The Lifetime of Adventurous Journey
How funny it is that certain words or phrases you learned in childhood would ingrain in your brain and impact you for the rest of your life. For me, one of those lines was, “Life is an endless adventure.”
It was just a mundane afternoon in my small bedroom that I shared with my two brothers. This line appeared in one of my favorite sections of Reader’s Digest, The Quotable Quotes. (My parents subscribed to Reader’s Digest in traditional Chinese at that time.) I could not recall who said it; it just hit me profoundly.
My family lived in a university housing at the edge of campus in the southern part of Taiwan. I lived there throughout my youth. You can imagine how the word “Adventure” triggered my fantasy. I longed to leave the nest, exploring the world and embarking on an adventure, whatever, wherever it would be.
Finally, I Was on the Adventure of My Life
My mind was set; I seriously studied for the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) and GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) and applied to graduate schools in the USA. One year after graduating from college, on that sultry August day, my luggage and I got on the Korean airline—my first flight in my life.
To my surprise, airsickness assaulted me throughout the entire trip—a brand-new experience! The entrance to the land of my dream was Honolulu, Hawaii. Going through customs was uneventful, except it took me a while to close my suitcase after the officer dug his huge hands to the bottom of the luggage to make sure nothing illegal was in it, which stirred up my mother’s deliberate packing efforts.
I was starving!
Rehearsing the line silently in my head a few times, I was ready!
“Can you tell me where the restaurant is?” I asked a passing-by airport custodian word by word with the best pronunciation I could possibly produce.
The gracious lady pointed to the restroom sign.
You see, I have read that preparation is critical before embarking on an adventure. I thought I did.
Things may not always go as expected!
Like a leaking air balloon, I sealed the hole, pumped in a bit more air, got on the next flight from Honolulu to Los Angeles, then headed to Dallas-Fort Worth.
What are the Benefits of Adventure?
- For an individual, researchers at the University of Otago, New Zealand (N.Z.) proclaimed that adventurous experiences provided a sense of contentment and promoted subjective well-being (SWB).
- For a family and educators, Professor Paul Stuhr at California State University San Marcos and his colleagues developed adventure-based learning (ABL) to promote intrapersonal and interpersonal relationships based on the experiential learning theory.
I have witnessed the positive outcomes of adventurous spirits awarded to a family and an individual.
My dear friend and his wife mindfully planned family adventures that included visiting various national parks every summer since their children were young. These adventures brought the family the tight-bound kinship and countless fond memories.
Another friend of mine, in her mid-life, joined her children in practicing Judo and earned a black belt!
How My Ideas of Adventures Have Evolved Through the Years
- You don’t have to explore the wildness or go skydiving, bridge climbing, exotic car driving and racing, Grand Canyon rafting, sky swinging, or travel abroad. You can be adventurous right at home by doing simple things like trying out adventurous recipes: https://www.cookinglight.com/food/recipe-finder/adventurous-recipes.
Indeed, you can be adventurous at any age, at any time. For example, you can read a book in a new genre, listen to a unique style of music, learn a trendy handmade craft, or visit a new exhibit at the local museum or library. As long as you possess a curious gist, act on it and cherish the progress; you will gain a sense of accomplishment and boost your well-being.
- When you encounter a trial, you could treat it as if you are in the middle of an adventure. I know that this may sound a bit stretched or twisted.
It took me many years to adopt this mindset willingly. I refused to accept this idea in the beginning. However, once I embrace it, the trials become much easier to bear; it calms me and empowers me. I know everything will work out just fine in the end with faith.
Every adventure encompasses challenges. With the challenges, we grow stronger, wiser, and spiritually richer in many aspects.
I appreciate the line, “Life is an endless adventure,” even more as I grow older.
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About the author:
Dr. Eichin Chang-Lim has earned her Doctorate in Optometry, Master of Science in Microbiology, and Master of Arts in Psychology. She is an award-winning multi-genre author. You can check out her books at http://Bit.ly/EichinChangLim_Amazon