The world has reached a moment of great stagnation—at least many of us are viewing it that way. In the wake of a global pandemic, much of our plans are placed on hold until further notice. Communication, socialization, and adventure—key components to a healthy and vital life—have been stripped from us. So now we must ask: How can we live adventurously in any circumstance? Is there a formula we can follow that will enable us to transcend the daunting restrictions?
Follow along closely. In this article we’ll be diving deeply through our inherent need to become adaptable so might we keep life palatable and our souls full.
Begin New Hobbies: Listen to the Longing Within
Picking up a new hobby is not only pure sanctuary, but an adventure in-and-of itself. Hobbies teach us to live adventurously because they provide us with the means to challenge ourselves, improve ourselves, and to learn. Further, we get to cover new terrain, both internal and external.
A new hobby may present the beginner with hints of anxiety. Perhaps the mind is playing tricks, convincing us that the journey is too long, too arduous.
But here’s the thing: That’s exactly the point.
Beginning a new hobby is a challenge. Adventure is not taking an enclosed ski lift up the scenic mountain, hot cocoa in hand. It is trekking through tumultuous storms—yet through areas of easy-going, blissful scenery as well.
If your longing within has been nagging you to begin that new reading habit or running habit or meditation routine, take the plunge. Listen to the longing within. This is how to live adventurously in the face of this COVID-19 pandemic.
Plan Your Next Trip: Live Adventurously and Excitedly
Looking at maps and reading books about your next prospective travel destination(s) is an invaluable way to amp up the wanderlust within and improve happiness levels.
Matter of fact, a 2002 study published in the Journal of Vacation Marketing concludes the following:
“It appears that those who are waiting to go on a holiday are much happier with their life as a whole, experience less negative or unpleasant feelings and thus enjoy an overall net positive effect or pleasant feelings.”
We believe these pleasant feelings can be further heightened by planning for sacred travel (such as one of our pilgrimages). “Sacred,” says author and mythologist Phil Cousineau, “refers to something that is worthy of our reverence and of our respect.” Phil is a master at bringing the soul of a place to light. He’ll be leading our Homeric journey through ancient Greece in October 2021, a journey dedicated to the significant sites associated with two of Homer’s greatest heroes, Odysseus and Penelope.
Be Mindful: Live the Adventure of Each Moment
Study this quote for a moment. It’s by Brazilian author Paulo Coelho:
“The simple things are also the most extraordinary things, and only the wise can see them.”
As of lately, many of us are surrounded by simple things, things we may at times take for granted. Family, food, water, shelter, technology, and books among others are some of the simple things we’re currently spending our days with.
Coelho’s quote is invoking our capacity to be mindful, to see everyday things as extraordinary. When we interact with these things with the touch of mindfulness, then, suddenly, life (although lived simply!) becomes an adventure. We begin to live life with a deepened perspective, a deepened joy, and thus highly deepened discovery.
Stay Connected: Live Out the Times in Companionship
Now’s the time to practice using technology in a positive way. Though we’re physically apart during these times, we can still use technology to share ideas, thoughts, inspiration, and even our pains and worries if any arise.
During the onset of restrictions, there was a lot of talk of “social distancing” as being the new normal. But we should really rephrase this as “physical distancing.” We are social creatures. Connecting with our fellow human beings is just as essential to our vitality as food, water, sunlight, shelter, etc.
Psychiatrist Robert Waldinger who helped lead an 80-year old study on happiness told The Harvard Gazette, “The surprising finding is that our relationships and how happy we are in our relationships has a powerful influence on our health. Taking care of your body is important, but tending to your relationships is a form of self-care too. That, I think, is the revelation.”
As humans, we have inner yearnings for something similar: to be a part of a community and to be recognized for our unique gifts within said community.
Maintaining our social ties helps reinforce our sense of community and yes, it makes life more adventurous. Sharing adds value to our day-to-day experiences. With value comes a life lived more deeply. A life lived deeply is often a life lived eventfully.
Final Thoughts on How to Live Adventurously in Any Circumstance
When the COVID restrictions first began, I was lucky enough to be living in a small community on the central coast of California, a place where the virus hadn’t really reached. There, in gratitude, I hiked with friends, went for coffee in new places, and walked around the grounds of my old university. Life felt adventurous.
When I returned to my more permanent residence in Southern California, restrictions got heavier. Luckily I was able to keep hiking and returning to nature.
Anyway, that’s my final tip. Keep returning to nature. Go for sunrise walks at the park when no one’s around. Head to your local forest or beach if they’re nearby. Find new spots and study your surroundings the way a child would. You’ll surprise yourself with the adventure you’ll find.
~Jacob Lopez, staff writer