What is Adventure?

My recent trip to Montreal changed how I thought about my family and our travels. In recent years I have felt like we were building up to something, or getting prepared.

 
No More.

 
I’m ready to own it…We are Adventurers.

 
But why should that be?

There are people who would regard our foray to “just” another North American city as mundane, safe, or unimaginative. It’s a much smaller risk than trips to less developed parts of the world, so why should we be Adventurers?

 
We embraced our fears.

 
Adventure is taking risks. Some people may not see Montreal as risky, but is was a risk for us. We were enchanted by the possibilities, afraid of the uncertainties, and we went.

The unfamiliarity was disturbing, physically sickening on the first sleep-deprived day. Immersed in fatigue and adrenalin I briefly felt “Oh my god, what have we done?”.

That feeling was followed by 8 hours of amazing sleep and one of the greatest weeks of adventure my family has ever experienced.

 
Embracing fear is intrinsically Adventurous.

 
What’s the smallest thing you are afraid of?
Go do it. Have an Adventure.
 

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Adventure #1

One of my goals for 2012 is to go on adventures.

When I committed myself to this goal it was pretty amorphous. I didn’t know what the adventures might be, I didn’t know how many to commit to, and I didn’t know if they would involve my whole family or be more personal in nature.

I still don’t have everything planned, but <drum roll> I’m pleased to announce Adventure #1:

I am making an experiment with minimalish travel on my family’s upcoming trip to Disney World.

About a year ago I started mindfully removing the excess from my life. In keeping with that theme I’m interested to find out how little I can travel with. I traveled light to Mexico this summer, but this will be my first trip where I will have to wash and re-wear clothing to get through the week.

Here are pictures of everything I’m bringing…

“OMG, he didn’t pack a toothbrush!”
-My wife has the whole family’s toiletries in her bag so I didn’t show any of that.

Clothes
My biggest concerns are all about the weather.

  • Florida gets lots of rain, sometimes. Should I bring a raincoat, or is that just excess stuff to carry around? Maybe a pocket size poncho?
  • What will the temperature be like? The last time I visited Florida was during the Vancouver Olympics…it was warmer in Vancouver. Should I bring a jacket?
  • What footwear will be best for 7-10 miles of daily walking, carrying kids, pushing strollers, and handling changing weather conditions? A second pair of shoes takes a lot of space, but starting the day in yesterday’s soggy gym shoes is a recipe for blisters and I doubt they’ll let me go barefoot.

Stuff
The biggest change for me is reducing the amount of stuff I bring along to do. In the past I would have brought my PC, phone, 2-3 magazines, a couple of books, my rooted nook color, an iPod of music, and an iPod of French language podcasts. Isn’t that ridiculous?

This time I’m bringing my HP Elitebook, the rooted nook color, phone, chargers, and a moleskine journal. My hope is that the PC never comes out of the bag and the phone never rings. However, being prepared for that is part of my job so I’ll bring them along. The nook color will keep me occupied on the flights and has a guidebook loaded for the rest of the week. The moleskine is just more fun to write in than Evernote.

In addition to what is shown in the photographs I have a diaper bag inside the backpack. This second bag is a feature of diapers and children’s snacks. One day it will stay home when we travel.

Today is not that day.


Hearing of people living with 100 things or fewer, I can’t say I am minimalist, but I think minimalish fits. I’m excited about stripping away the excess from my life in order to make space for the things that matter. I’m looking forward to taking another step down that path, I’m sure it will be an adventure.

For information on minimalist travel check out these posts at Zen Habits and Miss Minimalist.
My efforts look pretty weak compared to these two, but you start where you are right?