There comes a point in the life of every blogger when they realize that their content has outgrown their organizational strategy… and this particular conundrum came for me in 2017. For months, I'd been reading and rereading my posts, trying to figure out a way to unite my full-time job in finance with my passions for travel and writing while not ignoring the fact that I just bought a (surprisingly needy) fifties fixer upper that I’m primarily renovating myself.
I was failing at making it all work together here on the blog. Miserably.
Then suddenly, I had an idea...
There is a unifying theme to everything that is going on in my life, and therefore, on this blog:
I choose adventure.
The Official Definition
Unsurprisingly, the word "adventure" always made me think of travel. While the actual definition certainly applies to travel, it is a bit wider than that. Oxford Dictionary defines adventure as: "An unusual and exciting or daring experience."
Unusual? Exciting? Daring?
I’ll be the first to admit those descriptions don't apply to everything I do in my life… but in general, "unusual, exciting or daring" is the goal.
Is it Possible to Choose Adventure at Work?
One of the issues that I’ve always had as a blogger who writes about travel is that I don’t make the argument that working full-time is selling out or wasting your life. It would be inauthentic for me to make that kind of argument about the nine to five, because I live that life on a daily basis. And this might be a stretch for any travel bloggers who stop by to read this post from their hostel balconies in Thailand... but full-time work itself can be an adventure.
It would be hard to argue that doing the exact same job for 30 years after you’ve learned everything there is to learn, while never changing companies, roles or responsibilities and never learning, growing or doing anything new could be called an adventure. However, I’ve been working for four and a half years full time at this point, and while there are some people that choose the career trajectory I outlined in the previous sentence, in my experience those people are few and far between. Personally, I’ve worked at two companies since graduating from university and have technically held a total of five different job roles.
So while I do have to get dressed in business attire and go into an office, I’ve personally made sure to keep what I’m doing in that office as interesting as I possibly can. As soon as I learn how to do something, I’m looking to learn how to do something else. While I’ll admit that “daring" might be a bit of a stretch, I’ve definitely angled for (and ultimately moved into) some job roles that I was probably under qualified for if we are being completely honest. But I love being forced to learn new things quickly… that's how I keep work interesting.
How to Choose Adventure Outside of Travel
Adventure might not be the obvious choice when you live permanently in one place and spend most of your life doing a few big time-consuming things… like 40+ hours a week working. I think it is easy to get into a bit of a rut, or get comfortable, when your lifestyle isn’t forcing you to move physical locations and take leaps outside your comfort zone on a regular basis (this has certainly happened to me in the past).
But choosing adventure isn’t always as complicated as we make it out to be.
Some synonyms for unusual: unexpected, surprising, unfamiliar, different, out of the ordinary.
Some synonyms for exciting: appealing, interesting, moving, thrilling.
Some synonyms for daring: bold, undaunted, gutsy.
Ultimately, choosing adventure is as simple as choosing to do something new.
This could be something you wouldn’t normally do, or something you think would be interesting, or just something out of the ordinary in your everyday life. About the only rule here is that you have to make a choice to do something. It can arguably be anything, but it has to be something. In general, action breeds momentum… the hardest adventure to start will be your first adventure, but that choice will make it much easier to keep choosing adventure going forward.
Some adventure ideas to get you started: Visit a new park, coffee shop, museum or neighborhood in your current city. Stop and have a conversation with a stranger or coworker you wouldn’t normally talk to. Attend a play, musical, concert, ballet or performance. Read a book in a genre or by an author you’re unfamiliar with. Take a language, cooking, creative writing, art, photography, dance or calligraphy class. Move to a new job role at work.
My Current Adventures… and Yours
Outside my nine to five adventures at work, I’ve taken on a daring, exciting, and unusual project this year (HAHA): I bought my very own piece of America’s hottest real estate market in Nashville, TN, which I’m lovingly referring to as the “fifties fixer upper”. While the house still needs a lot of work, I’m making some progress, and hope to have some before-and-after shots to share with you soon. I’m also working to tackle my list of 2017 resolutions, which includes a goal to read 50 books this year that is surprisingly on track at this point... solidifying the fact that I’m a nerd, but since I’ve used both a dictionary and thesaurus to write this post, I’m pretty sure you already knew that!
Going forward, I’m going to be thinking about the fact that I choose adventure as a central, unifying theme on this blog. I’ve got some ideas on how I can use that theme to help me corral some of this disorganized content, and hope to finalize those ideas during my upcoming December Staycation.
In the meantime, I’d love to hear from you about how you choose adventure in your everyday life... wherever that everyday life takes place and whatever that everyday life looks like. Feel free to share your thoughts and ideas in the comments!