An Adventure State of Mind

An Adventure State of Mind

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best adventure quotes
As you might imagine, my life changed pretty drastically when I first started traveling internationally and living abroad. Of course, the external changes are most apparent: where I live, the places I frequent, and what I do on a daily basis. However, much more important to me are the internal changes, those subtle yet significant shifts in perspective that have led me to a much more positive and vital approach to life. Before moving abroad, I took my time and my opportunities for granted – I looked at my hometown and saw a place that, in my mind, had grown stale and lack-lustrous. I was bored of the life I had been living for the past two decades, and as twenty-somethings are often quick to do I assumed the grass was greener on the other side. Now, with the crystal clear view of retrospection, I see that perspective as being wholly unappreciative and even lazy. Not lazy in that I never accomplished anything, but lazy in that I rarely, if ever sought out the many opportunities for adventure that my hometown had to offer.

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Looking back, I just want to kick my old self. I’m from Denver, Colorado, and not to sound biased, but it’s a pretty great place. The air is clean and beautiful, the sun shines 300 days a year on average, the close proximity of the Rocky Mountains offers endless opportunities for any outdoor activity you could imagine, and though Denver is on the smaller side it still offers up the amenities and culture of large, cosmopolitan city. It’s an awesome place to live!! But, I had been there my whole life, and as I said was wholly unappreciative.

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Soon after leaving Colorado, I began to discover a vast myriad of amazing places to go, and interesting things to do, none of which I had ever done, and many that I had never even heard of: an amazing hike here, a beautiful landmark there, and a host of delectable restaurants in the heart of downtown just waiting to be sampled. It’s not that these things weren’t there when I was there, it’s just that I had allowed myself to fall into this mental rut of, “There’s just nothing to do in this town.”

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See, I used to think that doing exciting things and having an adventurous life necessitated having a fat wallet and a one-way ticket to some exotic, faraway place. SO wrong! Now, having lived in Asia for almost two years and having traveled to 8 different countries in that time, I’ve been able to realize just how wrong I was. Adventure is a state of mind. You can have just as many new experiences in your own backyard, as you can trekking through the jungles of Vietnam, as long as you approach the situation with right mindset. On the same cue, you can be just as boring and lazy on a two week trip to Thailand as you can in your own living room.

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Where you are and the dollar amount in your wallet is not nearly as important as your willingness to pursue new experiences and your belief in the limitless potential of each day.

But that lesson that for me was a long time coming.

As I said, I was being a bit lazy, but worse than that I was allowing silly excuses to rule my life. Excuses like – I’m tired, there’s nothing to do anyways, or I don’t have enough money. Though being tired is sometimes a valid reason not to do something, most people, including me, use it way too often. The reality is that if you have a worthwhile reason to be properly rested, you will prioritize getting enough sleep. Additionally, even when you are actually tired – if there is a good enough reason to rally, you will. As to having “nothing to do,” I’ve already touched on that: there was plenty to do, I just wasn’t making the effort to get after it. Now I understand that there is always somewhere you have never been, and always something you have never done, sometimes it just takes a little research and a willingness to make the extra effort.

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As to not having enough money, this is the one that gets me the most. I had plenty of money when I lived in Colorado. Was I rich? No. But I did have enough to pay for my everyday life, as well as maintain a decent rate of savings. For too long, I was so committed to saving money that I never stopped to think: What exactly am I saving for? Money in the bank is little more than a number on a screen. Of course, everyone needs enough to take care of the necessities, but after that point a whole new world of freedom opens up. Now, I’m not saying that you should spend everything and save nothing, but I am saying that if you want to live, save, and pursue an adventurous life, it is definitely possible with the right priorities and the right plan.

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Besides, when you’re 80 years old and looking back at your life, you aren’t going to remember the month you had a higher than average rate of savings, you’re going to remember those experiences that filled your mind with wonder and your heart with joy.

I’ll say it again: Adventure is a state of mind.

These days, rather than sitting on the couch and staring at the TV, I use my nights and weekends sampling new foods, exploring new neighborhoods, and planning my next international trip. I think my greatest takeaway from travel and living abroad, is that I now see each day for its infinite potential.

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I finally understand that you don’t need to cross an ocean to find adventure, nor do you need riches to live outside the ordinary… All you really need is a passionate heart, an open mind, and the relentless will to pursue the life you really want.

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Hi! I’m Morgan – a Colorado native with suburban sensibilities and penthouse dreams. I write about life as a millennial wander, self-improvement through travel, and the realities of teaching English in Korea on my website A Beautiful View. If you’re reading this, it’s a good bet I’m either daydreaming, writing, thinking about food, or considering the timeless question of how to become a “real adult.” I’ve been travelling and living abroad for almost two years now, and I don’t see an end date in sight. So, if you want, feel free to come along as I explore this crazy beautiful world of ours. For more awesome travel pictures and live updates of my travels and various mis-adventures, be sure to check out my Facebook.

 

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