I was reminded of this in a recent episode of the podcast with Phil Oblak, episode 21.  He recommended the book Wild at Heart by John Eldredge.  At the core, the book talks about the need for every man to have an adventure in our life. That from very young age boys seek out the dangerous, the risky, the path not taken. 

A good friend of mine Dan Zehner runs a podcast dedicated to this called the Anthem of the Adventure.  It was inspired by a conversation he had with John in a mastermind community we are both a part of.

This word adventure is a word we all know but when we really think about it, how often are we really living an adventurous life. 

Our life is mostly built around routines that involve a set of things we do each week.  How many dads consistently make a Target run each weekend? 

Be honest, I know I do with our family. 

I bring up Target because it reminds me that our society is wired and designed to keep us in patterns to keep spending money.  Its consumerism at its best and worst. 

Corporations want us in patterns to keep money flowing in a direction.

As it finally warms up here in Wisconsin, I am looking forward to getting out with my kids.  We have already had some small adventures but looking forward to extended ones when the kids get out of school. 

I have one big warning with planning adventures with our kids.  They almost always desire something more straightforward than what we think they really want. 

As dads, we have a tendency to overcomplicate what it means for us to have fun as a family. I know I am guilty of this. 

Early when my kids were young, like all under 4 I was always thinking about taking them to the big water parks we have here in Wisconsin. 

Then I decided just to scale it back, and we found a nice Holiday Inn in Madison with a pirate ship kid area. 

They absolutely loved it!  We probably went back 4 times after the first one.  It was the place they always wanted to go to. 

Two years ago we finally did take the leap and went to the Great Wolf Lodge for Christmas and guess what my son said … “Dad, I don’t like the big bucket.”

They just wanted to play on the little slides that they had.  Now don’t get me wrong we still made some good memories there, but it was a good gut check of how my mind works and how their works. 

Taking this lesson of not overcomplicating it, I applied it to some nice spring walks we did recently. 

To an adult, it was just about the most ordinary walk you could imagine.   

I did what most dads struggle to do, I entered their world.  It started with the basics, calling it an adventure.  Next, we would wonder a little bit in the subdivision trying to find some cool things to check out like the ants on the sidewalks.  Or when we saw a big excavator, I said to Dylan “Look a great big CAT, I can’t believe we saw a CAT in the wilderness.” 

Now it took a minute for them to figure it out and my oldest daughter who can read figured it out, but at the end of the walk, it was still a memory they took away. 

My favorite was a broken sidewalk from a new house being built, I said: “watch out guys, it’s the road of small rocks, and we could get hurt.”  They ate it up like an ice cream sundae.

It taught me an essential lesson that Adventure isn’t always about doing Adventurous things, but creating memories inside there world that will carry them through the week when you get busy. 

The dividends I get back on quality time with my kids when I enter their world vs. me bringing them to mind are always two times more than just daily things. 

Now don’t get me wrong I want to up the game a little bit and get outdoors with them this summer and explore some new areas, but I will remember a good shot of excitement in ordinary things could be that little extra that takes something you are doing from ordinary to extraordinary. 

Here would be my top things to consider when thinking about planning adventures.

  1. Keep it simple and age-appropriate, everything has a season for when it’s the right time.
  2. Figure out ways to enter their world with the activity of your planning.
  3. Get outside of your routine, find new ways to explore life outside the lines. I am a big believer in that our kids need to get outside of our life to help figure out how they will fit into it when they grow up.
  4. Find ways to build in 1:1 time with your kids that include adventure.

As we talk about on the podcast on every episode, kids spell LOVE T.I.M.E, and it will be the simple things that will make the memories they will remember more than the last toy they just had to have at Target. 


June 2024