Sunday Snippet: Roy Chapman Andrews (1884-1960)

“Always there has been an adventure just around the corner–and the world is still full of corners.”

As children, we fill our hearts and minds with the many adventures we’ll get to experience when we get older. We dream about visiting the amazing pyramids at Giza. We envision our future as professional athletes or Hollywood superstars. But as we get older, the reality of the situation starts to limit our scope. Before we know it, we’ve become office drones, lulled into a state of complacency with good health coverage and a sound retirement plan. We start to feel like it’s too late to explore, like we’ve exhausted our realistic options.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

There is nothing inherently wrong with having a regular day job to pay the bills, but we shouldn’t allow these choices to limit the experiences we enjoy outside of the world of work. Life doesn’t have to be boring and mundane. Life doesn’t have to be about simply going through the motions, rinsing and repeating each day. Simply existing isn’t enough; we need to live.

Perhaps one of the better examples of this life philosophy is one Roy Chapman Andrews. He was an American explorer who came to be the director of the American Museum of Natural History. With a constant drive toward discovery, Roy Chapman Andrews understood that it’s about the journey. It’s about making the conscious decision every day to seek out those yet-unexplored corners with a hopeful optimism that you may discover a new adventure.

Of course, there is a natural romanticism associated with the kind of work that Roy Chapman Andrews conducted. After all, he was a part of the expedition to the Gobi Desert where the team found the first-known fossilized dinosaur eggs. That’s exciting! But even in our more conventional lives, we too can enjoy great adventures with someone special. We can climb the Great Wall of China. We can indulge in Italian gelato. We can go ATVing through the Mexican desert. And we can choose to be happy.

Just remember that happiness is not a destination; it’s a way of travel. And there will always be a new corner to visit and explore. You never know what you might find.