An online search of the word “adventure” results in the following definition: “an unusual and exciting, typically hazardous experience or activity, especially the exploration of unknown territory”. I choose to see life as an adventure, each and every day, since this is really what life is; exploring the unknown, exploring the future and living a hazardous experience.
When we were visiting Florida last year, I noticed a large boarded area that indicated Pandora and an Avatar exhibit were coming. This made me excited. One of the signs on the blocked wall was labelled, “Dream Builders” with a quote that read, “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” ~ Walt Disney’.
I remember feeling the energy of Walt Disney’s spirit and the ever growing creativity that the Disney enterprise represents. They think outside of the box, reach for the seemingly impossible, are always reinventing themselves and striving for continuous growth and improvement. This is what I want to be and do in my life. I want to constantly evolve into the best version of myself so that I can inspire others to do the same.
Since last year, I wanted to visit Pandora to see this new feature of Animal Kingdom. I said that the next time we were in Florida, we would go. We did, this past week. As my husband summarized the trip to Pandora and the Flight of Passage simulation experience, he sent me a text, along with some photos: “$300 dollars for tickets and parking at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, 3 ½ hour wait in line, 3 minute ride on a banshee, 3 hours recovering from motion sickness… PRICELESS!”
It turns out that I almost passed out from the motion of the 3D movie simulation of flying on a banshee. I had to start controlled breathing techniques almost immediately after the experience began, I almost fainted, was ready to throw up, was so hot that I drenched my shirt less than a minute in and my head was hanging, lifeless, when it stopped. I managed to enjoy the ride as much as possible, forcing myself to pay attention through the nausea. It was really a remarkable and dynamic journey.
As soon as we exited, I had to lie down on the cushioned bench outside of the compartment where the specialized motorcycle-like seats were located, the poor staff member kept insisting that he call the medical unit as my husband tried to brush my curly, sweaty and disheveled hair from my face. We eventually made our way back outside the building, where I proceeded to lay down, first on a bench and then in a bush area, closer to the park exit.
We immediately left the park, after going straight to the ride in the morning, waiting 210 minutes to get in, doing the ride and then returning to our resort, where I spent the next three hours in bed, recovering. Needless to say, it didn’t exactly go as planned.
Our adventure was dampened because I was a wuss. I felt so bad that my hubby couldn’t enjoy his time there, as much as he deserved; however, I could not function after the ride. It was like an awful hangover and horrible stomach flu, combined.
The good news was that I later felt good enough to get up and eat something, before going back to Animal Kingdom for another 5 hours. It all worked out. Mind you, I did wear a different outfit so that people wouldn’t recognize the grown woman, looking pale and green, lying all over the park, like a drunken sailor.
Although I will likely never go back on Flight of Passage, I was glad I did it. (Everyone else seemed to have no problems and loved it.) My preferred pace was actually the Na’vi River Journey ride in Pandora – The World of Avatar, where even babies could float along in the boat joyfully and without wanting to throw up. It ended up being a fantastic day and we loved the adventure, as a whole.
The moral of the story was that adventures don’t always end up as we imagined. Sometimes we adventure through life with certain intentions, but they don’t go as planned. It wouldn’t be an adventure though, if we knew exactly what was going to happen.
My philosophy is that there is so much of the world to see, so many things to do, so many places to explore, so much to experience in this lifetime that there is never enough time to do, be and see it all. That is why I live life with an urgency to pack as much in as possible. You just never know when the ride will end or when we have to plop ourselves, temporarily in a bush, for life’s unexpected obstacles.
Adventure just means to embrace life, get up and out, see things, do things and experience things, curiously, as if they are all new and interesting. Our lives are passing us by, whether we are living consciously or unconsciously. We can’t stop the clock.
All we can do is choose to adventure, take educated chances, step forward, reach for more, live with our eyes wide open and live as if we have no idea when our journey will change course. Life is much too short to let it pass us by.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.” ~ Mark Twain