Over-thinking, adventure and Harry the hermit crab


Image credit: zhekos / 123RF Stock Photo

Making a decision quickly avoids over-thinking and allows the adventure to continue, while still achieving the desired outcome…

I often suffer from chronic over-thinking – especially when I need to make a decision and I’ve got to say, it gives me the shits! There are times when I have to decide something and I get so caught up in my thinking, continually asking myself “is it right? Is it right?” which totally stresses me out and I end up not moving forward at all, feeling really pissed off in the process. There are times when I have gone for days without sleeping because of this tendency to over-think but thankfully those days are now a rarity.

The more you overthink the less you will understand.

- Habeeb Akande

That’s for sure. In fact, the only thing the over-thinking gives me is unnecessary stress! Not only that, the first thought I had about a decision is normally the one I end up going with, making the over-thinking even more useless! Fortunately, I’ve gotten better at not over-thinking it and I’ve got Harry the hermit crab to thank.

Last year, while on holidays, I was sitting on a large piece of driftwood, that was semi buried in the sand. I leaped up in fright as there was something next to me moving. It turned out to be Harry – a well-camouflaged hermit crab crawling across it on his way to the other side. I was immediately fascinated, so I kept very still and watched him walk across the wood.

After each step he took, Harry would reach out in front of himself with his front legs like he was feeling for something before realising there was nothing there and taking another step forward. There was no stopping to think about which direction to go – simply just taking another seemingly random step forward. This went on for several minutes until finally he reached out, felt the sand in front of him and moved onto the beach.

In those moments, Harry had taught me it was possible to achieve an outcome by quickly making one decision at a time and taking action on it. Even though he made some decisions that could be construed as ‘random’ or ‘wrong’, he still ended up where he wanted to go. By approaching things this way, he avoided the stress caused by over-thinking and had an adventure!

Is over-thinking something you can relate to? Is decision making difficult for you? Leave a comment and share your thoughts and strategies.

One Year of Adventure, One Constant Fear


(Image credit: ostill / 123RF Stock Photo)

Being express kidnapped in Bolivia? Running out of money halfway through the trip? Having my passport stolen in Amsterdam? No, not even close.

I spent all year worrying about it. It was constantly at the back of my mind niggling away. It ate my soul like an acid, stealing away some of those breath taking moments that only adventure can provide. It was the fear of going back to work.

“Nearly half of those surveyed said they worry about becoming unemployed…”

– Associated Press-GfK poll

Not me. I’d taken 17 months leave from my job and was spending the first 12 of those months travelling the world before going back to Australia to try living life a different way and if it worked out, I’d make the change permanent. At the back of my mind was the fear that things would not work out and that I would have to go back to work. Back to my old job. Back to my old life. And within six months, I’d be back in the same dreary routine with my time off feeling like some distant dream.

It wasn’t that I hated my job. It was just that I had decided I wanted to do something else. I’d actually decided that a while ago but for one reason or another, I had stayed where I was – 10 years with the same company. I’d been unknowingly living my life inside a comfort bubble – living almost entirely by a fixed routine that I knew backwards and it had been slowly sucking the life out of me. I knew ‘how it went’ with my job and my life but there was always an intense longing for something more. Something I could never fully define, which created a degree of uncertainty. And it was my uneasiness with that uncertainty that meant I stayed in my comfort bubble.

 …adventure had reignited a fire deep within my soul…

In my time off, I had discovered through adventure a new zest for life, an indescribable excitement and a level of freedom I can’t ever recall experiencing. My adventure had reignited a fire deep within my soul and made me feel alive again – something that the comfort bubble had slowly but surely drained from me over the years. Without even realising it, I had popped my comfort bubble and followed that calling for change with all the uncertainty that went with it. And I was loving it. But this was a holiday – albeit a long one. I wondered constantly, when it came to the crunch, when the 17 months was up, would I go back to my comfort bubble or would I choose adventure?

In the end, after 12 months traveling overseas and a 3 month road trip down the east coast of Australia, I chose to overcome my fear and quit my job. And while my year of adventure had finished, my life of adventure was only just beginning.

 Is there an adventure you have been putting off?  Please leave a comment and share.

Why We Need Adventure

El Chalten

…Adventure pops the comfort bubble and makes you feel alive again…

It was a summer afternoon in Melbourne back in January and I was catching up with a friend after running one of my Urban Adventure Walks. We were discussing all things adventure when he asked me the question, “Why do we need adventure?”

I told him, “In short, adventure pops the comfort bubble and makes us feel alive again.”

I went on to explain that over time people can unknowingly develop a comfort bubble around their lives, whereby life becomes very routine, unchallenging and predictable. Along with that, feelings of discontent develop with an inevitable sense of being trapped. On the surface, there is no problem because they have a job in which they are successful and enough money to live. Underneath however, the comfort bubble is slowly sucking the life out of them, leaving them with an existence devoid of meaning and with a feeling of being dead inside.

If the comfort bubble is the hands around the neck strangling the life out of them, then adventure is the shot of oxygen that breathes life back into the soul. Adventure pops the comfort bubble and makes them feel alive again.

Whenever we hear the word adventure, there is a tendency to think of it in the extreme sense – flying a hot air balloon around the world or crossing the Sahara desert on foot. At its core however, adventure is simply a journey into the unknown. It might be setting yourself a challenge that stretches you, doing something a different way or simply experiencing something new. Adventure makes the world come alive again, gives one a sense of joy and creates wonder within our lives.

“The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences…”

~ Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild

Leave a comment and share a thought on what adventure means to you.

I See a Donkey!

Photographed by Simon Jones while on the walk.
Photographed by Simon Jones while on the walk.

“I see a donkey.  What do you see?” I said.

“A donkey?  How do you get donkey?  No, don’t be silly – it’s a fish with legs,” she said, looking up at the same set of clouds.

Ever do that as a kid?  As adults, clouds are often something that we see (especially in Melbourne!) and unconsciously dismiss them without a second thought.  In fact, it is not just clouds but often elements of everyday life – the cars that drive by, the shops we walk past and the people we see.  This is a concept we explored on a recent Urban Adventure Walk in Melbourne – not with clouds, shops or people though – with architecture.

The walk, titled Architecture – Imagination and Space had a photography and architectural flavour to it.  The idea was to simply get out, shoot photos and have loads of fun doing it.  Like using the shapes in clouds, we took parts of different buildings and photographed them in different ways.

The results were fantastic.  It was amazing to see the different perspectives people came up with in the same area.

Simply by looking at something in a different way within a familiar environment, we can see something that we’ve never noticed before and perhaps even experience some of that ‘adventure’ feeling we get when we visit a city for the first time.  In fact, one guy even said “I’ve got to remember this place – this is great – I didn’t know it was here!”

I think this Henry Miller quote sums it up beautifully:

The moment one gives close attention to any thing, even a blade of grass it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.

~Henry Miller


Have you ever discovered something new about where you live after having lived there many years?  Leave a comment below and share it.