Finding adventure in the life we already have
I re-watched The Secret Like of Walter Mitty last week. It’s the story of a very average guy with a tedious existence whose imagination is his only escape. His daydreams take him into a world of fantasy, offering some respite to his otherwise mundane daily life. But when his job comes under threat, Walter is forced to take action, embarking on a global journey that turns into a real life adventure more extraordinary than anything he could have ever imagined.
I love this film. Watching it, though, brought feelings to the surface that have been lingering for some time, just out of reach of my conscious mind. The only way I can describe those feelings is as a soul ache. It’s like the craving deep within in me for something more was stirred.
It reminded me that human beings are wired for adventure. I found myself reflecting on all the travel I got to do in the past: trips to Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, as well as numerous visits to America. And I miss that. Having young kids puts these kinds of travel adventures out of reach.
I found myself thinking about all the people I met in these countries and how much I’d love to see many of them again. But I was quickly saddened as I can’t see any immediate path to that happening any time soon.
These feelings are normal, I think. Most people love to travel and visit new places and make new friends. That said, I don’t think travel is the only way for life to feel like an adventure. We don’t have to go to the ends of the earth to feel alive and awakened.
So this soul ache that watching the story of Walter Mitty triggered, pointed me to do some self-reflection. And I realised that the soul ache was not so much for travel—much as I’d truly love to do more of that—it was for adventure.
I need some more spice in my life. More challenges. More new experiences.
There is no point pining for what isn’t possible right now. I need to shift my focus to what I can change here and now. And living an adventurous life, in the midst of all the realities of my current everyday life, is a choice I can make. It’s my call.
So that’s what I’m going to do.