Weekly Image of Life: Adventure

“One way to get the most out of life is to look upon it as an adventure.” — William Feather

Kayaking at sunset on Rabbit Lake in northern Minnesota.

This week’s theme for the Weekly Image of Life by the Island Traveler is one near and dear to my heart. Adventure.  I searched the online dictionaries on the web to see how they defined adventure and here are some of my favorites.

ad•ven•tureædˈvɛn tʃər(n.; v.)-tured, -tur•ing.

    • An exciting or very unusual experience.
    • Participation in exciting undertakings or enterprises: the spirit of adventure.
    • A bold, uncertain, and usually risky undertaking
    • To risk or hazard.
    • To take the chance of; dare.

If we want to live life as fully as we can, adventure must be part of it. For without taking risks or chances, how would we ever be able to reach our fullest potentials and dreams? I view myself as a rather adventurous person who thrives on new experiences and taking risks. Since becoming a mother, my passion for adventure has exploded even more and I fully believe it will never cease to be a big part of who I am and who I am becoming.

Here are some of my favorite moments of adventure that I’ve had over the last few years and what these moments have meant to me.

To me, adventure means taking risks. 

In November 2010, my father and I went on a three-week journey to Nepal and India where we trekked 100 miles of the Annapurna Trek in the Himalayas. I’ve always been an avid hiker but had never hiked so far and so high before. I was nervous about leaving my family for so long and scared to death of safely completing the hike. But I pushed myself to take that risk and it was well worth it as that was a trip that changed my life. I wouldn’t be blogging if I hadn’t done that trip. Nor would I have realized how easy it is to give back and make a difference through volunteerism.

“Do not lose hold of your dreams or aspirations. For if you do, you may still exist but you have ceased to live.” — Henry David Thoreau

Adventure means seeking out new places to explore and traveling alone.

In April 2010 I traveled solo to Morocco where I volunteered for a week in Rabat. My friends thought I was crazy going alone. But I discovered how much solo traveling forces you to rediscover yourself and can be an absolutely wonderful experience.

Adventure means trying something new

A few years ago, my dad and I went to the southern tip of Argentina where we hiked at Los Glaciares National Park and took a day trip to see the world famous Perito Moreno Glacier. There we laced up our crampons and went on a hour-long glacier trek on one of the largest glaciers in the world. The wind was daunting but the view astounding. An adventure I’ll never forget.

Adventure means following the path not taken

When my Dad and I went to China last November, it was given that we would see the Great Wall. But I didn’t’ want to do it the easy or normal way. No bus ride to the touristy section of the wall or gondola ride up. Nope. Instead, we found the craziest perhaps slightly dangerous hike imaginable and spent two hours with a guide climbing “up” to the Wall. It was an experience of a lifetime that perhaps rates along the top of my adventure list.

Adventure means testing your body to the limit, no matter what your age

In March, my dad and I challenged ourselves to hiking and skiing the Ridge in Taos, New Mexico. A steep, exhausting hour and a half hike up the mountain and down we went, skiing terrain that was well beyond our ability but enjoying every moment of the thrill.

Adventure means flying high

When my husband and I went to Queenstown, New Zealand (back in 2002 well before kids), there was no doubt that we would be participating in some adventure sports.  For isn’t that what Queenstown is known for? What did we choose? Tandem-hangliding of course!  The run and jump off the mountain side was perhaps the most daring thing I’ve ever done. I screamed with all my might, to the amusement of the pilot. It was one of the most exhilarating things I’ve ever done. To fly and be free like a bird.

Adventure means stepping out of your comfort zone

In November 2002, during a trip to the Great Barrier Reef I tried diving for the first time. I was scared shitless (no matter how irrational it was, I could not stop thinking of the movie JAWS!) but once down inside the reef, I was spellbound by the elaborate, magical display of colors. I could hardly believe this place was real. It was unbelievable and yet another new, exhilarating experience I’d tried.

Adventure means letting fear dissipate 

After a traumatic experience with severe Postpartum Depression (after the birth of my first child), a year later I boarded a plane to South Africa for an adventure of a lifetime. My first safari!  Only a year before I could hardly get out of bed to care for my newborn son and then I was on an open-aired rover watching a herd of elephants cross right in front of my eyes. I never experienced PPD again (thank God!) and was able to brave it and have a wonderful daughter two years later.

Adventure means letting go

During a week trip to Xela, Guatemala I rose at 5 am to climb Santa Maria Volcano where I saw the neighboring volcano erupt right before my eyes.  I went on this trip alone, with minimal Spanish yet immersed myself in the culture and language, letting go of all my worries and concerns. The freedom of letting go was invigorating.

