Three weeks. Twenty one days. Five hundred and four hours.
It seems like yesterday I was in my then sanctuary, Cat 5 CrossFit in Jupiter, Florida. Surrounded by people I respect and admire. People that I have spent close to two years working with and getting to know in just about all aspects of life. Yet after about 18 months, I packed up and left with a heavy heart.
There really isn’t much stability in my life. It has been that way through my adulthood. In fact, the thought of stability scares me.
The one constant in the past 8 years has been adventure. I think a lot of people have this false interpretation of what adventure actually is. Simply doing a google image search turns up pictures of motocross, skydiving, hang gliding, surfing, whitewater rafting and a whole lot of pictures of people standing on a mountain with their hands in the air. Seriously.
I don’t do any of that shit.
Sure, I hike. Oh, and sometimes I’ll eat a piece of food that has been on the floor for more than 5 seconds, but outside of that I don’t think I would be considered that adventurous. That is according to the social stigma and definition of what adventure is.
In my mind, you don’t really need to be shredding some gnarly waves in Indonesia. Adventure isn’t always hanging by your fingertips from a sheer cliff and it certainly doesn’t have to be gliding through the air on a 450cc power house of a dirt bike.
Adventure can be anything that takes you out of your comfort zone. Something as simple as eating a piece of meat you can’t quite tell of the origin, taking a turn down a dark alley to explore a hidden shop, walking around a foreign and overwhelming city with no direction at all.
By definition, adventure is an unusual and exciting, typically hazardous experience or activity. Trust me, this bathroom (found a few blocks from where I am living) is hazardous on so many health and safety levels. Take a look for yourself.
So yea, I’m basically a regular Rolf Potts* over here.
I’ve honestly been feeling a bit of pressure writing this blog lately. Here I am, all the way in Hong Kong, half a world away and I have this intense urge to not disappoint. An impulse to impress and do all these wonderful and worldly activities when I should realize that adventure is literally all around me. This weeks post is about me finding my own adventure.
Public holiday here in Hong Kong and I was fortunate enough to have the day off. A friend and I decided to take a little day tip to Shek O, a beach side village in the south-eastern part of Hong Kong. This truly allowed me to explore the natural diversity in the area. One minute we are in the bustling “Times Square”, bumping elbows with the locals and the next we are surrounded by open forests and pristine ridge lines.
It felt surreal to go from the chaotic and cramped city streets to the sprawling hills of green in a matter of 20-30 minutes. The narrow and winding roads felt even more harrowing in our double-decker bus. (I found another sense of adventure when entering the second level of the bus as I promptly smashed my head into the ceiling. Everything in Asia is made for smaller people and for the first time in my 5 foot, 9 inch life, I felt tall.)
The day at the beach was..well, a day at the beach. Easy and stress free. I had my sights set on ordering some fantastic local cuisine but, in the end, the hamburger won. (You really can’t screw a hamburger up.)
After lunch, a temple was next on the menu and we scoured the hillside for about 30 minutes searching for this hidden gem only to discover that we had walked right past in our search for lunch.
After a sunburned and saltwater soaked day, I made the journey back to the skyscrapers and called it a day.
Notorious for its seafood, Lamma Island is the third largest island in Hong Kong and it’s accessible by a 20 minute ferry ride. I went after work and the stress of traveling on the metro was immediately put at ease when I made it to the ferry and began gracefully bobbing up and down on the water while to city lights slowly disappeared.
This place was amazing! The first thing I noticed was the distinct absence of any traffic. The island had no cars which was obvious after stepping foot off of the ferry. Rows and rows of bicycles greet you.
After an amazing dinner, I made my way back to the odd comfort of my pace in Happy Valley and watched as the remnants of last weeks “Blood Moon” danced on the black water but were replaced by the vivid lights of the skyscrapers as I drew near the city.
The rest of the week brought rain. Lots of it. The kind of rain that I would often times see in Florida. The kind of rain the makes me miss a familiar place. The kind of rain that soaks me to the bone but I can’t be mad, as it reminds me of my past. It reminds me of my friends and family in the old gym. It reminds me that no matter how far you travel away from what you once knew, there will always be a vivid remember, gently tapping you on the shoulder.