My adventure sweet spot involves turquoise water and a warm sunny place far away from home. Or short hikes up to beautiful view points along well marked trails. Or long days meandering slowly and getting a little bit lost amongst strange landscapes.
Right now I am snuggled up with 3 cats in someone else’s lovely cosy home next to a warm fire, writing about adventures. Housesitting, at this time, provides me with the perfect comfort/adventure balance.
It has taken me a while to find the right level of adventure for me, and it constantly changes. I used to push myself a lot further out of my comfort zone, but often found myself in situations that didn’t make me feel good.
There is a certain exhilaration that comes with surviving being stuck halfway up a cliff face while your climbing partner tells you they can’t find a way up, but this was not an experience I could keep repeating. There are people that thrive on the epic adventures that trad climbing provides. I am not one of them. Give me a sunny hill walk or a scuba dive in crystal clear tropical water any day.
Travelling to places where I don’t know anyone or speak the language, with no guide book, is fairly within my comfort zone. But I have to know where to find good vegan food or I fall to pieces! That is a step too far outside enjoyable limits for me!
I am very comfortable in the water, and love to dive deep under the sea. Being in water is relaxing for me. I have no fear of sharks and am a strong swimmer. However, big waves scare me, and surfing is way outside my comfort zone. I could be happily lost at sea for hours in a calm warm ocean, but the idea of jumping from a cliff into cold water fills me with dread!
Sometimes adventure finds me, like the time I lost all of my belongings in a huge fire, and was stranded in southeast Asia with no money or passport. Or the time we got flung out of our boat on a whitewater rafting trip and I smashed my face on a rock. Those experiences were far from my sweet spot, but have helped me realise what I want from an adventure.
Sometimes an adventure for me is as gentle as an idyllic drive through the English countryside to visit a local tourist destination. But I also love rollercoasters, travelling alone to exotic places, and wild windy days by the sea. It isn’t so much about the surroundings or activities, as it is about the feeling I get from them.
The point I am trying to make with my disconnected ramblings, is that to find your adventure sweet spot, you have to let go of what you think an adventure should look like. Adventure comes in infinitely many forms, and I have barely scratched the surface here of things I would consider to be an adventure. Everyone is different, and our comfort zones can change every day. What is thrilling for me could be terrifying to someone else, and boring to another person.
Write lists of possible adventures that scare you, or that you would find too stressful, and ones that are well within your comfort zone. Use these to make a new list of ideas for potential adventures that could provide you with just the right level of excitement.
Once you have some ideas, now comes the fun part… trying them out! You may find yourself further outside your comfort zone than you intended, or you may find some experiences less fulfilling than you expected. But over time you will get better at hitting your adventure sweet spot.
The perfect level and type of adventure for you may change all the time, but chasing after it is such a worthwhile activity! So go camping, climb a mountain, take a leisurely walk in a national park, swim in some freezing cold water, light a fire, or book a holiday somewhere warm and sunny. Find that adventure sweet spot, or have fun trying!
I would love to hear your ideas about what makes a good adventure. Do you need an aspect of danger, or do you prefer to feel more at ease while exploring new terrain? Do you have a particular activity that draws you in and keeps you coming back for more, or do you love to try many different things? Leave me a comment below 🙂