Taking the First Step into Adventure

During the years of looking after my nonaganarian father, dealing with grief, and surviving my dysfunctional brother, I’ve dreamed of adventure. I’ve yearned go walking and just keep on going and going and going. I’ve toyed with the idea of various themed road trips — visiting all the national parks or searching out haunted places. I’ve considered taking a freighter to New Zealand and Australia. I’ve researched ultra lightweight camping gear in case I got the inclination for some sort of long distance wilderness trek.

And through it all, I’ve wondered if in fact I would do any of it, if perhaps this craving for adventure were a stage of grief I would grow out of. I still don’t know, of course. I am currently town-bound, but I have come too far — in my mind at least — to turn back and accept a settled life. And that is always the first step — making the mental leap.

It’s no longer a matter of if I will buy camping gear, but when and what. I don’t want to get anything online until I can peruse local stores, and I can’t do that until I get my car back. Besides, the first thing I need is shoes, and those I have to buy in person to get a proper fit. Shoes are the foundation for any hike or long distance walk — if you damage your feet, that’s the end of a pain-free adventure. And pain has no part in my plans.

The world is full of wondrous things — unmet friends, lovely places, wildness, moments of bliss, random acts of beauty, interconnectedness. And it’s all waiting for me to reach out and embrace.

Come to think of it, I’ve not only taken the first step, but also the second. I’ve made the mental leap into adventure and I’ve slipped into a life of unsettledness. With no place to call my own, the whole world becomes my home.

And I am so very ready to go home.


(Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.”)


6 Responses to “Taking the First Step into Adventure”

  1. rami ungar the writer Says:

    I can’t wait for you to take that third step. And I really hope you check out a haunted place or two. For my sake, at least.

  2. ShirleyAnnHoward Says:

    May every step you take be sure and safe. Blessings be your guide.

  3. 22pamela Says:

    I’ve done a LOT of hiking. And I recommend Timberland brand shoes for the price, quality and they stand behind their product. I wore a pair of hikers for 3 years!!! And they replaced them with a new pair when they began to fall apart. I only hope to show them they were defective. Great product and I’m a fan for life!!!

  4. Marya Summers Says:

    I am still trying to read Wild by Cheryl Strayed. (It’s tiny little print seems wrong for such a big adventure and makes it difficult to enjoy reading…font and font size is such an important choice in publishing a book). I think a walking adventure is such a wonderful meditative way to get to know yourself as you get to see it in relationship to the world, and what better way than literally taking things step-by-step?

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Oh, I like that — literally taking things step-by-step! Most of the past few years have been taking it one step at a time. Walking is the same. It’s so nice when people understand what I hope to get from a long walk. Thank you!

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