To me and my husband, l’avventura is the fine art of picking a place to go and seeing where we end up.
Some people might see this pursuit of adventure as a waste of money, elaborate chore avoidance, or even restless leg syndrome, but it works for us. More specifically, it works for our marriage.
1. It’s a great substitute for work.
Our Achilles heel has long been the fact that we could work 12 hours a day, every day and never feel we’d done enough. But we both know that this workaholic predilection represents a life half-lived…as well as a life half-lived apart.
But, if we sit down and stare into space long enough, we get bored, even depressed. For us, l’avventura is the perfect work substitute; it requires not only movement but also research, communication, and teamwork.
And the more we do it, the more we want to do it. It’s become our favorite hobby: More passive than preparing a pitch, less passive than lying on the couch, watching TV.
2. We’re not on the couch, watching TV.
Don’t get us wrong – we love to lie on the couch watching TV. At best, it’s nighttime, we’re snuggling and horizontal…but at worst, we’re sitting there like log-bumps in the daytime because though we’re finally together in the same space, we can’t think of anything better to do. Hours could tick by, not a word exchanged, while all the while the real world awaits.
L’avventura keeps us from sinking into suburban despair, becoming a couple who can do nothing but talk about work, how tired we are, and HBO.
3. We’re experiencing something new…together.
We spend half of our lives engaged in separate pursuits – l’avventura allows us to pursue not only the whole rest of the world, but also each other.
We love architecture, so we go to look for some that will widen our eyes; the most interesting buildings become our own. The same with wine, works of art, mountains, beaches, meadows, and even dusty, ancient, deserted roads in the middle of nowhere.
We learn what excites, frightens, or inspires the other, and form a guidebook of our very own.
The songs that we listen to while we travel become our soundtrack. The souvenirs we bring home become our prized possessions. The photographs we take become the art on our walls. All are simple, sweet reminders of one life overlapping with another.
Because the stories of our travels comprise the narration of a rich, romantic tale: A life half-lived together.