I believe deep down in all us there are yearnings and desires that are engraved in our DNA, and while they can be ignored for a while; they can never be fully extinguished. These yearnings are no doubt the greatest source of regrets for those who constantly battle, put off, or discount them.
I know of two such yearnings for me; the desire to write and the desire to have adventures. More specifically, to have outdoor, active and physically demanding type of adventures. I’ve been scratching the itch this past year with my traveling around Europe, and on my one multi-day bike trip I took around Lake Constance, but you know how itches go…if you can’t scratch them enough to stop itching – they just get a lot itchier.
My trip to Paris opened my eyes to the truth of what I want from my traveling. I will continue to visit the major cities and attractions in Europe while living here, but I plan on focusing a lot more on taking trips that lead to having adventures in the great outdoors.
I made physical fitness a part of my life at an early age. I started running when I was 9 or 10 to lose weight…at first it was just a few blocks, but it eventually became miles as I got older. I also did a lot of other type of cardio exercises…I owned many of popular aerobics tapes in the late 80s, early 90s, and then at 16, I discovered weight lifting. I’m a bit of loner and didn’t feel very coordinated as a teenager, so I never participated in team sports; instead, since running was already something I was familiar with, I ran track and cross country. I loved running cross country because it was alone time in the woods. From sixth grade on, we lived in Massachusetts with plenty of woods behind our house, and even then, I took much joy in just wondering around in the woods. I knew I had a thing for nature and fitness, but didn’t fully understand my full yearning yet.
The Marine Corps really appealed to me because it promised to be physically demanding, had the potential of taking me to foreign lands and would teach me new useful skills (combat, marksmanship and survival skills to name a few, so I thought). It didn’t quite deliver, but it did scratch the itch for a few years. After I got out, I submerged myself in business and making it as an entrepreneur. It didn’t quite work out and the failures and brokenness of those pursuits left me tied up picking up the pieces for a few more years. As 2014 came to an end, all the pieces had been picked up.
Fully recovered from the past, but displeased with the present, I’ve been looking forward into the future. The unfilled gap left from what the Marine Corps didn’t turn out to be, and all the unexplored desires to be outdoors and not behind a desk have made me determined to pursue options that will lead to spending a lot more time outside, and experiencing many new adventures while learning useful skills.
The opportunities to have outdoor adventures in Europe are insanely numerous…which ironically makes things more difficult than what one would otherwise think.