‘If You Think ‘Adventure’ is Dangerous try ‘Routine’, it’s Lethal’ – Paul Coelho
Confession: I used to feel frustrated with life – somewhat despondent, bored, stuck, restless. I used to engage in a self-debate about how ‘happy’ I was and how ‘great’ my life was surrounded by material possessions, my steady job and my social network… Despite this I would find my mind wandering and thinking about the “Walter Mitty” escapist fantasies of adventure and excitement only to silently curse and reprimand myself for such thoughts and the apparent selfishness of such adventures…
During those years of unsuccessfully attempting to ‘fit-in’ to mainstream suburbia I began meeting other people who also seemed to have an adventure streak – an ‘outsider’ uneasiness around the social gatherings and talk of football, fancy cars, school events and local politics. I became aware of a large number of people ‘hidden’ in normality who had dreams of travelling to wild destinations, taking up or re-kindling their youthful interests in extreme sports, fulfilling bucket list ambitions to sky dive, paint, sail the oceans, cook exotic foods, see famous theatre performances and visit world renowned art galleries. Hearing them share their hopes and ambitions lit a fire in me to protect and pursue my dreams rather than curse and reprimand myself.
As the years have since past, I know now that having an adventure to look forward to – no matter how big or small is one of the keys to living a happy and successful life!
My Mid-Life Adventure – The Triple K Challenge
I began to re-kindle my youthful passion for climbing and trekking in the mountains involving my family and friends on local treks and began dreaming of climbing a famous mountain in Africa – Mt Kilimanjaro – possible for the average ‘Walter Mitty’ types such as myself with enough preparation and training and only requiring a couple of weeks leave from work and family commitments
Whilst the idea of climbing Mt Kilimanjaro took hold in my subconscious I was also spending a lot of time with friends who were big fans of goal setting, life strategy and living your dreams. During this time I was regularly challenged about my goals. In particular, what a ‘stretch’ goal would look like. I had read about the 7 Summits of the World – a famous challenge where people climb the highest mountain on each continent and two of those mountains were well within reach (Mt Kosciusko – Australia and Mt Kilimanjaro – Africa). A friend also told me about Mt Kinabalu – a high altitude trekking peak in Borneo – Malaysia easily done within a week and, before you know it, I had my Triple K Challenge – climbing these three ‘K’ Mountains in 12 months!
What a great adventure it turned out to be – juggling work and family time was possible with enough preparation and planning and my kids loved the bush walks and treks we were able to do in local mountains and forests. The comradere of friends and the shared experiences on the journeys to each destination (Tanzania – Africa, New South Wales – Australia, Borneo – Malayasia) were amazing as were the experiences of local cultures and customs. Each summit was unique – the high altitude of Kilimanjaro, the storms on Koscuisko, the midnight approach to the summit of Kinabalu and the rising dawn. All achievable within limited budgets and time.
Upon return from these adventures I have since learned to ‘love’ and ‘nurture’ my adventure streak and plan and budget well ahead of time to share adventures with my family in travel, camping, and new outdoor experiences on land and sea! Some of my happiest moments have been in sharing these adventures with those I love. I have also found that if I am feeling bored and frustrated it is usually because I have lost focus on the next adventure and by re-focusing I am able to double my efforts with my work and family responsibilities whilst looking forward to exciting times ahead!
Happiness, You and Your Next Adventure
Having an adventure to look forward to – no matter how big or small is one of the keys to living a happy and successful life! The famous quote from Nietzsche ‘They who have a ‘why’ can endure any ‘how’“ reminds us of the importance of having goals and forward plans to give us the reason (the ‘why’) to stay motivated during day-to-day hassles and challenges of life. When it comes to selecting goals and making forward plans – I think the best goals to set are the ones that will provide you a sense of ‘Adventure’!
Adventure goals harness our sense of purpose and passion and are highly motivating. ‘Adventures’ are activities to look forward to in the future and can be any activity on any budget as long as that activity pushes you out of your comfort zone.
Remember adventures are not just about climbing mountains or travelling to wild destinations, but can also be about re-kindling youthful interests in sports, fulfilling bucket list ambitions to sky dive, paint, sail the oceans, cook exotic foods, see famous theatre performances and visit world renowned art galleries or simply planning get-togethers with loved ones, reading all the books by your favourite author or watching the complete series of your favourite TV shows – be creative, be inspired and most importantly GET STARTED ON YOUR NEXT ADVENTURE NOW!
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