Intentional Living

The Simple Secret to Living a Life of Adventure

March 14, 2016

This month marks my six month blogging anniversary and as a gift to us both, I want to write about one of my favourite topics – adventure.

Because we all want more adventure in our lives right?

After all, adventure is what makes our blood pump, our palms sweat and our hearts race – it’s what makes life worth living; it’s the secret ingredient, that little extra something, that makes life amazing.

And the good news is there’s a simple way to live a life of adventure, if you want it.

Adventure is what makes our blood pump, our palms sweat and our hearts race – it’s what makes life worth living; it’s the secret ingredient, that little extra something, that makes life amazing. And the the good news is there’s a simple way to live a life of adventure, if you want it.

But first, indulge me for a moment and let’s talk about this blog.?

Six months … SIX months! it’s actually kinda hard to believe, because in that short time this little blog has become a huge part of my life.

I work (or at least think) about blogging almost everyday and it had most definitely changed the way I think about myself. I’m actually starting to consider myself as a writer, albeit cautiously – a term I never thought I’d use to describe myself (right up there with minimalist – haha!)

Blogging is bringing me a lot of joy.

I love having a little part of the Internet that’s all mine and a passion project to pour my heart into. I love writing and trying to capture the ideas that flutter around my mind like tiny butterflies (sometimes with limited success!) And most of all, I love having conversations with my readers about new ideas or hearing that my writing has actually helped or inspired someone – this seriously blows my mind.

But here’s the thing – my blog also scares the bejesus out of me.

Every time I press the ominous ‘publish’ button on a new post, a little voice tells me:

“My writing isn’t original.”
“I’m not sure I’m even making sense.”
And my personal favourite, “Who am I to be giving advice to anyone?!”

Then the voice continues (in a slightly hysterical tone):

“Why, oh why, couldn’t you just keep your thoughts safe and secure inside your head? Now you’re so … [audible gasp] exposed!”

And I feel utterly and completely terrified.

… for a bit, and then I put my big girl pants on and get over it.

But I’m starting to notice a pattern about fear and it’s not just blogging.

I feel this way every time I step off a plane in a new country; there’s always that split second when I wish I could teleport myself back home, where everything is safe and familiar.

I feel this way every time I start (or quit) a new job. In either situation, there’s always waves of doubt and the urge to continue doing what’s comfortable (even if I’m miserable), rather than face the unknown.

And I definitely felt this way when I told my (now) husband I loved him a week after we met (when every inch of my brain was shouting “Keep. Your. Mouth. Shut!”)

In fact, pretty much every awesome adventure in my life has been accompanied by soul crushing, doubt ridden fear.

Which leads me to draw the only logical conclusion (today’s big secret and the point of this post):

If you want to live a life of adventure, follow your fear.

Speak when it’s easier to stay silent.

Go out when it’s safer to stay home.

Be vulnerable.

Do the exact opposite of what your head is telling you to do and follow fear instead. Let it guide you off the beaten path (the one with clearly marked signs and streetlights) and instead down dimly lit alleys – because you know that’s where all the fun happens!

Now … to be clear, life with fear isn’t all roses.

Following your fear doesn’t guarantee success, it doesn’t guarantee you won’t get lost, and it most definitely does not guarantee you won’t get hurt.

In fact, more often than not it leads you directly to those things. Fear likes to watch you make awkward chit chat at parties, roam the streets at 2am looking for a hotel, and cry into your pillow with a broken heart.

Fear doesn’t guarantee that every thing will work out. (But it does guarantee adventure.)

I followed fear and quit a job I hated … and ended up in a new job I hated even more! But along the way I took an all expenses paid trip around Europe, learned I’m pretty awesome at public speaking, and sparked an interest in digital marketing.

I followed fear and got married to a man I barely knew at 23 … and ended up divorced by 32. But that marriage brought me to Australia, helped me to understand true self, and taught me a lot about what does (and doesn’t) work in my relationships.

I followed fear and hitchhiked with strangers, travelled solo around the world, and played with baby tigers – and I’m here telling my story with all my fingers and toes intact – so you win some, you lose some.

But it’s not about winning or losing – is it?

It’s about memories and skipped heart beats

laughter and tears

purpose and passion.

