In Pursuit of Adventure – Finding My Way

directions You know some people need a lifetime to find what moves them; what causes them to come alive. I’ve been all over the map trying to find my place. Ironically, you look back over your life and finally see all the things that have led you to this place, this moment, this passion. Now that I’ve found it, I sometimes feel like I’m making up for lost time. As if every minute I’m not planning or preparing for my next adventure is time wasted, but that’s my own obsession. Funny thing is I’ve always been like that, as far back as I can remember. I find my next “passion” and pour everything I have into it: money, time, attention, focus. Nevertheless, in the midst of the laundry list of ventures I’ve partaken in, I can recall one activity that has always come naturally to me. Being outdoors. My earliest memories are of going fishing with my parents and grandparents when I was 3 or 4. In middle school, I was the kid staring out the window wishing I was outside on some grand adventure. I spent most of my time outside, riding my bike, climbing trees and building forts. But it wasn’t until junior high that I had my first taste of true adventure. While on a school outing at a State Park, my friend and I set out on our own apart from the group to find a nearby lake. I remember calling out to one of the teachers, “We’re heading to the lake!” To which she replied, “Are you sure you know where it’s at?” Of course we knew! It’s all the guys had been talking about since we stopped for lunch. A small group was already making their way there, so my buddy and I figured we’d catch up to them. Easy, peasy!

“The word adventure has gotten overused. For me, when everything goes wrong – that’s when adventure starts”

-Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia

We wouldn’t find this out until much later in the day, but the route we took was actually not the true trail. Looking back, we must have taken a game trail or one of the many off-trail routes through the brush. I don’t remember at what point we finally realized that we were truly lost, but I do remember not feeling scared or panicked. (Oh, the naivety of youth.) I think our first thoughts must have been that we were both going to be in a lot of trouble! We discussed staying put; surely someone would come looking for us. We also considered backtracking, but because we didn’t know where we were, we decided against it. Just then, I remembered I had a map of the park in my back pocket! Cue the theme from Indiana Jones! Maybe it was something I learned in scouting or maybe it was just common sense. Regardless, I remember looking at the map and then at our surroundings. Fortunately for us, the park plays host to a huge monadnock that rises 1,825 ft. above sea level.

Enchanted-RockPhoto courtesy of Enchanted Rock State Park

Now I know you high-country folk will scoff at the measly 1800 ft. of elevation, but in Texas that’s one heck of a landmark! Using terrain association and that map as our navigational aid, we eventually found our way back to the main trail and then on to the main parking lot. As we rounded that last turn, we saw our group coming from the opposite direction. With mixed emotions, we ran to meet them. Our friends excitedly wanted to know where we had been and what had happened. Our teachers were a little less forgiving. They were obviously relieved to find us uninjured and okay, but quick to dole out punishment befitting our  little adventure. It didn’t matter. We had found ourselves at the mercy of the outdoors and bested it with only our adventurous wit and resolve! A little melodramatic? I know… but that’s exactly how we felt! active activity adventure backpack

“The world is big, and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark.” ~ John Muir

All these years later, and remarkably I still feel that same way every time I get the opportunity to do something outdoors. Whether it be camping or hiking, fishing, biking or any other outdoor activity; I’m just a wide-eyed kid who still gets excited about exploring new places and doing new things. You know that saying, “if I only knew then what I know now.” If I had the opportunity to talk to my young self, I would say, “Trust your compass. Trust your dream. Stay focused and follow after it with all you’ve got, regardless of what others may think or say!” There would be one caveat to this advice. And hopefully if you only remember one thing from reading this blog, it would be this..

If you have a dream, you must pursue it. It will not come to you. The inspiration may be given to you or possibly a portion of the plan to fulfill that dream, but nothing will happen until you move!

Let me encourage you to take that first step towards making your dream a reality. Don’t wait. Don’t put it off. Don’t make excuses. “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” Thanks for taking the time to read the blog! Keep chasing that next adventure and remember… “Life’s an adventure so don’t just survive it, live it!”
Photo by Krivec Ales on <a href=”; rel=”nofollow”></a>

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