This weekend my good friend Rikki and I took our kids on an adventure to see a secret waterfall in the middle of the desert. It’s an area called Jump Creek, and you drive past a bunch of corn fields, park at a trail head, hike through a trail, and you end up at an amazing waterfall. Not only was it a fun experience for us, it was a great adventure with our kids. Jump Creek is, in itself, taking the adventurous route in terms of a weekend experience. But we also decided to take the path less traveled on our way back to the trail head. Not only was that more fun for us, it’s also a good lesson in life. I’m an “adventurous route” kind of gal, and I think everyone can be that person if they work to find those opportunities and jump on them.
Taking Risks and Saying Yes
There are a million different ways you can spend a Sunday, and I think that it’s important to sometimes do something a little more adventurous. Sometimes we tend to feel comfortable with what we know, but taking risks can really help our sense of self. It’s hard to get up and decide to go to an area like Jump Creek that you’ve never been to before, or to go camping in an area you don’t know, or to hike a trail you’ve never hiked before. How hard is it? Where’s the trail head? Will my GPS take me all the way there? But, we tend to learn a lot through the hard stuff.
I hadn’t been to any of these places until I just went to the book store and bought a book about trails in Idaho. I had to take control if I wanted to explore, so I made it happen knowing that there was a lot I wouldn’t know. But I took a risk and said yes anyway. I wish I could explain the adventurous, independent, and freeing feeling you’ll have when you decide to do something out of your comfort zone! I really believe this is true in many areas of life, not just in what you decide to do with your Sunday.
Teaching Ourselves and Our Children
On our way back to the car after playing in the waterfall, we could have taken the trail back, but we decided to walk through the water and in the caves on our way back. The trail is easier, but not nearly as adventurous or beautiful. We looked up into the boulders, walked through streams, and climbed over rocks the entire way. The kids had a blast, and we marveled at how amazing the scenery was as we trekked back. What this teaches us is that taking the adventurous way pays off, and that we are free to choose our direction at any given moment. Each time we take a risk, even a small one like taking the more adventurous route sometimes, we are changing the way we think and make decisions.
Each of our decisions also teaches our children. Even if we aren’t framing it as a lesson for them, they are learning from us all the time. Our children are learning that their parent feels confident and adventurous in these situations, and that they can feel that way too. They are learning that they can forge their own path, and that they don’t have to follow the easiest trail all the time. In fact, some of the best parts of life happen when you take the more adventurous route. Every time you choose that path, they learn from that decision.
That trip was just a fun way to spend a few hours on a Sunday, but it really got me thinking about taking risks, saying yes to adventure, and how those decisions teach us and our children about life.
If you have the chance, take the risk. Say yes to adventure. You’ll learn so much more!