Updated: Apr 2, 2021
Exploring ways to redefine adventure in your life amidst an unprecedented time of adversity and uncertainty.
I love traveling.
It is one of the things I miss most since we had to lockdown.
I miss traveling so much that I almost find myself YEARNING for the days of being manhandled by TSA or waiting shoulder-to-shoulder with strangers as we wait in front of the baggage carousel.
For me, traveling is the ultimate adventure. You meet new people, try new things, see new places — there’s nothing quite like it.
Unfortunately, most of what I described isn't as accessible during the height of the pandemic. In the early moments of the crisis, I had to come to grips with the fact that adventure would have to take a back seat for the time being. It wasn’t ideal, but it was the reality of the situation we were in.
Or was it?
About three months into my quarantine, I had a shift in my being.
Instead of operating from the lens of “there is no way to adventure anymore”, I opened myself to the possibility of “how can I create an adventure in my life?”
I became enlightened to the belief that adventure is what you decide it to be.
Just because traditional avenues towards new ventures typically involved extensive Google flights searches, that doesn’t mean that is the only pathway to the desired experience.
This reframe unlocked so many possibilities. My creative juices started flowing again, it was the catalyst that led to 2020 filled with unexpected adventures that are among the greatest I’ve pioneered followed by a period of living in the furthest reaches of my adventure threshold in 2021.
As you read, I encourage you to reflect upon your relationship to adventure and ask yourself if you, like I initially did, fell victim to the story playing inside the mind that adventure wasn’t possible.
In reality, it merely takes a shift in your belief to create what you desire, a sprinkle of creativity, and a declaration for action.
It is your responsibility and choice to declare how you wish to breathe life into the experiences you seek. But just to give you some food for thought, here are some ideas and things that I have done as I redefined adventure for myself.
Low Gradient Adventuring: Revisit an unfamiliar physical activity
At first glance, this may not seem particularly riveting but I encourage you not to overlook the impact that engaging in a new or unfamiliar physical activity can offer. Any activity that gets your body moving, heart pumping, and mind activated -- whether that be biking, swimming, or even something like cornhole or pingpong -- that is the sweet spot you’re looking for.
For me, this was a socially distanced bike ride through Central Park last April. I had never been on a distanced bike ride before but at the time, I was desperate. My buddy Max lent me his roommate’s spare road bike, we masked up and proceeded to bike 22 miles throughout NYC over the next three hours.
It was a thrilling sensation to be in motion after basically being fused to my couch for the preceding two months. I was also unexpectedly gifted the opportunity to witness NYC in an eerily still state that I’ll likely never encounter again - which was beautiful in itself. The rush of energy fueled my belief that so much more was available than I let myself believe. There are many ways to still seek new thrills and I have the ability to make it so.
Medium Gradient Adventuring: Roadtrip!
I feel like road trips are becoming somewhat of a lost art in our age of catching flights. There is something that feels ritualistic - almost sacred in getting behind the wheel to experience the wonder of the open road. In a period of social distancing, a good old-fashioned road trip may offer the perfect escape from the mundane and inject a redeeming change of scenery in your life.
After that bike ride along with a few distanced hikes and various exercise outlets in the city, I felt it was the right time to kick it up a notch. I called my girlfriend and asked if she was interested in driving across the country with me for the best fifth date of all-time. After a brief hesitation, she said “let’s do it”. We crafted a rough itinerary for our trip, rented a car, booked a few hotels, and hit the road.
We traveled from Brooklyn to San Diego over a 15 day period that included stops in Cleveland, St. Louis, Denver, Las Vegas, Alberquire, and Los Angeles. After years of traveling internationally to scratch my adventure itch, I was amazed by the majesty of traveling the countryside of the States. The road trip was exhilarating, liberating, and reminded me what it felt like to really feel alive. Once I had etched this journey into my life resume, my ceiling for adventure was forever raised.
The freedom of this experience cemented the idea that outside circumstances didn't completely dictate what I could create in life with purposeful desires fueling my efforts. I pledged that from then on, I would be an advocate for what I wanted to experience. No longer would I ask for permission - from myself included - to live how I wanted. Are you doing the same?
High Gradient Adventuring: Live in a new city!
A physical change of scenery can have a drastic impact in how you experience life. As the world shifts to a more digital one for a growing number of professionals, the commute to work is becoming one less thing tethering you to where you live.
As much as I love traveling, I had oddly never seriously considered the idea of living in another country. I had a very reactive mindset towards the idea, always waiting for the perfect opportunity to validate the move.
As my girlfriend and I contemplated how to create our next adventure breakthrough, we saw a unique opportunity -- in that moment, that the typical limitations of geographical boundaries no longer had a hold on us. We immediately started searching for the experience we wanted to create.
We knew we wanted to be in warm weather -- beaches were a must. It was also important to us to live in a place that was markedly different than New York City.
After a few days of deliberation, we made the bold decision to move out of our wonderful Brooklyn apartment and begin a new year in a new country.
On January 2, 2021 we touched down in the Dominican Republic, and we’ve been living comfortably in Cabarete ever since. After a few months living abroad, I’m touched by how much of an impact that physical environment can have on mental, spiritual, and emotional wellbeing. Living in a remote kite-surfing town has fostered a life of simplicity.
This adventure has allowed me the space to show up more fully to my coaching clients and in my relationship. It has enabled me to experience life through a more empowered lens. We didn’t realize how much pandemic scar tissue had built up throughout the periods of isolation, being relegated to tiny spaces, and the never ending shitstorm of social and political upheaval, but it was definitely there.
Creating the opportunity to meander in a tropical paradise surrounded by palm trees, crashing waves, and soothing tropical vibes (video above) served as the best medicine and the perfect adventure.
As we've become accustomed to our new normal, it's grounding to remember that we’re living through an unprecedented time in our history. I invite you to not live under a limiting belief that adventure is dead or on hold until COVID-19 is a distant memory.
I implore you to take on the following actions:
Intentionally shift your relationship with adventure and possibility
Identify how you can experience adventure in a way that best serves you
Leverage that vision and belief to spark creative energy
Make a move and do the damn thing!
Seriously, the possibilities are limitless.
The reframe of belief can be applied to all areas of your life. The sentiments are true in your career, relationships, life purpose -- you name it. There is so much possibility when you look at what you desire through the lens of creation, creativity, and being at cause for what you seek.
This is a fundamental element of coaching -- shifting life context to create momentum and possibilities in your life. Strap in your seatbelt and prepare for cruising altitude for your next life adventure. Godspeed.
If you feel inspired to take action in your relationship towards adventure or another area of your life after reading this blog, please share your declaration and what manifested in your life. It’s impossible to know how much we can impact each other by sharing stories.