I have friends and family who have seen three times more of the world than me, speak and use many languages and have been immersed in many cultures. I follow their adventures with so much curiosity and anticipation of stories. I love that I am surrounded by such explorers who make me want to keep moving and wandering.
I also have friends who have infused their lives with different kinds of adventures through their jobs, arts, passions, and families. They don’t give up on their dreams; rather, they live for their dreams. They give me an important perspective on contentment and perserverance.
That said, most or all of my friends and family move in-between these two paths, or find themselves in transition from one to another. Some transitions are fun, some are exciting, and some are very difficult. We are constantly moving between—at least I know that I am.
All adventure is important.
I have an adventure every day. It’s a goal that I set for myself daily whether the adventure is an exerted effort like a day trip or buying a random item at a gas station. These adventures have changed my perspective on life. Sometimes they are random and wonder-filled, far out of town or astray from any normal routine, but more often than not, they are as simple as visiting my favorite paleteria, writing, or meeting up with friends.
Last summer, I traveled for two months, in an effort to be 'placeless'. I learned and redetermined so much about my life, my relationships, and my priorities. I went everywhere and wrote everywhere. In fact, I think the only person who could 'keep track' of me was my mom.
This summer, though I'll still be traveling, is different. I am not so much trying to be 'placeless' but 'in place'. I'm not really sure what that means, but I'm certain that exploring new parts of familiar (and unfamiliar) places will allow me to develop my understanding of adventure.
Even though the idea of Outlaw Summer is to travel around New Mexico, I am spending some time on the coasts before it truly begins in the Wild West.
My first Outlaw Summer adventure was to travel to Los Angeles for my brother’s wedding. It was a beautiful ceremony on the beach in a cover that looked like it was straight out of the Little Mermaid, when Ariel shipwrecks on the beach and discovers that she is, at once, in control of her own destiny and (quite literally) able to walk the path of her dreams.
This struck me significant that in marriage, my brother and sister-in-law are making this choice.
In a lesser philosophical significance-- we also went to Disneyland to celebrate.
All of my immediate family was at the wedding and able to take this trip together. This is the first actual vacation all six—now eight—of us have been on together since 2010.
We didn’t spend every second together, but it was pretty wonderful to be in the same place and especially to celebrate the wedding.
Disneyland is all about Star Wars now. I am all about Star Wars.
Disney also has Pirates of the Caribbean.
Universal Studios is all about Harry Potter now. I might have left my ghost in Hogsmede.
Universal also has a live velociraptor.
These theme parks are not only an epicenter of hyperreality, they are places of realizing dreams. Breaking down dreams of movie characters gives us courage to seek adventure and realize that failure is not the end of the story.
That’s the fiction writer in me, looking for the story arcs, but we were all pretty happy kids. It was great to be there with my family.