I'm in a hotel — no, a motel — with strangers I've only met recently. I'm eating vegan s'mores in bed.
This is an adventure.
For the past three odd weeks I've been touring the US of A. I've met hundreds of like-minded travellers and nomads. I've traded stories until my voice grew hoarse and sore. I've slept on strangers' couches and been given personal tours of their cities. I've been bought meals by people I don't know. I've slept on a boat, and set a new record for the fastest I've even been driven (190km/hour – thanks Cole!). I've had a vegan po'boy and learned what a “shotgun apartment” is. I've played soccer with Trump supporters, seen more desert roadkill then I ever thought possible, and talked to a slang-spewing gang member who called me the n-word on numerous occasions. I've crawled in lava tubes and shivered myself into an uncomfortable sleep in a rental car.
I run on a handful of hours of sleep, fuelled by a copilot who keeps me hydrated with tap water and energy drinks. The days of the week are mere phantoms. The future is an illusion.
This is an adventure. This is where routine and boundaries and expectations go to die.
Now, don't get me wrong, I love a nice routine. I enjoy a quiet morning tea and catching up on the news. I like being well-rested and lounging out to some Netflix. I like spending an afternoon playing chess and going for jogs. Those are all lovely things I enjoy, and you no doubt have your own lovely things that you enjoy.
But no one on their deathbed ever signed-off saying “I'm glad I was well-rested.” No one dies being grateful they binge-watched TV on a Saturday morning.
Yet people die everyday wishing they took more risks, wishing they were open to change and challenge and adventure.
We grow the most when we move beyond the confines of our routines, when we are put into new and sometimes uncomfortable situations. We grow the most when we are open to what comes, when we open ourselves to adventure.
Now I'm not saying you need to run with the bulls or wrestle a bear or start leaping out of airplanes. Adventure doesn't have to be extreme. You just need to open yourself up to what comes.
Because more than anything, adventure is a state of mind. Embrace it.