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Real Life Adventure is Not Limited to Exotic Places

Dec 24, 2007
When I was a teenager, I thought that adventure was going to places like Fez, Chiapas or Vancouver Island. Well, I went to those places and had adventure but over the years I learned that going thousands of miles from home to a completely alien culture and language is not the only route to adventure.

Before I was 20 I was a veteran world traveler that pushed the limits of adventure and was ready for more. But it occurred to me even back then there was a fly in this ointment. It had to do with anecdotal evidence or what I observed in the 'real' world. Adventure wasn't as simple as buying a ticket and going somewhere.

Many people I met would go to exotic places and not be effected at all. Part of this was their means of travel and accommodations and another part their mindset. It goes something like this: 'by golly we are going to see and do but let's not let down our hair lest we interact in ways that are not culturally comfortable for us.' Summary: we gonna travel but we ain't gonna experience.

Consequently I met world travelers that were no more world wise than my neighbor across the street that never leaves the county.

But, hey, don't be surprised if you find out you started a tad late. 20 years after I took those youthful trips I took another trip. The wife and son spent the summer down at the farm in Veracruz but I had to stay in California to work. During that span I took off ten days to drive up to Canada. It was the first trip I had taken by myself in 20 years.

But it wasn't the same. I never hitchhiked. I had a car and not a motorcycle. I had a credit card and not just some tightly budgeted cash. I stayed in a hotel and did not once sleep on the ground or beach or someone's kitchen floor. I even came back before my 10 days was up. On every other trip I had ever taken I was always late getting back home. The reality was I just wasn't the same person I was 20 years before.

If you are young, do your adventuring as soon as you can. Don't listen to those that say all you should be doing is studying and working. There will be plenty of time for that but adventure is a fragile thing and not something you can postpone forever. Over time it can be lost.

In fact if you are lucky like I was you will meet people that will tell you how much they regret not adventuring more when they were young. Now, many middle aged men my age have become obsessed with trying to find adventure before they die. They went from college to corporation and finally in their late fifties and early sixties can adventure and do what they want. Good luck. If they had done their adventuring when they were younger they wouldn't be so ornery and stubborn and angry and frustrated. Tough attitude to start out with on an adventure...

But I also met folks that were having fantastic adventures while never leaving their communities. So much for adventure being only found in exotic places. I met many different types of people for whom each day was an adventure. If their day was anything but adventurous, they made it adventurous. They could have boring jobs and live in boring communities and have boring families but they were always so excited about life and adventure that they could hardly stand it.

What they do is create and customize their own adventure and become engaged by it. For them every minute is sheer joy at celebrating being alive. They are too busy being grateful to complain. They are too busy being humbled to be presumptuous. They understand that the greatest gift a human can extend is friendship and the here and now is nature's greatest gift. What me worry?

I came to understand being engaged one hot Moroccan night in Rabat as I lay awake drenched in sweat on my hotel bed. I had been to the interior and gotten a most nasty case of amoebic dysentery; diarrhea, fevers, shakes and all.

I did not worry that I was a teenager with little money and very sick in a strange country so very far from home. In fact I did not worry at all. I knew I would be fine. I would survive this ordeal and anything else in the future.

And I did. I continued a life of one adventure after another. I had arrived. I was engaged.
About the Author
Jack D. Deal believes adventure is the only way to go. He is the owner of Deal Business Consulting. Related articles may be found at http://www.jddeal.com and http://www.freeandinquiringmind.typepad.com
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