Adventures aren't always fun

Several years ago I overheard one of my colleagues recounting the weekend's’ activities with his son. I can’t remember the whole story, but it involved a last minute frantic dash across a crowded train station, and they almost missed the train. The one thing I did remember from his story, was something his seven-year-old son said once they’d sat down and caught their breath...

‘Daddy, adventures aren’t always fun’.

Quite a profound insight from a seven-year-old! One I find useful to remember often.

Here I share a few reflections on how easy it can be to make big life changes and try new things if we set our expectations around them in the right way and adopt a mindset for adventure rather than being ‘happy’.

You’ll know if you’ve read ‘About’ me’, that my most recent big life change starts pretty much now with a one-way flight to Barcelona. Sick of being sat at my desk writing about trends in Millennial mindsets, I decided I’d actually ‘live’ some instead.

I’m headed to Barcelona to explore a new lifestyle and new way of working with the Trend Forecasting agency I’m employed by. Previously, I’ve only ever spent a week in Barcelona, on a research project, maybe 6 years ago. I don’t have any friends in the city, and I don’t speak Spanish. Some people sound surprised by my choice, but to me, it’s quite clear - I know almost nothing so there is everything to learn.

In most of life, like all of us, I’m looking for ways to make things easier, better, faster and more enjoyable - I want to spend less time doing the things that don’t make me happy and more time doing the things that do. This mindset is actually really unhelpful if we want to make big life changes or try new things. Like adventures, big life changes are risky, uncertain, exciting, and if we remember the wise words of my boss’ son - ‘they’re not always fun’.

Adopting an adventure mindset can help us to decide on big (and small) life changes, and make them happen. So far it’s helped me take a 2 month sabbatical in India, quit a well-paid job in London to go back to college part time to retrain as an interior designer, and move to a new country.

So when I get to Barcelona, yes I’ll be enjoying the sunshine and I’ll meet some great new people, but I can also expect that...

  • Things will go wrong

  • I will get lost (even with Google Maps)

  • I will feel lonely

  • I will question whether I’ve made the right decision

  • Google translate will become tiring and confusing

And that I’ll figure it all out.

I’ll leave you with another quote that I find inspiring, with a similar theme.

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” Helen Keller

In future posts, I’ll share more on how my adventure unfolds.

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