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01 April 2015

A Is For Adventurous

Living on a 26' sailboat in New Zealand. Some might say that's adventurous. I'm not so sure.

During April, we're participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Every day (except Sundays), we’ll be doing an alphabet themed post starting with “A is for Adventurous” and ending with “Z is for Zinc”. We've got a theme for every letter sorted except for Y. If you have any ideas for the letter Y, please leave a comment or email.

Some people might say that we're adventurous. Sure, we've done some things that some folks might say are adventurous, but I'm not so sure.

I asked Scott the other day what was the most adventurous thing that he had ever done. He said, "Marrying you in Copenhagen, Denmark. It was the start of a big adventure." I'm not sure which part of that was adventurous for him - getting married or getting married in a foreign country. I decided not to question him to closely on this one, just in case I didn't like the answer.

I asked him if he thought learning to scuba dive in Thailand or climbing to the top of Angel's Landing in Zion National Park were adventurous and he said no - as they weren't experiences that were out of his personal comfort zone.

If you look up a definition of adventurous, you'll get something like, "not afraid to do new and dangerous or exciting things" or "characterized by unknown dangers and risks." Scott thinks that the fact that I went off alone to live in Senegal in West Africa for a summer when I was 20 years old was adventurous. I disagree. I wasn't afraid. It didn't seem dangerous or risky. It wasn't outside of my personal comfort zone. (Of course, I was probably just young and stupid at the time and didn't know better!)

I think what makes someone truly adventurous is the willingness to step outside of your own personal comfort zone. Not another person's comfort zone. Being adventurous isn't about trying to have similar experiences to those you read about in glossy magazine articles or in travel blogs. It is about doing something that personally challenges you.

Going to the grocery store around the corner might be incredibly adventurous to someone who has been a shut-in for over twenty years.

Going up to a stranger at a cocktail party and introducing yourself might be incredibly adventurous to someone who is highly introverted. Heck, even getting yourself to the cocktail party on your own could be adventurous for an introvert!

Selling everything you own and moving onto a sailboat and cruising around New Zealand might be adventurous to some. Buying a 13' camper with 65 square feet of living space and traveling around on it in the States in search of your next sailboat might be adventurous to other people. Sure, that's what we've done, but it doesn't seem particularly adventurous to us.

Our nomadic lifestyle just seems normal to us. Of course, it seems incredibly abnormal to most people! But it doesn't make it adventurous as we're not living outside of our personal comfort zone. At this point in our lives, if we bought a house and lived in one place permanently, that might be adventurous for us. It would certainly be outside of our comfort zone.

So next time you think someone is adventurous, don't assume they are. Their lifestyle might seem exciting and glamorous, even possibly filled with danger and risk, but it might not be adventurous for them. 

I like this quote by Eleanor Roosevelt.
"The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience."

I think life should be about experiences - the experiences that matter to you, not the ones you read about. Find your own sense of adventure - you can be adventurous in your own precious small corner of the world. You don't have to travel to far-flung parts of the world to be adventurous.


If you're a regular reader of our blog, then you'll know I don't normally write reflective posts like this. Usually, I write fluffy, silly little posts about our travels, but this time I decided to do something different. Something outside of my comfort zone when it comes to writing. You might even say it was a bit adventurous. 

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24 comments:

  1. Welcome to the AtoZ challenge. I think you are very adventurous, even meeting a stranger for coffee that you met on the internet. And as for Y, how about Yellowstone, yacht, or yack.

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    1. That's so funny that you mentioned meeting a stranger for coffee! We just had some bloggy pals over to visit last week - had only met them on the internet. They were lovely - just like that other stranger I met :-)

      Thanks for the Y suggestions!

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    2. I met a stranger I met online for dinner once, and now we're married and living abroad! the smallest thing can be the start of a grand adventure.

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    3. Claire - that is a fantastic story, truly adventurous! So true that you never know what will be the start of a bigger adventure.

