Adventure Is What You Make It
Last Sunday I watched a Vietnam-era helicopter land a hundred feet in front of me while I had my morning coffee, the blast from the rotors blowing dust into the mug in my hand.
I live for moments like this.
And you know what? They happen all the time, thanks to how I structure my life.
You see, I don’t think that adventure is restricted purely to far-away locales or that excitement requires time off from work. Adventure is a mindset, and when you learn to think like an adventurer, you no longer have to seek it out. It comes to you, because your life invites it.
I live my life in such a way that I never have to say no to an experience if I don’t want to. I choose to work an unstable job, so that I have the freedom to chase a lead if one comes my way. Thanks to my lifestyle, I never have to say no when Marc suggests we take an evening drive along the Potomac River on our vintage sidecar motorcycle. I can (and do) say yes to spur-of-the-moment trips into neighboring states, where we get in the car, choose a random direction, and see what we discover. I can say yes to taking a weekend to explore an abandoned mental hospital. I can say yes to spending most of my summer scarfing down baguettes in France. Thanks to my choice to prioritize adventure, I can say yes to life. After you do this for awhile, you realize that adventure isn’t something you have to go find, it’s already there with you. You just have to see it.
It is also no fluke that I am a historical reenactor: I do it because it constantly opens up doors to experiences that would typically require a time machine. For me (and for most, I would argue), a weekend spent playing WWII wargames in the forest can be just as exciting as a trip to Bali. Because I am a reenactor, I get to do fun things like ride in tanks, beat people over the head with a broadsword, and, yes, have my morning coffee serenaded by the choppy sound of a Vietnam War helicopter.
I choose to live like this because to me, an entire life can be an adventure, not just a few months of it spent in some remote location.
Rather than trying to fit adventure into a normal life, I try to fit normality into an adventurous life, and you know, I think I do a pretty good job.