Adventure is for Everyone

Adventure: the word, or root of the word, could be a noun – “We had an adventure” just like “we ate a bagel”. The root of the word could be an adjective – “She was adventurous” just like “the bagel was tasty”. The root could even be a verb – “we adventured to the river” just like the “the girl adventured with a bagel”. But what is interesting, at least I think so, adventuring cannot be portrayed as negative. Sure, you can talk about adventuring in bad places, or bad things, or experiencing something that was not expected, but the word (or root of the word) cannot be negative. This is because an adventure is simply an experience, good or bad, defined by the events, people, and places which occur during the adventure.

So that brings me to thinking – how can an experience and an adventure be connected? How can we be more understanding of our experiences? And what can we do to ensure our experiences turn into full scale adventures? Because let’s bring it to simple terms – what would life be without experience, without adventure? Therefore, I have broken it down into four segments:  understanding (or knowledge), belief, diversity, and time.

  1. There are many things in this world which we cannot possibly understand. The famous, “how is the sky blue?”, rings a bell as one of the most interesting. How can we be absolutely positive it is “blue”?

Through experience, the sky has been defined.

While we cannot begin to understand everything, there is so much to learn, based on these pre-labeled definitions. With learning, the sky is the limit – if that limit truly exists (I don’t believe in limits).

By learning, the sky can be expanded.

  1. There are also many things in this world we cannot see, but still believe. The first thing that comes to mind to me is hope. There is an inherent faith that the world will give us (or reward us in terms of karma) good things when we in turn give back, work hard and true, or provide good things as well – the golden rule. This faith, hope, is common across cultures, ages, and doesn’t require religion. But we cannot see it, so why do we adhere to it?

Through experience (by us, our parents/grandparents, and our ancestors), belief was born.

  1. The world is made of so much to see, to hear, to dance to, to sing to. The world is the one thing that nothing else on this world is: it is for everyone.

The world is diverse, plentiful, yet starving for improvement.

  1. This world – which may or may not be similar to other worlds – has time. Time is the root of all experience, all adventure. Without time, there would never be faith, hope, or blue skies. The world would exist – or maybe not exist. Time is our greatest gift and our most dreaded enemy.

As I wrote those words, I was on a plane above the Pacific. The plane – a Boeing 787 – made its debut carrying commercial passengers with that flight – an adventure in its own right. The windows were equipped with smart windows (completely electronically controlled) and adjust automatically to outside light or by user control, removing the need for window shades. The seat/aircraft design was also completely different from the other international flights which I have been on.  My scientific mind was absolutely fascinated.

However so was my social mind. I sat at the window seat, with no neighbor. The middle seat was unoccupied as we traveled the many miles toward our destination. Happiness, comfort were just two emotions I felt as my elbows had room to move around. To be alone is sometimes the best adventure. However, not for the many hours I sat on the plane. Luckily, I was surrounded by neighbors in every other direction. Most were Korean – speaking in the Korean language (Hanguel). My language is nowhere near the professional speaking that they use, but a few words I can understand.  Surprisingly, most were completely open to communicating with me (especially after they realized why my adventure led me there). Most were encouraging me to teach English – to enjoy the night life – to visit as much as I can – and to eat the street food. Others were asking for my business cards, I thought that was funny because I have never really given those out before. Others even asked if I had any Korean family members. I am pretty used to this comment, as I have some physical features (my eyes and skin tone) which could resemble Asian features. It was a nice experience after a series of bad experiences.

My adventure here has been long; many long lines, transportation vessels, and countries. I had missed a connection, therefore extending travel one day. This caused me to also miss my presentation at a scientific conference: a huge disappointment to me. But, with every bad experience leads to something new, something unexpected, something to learn from. By missing the flight, I was able to see the North American West Coast, visit downtown Vancouver, something that I wouldn’t have experienced otherwise. I landed in Seoul, South Korea with relief, a feeling of “finally”, and excitement to start my journey.

Two weeks later ————————————-

I have lived in South Korea now for two weeks. There is no other word to describe the experience other than beautiful. I have met many people, visited cities from Seoul to Busan, and started my academic stay in Daejeon. The overall well-being of people seems natural, happy, peaceful and this is refreshing. The landscape is filled with mountains and the valleys filled with life: moving waterways, healthy crops, and flocking wildlife. For me, I cannot believe the view, the life, the atmosphere, the nature. Which brings me straight back to the idea of adventure, of many experiences pilled together.

I understand Korea as natural. My experiences have defined the places I have been as pleasant, welcoming, and green. I believe, as well as others, that good and bad experiences both play a role in a fruitful adventure – because without them we would never learn (or gain understanding/knowledge). I see things through a straight and narrow eye, but with time, my vision can be diversified. This is the true value of adventure.

And so my adventure will continue, and so will yours. I encourage you to dive into something that you are not familiar with, so that you may too have adventures. Through good and bad experiences, you will learn (gain understanding/knowledge) of the world around you, strengthening your diversity and your beliefs in our world. Through time, you will see that everything in your life was an adventure and that you wished you had started earlier. But even in that regard, starting is its own adventure. I wish you many happy days, filled with experiences, because you never know when your biggest adventure will take place. Through knowledge, belief, diversity and time you can experience all that you want and things that you may never have imagined. Happy adventuring!

-Happiness in Handfulls

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