My first big adventure in life, that I remember anyway, began a few months after I turned 7. I vividly recall my small-framed, blonde-haired self as the spotlight of my family’s entertainment. My parents and I stood in the middle of our kitchen floor but it might as well have been a circus tent with me standing center ring. We were moving to Brazil and I had to get that diamond-shaped red pill down. That little pill would protect my stomach from parasites. It was important but my throat sure didn’t think so. It did not go down without drama.
There was yelling and crying and gnashing of teeth and probably some giggling from my sisters in the “stands”. It involved a spoon full of sugar, then a “worm pill” sandwich, what seemed like gallons of water and who knows what else. Eventually, the red pill (sans the red coating which had long worn off) went down and we made it to Brazil early January 1971.
The beginning of any new adventure is both exciting and nerve-wracking for me. I’m not a huge risk-taker but I’m not one who is content to sit still for long either. I suppose this started when I was 7 and learned that the struggle in taking that red pill afforded so many good memories. Adventures involve risk and considerable thinking and planning paired up with tired bodies and brains sometimes months before it even begins.
I know that some people are very content to stay in one place. I recently read about a husband who buried his wife on their farm and in my sadness for him and their family I thought, “Well he can never move now. He can never leave her there.” It’s totally okay for him to stay put. We need those who can “hold down the fort” as well as those who travel the globe. Some people are perfectly content to be grounded and others are called to roam. For me, there is so much of God’s creation that I am compelled to experience, taste and photograph.
My childhood move to Brazil gave me the adventure bug.The experiences were rich. I wanted my family (husband and kids) to move overseas like we did when I was young. From the time we returned from Brazil in 1979, it would be 34 years before I would use my passport again. My grown up family moved to Singapore in 2009 and during our time there I had pages added to my passport twice. Our goal was to see and experience and taste everything we could possibly fit in. We crammed a whole lot of life and some amazing adventures into our 4 years there. We jokingly said we might leave Singapore broke but we wouldn’t leave with regrets. Fortunately, we didn’t leave broke and regarding our adventures, we didn’t leave with any regrets. We came, we saw, we ate…
By definition, adventure as a verb is: to engage in hazardous and exciting activity, especially the exploration of unknown territory. (Merriam-Webster) Give me exciting but leave off the hazardous, please. I’m a bit of a risk-taker but I’m certainly not one to jump from an airplane or throw my life off of a bridge tied to a large rubber band. Travel adventures are my favorite but I also love the adventure of a new restaurant or the tasting of a delicious cup of coffee or glass of wine.
With a very fat and well-worn passport, I can tell you with confidence that beginning a new adventure always comes with its share of chaos. It starts with some amount of agony. If it’s not pill swallowing then it’s immunizations or the financial expense of tickets and hotels and rental cars. And then there’s the packing…. packing is my nemesis. I despise packing a suitcase or a box. Like swallowing that pill, we have to jump some hurdles for the adventure to begin. I think this is why many stay at home. The beginning is too hard.
My husband and I have gotten better at it over the years. Beginning new adventures, that is. We realistically know what we’re facing and we face it head on. My engineer husband begins the spreadsheet and I start planning my wardrobe, buying all the travel-sized Bath & Body Works goodies and getting the camera ready. We start working down the list and get it done, even the packing because we know what’s on the other side waiting for us – a new adventure. My first adventure may have begun with the struggle of swallowing one tiny red pill but I can now swallow a palm full of large pills (aka supplements) like a boss.
We also face our adventures with a whole lot of faith. The fear of the unknown plays a big part in beginning a new adventure. It gives us immeasurable fortitude to withstand the trials of new adventures to know that God is with us. When hard times hit, be it homesickness, loneliness or just trying to figure out where to buy milk, we can fall back on all of those prayers we prayed as well as God’s confirmation that we are where He wants us to be. We are doing what He wants us to be doing. He brought us to it and He will bring us through it.
My passport beckons. It’s been calling out to me from our locked down safe for three and a half years now. That, my friends, is what I call a travesty! Starting with a trip to Switzerland in a couple of months, we are looking forward to some big new adventures in our future. Bring on the “red pill”! We’ll conquer the chaos with a spoon full of sugar and a spreadsheet… but we’re going!
What new adventure is on your horizon? What exciting activity do you have planned or would you like to plan that will enable you to explore unknown territory? Your adventure could be overseas, on a plate or right in your back yard. Adventure doesn’t require a passport or a cushy bank account. Let the adventure begin!