Adventure is waiting, if you’re brave enough to follow it.

RELATED POST: How to Take Chances (A Love Story)

PS: Somewhat ironically, this is one of the scariest posts I’ve ever written. If you enjoyed it you can let me know by commenting or sharing. Thanks friends x

photo credit : Vincent Liew // Used with permission

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  • Lauren Bishop

    Great post. I love that you are honest that following fear and chasing adventure doesn’t always turn out well, happy, easy, peaceful, simple – but it does make life worth living. Congrats on six months!

    • Haha, adventure certainly doesn’t always work out the way we want it, but it always makes a good story 🙂 Thanks so much for your sweet comment Lauren!

  • I love this post, Jennifer! I have been reflecting on fear lately, on how following our fear leads us to adventure and places that need love. It isn’t always perfect, and I love how you said that it doesn’t mean everything will work out. That’s what an adventure is, and we can go with the flow with it! It always ends up a better story than what we could originally plan. Thanks for your honest words here and for the inspiration to take more chances—and do the things that scare us!

  • I definitely enjoyed that! I can so relate to that split second of fear (more like an hour when I was headed to Saudi Arabia lol) that comes with any new adventure. You win some, you lose some is right, but if you didn’t do it, just sitting in a corner doing the same things for the rest of out lives doesn’t sound as appealing. ? I notice getting over the fear gets easier with practice though, I end up fearing & trying bigger things. Again thanks for putting yourself out there! And happy 6 months to you!

    • Oh Daisy, Saudi Arabia must have been an insane adventure! I’m so proud of how well you handled what must have been a incredibly nerve racking. And you’re so right – it does become easier to get over fear with practice – but it’s still always there 🙂

  • This is so good, Jennifer! When I think about fear, I think of what life would be like if I constantly expected the worst possible outcome. We would basically get so little done, and experience so little of what this world has to offer! And the truth is, we’re never fully “safe”– but as you say, we can always choose adventure.

  • I love this post, Jennifer! I really enjoyed reading about your experiences with vulnerability and the adventure that comes from jumping into uncertainty. I too am trying to be more vulnerable, it’s hard to put yourself out there, but it’s even harder to realize the opportunities you missed by sitting on the sidelines.

    Congratulations on the 6 month anniversary! I love reading your blog, you’re really inspiring 🙂

    • Thanks Erin! Being vulnerable is definitely something that requires practice (although I doubt it ever becomes easy!) And thank you so much for your kind words about my blog!! x

  • Martina Lee Burger

    I love this post too Jennifer!!! It is your best piece yet. Quite inspirational.

  • Congratulations on anniversary! I share the same fear when I publish, but publishing is what helped me connect with like minds, so I’m grateful for having the courage to try. 🙂

    • Definitely – it’s always scary putting your thoughts and ideas out there, but it has definitely been worth it! Thanks Claudia x

  • “If you want to live a life of adventure, follow your fear.” Wow. Although I’ve certainly felt the fear of starting a new adventure or stepping out of your comfort zone, I’ve never thought about it like this. I’ll definitely keep these words in mind next time I’m facing a hard or scary choice! Thanks for the wisdom! xx

  • Congrats on your anniversary! and here’s to following our fears…

  • Jenn S

    I, personally, LOVE your blog, and am SO glad you’ve chosen to face your fears, and put your thoughts out there! My favorite post, so far, has been about simple eating. 🙂

    So, congrats on both your blogging anniversary, and on saying “screw it” to your fears. 😉 And, thank you for all you DO write!

    • Jenn!! Thank you so much for your kind words (and sorry for the slow reply – I’ve been camping!!) Your comment has completely made my day. THANK YOU for reading! xx

  • PaleMota

    Wow, what an amazing post. Simply and fiercely inspiring! And good job on your living your truth.

  • Jessica McGuire

    You’re so inspiring! I’ve been on your blog for like three hours now and I haven’t read anything I didn’t like! 🙂

  • This is a bit delayed but I love this post! I recently published my very first blog post, so when I read the part of this post where you talked about what goes through your head before you push the Publish button I actually laughed out loud because I’ve been thinking the same thing everyday since I posted my first post. This entire post is super inspiring and I could not agree more with the idea of ‘following your fear’. Thanks again for the “unqualified” advice 🙂