To often in life we make sacrifices without thinking about them.
We sacrifice fun for contentment.
We sacrifice adventure for safety.
We play it safe.
We live day to day without REALLY feeling alive.
Driving the same route to work every day, seeing the same people every day, doing the same tasks.
Days blur into weeks, weeks into months, and if you’re not careful, months into years.
You don’t really notice it, but sometimes you get the vague sensation that your life is being sucked away as you dissolve into your cubicle walls under the fluorescent lights of your office.
The moments when we do feel alive are fleeting.
The end of a sad movie about death.
When you catch a glimpse of a starry sky.
When you go away for a vacation.
Sometimes something going wrong is exactly what we need.
For Felix it was a collapsed lung.
Being deprived of a life-giving organ, made him realize that he was depriving himself of life in some ways.
He realized that he didn’t feel alive as often as we wanted. He wanted to live BIGGER, to live LOUDER, to fill his life with more adventure, to feel the rush of feeling alive, and conquering obstacles that you don’t get on a day to day basis.
He signed up. Found a partner. Found a car. And before they knew it, they were off. Starting a trip that would take them over 17,000kms, 38 days and through 17 Countries.
They were surrounded at gunpoint on the border between Turkey and Iran.
They were stuck in a river as their Ford Fiesta filled with water.
They were smoking shisha and playing backgammon in Iran, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
They were camping night after night under the stars in the desert.
They were ALIVE.
So often when we think about a vacation, we look for relaxation. We think we need to relax in contrast to the stress of day to day work. So we pick beach resorts and tropical getaways. We THINK that we need relaxation, but what we are really craving is to feel alive. The contrast isn’t between stress and relaxation, it is between sleepwalking through a routine or feeling alive. Between the daily grind or an adventure.
So the next time you travel, don’t look for a 3-week vacation, look for a 3-week adventure!
Go somewhere interesting, and come back, not with a tan and a souvenir, but instead with stories that will last a lifetime.
To hear more about Felix’s crazy adventure on The Mongol Rally, listen to my interview with him on The World Wanderer’s Podcast.