Adventure. We all seek it in our own ways. For some it looks like roughing it in a tent for a weekend, for some sky-diving, and for some trying mysterious foods. Basically, anything involving both adrenaline and the outdoors falls into this category automatically. Adventure is a really attractive concept. Without it, wouldn’t life be pretty bland? The less shiny side of the coin, however, are the mishaps that come with the territory of adventure.
The night spent sleeping on the airport floor in Dublin (personal experience) might not have been ideal at the time, but it is a night I’ll never forget. The fact that our trip to the Cliffs of Moher got canceled due to rain was a bummer, but it gave us more time in Dublin and led to the discovery of an old converted church-turned-bar that is now one of my all-time favorite restaurants. Taking things in stride is key to enjoying travel. Allowing yourself to stress over minuscule details will incapacitate you from fully experiencing the richness of traveling. Delayed flights and noisy hostel mates are out of your control anyway. If you never missed a train, you would never know how sweet of a feeling it is to make one by a matter of seconds, and believe me, it is sweet.
I would not want to leave Europe in a month having had a “perfect” experience. Let alone the fact that that probably is not even possible. I can show my family and friends photos for hours, but the best stories will start with, “This one time after a concert in Amsterdam, we didn’t get home until 3:00a.m because everything that could have gone wrong did…”. Without the low points like transportation missteps, bad weather, and rookie tourist mistakes, how would I know what to consider a high point? Without bad days, how do you know what good days are?
I also never want to believe the falsehood that adventure can only be found in a foreign country. One can seek adventure right in their own backyard, and that includes Waco, TX. The adventurous spirit that I have cultivated these past couple months will always be a part of me, regardless of where I am in this world at any given time. It was there before Maastricht, and now it is stronger than ever.
My encouragement to you, readers, is to not be afraid of all the possible negative occurrences that could come with traveling. As cliché as it is, it really does always work out, one way or another. Misfortunes turn into funny memories if you choose to let them. I would venture to say, that without the mishaps, adventure is an incomplete picture.