In my experience, adventure leads to the desire for more. As we open ourselves up to new ideas, to uncertainty, to learning from others, new questions arise. Life seems more complete, yet simultaneously, I’m aware there is so much more to do, see, and experience.
More than a year ago, I found myself in a cozy London hotel room. The floor to ceiling windows framed a typical English, October evening. Classic street lamps illuminated a gentle fog. Pedestrians bustled in their overcoats. The glow of the West End marquees flickered from around the corner. It was the perfect evening for a new idea to brew. Staring at me from the coffee table was a travel magazine. I began thumbing through the pages and something happened: my heart sank at images of a camel caravan crossing a desert. I turn the pages again and there sulphur springs boiled onto the ground surface that resembled that of an alien landscape. Then a picture of lava flowing from Erta Ale into the world’s longest-existing lava lake. This was a feature story on the Danakil Desert in Eastern Ethiopia and it held me hostage. The temperatures reach 127°F and ground level is 150 feet below sea level. In this desert, three giant tectonic plates meet but are slowly drifting apart. And here the indigenous Afar mine salt, the oldest currency in the world. Reading the story, I was transported back to that golden time as a child, when awe and adventure outshined any lingering dangers.
A land unlike any others I have ever seen before. That curiosity bug kicks in… I knew one day soon, I would cross the desert on foot. I knew I had to.
In the spirit of creating life, rather than passively accepting what comes my way, I’m stepping up to meet this challenge. In doing so, I am excited about the like-minded souls I’ll meet along the way, but even more interested in the ones that may not look, act or come from backgrounds like mine. Knowing we are more connected than divided, the differences only adding flavor. To choose to live life fully, full of curiosity, and connected to our world and neighbors, near or far, this is the ultimate act of rebellion in our country today. It also feels like the right thing to do.
Tips to begin adventure:
1. Give yourself permission to dream once again. Ask “what if?”
2. Write down goals and what it is you want to achieve.
3. Be open. In the words of author Jen Sincero, “Your job isn’t to know the how; it’s to know the what and to be open to discovering, and receiving the how.”