Let the adventure begin.
As far back as I can remember, my parents filled my life with adventures. From weekend trips to my family’s cabin six hours away, to road trips with our camper in tow to any number of magical places, the memories I have from these experiences are priceless. I know these trips were not always nearly as wonderful for my parents. I am guessing they remember every flat tire, hiccup in the used cars we drove, and mention of my brother touching my side of the car. But despite the effort it must have taken for them, the fact remains my parents instilled a sense of adventure in me that has followed me through life.
Right out of college, when most of my classmates were partying at night and gearing up to take their nursing boards during the day, my ex and I hit the road. We spent over two months exploring many of our country’s national parks, most often with just our bodies to carry us and our supplies on our backs. The opportunity to see everything from ancient cliff dwellings, peaks gloriously and appropriately named things like Angel’s Landing and Half Dome, and wildlife galore, is something I will always be grateful for.
Working in nursing became my next adventure, and I always challenged myself by working in new and different areas. When my brother decided to spend a semester abroad in New Zealand, that became my next destination and I hoarded vacation time to make it happen. Then came a move to northern Minnesota where canoeing took me to the quietest places I have ever been. And of course, the adventure of parenthood followed, which is one of my wildest exploits.
Instilling a sense of adventure in my kids has been an important part of parenting for me. I never want them to be afraid of new things, people, or places. Growing up in a quiet place in Minnesota, I want them to see this grand world for what it is, a giant playground for ventures both big and small. Travel is important to me for so many reasons, and sharing this love with them has been one of my greatest joys.
Not every adventure in life is as glorious as exploring the rocky Pacific coast with my littles or showing them the busy city in Chicago. Making life an adventure can happen every day and without oodles of dollars. Hell, most days walking the dog through the neighborhood is an adventure of meeting new people whether we want to or not! In the summer, taking a quick trip for ice cream or spending a couple hours on a nearby beach can mean stories and conversations with my kids that remind me of their innocence and wonder. That is an adventure.
I am also learning adventure is not always a destination. Adventure is a state of mind. Having a mindset at the onset of every day that something magical could happen ensures it will. Sometimes the magic is barely noticeable, maybe you hear a story of another’s feat and feel inspired. Other times the magic is so bold that you can’t ignore the magnitude of the impact of your attitude.
So how do you go from everyday life to life 2.0? It’s easier than you think.
- Remember the magic is in your MINDSET. Finding ways to improve your mindset from boring to bold is where you start. Your thoughts attract your actions.
- IMAGINE. What does adventure look like to you? What do you aspire to do in life? Where do you want to go? Do you have a business idea, a project, a trip you want to take? I used to pride myself on being a realist, no longer, now I pride myself on being an imaginist!
- Choose the UNKNOWN. Taking your kids to the park? Don’t pick the same old place you always go, find somewhere new to play. Explore. And the next time, find another new place. Keep choosing the unknown and adventures are sure to find you.
- CHALLENGE yourself. Step out of your comfortable space, learn something new, reset your self-limiting beliefs, and take risks. I used to tell myself I wasn’t creative, now my favorite adventure is sharing this creation with all of you!
- CONNECT with yourself and others. Doing things alone sounds scary to some, in the past I would’ve never had the confidence to go out to dinner with MYSELF. But spending time with yourself can be extraordinarily freeing and lets you choose your own adventure. On the same note, always remember you are most like the five people you spend the most time with. So, if you crave adventure and want to live an optimistic life, surround yourself with people who seek the same.
As I travel across Canada, in the midst of adventure, I challenge you to embrace your life boldly and with the excitement of embarking upon your most ambitious adventure, because that my friends is what it is!