The pandemic has put a hold on many expeditions — traveling, sitting in coffee shops, visiting amusement parks. No longer are we allowed access to the places that may have sparked inspiration in our lives. Even so, there is a way to continue to fulfill the desire for adventure in a safe manner. By taking the road less traveled, you can discover a way to explore you wouldn’t have otherwise.
Ⅰ: Don’t Wait
If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that time is the most valuable resource in our lives. One of the consequences of having to spend so much time in lockdown is that many have lost their appreciation for time. We’re all killing time, waiting for things to get back to normal when in reality, “normal” was never normal. But the waiting game leaves no room for adventure, let alone excitement.
The first step to discovering adventure is taking action — the adrenaline fuel for the journey. Lockdown has forced everyone into a universal feeling of discomfort but seeking discomfort is the action that you need. While the world is put on hold, you have the time to face the discomfort of those activities you’ve always wanted to do: photography, starting a blog, listening to a new genre of music.
They say that there is no time like the present, so there is no better time to lean into your discomfort and stop waiting to begin. Happiness is tied not to the outcome, but the experience. Adventure is about the struggle as much as it is the reward, and so while it’s difficult to start something that you’ve always wanted to do or finally work on your dream project, your perseverance will inspire other ideas.
Reinventing adventure isn’t about going sky-diving or trekking up a mountain, but rather the small steps that engage your excitement in a way that has never been done before. Especially during lockdown when social media can plague the mind and distract you, taking a simple action can change everything.
Ⅱ: Amor Fati
Love of one’s fate: Amor fati is a Latin phrase that reminds us that it’s a miracle that we’re alive — that it’s extremely improbable that you even exist. Nothing should be taken for granted. Despite the struggles that have resulted from the pandemic, it’s those struggles that should motivate us to see adventure in new ways.
Adventure can be found in accepting the fate that has been given to you at the moment and using it to your advantage. Walking around your neighborhood when you otherwise would never have had the time pre-COVID-19 is an example of loving the obstacles in your way. Learning to love the books you’ve never read on your shelf. Taking in the view from the kitchen sink window. These small spaces in time are moments that with a little push, can become adventurous, calling to your curiosity.
An open mind will lead you to more possibilities. There are still ways to get outside while maintaining safety precautions. Driving around the neighborhood and hiking in tougher terrain where there are less likely to be people are great examples of being safe while also stimulating activity.
What will matter when everything is “normal” and you look back on the pandemic? Not the endless scrolling of social media, or the glooming of the COVID-19-stricken world, but the adventures that you invented by simply mustering the courage to love your fate and create something anew. Accepting obstacles with enthusiasm can become an adventure within itself, pushing you to peer over the other side of the unknown. What will you create when you’ve adapted to circumstances you once thought unimaginable?
Ⅲ: Pay Closer Attention
Getting pulled away by the tidal wave of social media is overwhelming and the consequences can be harmful. While articles and videos from social media aren’t necessarily bad in themselves, it’s the overloading quantity that has been broadcast throughout the pandemic that is harmful. However, analog is one solution to the constant bombardment.
Analog through film camera, postcards, letters and pen-and-paper writing is one form of adventure that allows you to be fully immersed in the present. These authentic actions force the adventurer to pay closer attention and discover things about themselves that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to through conventional media.
Taking the moment to appreciate what you have and putting your mind at ease by using these more manual techniques of communication and reflection can strengthen clarity. Seeking details throughout your day allow you to more deeply live life through the smaller moments, which are often the most valuable.
Reflecting, reducing multitasking and taking more pauses isn’t traditionally seen as a form of adventure, but when you have been so caught up in the spiral of online distractions, fast-paced life and the pressure of obligations, these actions can be that sense of thrill that you’ve been craving.
The choose-your-own-adventure stories truly are our lives. We are in control of what makes life exciting despite its challenges. Even though the pandemic has disrupted many plans of travel, vacations and experiences, it doesn’t have to prevent you from discovering adventure in creative ways that may ultimately reshape the way you live. Social media stigmatizes the day-to-day, but nothing is as perfect as taking it one day at a time, filling it with daily joy. Reinventing what an adventure entails sparks hope for those who need it most.