I like adventure stories, whether it’s told through comic books, novels, television, or movies. I like stories about people heading out into the big wide world, stumbling into an adventure, meeting strangers who help them on their way and forming teams to complete epic quests.
I like video games because it’s one step closer to actually going on an adventure. You are an active participant within the story, teaming up with strangers and forming allies to complete your quests.
The real world, sadly, is not so full of helpful strangers, potential teammates, or epic quests and adventures. Or so people would have you believe.
I decided to challenge that and make my own adventure. I decided to throw myself into the world and see what happens. I decided to walk across America.
When people find out what I’m doing, and that I’m by myself, they tend to say I’m either crazy or brave, and never quite sure which. People all across this country have tried to warn me about the dangers of going out alone. I have, rather ironically, been told by a complete stranger to be careful and not talk to any strangers. Nearly every person I’ve met has said or insinuated that I, as a single female walking across America, am going to be raped or attacked in some way. People have this idea that everyone is out to get you and the country is full of rapists, murderers, and thieves.
But you know what? People are wrong. I have not met a single bad person on this trip. I have never felt truly in any danger. All along the way people have volunteered to help me, be it stopping and giving me a bag of dog treats and some water, offering me a ride out of nasty weather, inviting me into their home for a warm meal and a place to sleep, or just helping when asked. In my experience the Good far outnumber the Bad.
We may lack the sense that there are people waiting to help in real life, but that doesn’t mean they’re not there. You just have to go out and find them. And if your life is lacking an appropriate adventure, well then you’ve got to go out and find one yourself. That’s what I’ve done, and it’s been a pretty awesome adventure so far.
Adventure awaits, you just have to go after it.