We live in a world full of expectations, unrealistic goals, and shattered dreams. The way out of that is to cast aside what other people think and seek out everyday adventure.
I believe everyday adventure is at the heart of every one of us, but few of us actually experience it. It is something we seek internally, deep within our soul. However, we have been conditioned by society and culture to believe it is unattainable. We have replaced it with other things that will never fill the void.
We also tend to relate adventure to the once in a lifetime trip around the world that is so cost prohibitive no one can afford to do it. Therefore, it is something that is always out of reach.
I believe there is adventure all around us if we are open to seeing it and willing to take advantage of it. It could be:
- A trip to the city park geocaching
- Hiking in a state park
- A museum trip in a big city
- Fishing at a local pond
- Or, a hundred other things outside your front door
As a whole, we need to change the definition of what adventure is to the point where we actually believe it is attainable for everyday folks, including ourselves.
When opportunity of adventure presents itself, we need to take advantage of it.
You may ask, what does this mean? Good question. In the most simple form, it means we need to be ready and willing to make the most of the opportunities that come our way. It may be the most basic of things. For instance, maybe you are a runner and it's one of your favorite things to do recreationally. You happen to be on your way home from work and you see a new nature trail that just opened up. Being ready to take advantage of this opportunity would mean having your gear with you, you pull over at the trail head, you put on your gear, and you go for a run.
Maybe you like to fish and every other Saturday on your way to the hardware store you pass a prime looking fishing spot. Taking advantage of this would mean you throw your fishing gear in your rig and have it ready the next time you drive by. It doesn't mean you fish every body of water you come across, being ready just provides you the means to take advantage of opportunities when they show up.
Adventure in preparedness
This is where “preparedness” and EDC come into play. For some, being able to assist someone in a medical emergency is an "adventure" in and of itself. I'm not talking about finding pleasure in the misfortune of others. What I'm saying is having the right medical gear available or on you allows you the opportunity to take advantage of a situation instead of being a victim or bystander in it. Be prepared when heading out, but don’t get paralysis through preparation.
When we are prepared and confident in that preparation, we are more willing to engage in more "adventurous" activities. When we are prepared, we feel like we can say yes and we won't second guess ourselves. It removes a lot of the common excuses we like to use to get out of doing things.
Adventure in the norm
We need to look at what inspires us to be adventurous and exploit it. What is an adventure to you? Skydiving, fishing, hiking, exploring urban areas, trying new food, taking the kids to swim in a river, taking a road trip, climbing a mountain, quitting your job, moving somewhere new, volunteering, going on a mission trip? Adventure doesn’t have to be hazardous or full of danger, it could simply be a break from the norm.
We have the time and opportunity to find adventure and our lives crave it. I believe we were created for it. Unfortunately, we fill it with unfulfilling stuff. We have bought into the narrative of going to school, graduating, getting a good job, buying a house and two cars, charging up tons of consumer debt and ultimately becoming a slave to the system. This can feel overwhelming and it can be hard to see a way out of it.
It happened to my wife and me. Not to plagiarize my own stuff, but here is a snippet from our “ About us” page that gives a little about me:
“I grew up in small-town Texas, although I'm not sure you could call where I'm from a "town" as it's never had a stoplight. My Mom would give me a dollar in the morning, just enough to buy a Dr Pepper and a candy bar at the convenience store, and I'd be off. My time was spent outside, sneaking into the peanut mill, building tree houses, catching crawdads to sell, lighting things on fire, and mowing yards for money.
As I got older, graduated from school, got married, and moved away to much bigger places, I found myself far away from the life of adventure that I spent so many years dreaming about. One day my wife and I discovered we had both been thinking ... This is not the kind of life we imagined we'd have. We wanted a fulfilling life instead of the one everyone else expected us to live. We had the choice, or option, to show our kids how to dream big, put ourselves out there, and to pursue adventure, no matter how big or little it seemed.
I quit my job, moved, and started a shop that would give others what they needed to dream big, put themselves out there, and to pursue adventure. We believe that adventure is not just the big bucket list trip you take. It's also in the small things. It's about pursuing adventure every day.”
My ultimate goal with Option Gray is to provide people with the education, inspiration, and gear for people to go out and find adventure on their own.