I can’t remember when it began, but it seems like it’s been forever…

When my daughter went to kindergarten, I wished her a great adventure. Unlike the other mothers, I didn´t cry.  I was excited for her and for all that she would be learning.  She was beginning HER adventure.  At every major turn in her life I thought how lucky she was to be able to take the next step. 

I guess it began when I was a child and my family followed my father from Detroit to Miami. We didn´t have a home waiting for us.  We didn´t know anyone and as far as my kid self knew there was no plan.  For me, it was all one big adventure.  Leaving Detroit in the dead of winter to drive into the sparkling streets of Miami is a shining memory still with me 50 years later. 

I can thank my mother for the adventure attitude. With my father working long hours it was up to my mother to get us settled.  Being the oldest I was the navigator.  I learned to read maps, give directions and figure out how to turn around when we came to a dead end.  Everyday my mother had a new “adventure” for us, find the library, go to the beach, visit a museum. We did eventually live in a really nice house on Key Biscayne where I learned how to break open coconuts on the street and how to use sea cucumbers as an impromptu squirt guns while exploring the beach after a big storm. 

I could have been scared and mad, but then I would have missed the adventure and all of the experiences that came with it. Not all of the experiences were good, like being the new kid in school in the middle of 7th grade.  Having to ride a school bus for half an hour each way to a school in a part of town that was “different” from ours.  And, being in classes with kids who spoke a language that I didn´t understand.  Those experiences, good and bad, made me who I am today, an adventurous soul who relishes seeing new places, meeting new people and of course, eating new foods. 

I guess it was that move to Miami when the word adventure entered my life, and I’m glad it did. I see unexpected experiences as opportunities to do and feel things I never knew existed and never would have known to seek out.  An adventurous outlook on life has made the ups and downs of life just part of the fun. Let’s face it, we all came to this life for the adventure. Being scared of the new and unknown just limits the ride. Being open to, and excited about, the fun to come makes the bumps easier to take and leaves you with a much better story to tell when it’s all over.

These days when I begin a new adventure my belly still gets butterflies about not knowing “how” everything will go, but my heart says, “YEE HAW let’s get this party started!”