Seeking Adventure

by - 3:29 PM

When I was seventeen, my idea of an adventure was driving to the other side of town for a Taco Bell run. As you can tell, my friends and I were very hardcore. Deviant, you could say. Or not.

When I was seventeen, I wouldn't put a toe in the river, even though my friends and I spent our entire summer lounging on a boat in the middle of the Thornapple.

When I was seventeen, I had a 10 o'clock curfew and my Opa would sit perched in his reclining chair, waiting to see car lights shine through the giant bay window in the livingroom. Waiting for me.

When I was eighteen, the curfew was lifted entirely, I got a car of my own and began to learn what it meant to be independent. My Oma quit doing my laundry and I was officially in training to become an adult.
I remember the first time I felt seriously independent. And comfortable with it. I was still just eighteen and struggling through my first real heart break. It seems meaningless now, but I know it sucked really bad because I still remember the suckiness all these years later. In any case, I remember jumping in my car, hitting the road and feeling like the only person I needed was me.

I traveled alone. It was my first real adventure.
I learned an important lesson that day, in my car: independence = adventure.
And adventure = independence.

A year later, I met Ryan and the real adventures began.
Motorcycles entered my life. Road trips, bar burgers and spontaneous vacations to anywhere, anytime, did too.

Last weekend, we went on an adventure. One that began with slick roads, black ice and snow that wouldn't stop.

Oh, but the sun on snow. It's blinding. It's incredible.

We decided last week that it was time for a weekend up north, and 250 miles of ice covered roads weren't going to stop us. We packed up the puppies and hit the road. It took us four hours. I talked, Ryan listened and off we went.

And when is adventure not worth it? Never, right? Because fun is a journey not a destination.

Saturday called for the sky to open up and unleash more snow, because, duh, a few feet isn't enough. And so, Saturday also called for laziness, because, duh, what else do you do on a snowy Saturday?

Few things in life make me happier that cheerful quilts, sleeping puppies and naps all around.
And ice cream.

Sunday was something else. It was bright. There was sun. There was snow.
And there were puppies just dying to play in it.

I love letting my dogs play without putting them on a leash. I love the way being up north means being in a place with few boundaries. I love the way they run around full of energy and I get to watch with a happy grin on my face, because I'm not concerned that a car will drive by and they'll need to chase it. I love the freedom afforded by adventure.
PS - please take note: Jack is an ostrich. Please tell me you see it.

This. This. This.
I love everything about all of this.

All the best things in life begin with an adventure.

I used to think I wasn't an adventurer. I thought it wasn't me. It wasn't in my family.
Two weekends ago, my Oma proved me wrong when she suggested we go out on our own adventure. At 79, she is as fearless as ever. It's mystifying, yet encouraging and down right inspiring.

When we headed downtown to visit a local museum, I was concerned that I couldn't find a parking spot anywhere near our destination. She directed me to a parking garage a couple of blocks away. Then she zipped up her coat, pulled down hat and in the freezing cold, she and I hoofed it from point A to point B.

No big deal.

Then, when we arrived fifteen minutes later and found the museum too packed full of people for our taste, we hoofed it right back.
"At least we got our walk in for the day," she said. Then she laughed.

Half an hour later we were shopping, because she's a gal after my own heart. Or, I'm a girl after her heart? Whichever, we both like the World Market and it's a nice substitute when you can't visit the museum.

I guess adventure is in my family.

When I was seventeen, I could never have foreseen a future in seeking adventure. Or rather, I could never have anticipated the way I'd search for adventure in my normal life. Seventeen-year-old me would have found the long walk to the museum as an inconvenience. She would have found icy roads to be a road block. She also thought dogs were stupid.

But the cool thing about life is that you grow up. Our culture hates aging, yet I guess I've never wished I was younger. And nobody wishes for the alternative to aging. If I've learned anything, it's that growing up is good. Soothing even.

For me, adventure came with growing up. Just one of the many perks.


Happy Tuesday!

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