Adventure lessons from Northern Scotland

People often tell me they want more adventure in their lives, but wonder if it’s possible when their plates are already full. Can they actually step outside their routine and live with more spontaneity, fun and freedom?

I believe it is absolutely possible.

When I was in my 20s, “adventure” was a solo pursuit, guiding me across Asia for four years to work, travel and learn. Today, “adventure” looks very different as I balance plans alongside a partner with two small kids in tow.

If you’re craving more adventure, here are some ideas inspired by a week in Northern Scotland, launching my family’s summer journey in the UK:

1. Unplug
When we say we crave “adventure”, we’re really saying we want to feel free. Powerful enough to make our own choices – and small enough to be moved by the beauty of the world.

For this to happen, we’ve got to be present. And to be present, we’ve got to unplug.

Last week, I took hundreds of photos. But I hardly posted on social media, since I didn’t have a data plan. Instead, I checked email once for a few minutes a day.

That pre-bedtime-email-check reminded me of being in university. Email had just come out and I had a slow, clunky desktop with noisy, dial-up internet that I could only be bothered to turn on once a day.

Unplugging again felt really good. Light and free. I experienced the week as the adventure it was.

2. Nature
Being in nature is an incredible antidote to stress. So being surrounded by hills, lakes and lush greenery completely calmed my citygirl nervous system.

It worked for my family, too. As soon as we entered the woods, my kids were calm, walking for long stretches without complaints.

We saw sheep and sheepdogs, fed lambs and cuddled puppies on a farm. We hiked a mountain to meet a herd of reindeer. The animals walked amongst us gently, eating from our hands, allowing us to stroke them and admire their soft fur and velvet-covered antlers.

These moments stand out like little magical interludes that have become our best adventures.

3. The price of admission
Soon after Adam and I got married nine years ago, we agreed on a shared dream to spend our summers overseas with our (future) kids.

We’ve been designing this life for years: declaring our dream repeatedly; making choices to support it; putting pieces into place.

This marks the second summer where our dream has come to fruition. Both times an opportunity popped up. We said “Yes” although there were plenty of reasons we could’ve said “No” or “Not now”.

We’ve had to think creatively and do the work required. We’ve both taken on different, extra jobs. Adam is working here and I’m juggling time-zones for client calls. Since our kids aren’t in camp like they would be back home, we’re caregiving full-time, designing plans to suit everyone’s needs and interests as best we can.

We rented out our home in Toronto, which involved a ton of work. Some of our friends said, “I could never do that, it feels so risky.” Fair—yet, we found ways to minimize the risk in comparison to the reward.

While you may not choose to rent out your home to fund your dreams, chances are, you’ll need to step out of your comfort zone in unique ways, think differently and make choices that don’t always make sense to others.

You can consider it the price of admission for your adventure. Which I believe is more than fair.

WHAT DO YOU WANT?

Do you have dreams you want to chase?

What does adventure mean to you?

I’d love to offer you a half-hour mini coaching session to talk about how you want to change your life. Contact me here and we’ll arrange a time.

 

Sarah Lang
Professional Coach
www.sarahlang.ca