My One Day Adventure (No Excuses): Get Up and Go.
Do you have a lust for adventure, sit at your desk in your office longingly staring out the window dreaming of far away lands, vast crisp blue oceans and perfectly white sandy beaches? Well you’re not alone. The majority of nine to fivers feel the same way. The last party I attended I found myself engaged in multiple conversations about people dreaming of going off on an adventure, “one day”, “when the time is right”, because right now “its just financially unfeasible”. It seemed each such conversation was met with a steady stream of common excuses for why people were not currently adventuring.
“Adventure doesn’t have to mean heading half way around the world for six months. Adventure can be as simple as getting up one day, getting a train to just outside the city and navigating your way back by the means of a map or compass.”
When I woke up the next day, once the hangover had cleared and the coffee kicked in, I started thinking to myself, why don’t I go on an adventure? Why don’t I just get up and go?
So there I was standing on platform number six at Waverly station, fixie bike in one hand and my wallet in the other, the only other possession I had taken on my impromptu adventure was a partially detailed map of Scotland.
Why had I chosen today to adventure? Was the weather nice? Had I just won the lottery? Did I have a months vacation saved up? No, completely the opposite. As I look back it was the exact kind of weather that would make most adventuring newbies decide to leave it for another day. The intermittent rain was as indecisive as I had been about leaving the house to do this in the first place. I had maybe 15 pounds in my pocket plus the train ticket I had just purchased and I had to be back on site at work for 7am the following morning; what was I doing?!
I was on the train, going from Edinburgh to Queensferry. No I do not mean Queensland. It may not be a million miles away, but this is the point I’m setting out to make, adventure doesn’t have to mean heading half way around the world for six months. Adventure can be as simple as getting up one day, getting a train to just outside the city and navigating your way back by the means of a map or compass. You will still get new experiences, meet new people and it will most certainly disperse the stress of day to day life!
So I had arrived, the rain was now more aggressive and thoughts of Netflix and dominoes danced through my head, but I was not to be defeated. I mounted my bike and after studying the map I pushed on back in the direction of home and warmth.
After about fifteen minutes the weather was on my side, as the rain subsided I felt wonderful and my eyes really opened, I paid close attention to sounds, people and whatever was in my view. All the stress about going to work the next day disappeared and was replaced with a sense of calm and appreciation of my surroundings.
I glanced up to the now pale blue skies and witnessed a red kite dancing freely in the wind. There were no sounds of cars or telephones or televisions, just me and nature. I was discovering new paths and trails with little idea of where I was going and if I was travelling in the right direction… I was on an adventure.
The most crucial part of my plan for this day was there was no plan! I made the decision that I would stop at the first café I came across for lunch and a coffee. Not knowing when or where that would be made it all more satisfying when I got there.
I spied a small roadside cafe and once I had locked up my bike and come inside, I was greeted with a friendly smile. It was just me and the barista so I made a conscious effort to try and start a conversation with him. We got on to the topic of rugby and conversation was flowing from there on.
When I left I realised if I hadn’t left my house today I would not have had the experience of witnessing the red Kite, people watching at the train station or my short yet compelling conversation with a stranger.
After cycling for a further 20 minutes I was back within reach of my Edinburgh flat, I was sad the experience was over but I was grateful of my short adventure.
Once I opened my front door and put on the kettle, I realised I had done it, I had experienced an adventure. Costing me less than twenty pounds, and all within an afternoon, it really had been that easy.
So I challenge you to do the same. All you need is a bike, a map and your wallet. Don’t think about it, just get up and go!
I will leave you with the wise words of Hurun Yahya “I always wonder why birds choose to stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on earth, then I ask myself the same question.”