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  2. I agree that adventure can take on different forms for different people... if your husband is a "planner," then getting married overseas might have been a true adventure for him! My wife has always wanted to go skydiving, but so far I've managed to chicken out.... who knows? Maybe one day we'll jump out of that plane!

    Glad to discover your blog through the A to Z Challenge!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by John! Jumping out of an airplane would be a huge, huge step outside of my comfort zone so I can totally relate to chickening out :-)

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  3. I agree with you and John's comment about adventure being different for everybody, but I would definitely consider living in an RV and traveling,

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Diana. It is so interesting to get everyone's take on what it means to be adventurous!

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  4. I totally agree that adventurous means something different to everyone. Mine would be the going up to a stranger at a party and chatting as that is not me.

    Sean at His and Her Hobbies

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    1. I'm terrible at chatting with strangers at parties. Think I would almost prefer to go skydiving :-)

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  5. I love adventure. Sometimes the best I get is a book adventure, but I'm always on the lookout for one.

    Good luck with the 2015 A to Z Challenge!
    A to Z Co-Host S. L. Hennessy
    http://pensuasion.blogspot.com

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    1. Book adventures are wonderful! Getting lost in your imagination can be quite adventurous too. Thanks for popping by!

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  6. Liked your post today...good thoughts!!

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    1. Thank you! You always leave the nicest comments - I appreciate it so much!

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  7. I'm loving that. I'd never thought of it that way. I had some of those things when I was younger (and old me goes oh what were you thinking?!) that some, like you said, would think adventurous--traveling cross country alone when in college--but to me...didn't think twice about it. Had a great time but, yeah, no big. :D

    Anna @ herding cats & burning soup

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    1. I know - when I think back on some of the things I did when I was younger, I can't believe how stupid I was at times. One of the good things about youth, you don't overthink things too much.

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  8. I am usually unkind with myself. I often describe my existence as boring and nerdy. Other people are having so much adventure with their bold and risky lifestyles. For me, I am just comfortable with the couch, a good book, my blog, and online friends. My routine is usually work-home, repeat; introvert alert! I am glad you pointed out that going to a cocktail party for an introvert, is adventurous by itself! I've been trying it several times, not actual parties but just socializing with people after work or during weekends. I didn't have to swim with sharks or jump from a cliff to be adventurous. Yey!!

    I love the take home message: Find your own sense of adventure.

    I'll be nicer to myself in regards with this from now on :)

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    1. Yes! Find your own sense of adventure and go for it! So glad this resonated with you :-)

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  9. Howdy,
    Stopping by from Pam's Unconventional Alliance on the a to z blog challenge.
    As a fellow adventurer, I really enjoyed this thoughtful post.Looking forward to your alphabetical posts.
    Claire
    http://aFieldTripLife.com

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    1. Thanks Claire - glad you thought it was a thoughtful post. I wasn't sure about it when I wrote it.

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  10. You seem quite adventurous to a group of squirrels who only travel across the golf course, but we are loving your creative homes.
    Ol' Wally from The Squirrel Nutwork (this site doesn't seem to want to let me in!)

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    1. I don't know - I think traveling across a golf course would be pretty adventurous. There are all of those golf balls to avoid and the golfers probably look quite frightening with all of their clubs :-)

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  11. I'm very much on the same boat as an earlier commenter Maria, quite the introvert myself. I've been trying to push myself outside my comfort zone, but since every passing year my anxiety increases it's more difficult. Only close people seem to realize when I've done something adventurous to me as others find it more an every day thing. I loved your explanation of Adventurous, what a great post. Honestly, everything you've listed that you've done would terrify me, but so interesting to hear it is just fun, not scary to you and your husband :)

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    1. Thanks for sharing! You are adventurous - don't ever forget that. Society sets too many high standards - whether about what clothes we should wear, what our hair should look like and what it means to be adventurous. Often, society is wrong. Keep finding your own sense of adventure :-)

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