Once upon a time, I bought a one-way ticket to Australia and traveled up the East Coast solo in my 1997 Mitsubishi Lancer with a second-hand surfboard (or two, or three). I stayed with locals and experienced their favorite corners of the world for those passing weeks and months. I had no itinerary except to experience those moments for all they were worth. Seeing, feeling, experiencing all of it for that season.
And then the season changed, as it does.
I'm going to be honest with you. (Well, I hope I always am, but bear with me here.) I haven't traveled in months, and the last time I did was a well-intended rollercoaster. An injury has kept me off of my surfboard, out of snorkel gear, and away from my former seafaring lifestyle for quite a while now. Life has been like a winding road filled with road blocks, detours, and blind turns. Sometimes the rain pours down so much that I can't see more than a few feet, and sometimes the terrifying blind turns yield amazing views if I take the time to look.
I think more often than I would like to admit that I am now an unadventurous person, held back by my limitations. But I have come to the conclusion, upon further inspection, that it just ain't true. Adventure takes all different forms, and that isn't what defines me anyway. After all, everyone has a life below the eye-catching, carefully curated images that are only scratches in the surface. It's actually relatively inconsequential at the end of the day.
And so, on my mission to make it through with a skip in my step and thanksgiving in my heart, I added something new to my daily priorities list: Get outside.
Take a pretty picture and then leave the phone in the car. Float in the ocean, jump in a freezing cold stream, sit and stare at the mountains.
Enjoy it! Whatever it is, I'm carving out that time to breathe and clock out of life's chaos for a bit.
I might not be able to do everything right now. I'm not a world nomad, and I can't go on any crazy adventures. There will be a time for that. But I can go outside. I can enjoy it, try new things, figure out how to weather this season and dance in the rain. Because staying inside all day is really no fun anyway.
Will you get out there with me?
Maddie Buresh is a writer and photographer with an unquenchable desire to explore the great outdoors, from the ocean to the mountains. She finds joy in trying new things, living in community, and crafting stories that encourage people to go outside, have adventures, and enjoy this big, beautiful world.