11 Ways To Shake Things Up
The Best of Times|February 2020
Are you living an adventure-starved life?
Vella Mbenna

Have you fallen into a routine of drudgery? Do you feel stuck there? You’re not alone. If we’re honest, many of us will admit that we’re kind of going through the motions—work, home, eat, TV, sleep, repeat—and living by default instead of design. Life isn’t bad; it’s just dull. Uninspired. Actually (and ironically), a bit lifeless. We shouldn’t just accept our adventure-starved status quo.

Life is meant to be really lived. I’ve come to believe adventure is a deep human need. We read about it in books and we watch it in movies because deep down we crave it.

And we owe it to ourselves to pursue things that give us that spark, that jolt of excitement. It doesn’t matter how old you are or what your income is. You can and should weave some adventure into your life.

Growing up in rural Georgia, I dreamed of travel and excitement. But after college I found myself broke, divorced, and struggling to raise my child alone. All that changed when I joined the Foreign Service and embarked on a 26-year adventure in which I lived in dangerous parts of the world, performed high-states diplomatic work, and defended my country in the wake of deadly terrorist attacks. My career provided the adventure I had always craved.

If you too feel adventure-starved, don’t worry. There are plenty of small ways to infuse totally ordinary days with life-shifting excitement—and it doesn’t require a globetrotting career or a big budget. Follow these tips to create the adventurous life you’re dreaming of.

1. First, commit to a self-imposed TV or social media ban. Before you can start your adventures, you need to stop doing the stuff that sucks up all your free time and keeps you in a state of lethargy. When turning on the TV or browsing Facebook is no longer an option, you’ll have to fill up your time with something. If nothing else, boredom will push you out the door.

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Photos blended and used with permission by Mike and Mark Mangham of Twin Blends Photography. Vintage photos courtesy of Keith Todaro and LSUS Archives and Special Collections. For more blended photos, visit www.facebook.com/twinblendsphotography.

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