Megan Hine: Find Your Inner Adventurer
The latest column by adventurer Megan Hine is about how to embrace risk and seek challenging situations to build your belief.
Life is like being on expedition, as meticulously as you plan, there are always hurdles. Things you just cannot imagine may happen.
On a job I did for a company in China a few years ago I arrived at the airport and was told we would have a two hour drive to the location. Twelve hours later, we arrived in Tibet to an area that had risen up recently against the Chinese government and a group of monks had lost their lives. Although I felt no threat from the local people, our Chinese colleagues were not welcome and a few were kidnapped at gun point. For some reason our hosts stopped feeding us and refused to give us water or let us leave the hotel, often forcing us to sit through all night meetings or waking us up at strange hours to talk to them. Our computers were hacked and all emails scanned. It got to the stage where we had an escape plan in place, just in case. We couldn’t have planned in advance that we would end up in this situation but as crazy as it all seemed we were in an incredible country where we had access to places so few Westerners ever get to visit. Holding onto these thoughts and the experience was what got us through and having the confidence that, although we were at the mercy of a large government organisation, we had the skills between us to do whatever it took to get out.
Adventure is defined on Wikipedia as ‘an unusual or daring experience’ – this means that adventure is a totally subjective experience. An unusual experience for one person maybe an everyday occurrence to another. I spend a lot of time working on or around helicopters for example. To many, flying in a helicopter is an adventure, particularly if it were to drop them in the middle of the wilderness. To me, although I enjoy it and don’t take it for granted, I am usually looking after the safety of others on them. If this was an unusual experience for me, I would have to question whether I should be doing the job as it would indicate I hadn’t done much of this before. Traveling the underground in London, however, to me is an adventure. Many readers will probably laugh at this as it is quite possibly an incredibly mundane part of their day. I find it a sensory overload, so many people, squished up against you, people in your personal space, noise, smells. I meticulously plan my route of where I want to get to in case I get lost. I feel like a wild animal, trapped, desperately trying to keep the panic at bay. It is a world I did not grow up in and struggle to understand.
Every time you do something unusual or take a risk you are having an adventure, you could be in Tibet or in your everyday routine. I find this a great way to deal with problems that arise in everyday life. It allows me to have fun with the situation and to see the hurdle as a challenge or problem to solve and overcome.
So how do I embrace the inner adventurer?
Embrace every experience, be present in the moment. See each hardship as the adventure it is. Each challenging experience you overcome will make you stronger and build transferable skills. Have confidence that you and you alone can control how you interact and view the world around you.
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