Edit Desk: Adventure has no deadline


Before starting college, I thought a lot about opportunity cost.

Catherine Manthorp

Opportunity cost is defined as the value of a foregone, alternative activity when another activity is chosen instead. It’s what I gave up by going to college.

I used to think about everything I could be doing instead of being in class every day.

I remember wanting, more than anything, to be able to explore and adventure to the places I heard about in the news and read about in my textbooks, rather than just hearing and reading about them. I wanted to be out there exploring the world and experiencing all of the opportunities, people and places it has to offer that we don’t seem to take advantage of enough.

And I still want that.

But then I realized I was placing a deadline on adventure. I was rushing what didn’t and shouldn’t need to be rushed.

The first real chance I had to venture out of the country was this past summer. I had the opportunity to study abroad in Galway, Ireland, for six weeks.

I quickly fell into my daily routine of class, internship and exploration, but I didn’t want to get too comfortable. Six weeks seemed like enough time at first, but no amount of time is ever really enough. And my time proved not to be an exception.

Every day I woke up knowing I was incredibly lucky to be living this new kind of life and immersing myself in a new culture. It was unlike anything I’d ever experienced before, but it was the only way of life some people knew.

This was my dream — to discover the places that seemed too far away to grasp and too unrealistic to explore. But there I was. To this day, it still seems surreal, almost as if it was all a distant dream.

I remember walking Quay Street day and night, reading a book by Galway Bay, having nights out in the small city with new friends, taking advantage of Ireland’s “heat wave” of 70-degree weather and venturing out into the countryside to visit castles and cathedrals, cliffs and caves. All the while I was thinking to myself that if this was the last time I’d ever visit Ireland, I couldn’t leave a stone unturned.

We saw almost everything there was to see and did almost everything there was to do. And we met the most welcoming, warm people with some of the most unique stories to share if you were willing to lend an ear and listen.

Toward the end of the trip, I decided to venture off on my own. To say it was nerve-wracking is an understatement. Here I was, a directionally-challenged student in a foreign country for the first time. But I knew it would be one of those life-changing moments, an experience worth having.

After spending the entire night listening to an older Irish woman’s life story in a Dublin hostel, I began the journey into Northern Ireland. Sometimes considered the eighth wonder of the world, the Giants Causeway was my final destination and the one I was looking forward to most.

While the view was breathtaking and the pictures were beautiful, nothing will ever do those moments justice. Moments that not many can say they’ve had the chance to experience or will ever have the chance to experience.

I took pictures and memories away from that day, but more importantly I took with me a greater understanding and appreciation both of the culture and of myself.

Don’t get too comfortable being the person you’ve always been in the place you’ve always been alongside the people you’ve always been with. Be vulnerable. It’ll be the best and most rewarding decision you’ve made as well as the greatest adventure you’ve ever had.

Work your way through your bucket list. There’s no deadline for adventure. There will never be a point at which you’ve had too many adventures or there aren’t any more to be had. Adventure is always out there awaiting us, reaching out and beckoning us toward it. We just have to take its hand and let it guide us as we experience all of the places and people and culture that it has to offer.

Life is full of opportunities.

But it’s also full of places, no matter how far-reaching they are; adventures, no matter how bizarre they seem; and people, no matter what where they come from. The world as we know it is always changing, but it’s our world to experience.

Catherine Manthorp, ’18, is an associate sports editor for The Brown and White. She can be reached at [email protected].

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