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The Not-So-Typical Adventurer

Mara Watts, Short-Term Rental Owner in Burnsville, North Carolina

“Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing at all.” - Hellen Keller

Everyone has their own definition of what adventure means to them. Mine is a little unusual.

Adventure can look like hiking up the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina, ultimately discovering breathtaking views of God’s amazing creation. Or maybe adventure looks like jumping out of an airplane thousands of feet up in the sky - experiencing a jolt of adrenaline as you soar effortlessly back down to the Earth.

Those “WOW!” moments. Those moments in time that, literally, take your breath away. These are the typical experiences we tend to think of when we think of the word ‘adventure’.

But what if adventure can take on a form of its own for each individual human exploring this thing we call life?

As a mom of three young children – two in grade school, and a toddler at home – I often find myself in an adventure-less rut. I will admit that I’m an avid Instagram scroller. Living vicariously through the “true adventurers” out there exploring the globe, taking high-res photos and drone footage, to share their exciting travels with their followers. I can picture myself there, breathing in the crisp air as droplets of water from the pristine waterfall splash against my face. But no such luck, it’s just bath water from my squealing, splashing toddler, bringing me quickly back to reality.

I often get stuck here. Before kids, I had dreams of traveling the world. Meeting unique people in extraordinary locations. I would eat exotic foods, start a souvenir collection, and my passport would be cluttered with stamps. My goal – to be an eclectic nomad. A bold and daring adventurer. No one could stop me.

But life.

Over the years, I’ve had to rest in the knowing that life doesn’t always go as planned. And let's face it, that’s the greatest gift. The forced acceptance of one’s current reality – that's an adventure in and of itself.

So, as a full-time stay-at-home-mom, how do I find adventure? My answer: In the mundane, day-to-day. Literally. Life is my adventure. My family is my adventure. My interests and hobbies are my adventure. And, without question, parenting is my adventure.

The Merriman-Webster dictionary defines the word ‘adventure’ as “an unusual and exciting, typically hazardous, experience or activity.” Any parent reading this can smile, giggle, and agree that parenting encapsulates two key components of the definition of adventure – hazardous and unusual, to say the least.

But all jokes aside, my adventure is my life. For me, adventure is about trying new things, branching out – being spontaneous and flipping normal on top of its head.

Sometimes, we eat the ice cream before dinner. We don’t make the beds, or do the dishes, and instead watch a new movie together cuddled up on the couch. Instead of staying inside watching it snow, we throw on some warm clothes and head out for a snowball fight. We try new things together. We have dance parties late at night when the kids should be in bed – school comes early, you know. We laugh – a lot. That is what adventure means to me – choosing to live boldly with the people I love the most.

My people. They are my adventure.


Mara Watts is the owner and host of The Burnsville Boho Barn located in Burnsville, North Carolina. She is the wife to Adam Watts, and the mother to three beautiful children, Sawyer (10), Henley (8), and Zylie (2). Together, the five of them live on a 2.5 acre mini farm where they raise chickens and grow vegetables. Professionally, Mara works for Lodge Lovers as the VP of Client Happiness. She also works as a freelance writer and is a yoga instructor. In addition, Mara enjoys sipping white chocolate raspberry lattes while reading a World War II novel.

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