By: Mary Fran Bontempo

When was the last time you had an adventure? (Wandering around the grocery store trying to figure out where they moved the peanut butter doesn’t count.)

Adventure is something we consign to the young, or at least those younger than us. Either that or it’s something we view through the lens of a movie camera on a big screen. But experience it ourselves? That ship has sailed, and left us standing on the dock.

For most of us, adventure equates with the unknown, and that’s scary territory. We’ve spent a lifetime trying to ensure our own safety and comfort, along with that of our loved ones, so anything that might push our adrenaline into overdrive is hardly welcome.

But adventure doesn’t have to mean being chased by the abominable snowman. (Sorry, I’m writing this while watching Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. It’s a holiday season must.) It needn’t mean fear and trembling, or sweat (really, should that be a welcome part of anything?), and the unknown part, well, that’s the fun of it.

In fact, some of the greatest adventures are simple, small, and leave the greatest impact.

Not long ago, I was asked to go to a lunch in Philadelphia. To my mind, it was a lunch, not much more expected. Yet, I arrived to find I was meeting my friend on the top floor of a high-rise, one that provided a view of the entire city. I saw the Delaware and Schuylkill (don’t try and pronounce it, it’s impossible) Rivers surrounding the city—my fourth-grade geography lesson come to life before my eyes.

I don’t remember much about that lunch—couldn’t tell you for the life of me what I ate—but that view! Totally unexpected, that view became my adventure.

Obviously, if running with the bulls is your idea of fun, go for it, but if not, adventure is never far away. Perhaps no further than your own back yard.

With open eyes, a willing spirit, and the conviction that no matter our age, we’re all adventurers at heart, your next great adventure might just happen today. And it doesn’t have to involve a trip to the grocery store.

MARY FRAN BONTEMPO is a speaker, author and humorist who teaches audiences to control their most powerful influence: Self-Talk. Author of “The Woman’s Book of Dirty Words,” and “Not Ready for Granny Panties,” Mary Fran proves small changes in self-talk yield big life changes, allowing individuals to redefine their lives both professionally and personally in a rapidly changing world. A frequent media guest, her books are available on Amazon and