What Makes an Adventure?

Adventure Time in Melbourne, Australia, 2013


A lot of people get their adventures in life by watching other people on screens, reading about them in books, playing games in exquisitely detailed imagined worlds, or simply by daydreaming.

I have been wondering lately if people do this out of fear, or just absolute belief that they could not do such things on their own.

People take exotic vacations and tend to do packaged deals, all-inclusive, and why? Yeah, it’s nice and relaxing, but you could do that at home – why spend so much to go so far, and not really immerse yourself in the culture? Why take a prescribed route? That’s boring, it doesn’t challenge you, and you don’t grow. Fair enough if that’s what you want, but ask yourself are you afraid, or are you actually content with a mediocre life?

It actually does not take a lot to get out of your comfort zone, you can take small steps to get where you dream of going.

When I went to Thailand last year, I admit, I was extremely nervous, mostly due to other circumstances I was going through at the time that had me at a heightened state of anxiety. As soon as I got out of that situation, my anxiety vanished and I booked my trip. I actually planned VERY little, and listened to the people (who were MANY) who had gone before and insisted it was fine, and easy. I had a basic idea of what I wanted to do, learned a few things to watch out for, and that’s it. No concrete plans, I just went, and I loved it. That’s how I like to do things – learn the crucial info and then wing it – then it’s a real adventure because you have no clue what to expect!

All the people who had not been to Thailand were concerned about me going. These people are not adventurous, or sit in front of video game worlds for hours upon hours each day, or assume that bad things happen only in other places, and never our own. Everyone who had been said the exact opposite and were wildly positive about their experiences. I will never let fear stop me – only intuition.

So what makes an adventure? Getting yourself out in the actual, physical world. Doing things you’ve never done. Doing things you think you cannot do. Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. Exploring everything. Examining your surroundings wherever you are. Getting into NATURE. Moving your body! Dreaming big and going for it. Knowing that ordinary people are the ones accomplishing extraordinary things, they just believe they can and do the work, and so can you.

Don’t waste your life in a fantasy world – create a real one. The fantasy begins after we die – because no one knows what happens – but you can choose what happens to you now, so make it count.


Recommended Reading:

How to Be an Explorer of the World
Courage: The Joy of Living Dangerously
Four Corners
And many others

Photos of My Favourite Adventures

I’ve had a pretty full life so far and it is continuously getting more and more adventurous as I get older and more confident.

Even when I have been self-doubting and fearful, I have pressed forward, traveled alone, moved to new places, and taken daily opportunities for adventures. I’ve always had this need to explore and experience – to LIVE and not just exist. Something as simple as dancing naked in the rain on New Years Eve (done it), or hiking in the dark, or attempting something new – these are prescriptions for a non- typical existence.

Here are just a sampling of exciting times in my life!

Tofino BC, 2001 – this is the first time I ever went surfing, though I’d wanted to since I was 12 (so it took me 10 years to do so).

Raglan, New Zealand, 2005 – that is not me surfing, but it was somewhere I wanted to visit ever since seeing it in Endless Summer.

North Shore, Oahu, Hawaii, 2010 – Pipeline – a dream to see this crazy place in person. It sounded like thunder!

Port Moody, BC, 2008 – there was a sign saying there was a cougar spotted in the area, so I pretended to be the cougar.

Coral Bay, Western Australia, 2005 – this is where I went on a swim with whale sharks – still the coolest thing I’ve ever done.

Phuket, Thailand, 2013 – me and one of many beach dogs. Such a fantastic island. Solo trip.

Chiang Mai, Thailand, 2013 – part of my month-long solo trip last year.

Paris, France, 2011 – family trip with my Dad, Uncle, and his wife.

Gabriola Island, BC, 2007 – my dog Leya, and my friend Amy, on a jaunt through the woods.

Squamish, BC, 2008 – on the Chief mountain, with Leya – the first time I’d ever hiked up a mountain. My dog slept for 2 days after and I had a hard time walking for a week.

