By Brian Miller

Coax from Comfortable Routine

My father always encouraged me to investigate maps and cultivate curiosity. He pushed me to make up my own mind, gain experience, and be inspired. I see life in snapshots – slight turns of the head and glimpses of romance, magic moments immortalized in the shoebox of my mind.

When I see the throbbing crowd I go the other direction. I find simple magic beautifully compelling and even more so when I open my eyes and heart to it. It’s in a child’s laugh or the celebration of a goal or a simple toast to friends. I’m charmed by unfamiliar spaces and that’s where my pulse quickens the most. I never intended to be an intrepid traveler or seafaring gypsy, only to push the scope of my own experience and existence. The things I have, and they are cool things, are mementos from adventures.  

Yes, I have paid prices along the way. Cuts, broken bones, dislocations, stitches, chipped teeth, but I’m still standing. Most folks don’t want to get uncomfortable, but I do. I want to have blisters and scars, to do something worth remembering. If I die then I die, but my soul, my spirit will venture on and will glow brightly when my friends begin a story about me with something lyrical along the lines of “So Jason was on the roof when…” If I only scrap out a living at least it’s a living worth scraping.

It starts when I coax myself from comfortable routine. When I throw off concerns of the next television marathon and I seek for something bolder, more tangible, infinite and invariably I find myself closer to a new adventure. I make it a point to call it adventure because it comes with setback, with adversity and struggle. In that I find just how strong I really am. 

Antelope Canyon, Arizona

The unopened seal of Tutankhamun’s tomb, 1922

The unopened seal of Tutankhamun’s tomb, 1922

Great things are done when men and mountains meet. - William Blake  French Alps by Jérémy May.

Great things are done when men and mountains meet. - William Blake

French Alps by Jérémy May.

The Sierra Nevada del Cocuy Chita o Guican National Natural Park in Colombia

The Sierra Nevada del Cocuy Chita o Guican National Natural Park in Colombia

Ernest Henry Shackleton b.1874 d.1922 In December 1914, Shackleton set sail with the goal of being the first to cross the Antarctic. His 27 man crew had all responded to the following recruitment notice: “Men wanted for hazardous journey. Small wages. Bitter cold. Long months of complete darkness. Constant danger. Safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in case of success.” —Ernest Shackleton.

Ernest Henry Shackleton b.1874 d.1922

In December 1914, Shackleton set sail with the goal of being the first to cross the Antarctic. His 27 man crew had all responded to the following recruitment notice: “Men wanted for hazardous journey. Small wages. Bitter cold. Long months of complete darkness. Constant danger. Safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in case of success.” —Ernest Shackleton.

What do I know about spelunking? Nothing. But I refuse limitations.
Adventure HO!!!!

“Actually, the best gift you could have given her was a lifetime of adventures.”

Lewis Carroll

Alice in Wonderland

Q

Anonymous asked:

Aside from the Navy/Military, what kind of things or adventures would you otherwise recommend a man or woman pursue in order to build character/experience/knowledge?

A

The biggest I can think of is travel. Not necessarily overseas either. This country is so damn massive one can get lost easily.

Pick up a unique hobby, something you wouldn’t normally do. If you’re an indoor kinda person maybe start hiking. If you’re not mechanically inclined try auto repair. This will help expand your comfort zone. Plus, you’ll meet cool and interesting people with different perspectives. Always a plus.

Generally, stay curious.

Last night on a whim, I bought ten scratch-off lottery tickets and put them on gas pumps at the Sheetz on Rosemont in Frederick.

Hopefully a stranger caught a neat surprise.

I wouldn’t have thought of it unless I saw it here.