Oh, adventure. Ever so glamorized, highly idolized, and passionately sought after. We all love the feeling of adrenaline rushing through us and the feelings of happiness afterwards.
Some people would probably say that I’m an adventurous person, but I don’t think I’m all that daring. I’ve lived and traveled in different countries, I’ve done things and sought opportunities I didn’t think I would, but I’m honestly not much of a risk taker. I like my safety and comfort. I like trying new things…but only to a certain extent. Adventure usually involves a little bit of danger, and if you know me you’ll know that I do not run head first into danger. I’m always that overly concerned ‘parent’ friend standing far away in the corner saying, “guys, maybe we shouldn’t……” (I have definitely had people use “goody-two-shoes” with intent to hurt me, but..hey, they ain’t wrong.)
But perhaps we’re all just adventurous in our ways. Maybe my idea of adventure is is going to a new place, and the element of danger is the idea that maybe we’ll….get a little lost. For others, it may be packing up their lives and moving to a place where they don’t know a soul and who knows if they’ll be back, if they’ll have a job, or if they’ll even like it. And others may just like to try those exciting restaurants. The best adventures are wherever you feel out of your comfort zone..and sometimes I really need people to push me there.
To keep this from being an ultra-boring post, I’ll leave you with a story from the most adventurous time in my life, my semester abroad.
We had been in London for about a week at this point, and us foreign kids were going to all kinds of welcome events and orientations and such. Luckily, I had one good friend with me whom I knew well, so I didn’t have to try to make friends all by myself. We met this group of girls from our home school’s study abroad program who we didn’t know. They told us they were planning a trip to Ireland that weekend and that we could come if we wanted. They seemed nice enough, but we had literally just met them all but a few hours ago. But we thought, hey, why not.
We booked our transportation – a 13 hour journey including two charter buses and an overnight ferry, and our hostel – a shabby looking place..but it offered a free tour of a few places outside of the city. Well. Why not.
After a long commute on public transportation to get to where our buses were departing, we were lost. Where the heck is the entrance to this place? We have no cell phone service or data because we’re international. We ask around and finally find it. Whew. Except two from our group were coming a bit later, and they were running late and cutting it close. Were they going to make it? Was the bus going to leave without them?
Well, they made it, and we miraculously all made it on the bus. We left London at around 4 pm, drove 4.5 hours on one bus, 2.5 hours on another, and made it to this isolated ferry station in the middle of nowhere..somewhere in Wales? It’s like, 12 am and our ferry leaves at 2 am. Yup. So we sit on the floor, charging our phones, trying to nap, and getting to know each other more. We finally get on our 3-hour ferry ride (that’s on this huge cruise ship…def not the ferry I was imagining) and we are so excited for something that isn’t so janky that we only get maybe an hour of sleep, and we sleep on cushioned chairs and benches in a random section of the ship. I thought to myself, “we could have just flown here and got here in 2 hours” but that’s what you get when you’re on a study-abroad budget and you’d rather pay 40 euros for a round trip even if it takes 24 hours.
FINALLY we’re in Dublin! It’s 6 am, and we go straight into our day, walking and exploring the city with our huge backpacks. When we are finally able to check in to our room at our hostel, it’s gross, it’s tiny, it smells like weed, but luckily all 6 of us took up one tiny room, so at least we didn’t have to be THAT close with complete strangers. We take an awesome free walking tour with a lovely tour guide who makes Irish history very very interesting. Did we even eat lunch? I don’t remember. She lets us know that later that evening, another tour guide does a beer & whiskey tour around some local pubs. None of us are drinkers, but we think it sounds fun anyways. We go, learn way too much about microbrews & Guinness & whiskey, but our guide is awesome and it’s fun to feel like a local.
We all spend the next day touring around Ireland, some stayed in Dublin, some went up to Northern Ireland, and it was much more relaxed than the previous day. Then our final day, we take our tour through smaller cities and get to see some beautiful Irish greenery…but we need to head back to catch our bus to catch our ferry. For some reason, we get separated, and we’re waiting at the bus station again wondering if our friends are going to make it. If they miss this bus, they aren’t going back to London tonight. We’re running through the rain, they arrive with about 2 minutes to spare….and we head back to London, where I’ve never been happier to be in my tiny room that looks like a prison cell.
Well. That was a super condensed and not that exciting telling of that adventure. But those are the adventures I will always remember..because it stretched me, much like all of my other travel throughout Europe. But I’ll save those for another day.
(Or, you can watch the watered down, less exciting version of it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7SguN-6tds)
If you’re new to my blog, #WVW (Word Vomit Wednesday) is a fun little weekly challenge my friend Brian and I started to encourage more consistent and authentic writing. The point is to write down, or word vomit, whatever comes to mind, with lots of vulnerability along the way. Many have joined in on the fun, and you should too! 🙂