Lollapalooza, Vancouver, BC, 1993 – this was probably my pinnacle year. It defined who I’d become.

Whistler, BC, 1993 – I’d go here in summer with my mom. Went white-water rafting. Mostly checked out skater boys.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1992 – the first time I ever caught a wave was here, on a boogie board. Hooked. Warmest water I’ve ever been in.

Mission, BC, 1990 –  me and my dad at a swimming hole – I was 12.

What are some of your favourite adventures?? Please share with me!

Some Photos From Thailand and Australia

If you’ve been reading a while, you will know that I went overseas in February for a month!

I had never been to Asia, and nor had I traveled alone to this extent. It was glorious and much-needed. A huge treat and confidence booster. I cannot recommend either country enough. I am in love with Thailand, and already adored Australia. Here are my favourite pictures that were taken on my journey.

In Pai on the bamboo bridge, Northern Thailand.

Elephant wash.

Mango feast by the river.

Christy, Colleen, and I in Chiang Mai’s Night Bazaar.

At the waterfalls of Doi Suthep.

My most favourite gimpy dog, Gimpy (I can’t remember her real Thai name). In Pai. I wanted to take this dog home!!

Eating watermelon on the deck of my hut. It was about $15.50 a night. With that view out the back.


My SUGARCANE JUICE totally matches my bag, woah. Sunburn in full effect.

Nai Harn Beach, Phuket.

Me and my pal Gilles. He’s 8. He reminded me of Bart Simpson – sweet but bratty!

Me and Baby in Mai Khao, Phuket. She followed me to the beach when I got to where I was staying. The sun was in our eyes.

By a beach fire in north Phuket.

Me and Jasmine, who was there with her boyfriend Karolis, staying at the same huts on the beach as me. They were early 20s from the UK, super nice.


Effin’ pool party! Shannan and Mahala in the back (I stayed with Shannan).

Me and Shannan at Dandenong Ranges. Like my shirt? Fruit thought-bubbles! Also…the shirt says “Little Miss Dirty Mind.” What a damn perfect shirt.

Me at St. Kilda’s Beach. It was hella windy.

Shannan and Mahala at the beach on our road trip down Great Ocean Road.


GOBS of street art in Melbourne. TONS.

A Hiatus Halted


I have been absent for a while, with good reason. I have had a fairly intense first quarter of 2013.

Starting with a long-term relationship ending, then a month-long trip to Thailand and Australia, then reintegrating back into work and life…tiring! I am glad to be where I am, though a lot of me is missing my adventures and freedom from responsibility.

When I find myself resenting having to work, or monotony of necessary chores, I quickly remind myself that i could be digging in a sapphire mine in Madagascar for $2 a day, or working a ping-pong show in Phuket – what would I prefer? My lovely job at a wonderful bookstore, obviously. I view it as a meditation. A trade for experience.

I would gladly trade my time for experiences like the photos here. When I buy something, I think to myself: would I work 3 hours in exchange for this? Would I work 2 weeks in exchange for this?

My dad taught me this trick – to view things you buy in terms of time spent, not money spent. And to me, my time is precious. I don’t get to live forever, and I wish I could. So if I am gonna have to work, I am gonna use the money wisely. I don’t always, but generally I do, and when people say I am lucky to travel for a month…well…am I? Or did I save my money for 2 years and not buy dumb shit? Am I lucky to afford a fresh healthy diet? Not really. I managed to even when I made minimum wage and worked part-time. I just choose to go without things I do not need. I have even given up on buying books, which for me is CRAZY.

I feel a lightness when I think this way, and enjoy the simplicity of my job. I like the freedom it ALLOWS me, not what it takes away.

Here’s to my next journey!


Photos taken at Elephant Nature Park, an elephant sanctuary in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

More posts coming SOON.

The Glory of Change

A year of changes already.

A long-term relationship over, the great barrier to my full self – I feel a great freedom at last.

