It was almost a year ago that I said yes to moving to Spain. I said yes to quitting my job and leaving behind family, friends and many comforts of home to pursue a new path, in a new place, with new people. I said yes to adventure. To date, it is my best 'yes' yet.
Before you get the wrong idea, this wasn’t a follow my heart, led by my emotions, senselessly spontaneous decision. Saying yes to Spain was a choice to be gutsy enough not to settle for what I knew wasn’t really living. I was in pursuit of an abundant life -- not a life full of material things, but a life full of moments, experiences and memories that felt worthwhile. I was in pursuit of purpose. I was after adventure.
Traditionally we think of adventure as scaling a mountain, skydiving, or taming the rapids. But adventure is so much more than physical risk. Adventure is a mindset. It is an attitude. It is a lifestyle.
Adventure is a life lived passionately and with intention. Adventure is a willingness to meaningfully engage with the world around you. Adventure is confronting life’s inevitable uncertainty with grace while allowing yourself to be enticed by possibility. Adventure is doing something that matters. Adventure is practicing the discipline of gratitude, by recognizing and responding to each day and each moment of life as a gift. Adventure is a mindfulness of the opportunity in all of your endeavors and relationships. Adventure is something we can have every day of our lives if we choose it and we should choose it every single chance we get.
To tell you the whole truth, I almost said no. My decision to pursue this new opportunity in Salamanca, Spain was many months in the making, and on several occasions I almost ran the other way. A part of me was thrilled, but a lot of me was worried and just plain scared of what I didn’t know.
I could list my worries one-by-one:
I had little to no experience in this new field and had doubts about being good enough.
I knew basically no one in Spain and would be an Ocean away from all of my family and friends.
I didn’t know what kind of racism I would encounter in Salamanca or if I’d have anyone around me who could understand.
I was already making great money at my job in the states and would be giving up that security on a hunch.
I had friends expecting babies and getting engaged and I would probably have to miss out on some of their major life events.
And the list goes on. With that list, it would have been incredibly easy for me to rationalize saying no to this opportunity. In fact, I am sure that many people would have understood if I had said no. And, realistically, saying no probably wouldn’t have hurt me very much. It most likely would have just kept me exactly where I was which wasn’t so bad. But, on the other hand, saying yes has completely changed my life in the most amazing way!
So, for all the sensible reasons you have to say no, here are 7 GREAT REASONS TO SAY YES TO ADVENTURE!
— There is never a perfect time, so why not now?
— Saying yes to adventure opens doors that you don’t even know exist (incredible new friends, awesome new opportunities).
— Say yes because for all the times you encounter resistance or you doubt yourself and your capabilities; there are A LOT of people who actually do catch the vision that’s on your heart and who wholeheartedly believe in you (I do!)
— I sincerely believe that we were all called to be strong and courageous people. People who are doers of life, not just people who sit and dream and ponder and theorize about making an impact on the world and on people around us. Be the change that you dream about seeing! Don’t settle for just going through the motions. Your soul is desperately trying to tell you something crucial through your imagination – you were made for more! It is beyond past time for you to say yes to adventure
— You have breath in your lungs! You can use that breath to say yes first with your mouth and then follow it up by taking action. Life is too short to delay pursuing the desires of your heart.
— Anyone one of us has the potential to do something extraordinary. Sometimes we can fall prey to this myth of the exceptional man or woman. This myth convinces us that adventure and extraordinary things are reserved only for extraordinary people who are rare and special. FALSE! The truth is that those people doing extraordinary things are no more special than you or me. There’s no such thing as ordinary because we are all far too unique. We were all gifted with the ability to imagine new possibilities and do extraordinary things. Adventure is for anyone who’s willing.
— If we are truly honest with ourselves, we are the only thing that stands in our own way of saying yes to adventure. Sure, there are always a million reasons to rationalize saying no -- finances, timing, possibility of failure, uncertainty of what to expect. But, when was the last time being led by fear left you with much more than unanswered what ifs and a heart full of regrets? When was the last time playing it safe ever grew you as a person, fortified your worldview, shaped your dreams or brought you closer to your lifelong goals? Are you willing to sacrifice fullness and purpose for comfort and safety?
I have always learned that the opposite of joy isn’t sadness, but fear. To opt for adventure is to abandon fear and find true joy. Adventure is hard, but it is absolutely worth it. Adventure is waiting!
Will you say yes?
Tamara (TAM-uh-ruh) Munroe is a creative, a dreamer and an adventurer, knitted with a special passion for people. She is a cultural missionary, a campus minister at En Vivo and a social justice advocate who can be pretty stubborn when it comes to addressing the realities that need to change. Tamara is a Maryland native, currently calling Salamanca, Spain her home sweet home. A lover of words, she uses them to share her story and catalog her adventures at Holding Out for Happy.