Mallory Paige & Baylor the Motorcycle Dog

Because Adventure is Not a Destination

It seems we reach a certain age and suddenly forget what it is to fail to the point of success. We grow up and become so concerned with perfection that we stop trying all together.

But so much power lies within that forgotten youthful resilience. When we remember there was a time we couldn’t walk or talk, when we didn’t know how read or write, when driving a car seemed foreign and terrifying. We didn’t stress about looking foolish, we just fell over and got back up. We didn’t make a list outlining the pros and cons, we just babbled nonsensical words until we could construct a sentence. We didn’t sit around worrying about it, we just go busy doing it.

No matter the age, your dream is possible. It will be beautiful, exciting and magical. It will also be challenging, frustrating and mistake-laden. But most of all it will be worth it.

This journey called life is a rocky and mysterious ride. There are no hard and fast rules, no roadmap to guaranteed success. There is only this moment, this vibrantly real and wonderfully messy moment.

I don’t know what the coming years will bring. I might continue motorcycling around the world or I could become immersed in a new obsession. My future could be filled with border crossings, strange foods and foreign lands or the days could be marked by quiet sunsets, piles of library books and a familiar home. The truth is it doesn’t matter.

Because adventure is not a destination. It’s a state of mind.

Every time you plunge into discomfort, struggle to learn something new, soar beyond perceived limits you are on an adventure. When you accept help and take a trustfall you are on an adventure. When you have the courage to be genuinely vulnerable you are on an adventure. When you have the wherewithal to look a stranger in the eye and connect despite your differences you are on an adventure.

Starting out I wanted to see beautiful things, visit wild places and soak in natural grandeur. And I did. Those moments were powerful, memorable, and lovely for sure, but it’s not what I treasure most. The best parts are the things I didn’t know existed, could never have hoped for in the first place.

In the beginning I never imagined a solo goal could turn into a community supported mission. That I could learn to accept help sans guilt or walk into a strangers home and instantly feel comfortable and connected. It never crossed my mind that people around the world would read my words, would care about the miles logged and experiences blogged. And it certainly never occurred to me that the hard times – the moments of stress and heartache, worry and angst – would become some of my favorite memories. But looking back it’s obvious these were the experiences that mattered most of all. The building blocks that transformed a simple trip into a life-changing adventure.

Your adventure could happen a thousand miles away or in your backyard. Today or in a year. Here or there. Now or then.

The specifics don’t matter.

But the doing. Well, it’s the doing that’s absolutely critical. Without at least a moment’s courageous action, a brave leap into the unpredictable current, we’ll simply never know what you’re capable of.

So let’s forget about perfection. Embrace the fear and release the worry. Once and for all get busy with the doing.

Because I’d really hate to think we’ll get to the end of life only to find we survived, but forgot to ever really live.

And when it all seems too much. When everything’s broken and falling apart. When the tears, terrors and mistakes threaten to overwhelm, may you remember this lesson from Baylor the Dog:

Every obstacle is an opportunity.
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