Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Call of Adventure

          This semester I have been spending a lot of time thinking about adventure... past adventures I have experienced while at EMU, and the future adventure I am about to embark on after graduation in April. First, I should explain that I love adventure... I love the thrill of exploring new places and making memories. I love the rush of anticipation and the feelings of success and self-satisfaction after it is over. Most of all I love the relationships that are built because of the shared experience of adventure.
          Not all the adventures I go on have been epic. Often my roommate and I will be bored and will go on an "adventure" as a study-break. This usually ends up being a walk around campus, but as we head out we do not know where we are going or who we will meet along the way. These small adventures give us the opportunity to see the campus in new ways, searching out the uncommon and being able to see things we take for granted in our everyday busyness.
         Other adventures have been extremely epic: purposefully getting lost in the streets of Paris, joining thousands of others in protest of the School of the Americas, learning about peace at the United Nations, meeting with Islamic leaders in Northern Iraq, and many more.  I have had some pretty amazing experiences in the last four years and all of these times have formed me into who I have become.
          What exactly is adventure? Two definitions I have found to be helpful are "1) An exciting or unusual experience", and "2) A bold, usually risky undertaking with an uncertain outcome." The first can help describe how we can make any experience an adventure. Even the mundane can seem exciting if we are looking for the unusual and trying to find ways to make life a little more exciting. The second definition shows how to have an adventure, we need to be willing to take risks. Although some adventures are planned, others occur simply because you are willing to venture into the unknown.
          As I look back on my four years at EMU, it has been the adventures that stand out. A lot of my relationships have been built on shared adventures and my main memories are the times I have taken risks and tried new things. In my most stressful times, an adventure would always make things better, even if it was just a half hour break in the library looking for interesting books or getting lost painting a far-off pace. If there is any advice I would leave to underclassmen it would be take the time to have adventures. Take risks and take the time to search out the uncommon. Adventures in my opinion are what help make life worth living.
          I relate well to the following quote by Mae Chevrette, "It is in all of us to defy expectations, to go into this world and to be brave, to need, to want, to hunger for ADVENTURE, to embrace change, chance and risk, so that we may breathe and know what it is to be free." I feel most free when I am on an adventure because I am able to look deep inside myself and be who I want to be. Adventures allow me the opportunity to be braver than what I think I am and to take chances. At the end I have a greater knowledge of who I am and who I want to be in the world. And this makes any adventure worth while.
          So some of you might be wondering what my next adventure is. No, I do not yet know what is happening after graduation, but I have made Spring Break plans. I am really excited to say I am headed back to Istanbul for the week with four friends! This adventure is really not planned at all yet, but in a little over two weeks we will be headed over seas to see what we can find in Turkey. The trip is just for fun mainly because we found really cheap plane tickets. Hopefully I can find time to write at least one more time before the trip, but be looking forward to hearing all sorts of new adventures from that trip. I am sure there will be a lot of great stories to share!

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