When I was younger, my favourite types of books were fantasy. Epic quests, dark and light elves, wizards, mages, dragons, minstrels, kings and queens and guillotines…oops, sorry, went off on an Aerosmith tangent there.
The books either ended happily, with the quest successful, the evil defeated and Steven Tyler adding yet another scarf to his microphone stand. Or they continued on, with a twist to the quest that our protagonist didn’t see coming (Dear protagonist- That’s why it’s called a twist).
Growing up, I thought that all adventures had to be epic, that there had to be a few fire breathing dragons involved, or at least airplanes and that I would be required to return with a grail in some way, shape or form, to prove that I was worthy of such quests.
I was in Bali for the month of November and most of December and what I found was that each day was an adventure. Avoiding scooters hurtling down Monkey Forest Road, leaping the abysses on sidewalks, trying foods that I had never tried before, meeting the smiling eyes of a stranger that didn’t speak the same language I spoke but who understood the language of a smile, visiting a village healer, attending a cremation ceremony… and the list goes on.
It was easy to find the adventure in the everyday in Bali, afterall, I was in a new country and my heart and my third eye were being blown open on an almost daily basis.
I arrived home to winter, cold and darkness and I hibernated while doing my best to shake the jet lag as quickly as possible. Sometimes jet lag is a gift in disguise. I had to slow down, allow myself to rest when I needed to and be gentle with myself. It wasn’t always easy, and impatience crept in, wanting to either be back to ‘normal’ or back in Bali, preferably the latter. I realize now that I had stopped looking for the adventure in the everyday.
In the days after I returned home, I looked after 2 dogs days apart from one another. I remember being excited to do this and then realized I would have to take them out for walks, multiple times a day, in the cold! Dogs don’t think like we do…they are true examples of in the moment thinking. I would leave for 20-30 minutes and then come back and Gala, my sisters dog would greet me at the door, tail wagging, super excited that I was home! She did this every time! Jujube, a friends dog, would go for walks and smell the exact same spot every day as if he had never been there before. Every walk was an adventure for them. Every day was a new adventure.
Maybe, just maybe, dogs are onto something. Perhaps if we, at least once a day, treat something that we have done before as if it was brand new, we invite adventure into our every day.
So the next time you go to your favourite coffee place, order a new coffee drink. Try an africano instead of an americano. Or when you go for a walk down a street you have walked down before, look for something new, like a bud on a tree showing that spring will indeed return.
We don’t need to travel to Bali to find adventure, though it is an amazing place to find it. Sometimes we can find adventure in our own backyard, town, city, country. We just need to look.
Wishing you grand adventures, wherever you are,