I have just gotten back in town from visiting my family in Austin, TX. Before I went down, I told my mom that I wanted to be active and find adventure the whole time I was there. So we did just that. She picked me up from the airport and we went hiking immediately after getting lunch. The adventure was nonstop. We went running most mornings, hiked around the neighborhood, explored new places, went swimming at Lake Travis, and biked 20 miles through downtown and around Lady Bird Lake (not to mention all of the restaurants we explored). Everyone was out and about and doing so many different outdoor activities - I could just feel the city alive with energy. It even got me thinking that I might consider moving across the country to live out there in the next few years.
With that thought, I mentioned it to my fiancé. He knew I wanted to go there because of my sense of adventure. He said "No offense, Casey, but we don't really do that much stuff at home as it is. Just because you'd live in Austin doesn't mean you would do all of that all the time." He's right, and that really got me thinking about how I don't take advantage of the world around me. I'm in my little corner of the world in Raleigh, and there's so much around me to do all the time. So, my mindset is to make an adventure out of every single day, to fill my days with as much as I can to feel alive, engaged, connected, free.
As soon as I got home from the airport, I unpacked my stuff, loved on my cats and the dog, and loaded my bike up in the car to finally fix my tire. It took all of 10 minutes. Something I put off doing for months because it took a slight amount of effort - and it was done in 10 minutes.
So Jordan and I enjoyed our night at home relaxing and seeing each other again after 5 days. We did our Monday night routine: cook dinner and watch The Bachelorette (seriously, he loves it probably more than I do). We were supposed to be going down to Topsail Island for the day on Tuesday to visit my dad and his family while they were vacationing there, but the forecast was nothing but rain and clouds all day. So we decided to stay home, but we didn't miss out on the adventure. We decided to go hiking at Eno River State Park, rain or shine.
Tuesday morning came and it was a humid but cool 72 degrees (for North Carolina in the summer, that's unheard of). We packed up the dog and our rain jackets and hopped in the car to head for Eno River. It was raining the entire time we hiked, but it was so much fun. I love the rain as it is, but having Jordan and our dog, Albus, with me made it such an awesome time. We let Albus (attempt to) swim in the river and we hiked about a mile and a half through the trails. We made our first day of adventure a wet one!
Yesterday, I met up with an old friend who was in town for a few weeks. I took the dog and we ordered some coffee and then sat outside at the park at the Art Museum and talked for hours. Even that is something I consider an adventure. Adventure doesn't have to be far away, extremely exhilarating, and filled with adrenaline. Adventure to me is finding the things that make your soul smile, and doing them as often as possible. Adventure is making the most of every single day; taking time each day to do something that refreshes your innermost self. For me, it's as simple as taking my dog with me to get coffee and sit outside to talk with an old friend.
Today's adventure was a 10 mile bike ride - hence the picture in this post. Jordan and I got up early and loaded the bikes on his car. We again went to the Art Museum park and hopped on the greenway. For me, it was adventure with a sense of nostalgia because I used to run that area of the greenway a few times a week my freshman year at NC State. And here I am, 5 years later enjoying the same place with my fiancé. It's funny how memories make our hearts so happy; its enchanting the way our souls light up knowing we're making new memories with the people we love.
So, I'm home in Raleigh but I haven't lost my adventurous mindset. I've got a long, full summer ahead with endless opportunities. Here's to living every single day to the fullest and filling the days with adventure and happiness.
(I've added some of my favorite photos from Austin and a few from our hike at Eno, too.)