“Let me tell you about the days of high adventure,” Conan the Barbarian says. Adventure is defined as an exciting or unusual experience. If this is the case most of my life has been an adventure. It is probably a combination of my DNA and my upbringing but I have never settled for the boring or mundane.
I could now add a few of the thousands of sayings that I see every day on social media for example, “Life is not about the breaths you take but about the moments that take your breath away.” The problem I have with most of these sayings is that people read them and think “yes that’s me” and “if only” then go back to their computer screen, dreaming about one day going on an adventure.
For me it was inevitable that I was going to live a life of adventure or a life of exciting and unusual experiences. My Father, by the time he was 25, had already been around the world a few times in the Navy. I still love hearing stories about the tattoo he got in India that was spelled wrong because the artist didn’t speak English and my Dad has an accent. Or the time they delivered a bus to a place in Africa where they couldn’t dock and had to put it on a raft to get it to shore. These are some of the amazing stories of adventure my Dad had when he was younger with the photographs to back up the stories. Even now he gets itchy feet if he stays in one place too long. My Mom on the other hand is no different. I remember when I was younger watching her competitively sky dive in the late 60s, early 70s. Even now, my parents are retired and my Dad is 76 (We never talk about Mom’s age), they were telling me about zip lining in Costa Rica a few months ago. Mom also said, after trying out my motorcycle, that maybe they should do that too.
With parents like that how could you not always be looking for your next big adventure? After I finished high school, I thought, like my father, that I needed to see the world and what better way than to join the military. I did see some of the world while I was in uniform but not as much as my father. The difference was Britain’s military compared to Canada’s. Britain had the budget and colonies at that time all over the world, whereas because of Canadian Government at that time, the Canadian Forces had no budget. I’m still trying to see as much of the world as I can during my time on this planet and because of my enthusiastic wife I don’t see that being curtailed.
Not only did I get a thirst for adventure from my parents but I also married a woman that comes from a long line of adventurers. She is a direct descendent of Benjamin Franklin and Sir Alexander MacKenzie. It’s no wonder we are always looking for the next exciting experience. Her parents are very busy people constantly experiencing all that life has to offer. I can’t imagine what they would have been like when they were younger as they put on more miles in a year than some airplane pilots and they are now in their eighties. Whether it’s a church camp out in the lower mainland or a concert (yes they go to concerts) in the Okanagan, to driving down to the states for the weekend to visit relatives, or to their annual trip to Arizona and back. I’m thirty years younger and I would have a hard time keeping up.
I’m not talking all about my adventures just to say “Hey look at me.” I’m telling you so that you can experience your own. I find it very sad that the current generation is not experiencing life as much as they should and in a lot of ways I blame technology. It’s easier to watch someone skiing through their GoPro camera than it is to drive up to the hill and put on a pair of skis or a snowboard. Years ago I had a buddy that split up with his wife of many years and as we talked I realized he had not experienced life at all. He grew up and went to school where he was born, got a local apprenticeship, married his high school sweetie and never traveled more than three hours from where he was born. We got him a passport and a plane ticket and he hasn’t looked back, travelling and seeing the world as much as he can.
If the millennium generation is going to have any kind of real adventures they will need to start weaning themselves from some technology. You cannot experience all that life has to offer if your nose is buried in a smart phone, tablet, computer or game console. So I challenge all you twenty-somethings. Like any addiction I know it’s hard to quit cold turkey so let’s start slowly. Let’s see if you can go one day not looking at Facebook. If you think about it Facebook is showing you all the adventures your “friends” are taking and you are really just living vicariously through them. For that one day, go on an adventure, even if it’s just a long walk, drive or bike ride. Take some photos and post those but don’t look at anyone else’s post just for that one day. Then maybe for the next step go for two days, then a week. Do we really need to know what all those “Friends” are doing? Instead of looking at your news feed thinking, wow, that looks fun, be the one who people say that about. Be the person who people think, “how do they do all that”, because the reason they can’t do the same is this addiction to current technology. Don’t get me wrong, I love technology, but find the balance. I just returned from a 1,500 km trip on my motorcycle and you can’t hold your smart phone when you’re riding. Here’s hoping August brings you many adventures.