Going on adventures is great. Coming home is hard. It is awesome to reconnect with friends and family, it feels really great to take a hot shower every morning, and to make coffee and an omelet on a stove, but in the end, the novelty wears off. Eventually, the ease of living in your home with electricity and running water becomes a cause for boredom and resentment. Soon enough, the hot water becomes cool, the kitchen gets dirty, and you find yourself stuck in the tedium of life.
Many of us are searching for an endless summer, struggling to cope with the idea that we have to hold a job (at least enough to afford food and health insurance) when all we really want to do is explore, and to live. I mean really live. I don’t mean a life that cycles around a 9 to 5, I don’t mean living just to kill time until we die. That is why we (or at least I) go on adventures; I am striving to live a life without the doldrums of monotony.
I recently returned from a very extended road trip, I was lucky enough to have had the time to spend over three months living in my not-so-trusty Jeep while climbing every rock in sight. It was a strange realization to find that I am happiest sleeping in a hammock, I am happiest cooking over a campfire, I am happiest in the outdoors. Realizing these things was scary, not because I fear an alternative lifestyle, but because I fear the return. I fear the moment that I pull into my driveway, I fear the time when the trip is done, when I untie my boots and knock the mud off of them.
Now, I am home. I live in a lovely home in Colorado, with great friends and roommates, but still, I find myself starring at the ceiling wishing it were millions of stars. Returning from any trip is difficult; it is a struggle to embrace the normality of existence, once you have lived. However, living on the road has taught me that adventure is not only a physical struggle but also a mental marathon. Each day, when you wake up somewhere new, you have to get out of a cozy sleeping bag, make campfire coffee, meet new people, get lost, hike hours in the wrong direction, and struggle with loneliness and anxiety. Ultimately though, when you are on the road or on the trail, these things become normal, they become the best moments of your life.
It is crucial to live every day like you are waking up somewhere new. Whether you are just returning from a trip or have yet to take the adventure that awakens your soul, strive to see the world with new eyes. There are always new people to meet; there will always be wrong trails to take and stars to be stared at. Life at home will never be the same as life on the road and no five coarse meal will ever taste as good as freeze dried fajitas after a 20 mile day, but with a little effort, even your home town can become the vessel for adventure.
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