By Cynthia Morris, Host of Write Your Travel Stories (Sponsored)
“Life is a daring adventure or nothing at all.” – Helen Keller
Perhaps you’ve never taken a moment to chronicle your adventures. Well, we’re on a travel time-out. Why not see what lies underneath the trips we’ve taken? Insights can make future travel more meaningful.
Gathering our experiences in one place is the first step toward bringing them to life in writing. In my writing workshops, I use an Adventure Resume, which illuminates memories and allows us to savor them with fresh eyes. Perhaps to see patterns and to understand why we travel. It’s fun, interactive, and will reframe travels.
Here’s how an Adventure Resume shaped my story: I was just back from a working trip to France and Switzerland. I had been living a dream, working as a chef for a hot air balloon company. I cooked for the crew and passengers. I even floated above the Swiss mountains in a balloon. Sure, it was a dream, but cooking for strangers didn’t spark my passion. But what did?
Back in Colorado, I started a new chapter. I moved to Boulder and started my business: Original Impulse, coaching for writers and creatives. While I had a clear direction for my life, I wondered how it all tied together.
I am a glutton for life’s experiences. Food, travel, writing, making art, building a business…yes, please! But what theme or pattern could I orient myself to? I had to frame my experiences to make sense to potential clients and students.
On a retreat in the mountains, I mapped my life in my sketchbook. I pinpointed my adventures: solo road trip from Denver to Miami; being a dishwasher in France, enrolling in coach training, teaching vegetarian cooking classes, and more.
I added more to my timeline. Soon, a clear picture emerged. Almost immediately, two things changed me forever.
One, I realized that I was okay with dying. At the tender age of 32, I felt fulfilled. Looking at my work as a teacher and writer, I saw the positive impact I had made. I no longer felt scattered. I was living my life as a daring adventure, inspired by Helen Keller.
Two, I saw a pattern. Again and again, I opted for travel or a learning experience. I am always signing up for a workshop or booking a flight. At the time, I didn’t own a car or a home. Freedom and flexibility were more important to me than putting down roots.
Digging deeper into what had become my Adventure Resume, I matched the moments along my journey with my values. Each extraordinary experience of my life shined because I was honoring a cherished value. Discovery, learning, and personal growth all played out fully in my travels and studies.
I am still adding to my Adventure Resume. When my clients go through this process, they, too, get new perspectives on their lives. Their accumulated choices click on a deep level.
I’ve adapted the Adventure Resume concept to focus solely on travel. It’s the first lesson in my upcoming workshop, Write Your Travel Stories, which explores different ways to tell stories that revive the spark of our trips.
Cynthia Morris is the author of Leading Tours for Fun and Profit, The Graceful Return, Visit Paris Like an Artist, the Paris historical novel Chasing Sylvia Beach and four other books on writing and creativity.
She’s worked in France, Panama, Italy, and Switzerland, helping people translate their ideas and experiences into writing, art, and businesses.
She is the host of Write Your Travel Stories, an online writing workshop for travelers. Cynthia enjoys painting, gardening, biking, and yoga at her home with her husband in Denver.