Making Adventure a Priority

Every now and then, a friend will view one of my nature landscape photos and remark that they wish they could visit some of the atop Clingmans Dome Towermagnificent spots where I’ve hiked or traveled to. I guess it surprises me a bit that others would be envious, mainly because much of my life is spent doing many of the necessary, mundane things just like everyone else. And I’m  just as envious of hikers who have scaled the grand “14ers” in Colorado or those who have mountains dotting the landscape in their own back yards.

Much of our mindset comes from our own perspective. Yet, one major difference in my perspective is that I view adventure, not as optional, but as a priority.

Sometimes that means I take my son out “hiking” with me, even though he’s just coming up on his first birthday. (I’m starting him young!) Other times, it involves taking vacation from work and traveling solo halfway across the country. It may simply include squeezing in an hour at the lake trail or writing a blog about a difficult topic or snapping 200 photos to capture that one “perfect,” magnificent image.

So how do you make adventure a priority, especially in the midst of paying bills, working, spending time with family, shopping for groceries, and engaging in church activities?

1. Create margin. Our schedules are already overloaded. However, until we make a conscious decision to stop saying “yes” to good things while spending the remainder of our time constantly putting out fires, then we will never find the time to pursue the adventures that matter to us.

2. Schedule regular time for adventure. If you don’t carve out time for an adventure, it’s not going to happen. Schedule time to do what makes your heart come alive.

3. Discuss your desires with the family. Come up with a workable solution to allow yourself time to live the adventure, create art, and engage your heart’s desires. If they have the same desires, include them. If not, express your desires openly and honestly.

4. Get uncomfortable. Adventures are meant to stretch us. If you’re not stretching yourself, you’re likely stuck in a place that author Dan Miller refers to as “comfortable misery.”

5. View adventure as quality time with God and bonding time with friends. If you still have trouble making adventure a priority, examine the spiritual and relational benefits. Some of my most rewarding conversations with God and friends have taken place in the middle of the wilderness.

How do you make adventure a priority in your life?