Adventure is everywhere
In your opinion, what does it take to be an adventurer? It doesn’t necessarily involve being risky, extravagant or performing exhausting activities. I refer to those who dare to discover new experiences, be constant learners and are not influenced by what a group or the media says, or how popular something seems.
I want to share 3 recent excursions which have helped me confirm 3 useful learnings; which I consider of special significance for adventurers or explorers, and which do not require to push yourself to the limit. These excursions are a hike in Tekax communities (southern Yucatan), a visit to a Maya family to learn about Yucatecan gastronomy and learn to prepare a dish, and an holistic-cultural natural reserve in Merida.
My learnings, which constantly remind myself are:
1. Let yourself be surprised… be curious!
During the hike in Tekax we covered barely over 5 kilometers; and even when it seems a really short distance… in truth, it was full of surprises, making it memorable. Although legends are part of the tour (see Chacmultun and a mayan village); we let our curiosity float. This led to a unique companionship and a lot of fun. That day we were guided by 4 locals and our group was formed by people from Mérida, other towns in Yucatán and from China!
The way was very interesting to mix stories, find similarities in our different cultures, learn from each other, and learn words in new languages as well. This preparation impacted positively when we finally arrived to the Mayan village. Instead of making the usual visit, we stayed with its inhabitants for quite a long time… we toured the village, its store, school, houses and, most importantly, we had true conversations with them (even if communication was tricky and we were translating Mayan - Spanish - English - Mandarin - Cantonese). We truly captured and were motivated by the essence of how they live, their traditions, etc.
For me, it is important to face each situation from different perspectives, my favorite is as if I were a child again. It brings you to new views: what would you ask, or think, what would be most challenging or how would you react? Give it a try, you’ll be surprised every day, guaranteed.
This allows me to be more receptive and value its sounds, smells and colors. Primarily, it helps me uncover secrets from the places I visit and people I meet. Ask questions! Can be simple ones, but make them personal and direct… this will help you identify yourself with others, discover and learn from your surroundings.
2. Everyone can teach you something
Each of us has a story to tell, and something to teach and share… of course, only if we are willing to truly listen. One way to let people feel comfortable sharing with us, is by showing our admiration or make an honest compliment. During the gastronomic tour, our host family, a Mayan speaking one, was very polite, and also very shy. To break the ice, asides from having a positive attitude and full disposition to learn, I believe it helped to be humble, to compliment them, to ask for their opinion and advise… these details may give the little push to provide them the confidence to show themselves as they really are. When this happened, they taught us more than 1 thing, and a lot more than simply making a dish. This is undoubtedly an unforgettable experience, and now I know how to make firewood panuchos.
3. Highlight and share the details
We discovered a private natural reserve south of Merida, a place which cares and promotes sustainability. It allows you to disconnect from the city, and provides valuable adventures. You can let energy and peace flow over your body when on top of a Mayan structure, in front of a cenote, or a recently reforested area, or in the crops or permaculture sections.
Both owners know how to capture, admire and share the amazing details within. From the day we visited, we have a new perspective on how to search for them and be ready to fully value them.
And when we do give power to smaller details, we notice that to enjoy and create something memorable you don’t need something spectacular, or an out-of-this-world landscape or an extraordinary conversation… wherever you are, you can spread the value of the small moments. I was surprised the other day when Gerardo helped me recognize the beauty of silence, quiet noises from birds, steps, and more.
Marvel from these discoveries and share them with others.
My longtime motto is to search the different, be different and get the best of us every moment… with an activity, attitude or just how we look at reality. This week I’ve identified with John Scully, a former Apple CEO and president of Pepsi, says it helps to think like an entrepreneur and to always look for a better way to do things.
I believe this bonus encompasses the last 3 points, because an adventurer seeks knowledge, ask questions, breaks paradigms, shares… summed up, it does things differently and searching for better ways, like an entrepreneur.
Keep in mind it’s important to avoid prejudices or underestimating activities simply because they look (or are) too simple or not popular… leave your doubts behind and choose to live every day with a new change. Be an adventurer at work, in your hobbies, entertainment activities, and of course, during your weekends, holidays, etc.
I hope you dare to get out there, to a new or an old-known place, as long as you come with an open, challenging and adventurous mind!
“Adventure is not outside man, it is within” - George Eliot
What would you propose to live an adventure?