Adventure Calling? Or Same Old, Same Old?

If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine. It is lethal.

~ Paulo Coelho

Postcard from Barbara

Easy Adventure Starters

Postcard from Barbara

Even though Jason Reitman grew up with a film director father, he thought he might become a doctor. When he discussed this idea with his dad, the elder Reitman gave him the same advice his father had given him when he was thinking about taking a corporate job. “There’s not enough magic in it,” he pointed out.

Apparently Jason Reitman agreed and at the ripe old age of thirty he was nominated for an Academy Award for directing Juno.

I wish there were more Grandpa Reitmans in the world. If so, we wouldn’t be seeing the epidemic of what I call Adventure Deficit Disorder. The symptoms are easy to spot: lack of enthusiasm coupled with loads of self-doubt enhanced by frustration and dissatisfaction.

Instead of adventure, life for many has been about material accumulation, not life enriching experiences. It’s hard to have a life of creation if you’ve created a life of maintenance. As writer Alexandra Stoddard warns, “Life’s too short to spend it being the caretaker of the wrong things.”

So what’s an adventure anyway? My favorite definition says, “an adventure is any undertaking the outcome of which cannot be known at the outset.” It’s the polar opposite of living with scheduled certainty.

Adventure is propelled by curiosity, imagination and a willingness to be delighted by the unexpected.

You don’t need a trip down the Amazon to qualify as an adventurer. You do, however, have to be an active participant in creating an adventurous life.   

When my daughter Jennie was entering high school, she decided to spend the summer Becoming Cultured. She had very specific ideas what that meant. For starters, her summer reading did not include the usual fluff. It was time to tackle The Classics. 

Becoming Cultured also meant expanding her cooking horizons. Up to that point, her kitchen repertoire was pretty much limited to some snappy French toast, but that summer she decided to learn the art of French cooking. We swooned over her perfect hollandaise and fretted over the lumps in her chocolate mousse. 

As Jennie demonstrated, true adventure is about expanding boundaries and horizons. It’s not being satisfied with the familiar. Adventurous living can happen anyplace, anytime.   

So why do so many people living in this rich, fascinating world suffer from Adventure Deficit Disorder? Fear of the unknown, years of advice to play it safe and disapproval of others has kept untold numbers of adventures from being born. But those aren’t the only villains.

Author Richard Bach discovered an even more insidious adventure killer that may be hard to give up. “In order to live free and happily,” he wrote, “you must sacrifice boredom. It is not always an easy sacrifice.”

If inviting more adventure into your life is a priority for this new year (or the rest of your life),

make curiosity your partner. Explore more. Be willing to be a klutz. Invest your time and money in new experiences with people you’ve never met before.

Make this a regular part of your new year and when it comes to an end, you’ll have stories to tell of your most wonderful year so far.

Easy Adventure Starters

Even a brief change of scenery can be good for our curiosity and our creativity. As the popular meme reminds us, “Everyone you meet knows something that you don’t.”

Putting ourselves in a seminar room or on an airplane or park bench can be an invitation to a new point of view.

Here are a few to investigate.

Hang Out With Your Tribe

After a longer than expected hiatus, Joyfully Jobless Weekends are back and I couldn’t be more eager to meet the people who join us. These events are designed to nurture your entrepreneurial mindset in a distraction-free environment surrounded by other creatively self-employed folks.

No matter if you’re just exploring the idea of self-employment or already underway in your own Joyfully Jobless Journey, spending time in one or all three of the programs will be like getting another stamp in your passport.

Each event will begin with Becoming a Great Idea Detective on Friday evening. We launch with the first Joyfully Jobless Weekend in Seattle, WA on March 27 & 28.

You can get all the pertinent information at

Oh, and seating is limited so you can get to know the other folks in the room where it happens. Don’t dither to sign up if you want to be one of them!

Great Habits Class for Writers and Athletes

Coming soon to your computer is Ilana Kristeva, streaming live on Self-Care Sundays. She will share her 7 Key Ingredients for Vibrancy, 26 Self-Care Vigilante Affirmations, and 9 different mindfulness mediation/tapping exercises continue to move readers and listeners from scarcity consciousness (“not enough-ism”) to prosperity consciousness (“we have more options than we think.”)

This is a special opportunity for writers and athletes to come together and transform tears of pain into tears of laughter. Breathe, tap, and laugh with this amazing storyteller as she shares her process of dissolving threads that bind us to unhealthy habits so we may build great new habits—together! Does this resonate with you? Learn more about this class by going to Ilana's Great Habits Class for Writers and Athletes at 

REGISTER TODAY: Great Habits Class for Writers and Athletes is a “live” one-hour online class from 8:00-9:00 a.m. PST on Self-Care Sundays—the first four (4) Sundays of every month—beginning on Sunday, February 2, 2020 through Sunday, December 27th. Sign up for this weekly class (free in February) by emailing

Want to Travel and/or Live Abroad?

Paul Heller has started a new business called Fifty Plus Nomad. It is a website for people over the age of 50 who want to live or travel abroad for an extended time period.

The site is loaded with terrific advice gathered from a lifetime of exploration. Heller also plans to add seminars on traveling for extended periods of time plus writing books about some of his favorite places to spend time. investigate at

Roots and Wings

Gretchen Rubin shared this quote from Ann Patchett today. It’s worth pondering.

What we want out of a vacation changes as we age. It changes from vacation to vacation. There was a time when it was all about culture for me. My idea of a real break was to stay in museums until my legs ached and then go stand in line to get tickets for an opera or a play. Later I became a disciple of relaxation and looked for words like beach and massage when making my plans. I found those little paper umbrellas that balanced on the side of rum drinks to be deeply charming then. Now I strive for transcendent invisibility and the chance to accomplish the things I can’t get done at home. But as I pack up my room at the Hotel Bel-Air, I think the best vacation is the one that relieves me of my own life for a while and then makes me long for it again.

Buon Viaggio,  

Barbara Winter

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