I met a blogger recently who was compiling a ‘50 things to do before I’m 50′ list. I’ve had some adventures in my life and am clearly not finished yet, but 50? I struggled to come up with a list of 20.
In true Law of Attraction style, soon after I was offered an opportunity by Primula Cheese, to pick something off my bucket list, go do it, and write about it here as part of their Little Moments Of Adventure campaign.
And so followed weeks of conversations with friends, while many glasses of wine were consumed (you know, just to get the creative juices flowing), to work out what little moment of adventure I could have.
I had to be practical about it: there was a budget; I couldn’t take myself off for days on end leaving the hubster with all the childcare; and physically speaking, I’m not really built for speed these days!
My personal definition of an adventure does not involve falling out of a plane or doing a bungee jump. Experiencing my retinas detaching at 100km per hour does not sound like my idea of fun.
I’ve seen some of the wonders of the world – the Pyramids at Giza, Niagara Falls, deserts and rainforests. I’ve snuck up on the Mountain Gorillas in Africa; flown over San Francisco in a helicopter; and driven a Formula RX around a race track. I’ve done all manner of weird activities like breathing fire and making my own perfume. I’ve eaten in some of the best restaurants and visited famous landmarks all over the world, from Sydney to Havana.
I realise I’ve been lucky, but I’m getting on a bit so have had years to do all this. So you see it wasn’t easy to decide what new adventure to plan.
There are only two things that arose from all this brainstorming: The first was to visit Petra in Jordan on horseback in the style of Indiana Jones, and the second was to star in Strictly Come Dancing. Clearly neither were going to happen, the first being in an unstable part of the world and beyond the budget, and the second being out of reach due to the fact that I’m not remotely, and never will be, famous.
However surely we could get close to the latter, yes?
My parents were great at Jiving and I loved watching them take to the floor at weddings when I was a kid. I danced as a child taking tap and modern lessons at my local performing arts club, but stopped in my teens. Pretty much my only form of exercise through University and during my 20s was dancing in sweaty, dark, throbbing clubs until the lights came on. But when I hit my 30s and 40s, the dancing stopped. No self-respecting clubber goes out before 11pm, and that’s way past my bedtime (and that of the babysitter).
I just miss dancing so much. Nothing makes me smile quite like it.
Karen Hardy, formerly of Strictly Come Dancing fame, now runs her own dance studio in Fulham. I met the great woman herself, before my dance lesson with the gorgeous, diminutive Nicole. I was quite relieved not to be partnered with a man, I felt abler to relax and have a giggle with Nicole.
During our 40 minute session, I learned a Salsa sequence, including some impressive ‘armology’ and then moved onto Jive. I took Salsa lessons before travelling to Cuba many years ago – you can’t visit Cuba and not know the basics in Salsa, it’s a way of life over there. Putting the moves together in time to the fast Latin music was a challenge. I didn’t even know the basic steps for the Jive. It’s simple when you know how. Jiving to Rock Around the Clock was just pure joy.
I stumbled, I sweated, I blushed, and it was all recorded by a photographer. But it was SUCH fun. I grinned like a mad woman throughout. Nicole was patient and an absolute sweetheart.
Would I have done it without a push from Primula Cheese? Possibly not. Life gets in the way of this sort of thing and I feel guilty doing something so unconnected with work, something purely for my own enjoyment. That’s crazy isn’t it?
Would I do it again? If Karen’s studio wasn’t so far to travel, yes I would. I just need to find a class or club closer to home.
Adventure doesn’t have to be a huge, life-threatening experience. Whether it’s the food you eat, the hobbies you take on, the challenges you set yourself, or just making time to do something you love, be brave and just do it.
So why did Primula Cheese want me to have a little moment of adventure? As a brand, they’re all about enjoying little moments of big flavour and are famous for their flavour combinations, so are encouraging their customers to try inject a little bit of adventure into their lives no matter how small. Plus they’ve just launched a brand new look. Check it out below and visit http://www.primula.co.uk/ for more information.Karen Hardy Studios.]