Adventure is closer than we think it is, and we don’t need to travel the world to experience it. It’s common and normal for us to scroll through someone else’s backpacking trip album on Facebook and find ourselves sulking in a state of hardcore envy. But depending on our perspectives and verve for life, we might have access to wisdom that travelers may totally miss if they don’t stay open-minded.
Most people live in a community that is made up of people with different experiences and personalities. This creates possibilities for different circumstances, situations and opportunities. Behaviors, reactions and relationships are a part of this social equation as well. Oh, the possibilities. Keeping an open mind about who you meet and what you may learn is crucial for experiencing life as an adventure. Life is messy, and this keeps things interesting.
Your perspective on life and how we all exist among each other is allowed to change as we drift through life; in fact, it should. This is how we grow, make connections and find satisfaction. Whether it’s a fight with your dad, a rude comment from your best friend or a sexy compliment from your lover, there are always ideas to explore and criticize. This helps you in your own development and sense of self. Also, it makes life fun. Living with an optimistic attitude is such a great way to build resilience, get along well with others, and be happy.
The flip side? If you aren’t truly open to adventure, traveling may offer you everything except deep insight.
Social media has undoubtedly paved a way for self-absorption and magnified insecurities. We post pictures of the best parts of our day, week, month, and we do this regularly while painting an exaggerated and colorful picture for our audience. The number of likes has a grip on our anxiety, and the number of comments tightly holds onto our depression. If the numbers aren’t sufficient, we aren’t happy. In fact, we may be likely to feel worse off than if we didn’t post in the first place. Why do we do this to ourselves?
Many people who post traveling pictures very regularly seem to be traveling for more superficial reasons, like showing other people they are doing these super cool things out of the country. It seems to be more important to show others that we are bungee jumping rather than to actually focus on the bungee jump. If we decide to travel, we might as well do as much as we can to grow and to integrate our new experiences into our perspectives after we return home. Regardless of how other people see your travels, having a certain mindset that you are traveling for yourself, to gain insight and experience, and to not be doing it to show others, profoundly impacts how you grow on your trip. It might box your outlook a bit. A lot of us post pictures immediately of a majestically beautiful location or a thrilling activity instead of actually absorbing the moment for everything it is. Be aware of your traveling intentions, and adopt a genuine curiosity for personal growth and adventure.
If we travel, we need to make sure we do it for the right reasons. Otherwise, it’s just time and money lost and a togh lesson learned. What fun is that? If we don’t travel, that’s fine too! It is more than likely that, with an open mind and an open heart, you’ll find yourself on a personally fulfilling adventure just around the bend.
Photo by: Sara Carpenter