Something I’ve been thinking about recently was how some of the simple things that excited me as a kid have now changed in relative scope and more importantly, have managed to grow exponentially. If you know me at all you know I’m talking about travel, and more specifically, about adventure travel.
I still remember the excitement as a kid of simply going to the airport to meet arriving family and friends. I’d stand glued to the window, absolutely in awe of the gigantic airplanes systematically coming and going. I also remember watching people come off the jetway or walk down the stairs onto the tarmac and I’d be absolutely consumed with envy that they had been on a plane traveling from a faraway place. I would always look at the arrival board to find flights arriving from the farthest places possible, especially the international flights. I’d run to that gate just to see the beautifully exotic faces of people from different countries then imagine in vivid detail the physical landscapes of where they lived, the foods they ate and the sounds of their city.
I’d listen for any words they’d speak in their native tongue, even a single word, because for me it was like a real-life, interactive world history and geography lesson. I’d literally spend the next several days (and sometimes months) finding their country on my globe and daydreaming about how someday I’d travel to their country in search of some great adventure. And even though I’m all grown up now (theoretically) I still love airports and still get that feeling of awe and excitement when I see travelers from other countries when I’m in airports. I especially get ramped up when I’m the one with the passport in hand, backpack on my back and holding the ticket to the treasures of a faraway place.
I was watching a movie once about adventure travel and there was a guy talking about the whys of travelling “dirt bag’ style and he pretty much summed everything up in one simple statement. He said, “I’d rather die at 40 having lived my entire life filled with adventure, with the volume turned wide open, than die at 80 having lived a single day being bored”. I couldn’t have said it better myself.
I suppose the difference in all of us lies in the initial willingness to explore and challenge ourselves at any level. If we don’t try, we don’t expand. If we won’t move around, we won’t know the world around us. If we won’t nourish our soul, we simply won’t grow. If we don’t grow, we stagnate and die.
Okay, time to get back to daydreaming about the next airport window I can look through, which is coming up fast.
Climb high, travel far, run long and ski hard.