Adventure, adventure, adventure. Everyone I speak to is on an ‘adventure’. Far-flung adventures; death-defying adventures, life-changing adventures. Adventure is the new black. But what exactly is an adventure and why are we constantly banging on about seeking one out? What’s wrong with a decent 9-5, one holiday a year and a night spent in front of the TV with a side of take-away chicken korma?
On the Off the Ropes podcast, I interview people daily who have experienced, or are about to, an incredible, awe-inspiring adventure. Our Twitter feed is full of adventurous types who swim with turtles before breakfast, climb an active ‘it’s gonna blow’ volcano after lunch and eat dinner from the scooped out sculls of the enemies of a rare Indonesian tribe. Living optimally? I’ll say. It’s hard not to compare our fairly mundane regular day-to-day life with these adventurous types and feel utterly dreary in comparison.
But this is the point. It’s by listening to others’ tales of extraordinary feats and escapades which shines a glaring torch on our daily minor accomplishments. Each time I interview Mr or Mrs Awesome, I’m left feeling inspired, which is problematic for Stu as he’s constantly having to remind me that we cannot pack our bags and sail around the world. We have no idea how to sail!
However, do all adventures need to be epic? Am I being adventurous if I choose a lamb bhuna from the take-away menu and leave the kormas to the risk averse? If I turn left out of my road, instead of the familiar right? If I stop making cottage pie on a Monday night? Yes. I believe so. Adventure does not need to involve jungles, oceans or aeroplanes. Anything which challenges you, excites you and leads you away from your comfort zone is an adventure. And your adventure will be different from my adventure. My adventure will be different from Stu’s. And all of ours will be different from Felix Baumgartner’s (you know; the man who jumped out of a helium balloon in the stratosphere!). It matters not the size of your adventure, but how much the adventure enhances your life. If a new experience scares you a little and makes you smile, you’re having an adventure. No doubt you’re already as adventurous as all the inspirational souls on the Off the Ropes podcast. Well, probably not, let’s be honest. Have you rowed across the Atlantic like James Ketchell and Sally Kettle; climbed Everest in your shorts like Wim Hof; kayaked out of plane like Miles Daisher; or swam around the coast of Britain like Sean Conway? No, but hopefully you’ll listen to their tales of comfort zone leaping and consider what you can do to make your one life more exciting.
Adventure expands your heart, mind and soul. It’s the thrill in an otherwise routine existence. We can’t all quit our jobs, sell our homes and hit the road less travelled. But we can all hop aboard the adventure bandwagon with our eyes wide open and see where it takes us. Adventure is the new black, so say farewell to just existing and start living. And if this means selecting something different from your take-away menu, that’s a great start. Lamb bhuna today, trekking the Andes tomorrow.
Ps.If you’d like to lead a more adventurous life but are unsure where to start, take a peek at the Off the Ropes Challenge – weekly inspirational challenges set by podcast guests to give your comfort zone the boot! The challenges will test you without you realising it. The latest task set by ocean rower and Everest climber James Ketchell urges you to get lost and find your way home. What does lie over that hill?