The last months have been full of zest and anxiety, January was so harsh and tumbled that I dare not post, I could not really concentrate on anything, except moving on, moving forward, escape.

I have been so fully focused on me, so I could do hard things, hurt someone I care for deeply, and be a voracious vixen once again. It took a lot of courage, I pushed past my comfort zone, and now I do again.

I am off to the other side of the world, to eat copious amounts of tropical fruit, play with dogs, lay on the most epic beaches, read books of substance, swim, float, write, get massaged, explore, visit friends, sweat, turn even further inward, find that place in myself that was lost, and most importantly, turn wild again.

Freedom has always been the most important thing to me – the freedom to be fully myself, in any situation.

I am now in a good headspace, but I know it can be even better. Now is a month of succulence, melty feelings, and bikinis.

One Words: Brave

I am planning a trip to Thailand and Australia (where I’ve already been) for next winter, around January or February, so I can escape the winter here, at least for a while. This is my long-term goal – to travel all winter, and to live it up in Vancouver in the summer – I love Vancouver summers, with the lovely tree lined beaches and the copious blueberries.

At first the idea of Thailand excited me – after a few months, though, the idea started to terrify me. I started focusing on all the possible BAD things – the way animals are treated and the types of things they eat (!), the possible diseases (and I do NOT want vaccines or medication), the HEAT, the language barrier, the long distances between all the places I want to go (of course my two specifics are in south and northern Thailand). At least I have a friend in Bangkok. Of course my family and boyfriend have told me other horrible things, too.

I have never traveled to a country that does not speak English, by myself. I have been to Brazil (my uncle lives there and speaks Portuguese), and I have been to France (also with my uncle, who speaks French), but otherwise everywhere I have been has been English speaking and not scary at all.

I decided to hype myself up about it today, and realize that going there is going to make me even more brave. I am a pretty ballsy person and not much scares me – in fact I eradicated my only phobia a couple of years ago (earthquakes) because of a quote I read about anxiety (damn I wish I had that quote) – basically it was akin to saying that when you are in a bad situation, your fight-or-flight will kick in and you just KNOW how to respond, which will be entirely different than you could ever picture – so worrying about it is kind of pointless.

This is not to say I don’t want to know any inherent dangers – my boyfriend and my parents are worried about me going there alone, but I am an obsessive researcher and by the time I go, I will be really well-read about the country. I even did this before I went to New Zealand and Australia – that was my first huge trip on my own.

Every time I have made a big decision, things have occurred that have made me braver, stronger, and more inclined to take on intimidating pursuits. I’ve also come away from all of those experiences a much smarter person.

Bravery is one of those kinds of things that flow – the more you do, the more brave you become, and the ballsier you get. I went from the kid afraid of the low diving board to being excited to jump off high rocks into a mountain creek. I went from being the most sensitive, scared child to being the most whip-snap defensive woman you can imagine (not that I am always like that, but I have the ability!)

So why do I want to go to Thailand?

It’s cheap (once you’re there). Tropical, ripe, local fruit to gorge on. Volunteering at an elephant sanctuary. Volunteering at an amazing dog shelter. To see my friend. To dance into the night. To lay in the sun. To swim in WARM waters. To relax. To heal. To get massages on a regular basis. To see beautiful sights. Bury myself in beach sands. To experience something completely foreign. To be taken out of my comfort zone. To challenge myself. To have something awesome to write about. To meet other people. So many reasons, and these are the things I must focus on, to keep a positive, excited attitude instead of getting sucked in my fears – my own and other people’s.

Australia I just want to go again because I want to see my amazing friend, in a new city where I have not been (Melbourne) and enjoy the country in a way I was not able to do the first time around.

Travel, I think, makes you a much braver person, a smarter person, and happier. At the end of life, I will be glad I went.


One Words are a series of one-word prompts I felt compelled to do. This is the first.

Photo source: Unknown (found on tumblr).