Adventure means following finding beauty in unexpected places

During a trip to Iceland in 2009, I took a day trip to try ice hiking, something I’d never done before. I’d always loved glaciers and mountains but to see the ice formations up close was breathtaking. Plus I met several new friends along the way (I seem to have no problem talking to strangers!)

Adventure means life

Having a family is the greatest adventure of all. Living life through the eyes of my children inspires me, frees me and brings more joy than anything possible. I am so blessed to have them.

Stay tuned….my next adventure is less than a month away! My dad and I are headed to the French Alps for some serious trekking! Well, that is before I go to DC and NYC for a global advocacy conference and Blogging conference.  

Life is always an adventure! It’s what you make it. thirdeyemom

To read more entries to this weekly challenge, click here.


  1. What a lovely post. I’m off to walk 825km along The Santiago Way in Northern Spain and this has got me tingling with anticipation. Thanks!

    • Thanks! Wonderful about your trip! I’ve always wanted to do that trek! When are you going? I’d love to hear all about it and hope you share it on your blog!

      • I’m actually off on Friday, so am currently in the process of stocking up on blister plasters, triple checking my directions and re-packing my ruck sack with something resembling a severe case of OCD! And yes, I’ll be blogging about it wherever I can access Wifi – so hope you enjoy!

    • Thank you! I always try to remember the words, life is a journey not a destination. Life is much more fun when we take risks and let go! 🙂

    • Yes, we’ve been traveling together for years. It is really special. Each year he takes one of us siblings (I have two) on a special trip. My mom helps out by babysitting my two kids. It is very special and I truly hope to continue this tradition with my children someday!

  2. Your posts always holds me breatheless my friend. Your blog is a celebration of life and adventure. The journey you made with your father, your daily adventures with your family, the travels you made, the passion that is in your heart all reflects a person who embraced the adventurous spirit in her. This I won’t forget while I stared at the image, “It was one of the most exhilarating things I’ve ever done. To fly and be free like a bird.” These sums up why we wake up each day all eager to face the day’s surprises. Thank you. Wishing you and your family all the best…and lots of amazing adventures ahead!

  3. Your long list of adventures do leave me breathless Nicole 🙂 I wouldn’t have the guts for most of these activities! Fab post and beautiful images.

    • Thanks Madhu! I realized I forgot to put a picture of me dying at the end of my marathon! Glad I did that years ago when I was younger! 🙂

    • I am not sure how old you are but for me, I’m 40 and most of my travel really picked up once I had a stable job and ability to pay for my wanderlust. I did travel a lot as a child and lived abroad twice in France, visited European countries many times with my future husband.

      But for some reason, I never stepped “out of the box” until a month after 9/11 and I boarded a plane to Peru with my dad to do the Inca Trail. It was my most “exotic” trip at the time. Normally I always chose Europe (a huge love and fascination with it). That trip truly opened my eyes and lead me to want to explore other places besides Europe. Now I’d go pretty much anywhere as long as it was stable govt. and safe. (I’ve got kids to think of). My only regret is that I never thought of opening my”third” eye earlier. The world is a big place! 🙂

      • I also have been travelling only since I could afford it myself (we are close in age ;)). I am the only one in my family with a travel bug. I held back for a long time too since I didn’t have anyone to go with. I finally went on a Contiki tour so I could go it alone. I then bought a condo and the travel had to stop since I couldn’t afford both. I was on my own and even as a daycare supervisor I wasn’t making that much. I then went back to university and I took extra summer classes so I could finish my degree in 3 years. Once all that was done my husband and I started to explore things again a few years ago… and then went to China!

      • That is fabulous! Especially to be living in China without kids so you can really travel. My husband and I hope to travel a lot again together once he retires but so much depends on health and finances. It is much tricker with children as a family of four is very expensive to go anywhere abroad. I would only do it once if we could, when they are old enough to appreciate it. 🙂 For now, I’ll do my little trips on my own.

      • Even the 2 of us is expensive to travel. We don’t do as much as we would like either due to lack of time or expense. We have wanted to go to Thailand and it more expensive. For the price of 1 person to Thailand we were able to both to fly to Vietnam. My husband hasn’t been able to get work in China, which also makes it trickier.

      • Oh that is a bummer. You think he could possibly help teach English and earn some money doing that while he is looking. Is it work permit issues? How long are you staying in China for?

      • He has tried a few jobs, but the pay is low and work hours long… not really worth it. He has a few health issues and working that long was making it worse too. Plus the people he has worked for are a little ‘slimy’ and underhanded (and these are Western bosses!). He is going to try and do something on his own this year.
        I just finished a 2 year contract and signed on for 2 more, but can go year by year. We’ll stay this last year for sure, but may move on after that.

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