Desdenada is about finding the reality in fantasy and the fantasy in reality. In the Book Club segment of the Crossroads podcast, and in tomorrow’s video game column, I explore what we can learn from novels and games that we can apply to our real lives. In Low Fantasy Adventure, we’ll look at real life experiences and find the touch of fantasy within them.
Each week, I’ll describe an adventure from my life and the lessons I learned from it. These adventures range from self-contained trips, like the spontaneous solo road trip I took up the coast of British Columbia one summer, to more monumental adventures, like the two different times I’ve moved to a new country.
Expect all the usual elements of a travelogue: photos and descriptions of interest for their own sake, without any broader implications. In addition, I’ll reflect on what I learned from each experience and distill lessons you can hopefully apply in your own life.
Those two elements are the foundation of this column. My main goal with Low Fantasy Adventure is something more experimental and much more ambitious.
I’ve come to see travel as not a hobby or a luxury but a necessity. Changing your environment is the fastest way to change yourself, to experience new opportunities and perspectives. It is possible to grow and improve without travelling, but it is not possible to travel without growing and improving.
Habits are one of the biggest factors in self-improvement, and being in a different place forces you to change your habits, at least temporarily. Most times, your routine reverts back to normal as soon as you return home, but if you pay attention you can use the opportunity to reflect on your day to day life. Many of us do the same things every day without ever thinking about why, even when we’re doing things that consistently make us unhappy.
Getting a fresh look at our own routine is the main benefit of short-distance travel. When you travel further, you get the additional benefit of being exposed to new cultures and ideas. People in every culture take certain things for granted, and seeing firsthand how people live in other parts of the world can radically transform the way you think and do things.
All of this happens, to some extent, whether you’re aware of it or not. If you are aware of it, and mindful about what you want to get out of the experience, you can exponentially increase the amount you gain from even the simplest trip.
As a writer, I’ve learned how much you can change a narrative without changing a story. This is true both in fiction and in real life.
You can’t change the past. You may be able to delude yourself into believing things happened in a different way, but I wouldn’t recommend it. You can change what events mean to you, and how they fit into the larger context of your life.
How they fit into your personal story.
I’ll home in on that concept in Low Fantasy Adventure. Focusing on some of the most pivotal moments in my life, I’ll show how you can build a narrative out of the events of your own life. Putting your past in perspective provides a clear path forward, giving you power over how the rest of your story unfolds.
If none of that makes sense right now, don’t worry. It will become clear as we go. In the meantime, maybe it’s time for you to start planning your next big adventure?