Are you one of the people that crave for adventure? Or maybe you know someone who finds the constant need to dive into a quest. Here I have outlined some fool-proof methods to identify and hopefully understand  "adventurous souls" that much better.

Refusal to adhere to the status quo

Adventurous souls thrive in exciting experiences - one that would push the bounds of "normality". They absolutely dread the possibility of being ordinary and conventional, terrified of succumbing to a state of dullness and monotony. It is no wonder that adventurous souls refuse to adhere to the status quo.

The status quo varies greatly depending on where you are. For example, in Malaysia at my age (24), it is commonplace to settle down or at least to start thinking about it. My Facebook feed is filled with endless wedding pictures and babies in all possible poses you can imagine . And here I am, not even slightly enticed by that lifestyle (to my mom's horror, I might add).

people babies countries next

Author's note : I hope this is not seen as an attempt to condemn people who do find that lifestyle appealing, because I am sure there are many perks of settling down at a tender young age.

If at this second you're thinking

Where's the fun in being normal?

Tick. Consider yourself part of the adventurous souls that wander this earth. If you are also thinking,

How do you even define normality anymore? The lines are so blurred, normality is so relative, inconclusive and on the verge of being incomprehensible.

Then chances are that you are also an adventurous soul. Adventurous souls question everything, heck, they even question the question itself. Indeed, blessed are the curious, for they shall have exciting ventures.

Interested in so many different things

When being asked what their passions are, the conversation usually will go on to be something like this.

So what are you interested in?

Would you like a list, sir? I hope you have plenty of time, it might just take a whole day... Or two.

Adventurous souls simply can't put their finger on one thing that keeps them enthralled. Love for outdoor sports and nature is part and parcel of an adventurous soul's life. It is the perfect outlet for all the raging energy adventurous souls are bursting with.

Exploring the underwater world because the land is simply not enough - Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Staying true to the love of nature also involves some sort of outdoor activity with animals such as horseback riding

Personally, cultural immersion is high up on my list of interests, if not on the top of it. I am a big advocate of seeing the true culture of a place I travel to, not simply in the eyes of a tourist. In my opinion, tourists see a photoshopped and make-up version of a place.

The best way to get the real deal? Stay with a family! They offer an immediate outlook into the culture, from their habits, cultural norms, political issues, family structure - the list is endless!

the volenos
La famiglia Voleno - The Italian cultural immersion where I was introduced to the world renowned Italian hospitality

Did you know Italians eat pasta as an appetizer? I've been doing it wrong all these time!

A skeleton in my closet of interests is parading around fancy universities and pretending to be a student there. As a child, my parents (both being scientists) always included university visits in our travel itinerary. As an adult, the visits blossomed into a slightly more peculiar manner. Yes, I do admit the pretentiousness of it all, but hey we all have our guilty pleasures!

The time I feigned being a Master's student in University of Cambridge. I got myself invited to the St Edmund's College formal dinner (a long standing Cambridge tradition) and donned a Master's gown. People were convinced!

How to feel like you belong to a university - get yourself a library card. Even if its only valid for a week!

The fantasies of being a part of great universities runs in the family - pictured here with my brother

However, there is a downside of liking so many different things. The most obvious is that they end up becoming "jack of all trades, master of none". Constantly hopping from one interest to another does not allow them to nurture a certain interest and become an expert at it. Sure, I have an array of stories to tell about all these different things I've done, but none that I can proudly say I am the best at.

On the constant lookout to try something new

Due to their variation in interests, adventurous souls are always on the lookout for new things to try. They are generally enthusiastic about any opportunity that life presents. Known to be resourceful creatures, adventurous souls sees opportunities where most people don't and grabbing them whenever possible. In their mind, any adventure is worth trying - causing them to be labelled as fearless and risk-takers by the people around them.

When I decided to embark on a volunteering trip to Sambhali's Trust, a Women's Empowerment Centre in Jodhpur, India, I wanted to push the boundaries and make the experience more "real". I was not satisfied by the first option offered to us, which was to stay in a luxurious guesthouse in the city of Jodhpur. Instead, I signed up to stay with a host family in Setrawa Village situated in the heart of the Rajasthan desert, during the scorching hot Indian summer.


desert house
A typical house in the Indian desert

Volunteers in Setrawa Village with our host family
Volunteers in Setrawa Village with our host family

Teaching these children English was challenging yet extremely rewarding
Teaching these Indian children English was challenging yet extremely rewarding

I came out of the experience a new person, yet in all the ways I could never have fathomed. Shortly after returning to Australia, I was diagnosed with mild Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). For those of you who are not familiar with PTSD, it is a form of mental depression that sets in when someone undergoes a particularly stressful experience. Typically, victims of sexual assault, accidents or war veterans suffer from it.

The psychologist concluded that my mild PTSD was due to being in grave shock from observing so much hardship throughout the trip - poverty and inequality. I felt terrible guilt for leading such a comfortable lifestyle when I see how little they had. Long story short, after several sessions of psychological therapy and help from friends, I managed to overcome the PTSD and become living proof of my life mantra,

 What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

My point is that the life of adventurous souls are not all good and glory as portrayed by the media. I feel that the media in general tend to leave out the other side of the story - what happens when you come back from an adventure. Post-adventures are as important as the adventures itself, because it is at those times that you internalize what you have learnt from the experience.

Adventurous souls pay a hefty price to lead the lifestyle they choose, and I don't just mean financially. Sometimes the price is a little more than they can handle. Yet, they can't help the craving for adrenaline rush, keeping them coming back for more.

This post is dedicated to the adventurous souls out there, those who thrive and yearn to fill their lives with adventure. Paint the canvas of your life with as many colours as your heart desires, because as Eleanor Roosevelt said,

“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”

Keep that spirit alive,  it is golden.

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Amalina Davis

Amalina Davis

Malaysian by birth, English-Australian + Malay by heritage, and world citizen by heart. I’m a full-time corporate girl & social advocate, who still manages to fit in cultural-immersive traveling in her hectic life.

5 thoughts on “Adventurous Souls”

  1. I loved what you had to say here, Amalina. It was the path I followed — I waited until I was in my thirties to have my family. I had great adventures in my twenties, and now as my daughter nears the end of high school, we are traveling and having adventures again. I’ll have her read your blog. I think she’ll enjoy what you have to say as well. Thank you!

    1. Thanks for the lovely comment Francesca. It is always nice to find people who feel the same about adventure and chose the road less taken. I am sure you and your daughter will have plenty of exciting adventures together. Hopefully someday when I have children of my own we will be able to do the same too!

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