There are all kinds of adventures in life. Some adventures require travel to faraway places; others take us nearby, to places that are sometimes easily overlooked; while others happen in our back yard. I love adventures and I enjoy planning them, as well as reminiscing about them years afterward. One of the most exciting adventures David and I had was in our boat, not too long after we bought it, when we decided to take a voyage up the Caloosahatchee, through the locks, and into Lake Okeechobee. We didn’t plan the trip well, and arrived close to our destination (a small motel with dockage) after dark. This meant we motored around the lake, with its imposing dikes/levees, while trying to avoid colliding into something. Even more hilarious (at least to me!) was our arrival to the final lock, beyond which we could see our motel, only to find it closed for the night! We called the “emergency” number posted on the lock and the tired sounding operator instructed us to push the button in order to open the flood gates, allowing us to proceed outside the lake. This sounded like a great plan, however, it was too dark to see the small button, even with the high powered flashlight David shone on the gate. The more frustrating the situation became, the more I laughed at the sheer absurdity of it all: there was our motel, in plain sight, but we couldn’t get to it! David failed to see the humor in this situation, making it even more hilarious to me, and to this day, I laugh to myself when I think of this, and other, amazing adventures in life. The point is that an adventure can be anything you, the adventurer, want it to be!
Starting with the premise that life is an adventure, the question is how adventurous do you want to be? The boating adventure taught us a lesson in planning (and, in our boating skills which were not very strong at the time causing delays in getting underway). But the lessons from being adventurous are a big part of my life. I know I’m not as adventurous as many are, but for me, it was an adventure to take the risk, after just graduating college, to attend graduate school in a foreign country (Australia), where, though I sort of spoke the language, I knew no one. In the time before email, smart phones, etc., the adventure in 1985 was much greater than it would be today. And, while it was not an adventure to the wilds of a jungle, or even Lake Okeechobee, it was a year as a stranger in a somewhat strange land. The time I spent was very valuable; taking the risk in this adventure was a growth experience. Recently we undertook what did not seem that adventurous to us, attending the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, and taking a hot air balloon ride, but which many remarked that it was scary – at least the ride part. As one who has a phobia of heights, taking the flight was a bit of a stretch. However, I’ve flown in helicopters with their doors off to take photographs, so a balloon seemed tame by comparison, and it was. But many people remarked in advance that they couldn’t handle being in a balloon. I have my own limits on such risky adventures, but there are so many adventures within my comfort zone that I plan to continue to explore, try new things, and keep myself from becoming stale. That’s the point of being adventurous, to keep growing the mind and to have things of interest to be curious about, and to explore. Adventures are the original brain food!