Why do some people crave adventure and some people avoid it as much as possible? This is a subject that could go in so many directions and has probably been studied a number of times. Individuals are so complex with their personalities being shaped by genes, early childhood experiences, adult experiences, coping mechanisms, etc. By the way, I’m no sociologist or psychologist (although I could probably fake knowledge pretty well if I felt inclined to do so)! Feel free to test me.
My older sister and I are completely different on so many levels. Growing up, she was typically “the good girl.” I developed an ability to push the envelope. There were circumstances that allowed me to get away with more and I jumped on those opportunities. There are the risk-averse individuals in life and there are risk-takers (I fly an airplane, so I’ll let you figure out which category I’m in). Taking risks makes me feel alive! I crave adventure! I get so completely bored out of my mind if I’m not testing limits occasionally. Needless to say, we fought like cats and dogs growing up. The good thing is we matured. However, there are some things that just don’t change with people. Some traits are permanent and life-long.
It’s comical to see how our personalities have spilled over into our child-rearing. Her children are the ones you see on their bikes with the full-on face helmet, knee pads, elbow pads. My children are usually shirtless and possibly wearing flip-flops (if any shoes at all) while shooting each other with air-soft guns. I’m pretty sure she knows exactly where her kids are right now and I’m just hoping my teenagers stay out of jail tonight. Of course I advise my children on all sorts of things. I don’t want them to get hurt! However, sometimes experience is the best teacher for some.
My sister and I do have a commonality: a love of travel. We have an appreciation for seeing new places; a desire to experience different parts of the world. We traveled together growing up. We traveled together when we were single. We have traveled together since having families. She traveled more than me when she was young, mostly because she was single for longer. She was also born with really good budgeting skills-REALLY, REALLY good budgeting skills (for me, the word “budget” actually brings tears to my eyes; please just punch me instead). She can stretch a dollar as thin as my son’s underwear! While she enjoyed her single life and frugality, I had kids climbing all over me. I was a young mother. So young. So, so young. Did I mention how young I was? Knowing I’m only 29 now with teenagers at home, you can understand how young I was….While she was traveling the world, I was hiding in my bathroom for some peace and quiet from toddlers. Her freedom to travel made me slightly jealous but I knew that my time would come (if my children would let me live long enough).
Now that we are older and have matured, we enjoy bringing our families together to travel, even though our goals may be different. When my sister and I sit down to plan a trip, it typically goes something like this: My sister says “I want to see all of the historical places as cheaply as possible.” I say “I’m going on vacation, I want to do things that are unique and exciting and I’m not pinching pennies to stay at a hotel that doesn’t have room service.” Silence. The good thing is we have become comfortable combining the things she likes and the things I like within different budgets. Sometimes, that means we separate for part of the trip (not always a bad thing for two polar opposites)! If you read my article “Disney World-How to stay sane at The Happiest Place On Earth,” you’ll see that traveling separately and being flexible has many benefits! This allows her to spend time doing the things she wants, such as peruse bakeries and stroll along the gardens of a park. I can then spend time doing the things that I want, risking my life on a bike excursion on the edge of a cliff or possibly snorkeling in a haunted cave. We can come together on some days for some activities that we both enjoy.
The beauty of travel is that it brings you together, with family and/or with strangers. Travel is the best way to learn about people and learn about life. It makes you realize what a small space you fill in the world. It teaches you to appreciate what you have. It’s really great if you can share it with family. Travel fills something in everyone, in different ways, whether you’re adventuresome or not. It fills the innate desire to learn about others and yourself.