Breakup came fast for us this year.
In Alaska, spring, or “breakup” is a messy and unstable time of year. The frozen landscape literally breaks apart as it thaws and melts.
Since we live on an island, the lake thaw means the end of easy transportation on our ice road and a slow transition back through the litany of vehicle options necessary here: snowmachines, skis, hovercrafts, and finally, gloriously... boat season.
Getting home this time of year can be an adventure all by itself.
This year, we opted to head outside for breakup. I’d never seen spring in the south and we were excited to relax in the North Carolina warmth.
On the flight down, my seat neighbor struck up a conversation with the usual 'where are you from-ness.'
As we got to talking, he asked how I managed to make a living in Alaska.
I said, “I help people find careers they love. Usually the adventurous sort that want a job that fits with their lifestyle.”
He piped up, “Well, you can't help me then. I hate my job but I’m not a mountaineer or anything close to that. And I'm too old for adventures.”
Hmm... I didn't mention mountaineers, and what was this "too old" thing?
I probed a little and asked him what dreams he had when he was young.
And out came the most intense and awesome conversation.
We talked about how he wanted to live in Mexico, old dreams of taking a motorcycle cross country, how he wanted to write a book in his 20s, and grow his own food, and on and on. But all of it, in his words, “was out of reach for a guy my age.”
This guy couldn’t have been more than 35 or 36. I'm not kidding. Not a grey hair on his head.
Who told him these myths about adventures?!?
Who said they're only for the young?
Who decided adventures equaled extreme sports?
And worst of all who said they are EVER out of reach?
This conversation really made me think about the word adventure, and especially what it means to you.
Is it traveling to Alaska? Learning to play the mandolin? Starting a family? Leaving your six figure job to start that dream business?
What do your adventures look like?
The definition of adventurous is - "adjective: willing to take risks or to try out new methods, ideas, or experiences."
What were you making it mean?