How do you see adventure?? Is it something you watch in movies? Or do you actually go out and live it? Feel it? Smell it and taste it?? To me...adventure really is just a decision. A choice. And the best part is it doesn't have to be expensive or in some crazy, exotic, foreign land. In fact, often times the greatest adventures cost nothing.
The most life altering adventure of my youth happened when I was around 9 or 10 years old. Let me backup a bit and give you some perspective on my childhood. You see, my father was Vietnam veteran. He was more adventurous and in tune with his curious, child-like intuition than he was with his adult side. Naturally, I loved this bold, crazy, adventure that was my dad. It gave me a deep understanding of what freedom meant to me at a young age. My dad went against (and still does!) every idea and tradition of what it meant to be a "dad" in America. There were parts that I did not love and there were parts that I was simply enamored with, and still am. He was audacious. Bold. Fearless in some ways, and yet not in so many others.
My dad lived his high school years near a Pacific Northwest reservation, eventually married a woman from the tribe, and engulfed himself in the community. Through this he was often able to do things that most non-natives weren't.
That's how my dad was able to camp out on the beach with us...For an entire summer!! No electricity. No fridge. No nothing really. We did haul a foam mattress out for our bed and created a makeshift tent from tarp and driftwood. It. Was. Awesome.
The entire summer basically cost nothing. Oh...you wanna know how we ate? Well, we ate like kings and queens! Oysters, clams, crab and fishing. Yup, we went clam digging, picked oysters from the local oyster bed and went crabbing and fishing almost daily. In our down time he built a boat. Nothing huge, a rowboat we used to swim with the fish, explore like pirates and discover new creatures when we would row out to "Seal Island". When money was needed you know what he had us do? All us kids would pile in the back of his old Ford pickup truck and go pick up aluminum cans. We'd take it to the local recycle spot and he'd make anywhere from $20-$50. I don't care if you wanna judge this way of life because I loved every minute of it. I felt as though I were flying that summer. No joke. Free...no obligations. No restrictions. My only job was to have fun and help when needed. It just might be the greatest memory of my life.
That was my entire summer that year...Nothing short of magic. Bonfires, camping, fishing, crabbing and hanging with my family. I am not sure how many baths I took or if I ever slept well. All I remember is the feeling I have taken with me for 30 years. The feeling of freedom. Knowing even as a child that those would be some of the best memories of my life. And they were...they really were. Honestly, my sister and I still talk about the experience to this day.
Now, so many years later I try to make sure my kids get to adventure. I take them on road trips, and we fly to Mexico often. We do bonfires, bike rides and the occasional campout in the backyard, but I'll be honest; none of it compares to that summer on the beach. That summer shaped my heart and changed me forever. It made freedom & adventure the top priorities of my life. I never want to live without that feeling again. And though I have grown up, had kids, married and moved away...I still fight for that feeling. As I have grown older I am more aware that the world is always telling me what I "should" do...Lucky for me I am not a creature that people pleases. I am more primitive than that; I am constantly guided by my intuition, and it's need of freedom & adventure.
Thanks Dad...you set me free.
Health & hugs,