Lana Jankovic // @lanajankovic
Go experience as much as humanly possible.
Say yes to things that scare you, that are out of your comfort zone, that you never in a million years thought you'd try.
Is there something out there that draws you in? Maybe it's climbing mountains. Maybe it's making art, or taking a dance class even though you feel like you have two left feet, or leaving your cozy job to start a new business venture that stokes you beyond belief.
Make a list of places you crave to visit and things you'd love to do that would light you up more than anything, and then hatch a plan to start crossing them off, stat.
The more we open ourselves up to experiences of every kind, from adventures to career leaps, meeting new humans to exploring new countries, the richer our lives will be.
We'll mess up. We'll learn, usually the hard way, only solely by actually doing the thing - about what we love, and what we don't, and what we'll never do again. We'll grow. Then, we'll challenge ourselves to seek bolder chapters and fresh experiences.
I think that's the best damn thing you can keep doing, this continuous pushing forward into ever-evolving and uncharted territories. If I had one piece of advice to share, it would be that: enthusiastically run towards your stories.
Great advice comes from great experience. How have you seen your comfort zone change over the past few years?
I’ve found the most amazing things have happened when I’ve gone ahead with something my mind previously decided I couldn’t do. Last year was the first year I got into hiking, and after my second light hike (light when I look at it now – but at the time, challenging enough!), I made a long list of mountains I wanted to conquer and adventures I wanted to experience.
Most of those were missions I had half written off as too difficult, convincing myself they were “someday” items when I was fitter, stronger, more capable, etc. Well, by the fall I had knocked off all of them, and then some!
I’ve learned that there’s no easy way around it - the only true means of stretching the boundaries of your comfort zone is to get comfortable with being uncomfortable and just do the damn thing.
Once I accepted that, life began to grow exponentially in direct relation to how far out of my little bubble I was willing to step. Even if you think you can’t, or aren’t sure how exactly you’ll make it work, say yes and figure it out.
We are so stretchy and adaptable as humans, but only if we are willing to consistently put ourselves into situations where we are uncomfortable and are forced to up-level. And that goes for hiking, and careers, and relationships, and life in general. If it terrifies me and excites me at the same time, I’m all in, by any means necessary.
Trying new things can certainly enrich your life. In what way do you feel exploration and adventure has enriched your life the most?
It’s tough pinning down words that fully capture the indescribable (fellow adventurers know the struggle), but simply put: experiencing total rapture on a regular basis has inspired my creativity and opened up my world in ways I never could have imagined.
That feeling of absolute awe, sitting silently on a mountain peak as the sunrise paints the sky, or lying under the stars on a clear night, with the whole universe stretched out above you, or the first time you come face to face and lock eyes with an elk.
That awe, that pure presence, it fuels my fire like no other. It fosters a sense of connectedness – with nature, with ourselves, with those that experience it alongside us – and an utter, unshakeable belief in magic that filters through into every other facet of my life.
That, and the community behind the adventures has been life-changing. I’ve met so many incredible friends who started off as Instagram buddies, and turned into a real-life adventure family.
Where do you see adventure taking you in the future? What bold chapters lay ahead for Lana?
Great question! I wish I could tell you, but in all honesty, I’m not too sure myself. There will always be many more mountains, summits, roadies, trips overseas, all that good stuff (universe, hook up some sun and warmth please!) – and no doubt they’ll get bigger, more challenging, and increasingly comfort-zone-shattering – but the biggest adventure that has begun to unfold in the last few months is the one where I delve into how I’ll make my mark in the world.
Beyond a shadow of a doubt, the next 12 months are going to pull the rug from under my feet and shake me in the best way possible, as I push forward in designing a career/work life that seamlessly fits with my passions and the way I see myself experiencing life on my own terms.
I have no idea what that’ll look like at present, but finding my place in the world and discovering what I can contribute, I reckon, is going to be my greatest adventure yet. So, onto the next chapter, also known as: “The One with All the Unknown Variables.”
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