Adventures come in many different forms. Mine are often nature-based, or outdoor-based of some kind - a traditional pursuit of 'adventurous hobbies' if you like. But running my own business, designing and launching new offerings, becoming a mum, and working on making future life plans happen also all feel like An Adventure.
So what is it that makes something an adventure? For me, part of what makes something feel adventurous is the combination of excitement and anticipation, with a slight tinge of fear or apprehension. Everyone has a different level of what makes an 'adventure.' For some, a nice walk in the Pentlands would simply be a Sunday afternoon stroll. For others, that's an adventure. For some, a trip into town on the bus is just commuting. For others, its an adventure! It doesn't matter what level you're at, or where your adventures take place, there's an adventure out there for you!
Spending time with Maisie has made me realise that toddlers have an adventure every time they leave the house. Everything is exciting! 'Look, a bus!', 'A robin!' 'What's that?!', 'A pigeon!', 'Ants!', 'Ooooh, a flower!' 'A stick!', 'A bottle top!' Literally everything is exciting.
And at some point, we grow up. We lose that sense of adventure in every day life. It must be some combination of having seen it all before, not even seeing it this time (head in phone as you're walking along perhaps?), and being a bit old and jaded. I love walks with Maisie, as it really gets me to appreciate everything through a new set of eyes.
Even taking her together as a couple, rather than one of us going alone, felt like a step back towards a previous normality, when we'd think nothing of just packing everything in the car and heading off for a weekend adventure. And this was truly going to be an adventure.
Now, every outing out of the house has a tendency to feel like an expedition, with nappy bags, spare clothes, snacks, a choice of two prams (off road and huge, or lightweight and dinky.) and a 15-minute negotiation/fight to get said toddler dressed for the outdoors - and that's just to go out to Lidl around the corner.
So when Phil said that the mountain he's got left to do in that area requires a bike ride down a track into it before you even start climbing, I was a little apprehensive. That sounds like a Big Day Out. With multiple ways it could go wrong (see my previous email about getting 4 punctures on an hour-long bike ride....)
But then I remembered that I'm a Strong Adventurous Woman. And that toddlers are just small people who can do pretty much anything the big people can do, with the right clothes and equipment. And with the added advantage that this particular toddler is the offspring of two Strong Adventurous Parents and we're all a bit bonkers sometimes.
And so we planned an actual grown-up adventure out in the mountains. Fair enough, for the two of us adults, it would have been an adventure of moderate rating. With a toddler in tow, it was suddenly an Expedition.
The track turned out to be 'quite bumpy.' Poor Maisie was bounced around a fair bit, and varied between wailing inconsolably, shouting 'get out' and singing 'the people on the bus bounce up and down.' She tolerated the hour-long cycle fairly well overall, and even agreed that she enjoyed it when I asked her. (A toddler's word should never been taken as truth though, she also told me she'd flown on an aeroplane that morning, and I know that isn't true!)
A quick stop for Lunch Number 1 at the bothy, and we locked the bikes up and loaded up the backpacks. For some reason, I got the joy of carrying our 11kg toddler (as well as towing her trailer as the trailer attachment was 'already on my bike.') while Phil carried the snacks, water, and spare clothes (which was also fairly heavy despite having eaten Lunch 1.)
The backpack is a much happier affair for Maisie. She has always loved it, although we were a little apprehensive about how she'd cope in the first backpack outing since she's started walking herself. Turns out we were serenaded by multiple songs (repeatedly) including some interesting mash-ups. ("The wheels on the bus go round and round, round the twinkle twinkle little star, how I wonder what you are, Alllllll Daaaaay Loooooong.")
She also seemed to find my jumping over streams, boggy bits or peat hags hilariously funny! Which was good for all of us, as it was a wet, boggy, peat-haggy kind of walk towards the end. Much cackling laughter was had, even though a few gentle snow showers. She'd laugh, then we'd laugh at her laughing, and then she'd laugh again at us laughing.
Lunch Number 3 at the bottom, which mainly consisted of cake and chocolate by this point, and then the cycle out, which I had been dreading a bit, but turned out to be mostly down hill (I thought it was just the trailer weight making it seem hard on the way up!) Back at the car just before sunset!
What a day! A proper good adventure out. A (mostly) happy toddler who found her own joy in peat hags and bogs, and two knackered but very satisfied parents. It's proved to me that, while little person adventures are great to help me appreciate the joy in ants, beetles, bits of rubbish and whatever other random things she points at, its also good to reconnect with my own sense of adventure - to explore into the unknown, to feel that slight apprehension alongside the excitement.
So ask yourself, when did you last have an adventure? What could you do to reconnect with your sense of adventure? What adventure is next?
Big or small, get in touch and let me know!
If you'd like help figuring it out, get in touch, or consider some one-to-one coaching, or attending one of the Wellbeing Retreats or personal development courses that I run.