Think back to being a little kid. If your image is anything like mine, you're probably envisioning a little version of yourself—running around outside with scrapes and bruises, without a care in the world. I can't help getting envious when I see kids truly enjoying nature, their childhood innocence and even their ignorance to all the world's ills that seem to engulf us. When you are that young, you're exploring everything in sight— recklessly free from the weight of the adult responsibilities that surely await you. It's all new. It's all fascinating. This leaves us with a burning question— can we carry this same energy and curiosity into adulthood?
While some may be quick to dismiss this notion, I feel that its value is immeasurable. Of course, as the years slip by, we take on more responsibility, and we're not that carefree child that we once were. Or is that what they want us to think? We may not be the same, but we don't have to lose that spirit either. It's not gone; it's part of us. The fire is in there somewhere. Maybe it just needs a bit of rekindling. As adults, many of us get caught in a cycle of routine that lacks spontaneity and adventure, the magic that all those days as a young child held. In some respects, routine can be valuable, but like anything in life, excess is unhealthy and stifling. It can rob us of the sheer joy of living.
Balance is everything.
How can we break out of our routines and maintain our childhood curiosity?
Although there are countless ways to put this into practice, travel is the answer for me. It has been the answer for the inevitable issues that have come across in my life, and I've heard many other people express this same sentiment. Traveling keeps our minds sharp and ignites our curiosity about the way this world functions and why. Personally, my first major travel experience was a semester abroad in Australia. These four months left a lasting impression upon me. Not only did I discover new places, but I underwent a major life lesson. I was exposed to new ideas, new people and an eclectic array of possibilities. After this semester, I was inspired by all of this unfamiliarity—hungry for more.
Now, I'm here in Korea, trying to quench that thirst, satisfy that hunger. It's funny looking back at these inflection points in our lives. Through our past, we gain insight into our current trajectory and future path. My current drive for seeking out new and different landscapes stems from the amalgam of experiences I've encountered and the decisions I've made up until this point, up until this exact moment in time. Tomorrow, I leave for Bali, as part of my summer vacation from teaching English. Indonesia has always been a place that I've dreamed about. Googling images of the turquoise water and lush jungles in this island paradise is nice, but nothing will replace actually seeing it with my own eyes. I choose to follow or wander, if you will, towards the things that pique my curiosity. If we truly commit to the craft or area that fills us with passion, we revert back to that child version of ourselves. The version who doesn't think too much about the future or worry about what could go wrong. In essence, that's what it means to be a child. We have to hold on to that. By continuously doing the things that we love, we stay young and bold in our actions, something that can't be taken for granted. When we look back in 50 years, these will be the vivid memories that will illuminate our youthful past.
As adults with responsibilities, it's on us to recreate that awe and wonder that we possessed as children. We have to search and find it within ourselves, manifesting it into our current reality. Keep chasing that curiosity.
Break Your Boundaries.