures with the leaning tower of Pisa
    • Getting lost in Rome.. separated from my group.. with no cell phones (much less smart phones – these weren’t invented yet, kids)
    • The David
    • Buying art in Florence from a 75 year-old pirate/PE teacher
    • The Mona Lisa (and getting lost in the Louvre for 4 hours…)
    • The Pantheon
    • Eating in the first gelato shop
  • Moving to Boston on a one way ticket not knowing a soul, with two duffel bags and an air mattress – where my first night I was befriended by two guys looking for a roommate who let me crash on their sofa… for two weeks (saints I tell you!)
  • Traveling solo to Cairo to visit my best friend that lived there for a year (now HERS is an exciting life – Ashole, Brynn and Meggi: please start blogging), where I was questioned by airport security police who bought my ticket and why I was traveling alone.  Can’t a single girl buy a plane ticket and take a trip these days?!
  • Riding a camel named Moses, with my best friend, around a pyramid, guided by an Egyptian man named Mohammed, on a donkey called Charlie Brown (can’t make this stuff up)
  • Hiking Mt. Sinai by moonlight and watching the sun rise over the desert from the top of the mountain
  • Roadtrips.  Ironically enough the book involves roadtrips, but I guarantee mine were way more fun.
  • Tp’ing the wrong house – cops/ambulances/pepper spray… a story for another day.

The smaller, but equally (if not more) awesome ones that might go unnoticed are as follows:

  • Laying on the Skyline HS football field and watching the meteor shower of a LIFETIME – we witnessed hundreds of stars fly from one end of the sky to the other.  I still have yet to see anything that compares to that
  • Mentoring 20+ high school students in So. Cal from The Valley (literally where the term “Valley Girl” originated) where we spent an entire summer on our razor scooters…
  • Sitting on a porch in Montana and watching storms roll in over the mountains
  • Going to work at my firm’s office in Times Square – where I was put up at the Hilton… in Times Square.  BALLER!!! (I still get nervous when I come into the office and my badge doesn’t work on the first try – have they figured out I don’t belong yet?!?!)
  • Camping at Crater Lake, Oregon
  • 4th of July (favorite holiday) in Boston (favorite city) scootering (favorite past time) down Storrow Drive (favorite stretch of “highway”) to go see Neil Diamond (favorite singer/songwriter) for free (I’m cheap).  BEST. DAY. EVER.
  • My first job out of college working on the financial statements of people ranked on the Forbes Top 500 richest people in the world.  Horrendous work environment.  Lots of life lessons.  At one point had Tom Brady’s cell number (had = stole from my client’s lunch appointment schedule)
  • Catching my first fish with my grandfather (circa 1991) and keeping it alive in a sandwich sized Ziploc bag for 4 days while feeding it only one worm.
  • Moving: San Diego – Seattle (’96).  Seattle – Abilene, TX (’04 – relive the trip here).   Abilene, TX – Thousand Oaks, CA (’08).  Thousand Oaks, CA – Frisco, TX (’08).  Frisco, TX – Boston (’08).
  • Playing volleyball year-round on a national team in high school (technically international if you count that one 3 hour drive to Canada.. haha)
  • Keeping pace with a crew of dolphins while walking on the beach in Malibu at sunset.
  • Canoeing in Lake Tahoe and jumping overboard thinking we were in shallow water because I could see the bottom… then looking and realizing the bottom was in actuality 20-30ft down.  The water is THAT clear.
  • Living in view of Mount Rainier… where we’ve learned that it is the last place the sun sets in the contiguous 48 states… and that when you ride a ferry, the numbers of the lanes are painted very large on the lanes themselves 😉
  • Spending Thanksgiving Day next to the Mayflower eating turkey sandwiches and drinking sparkling cider from a brown paper bag.
  • Everyday, communicating with our staff in India.  Yes, that is a huge adventure… and if you don’t think so, come shadow me for an afternoon.

So to someone that tells me that I don’t understand “adventure” … I do – that’s a noninclusive, bulleted list which doesn’t even include all the stories that go along with the adventures themselves.  And ya know what… not a single one of those adventures involved “sex, drugs, and jazz” – go figure.

I could write a laundry list of people in my life that have done the most awesome/adventurous things… I gaurantee it will be better than anything I have written about up there.  The truth of the matter is.. we’ve ALL done some pretty awesome things.  You’re probably reading my list thinking to yourself… my life is WAY cooler than that – well GOOD!  I expect nothing less of you and it 100% doesn’t surprise me 🙂  Please put your list together and send it to me!! I’m always in need of some more adventure in my life and you just might be my inspiration… more so than that book ever could be.

If I’ve learned anything about “adventure,” I’ve learned that there are seasons of it, you can create your own, sometimes it’s best alone but most of the time it’s best when shared with close friends (or even strangers!), and if you’re lucky you can even find adventure in your daily routine. Having adventure just takes a little faith in knowing that there is “Someone” out there with a plan and a desire for you to live your life as an adventure(r).  Ask me about that – I’d love to share.

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One Response to “Life Lessons learned in ADVENTURE”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Updates! (and insight into what my life has come to) « highfiverson - September 9, 2011

    […] or so after my adventure post, I catch a glimpse of three strangers (separate times and places.. no affiliations) reading that […]

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