so what is an adventure? many birthdays i’ve wanted to do some kind of adventure. sometimes a long weekend trip out-of-town, maybe to a place i’ve never been before, perhaps an old stomping ground to re-explore. sometimes it’s been a backpacking trip, or a hike on a familer trail. sometimes i embark on a new challenge for the year, or month, or whatever.
this year i went to visit friends in the bay area. well actually the goal was to go off and get lost by myself in the queer world of the bay, but that didn’t exactly happen…. i try to get a good amount of alone time, and many times on my adventures, i like to deepen my isolation from the rest of the world. it usually starts by getting myself to an airport or train station via public transport, but this is the 2nd time i let a friend drop me off at good ol’ pdx. the first time it was a friend that i was living with who basically drives by the airport on her way to work. she gently forced me into the car… i don’t know why i fought so much, but i think its like a loner badge of honor. this time, a friend offered and i didn’t really hesitate too much. what better way to be sent off on a journey then to have someone you really love and respect take you…. then i get to the airport, do all the things and head to my gate. i look up at the monitor, and hear “hey, kim, buddy!” and there is another close friend and their family. they are waiting at the gate next to mine! so we get a quick chat and baby giggles before they leave for their own adventures.
when i decided to fly into oakland vs. sfo, i contacted a friend of mine who lives in oakland to see if they wanted to grab a walk or some tea when i landed or before i took off. they did, so we took a lunch break together pretty much as soon as i got off the plane. i started my bart education of oakland and got a warm walk in to meet her. we got to have a 2 hour walk around an amazing old cemetery before i jumped back on bart to check into the hostel and meet another friend who lives in portland, but was passing through the bay at the same time. when she mentioned that we would be in the bay at the same time, i was like, “cool! let’s meet up for a drink”. we ended up spending the night together and didn’t part until after dinner the next day, when she headed off with her friend and i left with mine. however, when we were walking to pre-dinner pie…. i turn to tell my crew something, and hear “kim?” and it was one of my favorite food/drink talented friends that had recently move back to the bay from portland! jeez! THEN my friends and i are walking around the next day and get a text from the friend i spent the first night with, “i just ran into a friend of yours on bart!” what?! ….fast forward a few days, and it is now my final hours in the bay, and i am just now getting that time alone i thought i desperatly wanted. and by now i feel pretty comfortable in the places i’m at and where i want to go, that i don’t think i’ll get lost. i’m sure not going back into sf to walk around the castro to flirt with queers…. so i never got to do that…. well ok i did flirt some with people walking by, but ya know…. no real flirt time…. but i haven’t left yet…. what is my point?
well i guess its in thinking about what really is an adventure? it can be this epic multi-day/week/month/year thing like biking around the world, backpacking south america, doing the pct, taking a year challenge…. or it can be walking the same walk to work you do everyday, but with an openess and willingness to be curious and full of wonder. you know, to walk with all your senses awake…. do you hear the birds? notice the change in colors within the foliage? smell the different beans or hops the coffee roasters or beer brewery is using? who is making food and what kind? taste the moisture in the air? how different is today’s bike ride compared to yesterday’s? maybe you wake up and decide to just bike only using right hand turns… fall in love… or at least be open to the idea of loving someone, or harder yet for me, letting someone love you. being open enough to build and develop relationships with friends and those in your community. these adventures maybe the hardest ones for myself. to be vulnerable enough to build long-lasting relationships. i’ve always had really good friends, but it is hard for me to truly develop and nurture them to the place that i feel ok asking for help… or a ride to/from the airport. to relie on more than just myself. i find it much easier to trust the bear walking though the campsite than some young white dude walking down the street.i think maybe this is where intuition comes in. we can bare ourselves more when we trust ourselves and our ability to tap into our intuition. i can take more risks when i know this other sense of mine is being tapped into.
this trip was so amazing. i ended up with so many great offers and suggestions. i walked up and down the streets wondering where i was going to get coffee or a beer or dinner. i didn’t go to one place i found on the internet. i went to places friends or strangers told me about. i used paper maps as well as google. i read the signs for how to get around with bart. i got on the wrong train before i figured out the system (this suprising made be get off at fruitville station and if you know that story, you know why i had the chills as i waited). i stayed open to the possibility of new things and i made my decisions based on what i wanted in that moment: lay in the park until it got cold, stay where we are and have another beer and keep the conversations flowing, laugh until the sexual tension becomes to great then duct into the doorway until it builds to overflowing. pass up an opportunity no sane vegan would pass up because the now is so much greater than even the idea of the other. i was so very happy on this trip. not just for the constant sugar high i was on from places like timeless roasters and cinnaholic, nor from the copious amounts of vitamin-d, but because i just stayed open to all the things i love in my life, and coming to grips with the idea that i am truly and deeply loved by my friends and family. and maybe for one of the first times in my life, i feel capable to return it fully and without reservations. now that is an adventure!