Whether I am searching through various travel websites, counting how many vacation hours I have accumulated, or comparing days my kids are out of school to the best deals I can find on hotels, I am always looking forward to our next adventure. I don’t care how far an adventure takes us, or how exotic the experience is. For me, the adventure is all about leaving the familiar behind and running away with my little loves- my two kids. So, why are these adventures so good for the soul?
1. Adventuring away from home stops the guilt of not completing the things that need doing around the house or at work.
When I am at home with my kids, it takes all the power inside me to step over the piles of laundry and leave the dirty dishes in the sink so I can play a game or read them a story. Leaving all those responsibilities where they sit and heading to a whole new location, makes all the difference in the world for me. The possibilities are endless when we step into a clean hotel room, where the beds are made, floors are vacuumed, and the unfinished projects are not calling to me. Here in this new environment, I am free to lay on the bed and relax, take the kids to a nearby park, head out for a picnic, or whatever strikes our fancy at that moment. I am unhindered to simply enjoy the moments with my kids without looming tasks stealing any portion of the joy gained in those same moments. That freedom is something I crave and look forward to. It helps me to be 100% present with my kids for a day, a few days, or a week when we head off on our adventures.
2. Adventures remove the mundane so you can see from a new perspective.
When life is weighing heavy, the best thing I can do is step away from my situation and look at it from another angle. I can push myself to do this when I leave home for an adventure. Hiking around a new bend which reveals a breathtaking natural wonder can show me there is still beauty in the world. This, in turn, allows me to identify the beauty in my own life. Engaging with amazing creatures when we visit a zoo or park like Sea World, reminds me of the value of life and the joy it can bring. This quote from Grey’s Anatomy, says it exactly,
“Sometimes you just need to get out of town. Get a new perspective, but you can’t always see that you need a new perspective because . . . well . . . you need a new perspective to be able to see that. It’s complicated. Open your eyes . . . what do you see? More possibilities? Does your new view give you more hope? That’s the goal, …”
Grey’s Anatomy Episode 253
This shift will also show what you can gain, set you on a new path, or open your eyes to the possibilities ahead.
3. Adventure stretches the imagination and renews hope.
Stepping into a place I have never seen sets my imagination soaring. I begin to sense in a tangible way that I don’t know what is around the corner for me or my kids. This is exciting because there are wonderful things to do, places to explore, and people to meet at every turn in life. As I see these good things on our adventures, I remember that it is possible and that I will find more good things around the corner, even back at home on the life path that is familiar to me. Even something as simple as a weekend trip away or a day trip across town to somewhere new has the power to jolt something in your mind that needs to be piqued or sparked.
4. Adventure builds joy.
All the above reasons come together to build joy in my heart. I have more focused time with my kids, my ideas start flowing, my hope is renewed, my body is refreshed, and this builds joy. When we are away, I find myself smiling more, laughing often, and breathing better. All the worries and cares of my daily life were left at home, and my kids and I can build a new foundation of joy before we return to the realities of daily life. Even researchers at Winston-Salem State University found that
“people who engage in a variety of experiences are more likely to retain positive emotions and minimize negatives ones than people who have fewer experiences.”
By taking my kids on adventures and providing them new experiences I am encouraging them to build and retain joy, and at the same time minimizing the negative emotions remaining from the difficulties they have had to endure during their short lives.
Our next adventure may take us to the mountains or the beach, or maybe just across town to explore a new animal park. Wherever it may be, it will be full of imagination, hope, and joy. Where will your next adventure take you?