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How to have an adventure

Lost Schoolgirl by Jonathon Kos-Read via Photpin/Flickr
Lost Schoolgirl by Jonathon Kos-Read via Photpin/Flickr

Because I had this conversation with my ex-college dormmate from the US:

ECD: So what’s happening with you?
Me: Nothing much – I am in the middle of packing because I am moving.
ECD: Moving? Where to? Which country? Are you done with Australia?
Me: *very sheepishly* Um, no, I am going from the city centre to the next door suburb. Fremantle to East Fremantle.
ECD: That is still an adventure. You are travelling across the world! I haven’t done that yet.

Not scars, but traces by John Perivolaris via Photopin/Flickr
Not scars, but traces by John Perivolaris via Photopin/Flickr

Which brings me to my next point.

An adventure is what you make it. Here is another conversation I had with one of my Australian friends a few years ago:

So what are you upto?
Me: Well, I have to finish this thesis and write my book…
OZ PAL: Hmmm… right. So, what will you do after you graduate?
Me: Um, find a job, freelance, write the book… *looking at him rather puzzled at this point*
OZ PAL: You need to get out of here and go travel – HAVE AN ADVENTURE, MARI!
Me: What sort of adventure?
OZ PAL: Go backpacking! Through Europe!
Me: *thinking ‘I need to smack sense into you is what I need to do’* Um, how do you expect me to have an adventure in the middle of one?
OZ PAL: Huh?
Me: I wasn’t born in Australia. I grew up elsewhere, traveled and landed here – a foreign country with a different culture and I am living and working and studying here. How is that NOT an adventure?

I don’t think he got it.

Backpacker with Rosary Beads by Shamus Dollin via Photopin/Flickr
Backpacker with Rosary Beads by Shamus Dollin via Photopin/Flickr

An adventure is not just something physical. I have no desire to go climb the Himalayas but others do. Others have no desire to try to write a book while living close to the poverty line in a foreign country but that’s an adventure too – it’s an emotional and mental and physical one – and I willingly dived into that one. Possibly stupidly too but that’s not the point. Moving on…

So how do you have an adventure?

1. What is the adventure that you want to have? Or is it a goal? Something you want to achieve?

2. When do you want it? Now? In a year from now? In five years from now?

3. What do you need to have to get there? To have that adventure? To achieve that goal?

4. On the list of requirements, what things have you got already? What things do you need to get/have?

5. To get those things what do you need to do? Are there classes you need to take? People you need to talk to? Things you need to obtain? Skills or knowledge you need to learn?

6. Who do you know? Who do you know that you can talk to and ask for help on your adventure or preparing for it? Who do you know that can introduce you to someone who could give you advice or help? Who do you know who can help you get what you need?

7. What are you going to do once the adventure is done? What is the next step? What are you going to get out of it and what will you do with it?

8. What’s the next adventure?

Adventures can be easy and simple ones. They can be big and awesomely complex ones. They can be challenges, goals and a ton of fun.

But you make it fun. Sometimes adventures come out of nowhere. Sometimes they are the oddest things.

Yesterday, my adventure was doing something really mad – transporting bulky belongings on public transport and then promptly getting lost and exploring an unfamiliar suburb with my friend. It was chilly, I was cold, I walked a lot, wondered where I was, carried heavy things. I had a lot of fun. A mini-adventure. We had a vague idea that if we headed westward, we would hit the ocean but otherwise we were happy to wander.

And  I found the Royal George Hotel in East Fremantle. Which made me happy because I like the sense of history that surrounds Fremantle and its neighbouring suburbs.

The Royal George Hotel, East Fremantle (c) Marisa Wikramanayake, 2013
Back entrance to The Royal George Hotel, East Fremantle (c) Marisa Wikramanayake, 2013

And that’s the point.

Go walkabout. Get lost. Get caught up in something or go lose yourself in a strange place. Take pictures and tell people about it when you get back.

What are you still doing here, reading this? Shoo! Go get lost! 🙂

Photo credit:
Jonathan Kos-Read via photopin cc
Dr John2005 via photopin cc
veeandseven via photopin cc

Marisa is a globetrotting freelance writer, journalist and editor with cat for hire (her, not the cat). She is usually based in Melbourne but is currently flouncing around in Perth for a week for the Inaugural 2018 KSP - Varuna Foundation Fellowship. She will be at Melbourne's Continuum and online running a Writers' Bloc course in the coming weeks.

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