Wanted: Adventure

Local watering hole: Williamsburg, MO
Williamsburg history

Truth; I am an adventure seeker. And it doesn’t need to be big or posh, but it is a central part of my life. When my youngest determined to head to “the continent” to complete her education and remained there, while I knew that I would miss her, I also understood her wanderlust. She likely is there for good — or at least a good long while.

I am entranced by the planet’s tall mountains and compelling bodies of water. Upon viewing either, I wonder “what it is like up there” or “how would the swim across be?” It is this pull to be deep into whatever it is. And while often adventure is travel-centric, it is often easily accessible.

And it keeps us a bit honest about this world in which we live.

Currently crossing Twain country I am reminded of his lament:

“Travel is fatal to bigotry and prejudice, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, charitable, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating on one little corner of the earth of one’s lifetime.”

To be sure, one can find adventure without tremendous resources or without venturing far. Because it mostly involves an open-mind. And books, movies, meeting new people and exploring one’s own environment is all part of it.

Things to think about:

Take to the road:

we often traverse the USA. Yes, this takes time and crossing Kansas can seem overwhelming, but even Kansas has small towns and sites worthwhile. Think presidential libraries and the “Wizard of Oz.” Her neighboring state Missouri boasts some rich American history as well. The only way to truly understand the depth and breadth of our country is when up close to the places that built us.

What Anthony Bourdain knew:

while we are not willing to be experimental eaters, to Tony it was more. He knew that to understand food was to understand culture and people. Local customs and cuisine instructs on jobs, agriculture, lifestyle, hopes and dreams. To know a people is to know what they place on their family table.

It doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated:

often on facebook we witness our “friends” on what look to be luxury liners and places only in our dreams. While well appointed hotels, educated tour guides and dress-up restaurants are available in any and all locations, they are certainly not necessary. In fact, I contend that staying close to the ground, among real people and living like the locals do provides the most real experience.

Read:

Learning about where we are and where we are going matters. Diving into the adventure of reading can transport us during the times that we don’t have the ability to go anywhere. There is little better than becoming lost in a book. And don’t be ignorant on the place in which you inhabit at any moment. Your experience is diminished as is your respect for the people with whom you will interact.

Keep your mind wide:

It is often about sense of place and this includes scenery, tourism opportunities and things to do. It is also very much about the people. Talk with people, know them, understand. You will find that, for the most part, humans and their challenges are static around the world. Our struggles, hopes, dreams and challenges are universal. There is no such thing as “we” and “them.”

What Dorothy said:

She let us know that everything she needed was in her own backyard. My interpretation is “don’t miss what is there.” Don’t become so complacent that you miss what is on your block and in your neighborhood. As I head back to Cincinnati, I am planning to participate in:

The August 4th Paddlefest on the Ohio River, and

The September 23rd Bill Keating, Jr Ohio River Swim.

Two examples of adventure at home.

To me, it matters to be out and in it. To smell it, feel it, breath it, live it. All places have something. And all people are interesting.

Always looking out and not in,

Jennifer