One of the big differences between my sister and I is that she’s more adventurous, while I play it safe and stick to the familiar.
She had a subscription to National Geographic as a kid and did most of the research for a family vacation as a fifth grader. She studied abroad and spent an extra month in South America afterwards. Her future ambitions include world travel and extended stints on other continents.
I don’t have that desire to explore. I like home. I like cultivating more than I like breaking new ground. I feel close to people through meaningful conversations, not new experiences.
I think of the typical travel loving nomad as laid back and easygoing, resistant to structure and boundaries. I tend to freeze without structure, and security in plans can become a sort of idolatry for me.
With most natural tendencies, it pays to challenge them sometimes. There’s value in cultivating, settling and growing roots. I’ve wondered lately, though, what will I miss if I plant myself firmly outside the adventurer camp?
I might not have the travel itch or the curiosity to seek out new experiences constantly, but my adult life has been defined by some big adventures: marriage, two big moves, publishing a children’s book, working in completely new industries.
Though uncomfortable, chances to play the pioneer have accelerated my growth in ways I’d never trade for the comfort of the familiar.
I’ve resisted adventures in the past not so much because I fear change but because they felt self indulgent. What I’m beginning to see is that new experiences foster new growth, and a person who’s growing has so much more to offer her people and the world.
Now that our life has settled some, I’m seeing that I’ll have to push myself to make change and new adventures part of my life.
The PowerSheets Weekend Tending sheet has a place to record “adventures I’m going to have” and “new things I’m going to try.” I often stare at those spaces and leave them blank, and it’s dawning on me that my horizons aren’t going to expand themselves.
Why adventures matter
The more comfortable I get – the more permanent I see my surroundings or work or possessions or even relationships – the more I trust in the circumstances instead of the true God, the more I link security to the tangible instead of the unseen.
Seeking new experiences and adventures isn’t just about having fun, though it is fun. It’s also about staying flexible and open, so that when God says, “go,” it won’t feel completely foreign.
Maybe our adventures will mean traveling the world, living abroad or moving cross country. Maybe they’ll be adventures of the heart that take only the space of an afternoon but change us for good.
Maybe you’ll still live in your hometown but you’ll embark on marriage, entrepreneurship, or parenthood.
To love without walls, to invest in a friend or a spouse or a child when there are no guarantees, (and there never are) – what adventure could be more bold, more exciting, more unknown?
Let’s get uncomfortable and messy and outside the lines. Let’s face our insecurities head on instead of hiding from them.
Whether we travel the world or down the block, let’s venture into the unknown. What can God teach us in the places where the false sense of security fades away, and we are secure in Him alone?
Tell me about your adventures. Also, any suggestion for good weekend adventures! (They don’t have to be deep.)
I love this song, and it applies here: