An adventure is a new experience that pushes me out of my comfort zone, allowing me to shine with joy, to burn with passion, and to continuously grow and develop as a human and spiritual being.
The Most Dangerous Place in The World
The core of my definition of adventure is that it pushes me out of my comfort zone. As initially appealing and safe as a comfort zone appears, it can quickly become one of the most dangerous places in the world. Far more treacherous than any mountaintop or ocean. The truth is, I absolutely love to be comfortable. There is an initial ease of routine and familiarity, and none of the stress of having to constantly adjust and adapt to new situations. However, I have also learned, that over time, longterm comfort eventually induces completely new stresses. First, boredom, as repeated routine tends to gradually dull your world. Like a vampire it can slowly suck your life dry of excitement and novelty. From there, an emotional claustrophobia can form with the realization that meaningful personal growth has stopped. The awareness sets in that your world has ceased expanding ever outward, and has now instead begun to contract itself upon you.
It can become a real challenge to break out of the dangerously seductive comfort zone. The longer you’ve been in it, the deeper you dig yourself into a rut, and the harder it is to escape. Although your world slowly and continuously begins closing in around you, it still seems safer than the alternative. Stepping outside the boundaries of a familiar boring routine involve risk, failure, fear, injury, and embarrassment. By staying safe in your comfort zone, you will never have to face all those intimidating emotions. But neither will you ever gain all the amazing benefits that lie just outside the boundaries of your routine! Self confidence, new joys and passions, new people, new forms of intelligence, an endless expansion of the world around you, and positive growth as a human being. Risking failure, fear, and the unknown are always intimidating, but nothing is scarier or more dangerous than the contraction of your life and the eventual cessation of personal growth that is guaranteed when you choose to stay put in your deceptively dangerous zone of comfort.
My three keys to adventure
So what are ways to break out of your comfort zone. Obviously, the simplest answer is to try something new. Anything new. Everything new. The more things you try, the more places you go, and the more people you meet, the more your world expands. The bigger you reach, the greater adventure you may find. And sometimes you just have to throw yourself into the world and let adventure find you. But that is all very vague, and over the course of my journeys, I’ve found that there are three key vital components that I personally connect with my own personal sense of adventure.
Travel will always be one of the best ways to break out of my comfort zone, and therefore one of the greatest keys to adventure. Nothing pushes me out of my sense of familiarity more than travel. I spent a summer and autumn studying abroad in Europe, and then a winter backpacking through it afterwards. Everything was new and different. I was completely inundated and overwhelmed by new food, people, stores, clothing, languages, and customs. My brain was constantly adjusting, rearraanging, and stretching. It is incredible the amount that I discover about myself, grow, and change as a person when placed in unfamiliar places and unstable situations. Long term international travel to me is adventure at its core.
Adventure can be experienced on a sliding scale, and simply traveling within the country is still great for your soul. New places, new people, new experiences, and new memories all exist within a few hours from you. It’s easy to forget how vast our own country is, and how many incredible places and experiences rest simply without our borders. Going somewhere new forces your world to expand, and the more often you travel, the faster and further that world will expand. If time, funds, or other circumstances wont allow this, even visiting new places in your own town will help your world expand more than it normally would have. But with adventure, the more you put into it, the more you get out of it, and I believe you should travel as often as possible, and as far as possible.
Adrenaline is another key to component to adventure for me, and the very heart of adventure for many people. Adrenaline is especially powerful when it is combined with travel. I will never forget the feelings and sensations that overwhelmed my body as I looked out of a windy open airplane door, stared down at the Hawaiian Island of Oahu 13,500 feet below, and saw my own soul facing back at me. I was miles from my comfort zone when my tandem instructor pushed me out of that airplane and into the windy open void beyond that door.
The adrenaline rush as I plummeted through the blue skies and towards the lush tropical earth was exhilarating, but it wasn’t the greatest reward. The breathtaking views of islands, oceans, mountains, from the gently floating canopy were incredible, but they weren’t the greatest reward. The awesome video I took home of me skydiving in Hawaii sure impressed my friends, but even that wasn’t the greatest reward from skydiving in Hawaii. The greatest reward was the personal growth I had gained, and the self confidence I had developed, from facing my own fears in the big open skies beyond my comfort zone. It was the way my entire soul, and my world, expanded. I would never again would look up at the skies above me in the same way. Adrenaline is the opposite of comfort. It is exhilarating, yet terrifying. Yet adrenaline makes you feel more viscerally alive than you ever would in an office cubicle. By chasing adrenaline, you are guaranteed to face more about yourself and grow in new and exciting ways.
A third category I include in my quests for adventure is Fitness and Physical Activity. This may seem a weird one, as most people probably don’t connect exercise with adventure. In fact most people probably consider exercise boring. But in my mind they will always be interwoven. Taking pictures of a snow capped mountain in Colorado is wonderful. Shredding down that mountain on a snowboard is a completely more engaging, overwhelming, and rewarding experience. Looking up at a sheer rock cliff outside is impressive. Using your muscles to pull your body up it, while the world spins dizzily below you, is a completely new and more powerful way to experience that cliff. Learning new activities continuously pushes you out of your comfort zone and accelerates growth. Physical activity connects the mind and body to the adventure and to the world. It greatly amplifies the intensity, to the point where there is only you, your body, and that moment. All the other problems of life just melt away. Not only does it encourage physical and mental growth, but by including fitness and physical activity in adventures, I can find my Zen in the moment of Now.
Why am I passionate about adventure?
One great reason for adventure is the joy and excitement that it brings. Seeing new places and trying new activities can truly make you feel alive, give you something to look forward to, and make life that much more interesting, colorful, and fulfilling. I believe it is important to spend your life chasing joy as much as possible, as it will help you radiate at your highest possible frequencies. It is too easy to let the daily grind of routine crush the fun out of you. With adventure you can recapture the joy and fun that felt so natural as a child. With joy, you can recenter yourself, and remember that you aren’t a bank account or corporate title, and the glowing soul of a child still shines underneath all those layers of adulthood. And the higher energy you radiate outward to the world, the higher energy the world radiates back towards you!
Another reason are the many forms of growth that adventures continuously provide. Place yourself in a new environment and your brain immediately starts functioning on a higher level as you take in and process new information. Facing situations that scare you teaches you to develop your self confidence and belief in yourself. This self confidence then can be applied to all other areas of life. And trying to learn new skills, while frustrating at first, are stimulating neuronal connections and physical growth, making you smarter and more functional! Adventure forces you to grow as a human being. One of the keys to a meaningful life is the growth you make along the way, whether physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual.
And finally, Adventure can be very spiritual. As you explore more places in the world, and meet more wonderful people, you gradually begin gaining a greater awareness of how vast and varied our world is, and how infinite the possibilities truly are. Adventurous activities also provide an incredible connection to the present moment. Whether you are skiing down a mountain or climbing up one, whether you are falling out of an airplane or trying to surf an ocean wave. You are experiencing an event so intense that all thoughts (and worries) of the past and future are obliterated. You are completely immersed in the Here and Now. Being completely present in this moment is what makes life meaningful. This moment makes you more alive than you will ever be sitting in an office meeting, or watching a TV rerun on your couch. Being completely present means being completely alive. And that’s why my passion is to pursue adventure.
TO FEEL ALIVE!