This I Believe

Nicole - Long Beach, California
Entered on January 6, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: carpe diem
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I believe in the spirit of adventure.

As a child I was the archetype of Dora the Explorer. Exploring the woods behind our country home passed the time. My brother and I scurried over every fallen log and twig from the first bloom of spring until the first snowflake fell. All winter we were cooped up, forced to transform our cluttered basement into a jungle waiting exploration. Confined by concrete or left to run among the trees, we always found something unexpected. A tire swing, a hidden stream, or posters of 80s teen heartthrobs, our discoveries fed our adventurous spirits. Our adventures had no plan, but we were always rewarded.

Recently I met Thunder. Thunder goes wherever the wind takes him. He had no house, and little money, but that doesn’t matter to him. He spends his life in the wilderness sleeping out under the stars. Now he plans to go to Arizona. There he is going to walk for 15 days. Thunder told me he wants to test his physical limits and to enjoy the beauty of this earth. His spirit is free and no one tells him where to go next. He makes every day an adventure. As young adults we all try to stay in our comfort zone. Our areas of security which will prevent failure. Well I believe that security does not exist, and that by stepping outside of the areas of comfort you will embrace all life has to offer.

“Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature…Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” – Helen Keller. Last summer I went to Switzerland with my family. One day we wanted to go on a hike. This was not just any hike. It took us below a glacier, along the ridge of a mountain, and directly under the Matterhorn. The morning of the hike we awoke to a dumping of rain. That day hiking was not on my agenda. Staying in the hotel room drinking hot chocolate was my plan of attack. However, my intractable attitude was defeated by my parents and I joined in the trek. In the end, it was the most amazing experience of my life. We hiked through the rainy mountains of Switzerland, strolled through grassy hills filled with sheep, and walked the base of the Matterhorn. If I had stayed where I felt secure, I would have missed out on an amazing adventure. Just as Helen Keller says, security does not exist. No matter how straight a path you’re on, there are always unexpected turns ahead. I believe in taking those surprises and running with them. Life is so short; why not make our time great? Without adventure, life is just a bunch of what ifs. I say go off the beaten path and do the unexpected. Adventure is the key to getting the most out of life.

I say carpe diem. Seize the day! I believe every moment of life had something to offer and by taking every opportunity you will be rewarded. I believe in climbing every mountain, crossing every bridge, and opening every door. I believe in the spirit of adventure.