On Adventure

unnamed-2“An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered.” ~ G. K. Chesterton

True adventures are messy, rarely easy, and hardly comfortable. On an adventure, there’s no telling what will happen, but most likely it will be unexpected. Adventures require planning, but they also require knowing that your plans will change. Adventures are not always fun and exciting – and yet, I adore them. As much as I love the familiarities and comforts of home, there’s something about being on an adventure that wakes me up in a way that normal life cannot.

Adventures gives me a new perspective on my life. When I travel to new places, I get to see other realms that exist outside of my own personal world. I meet new people, see other lifestyles, and am reminded that there is more beauty and wonder out there than I could ever experience in a lifetime. I realize that at any given moment, I could be anywhere – all it takes is a plane ride to get to a new country. I realize how simple it is to start living a completely different life than you were living just yesterday.

Adventures can also be exciting and wonderful – there’s no denying that. I love seeing beautiful new places and having adventurous new experiences. But I’ve had enough adventures by now to realize that patience, grace, and a good deal of courage are also required to survive any adventure.

As much as I love them, adventures are not the end game. Real life is not meant to save up and prepare for adventures – rather, adventures are meant to prepare you for real life. It’s like traveling to the Perilous Realm or Fairyland in stories. Time in Narnia is meant to teach and prepare the Pevensies for their real lives, where magic is harder to find and Aslan is harder to listen to. In the same way, adventure is meant to prepare us and to teach us.

Adventures will teach you so much about yourself, about other people, and about God – even if you don’t realize just what an adventure has taught you and how it has impacted you until much later. Going on an adventure will change you. You do not return from an adventure the same person you were when you left.

It’s important to note that an adventure doesn’t have to be a trip to another country. Adventure can happen close to home, far from home, or even at home. The dictionary cites adventure as “an unusual and exciting, typically hazardous, experience or activity”. Certainly a trip to a far off country or an expedition into the wilderness qualifies as an adventure… but what about simpler events, like the first day at a new job? What about learning something new, or meeting a new person, or falling in love? Each of these experiences is certainly unusual and exciting… and possibly even hazardous. Really, every single day is an adventure, because every single day is wholly new and exciting in that it holds infinite possibilities. 

Adventure is out there – but it’s also wherever you are right now. While adventures to new Perilous Realms are wonderful, every day can and should be an adventure. And just as adventures to new places prepare us for our normal lives, every single day prepares us for the next day. All it takes is a single day to change your life. If you truly want your life to be an adventure… it will be. 

“To live will be an awfully big adventure” ~ Peter Pan.