We were supposed to be visiting a seminary in Boston. We had flown up the night before, scoped out the Commons, visited some classes, but we were hankering The Big Apple.
Chris and I were never ones to shy away from adventure, so we did some research and discovered a bus that goes from Boston’s Chinatown to New York’s Chinatown for a only few bucks. We were all in.
I honestly don’t remember how we got to the bus station. We had no car. But somehow we talked a stranger into dropping us off downtown, and off we went.
New York was wonderful. We love New York. I still do. We had both been there the year before for a week long trip, so we felt we knew Manhattan decently well. Before long, we had our subway passes in hand, and we were zigzagging the city, seeing as much as we could in one day.
We were downtown, midtown, uptown. We were in Times Square and Rockefeller Plaza. We were at Saint Patty’s Cathedral and into FAO Schwarz. We even managed to scrounge up some broadway tickets to see Chicago. The seats had an obstructed view, but our row mates never showed, so we simply slid down and enjoyed the show from the front row of the mezzanine. As a final nice touch, we rounded out our time with some cheesecake.
It was a splendid day.
And then we missed our bus…
We were running late, flying back to Chinatown. We thought we knew when and where the last bus was leaving, but we were wrong. We had missed our bus and we had missed the last bus back to Boston. We were alone in New York with no where to go.
At first, we reached out to the one contact we had in New York. One of our old roomies had a sister living in the city, but we couldn’t get a hold of her. So after a little bit of brainstorming, we decided, as only 22 year-old’s can, that we would simply stay up all night until the first bus arrived in the morning. After all, the city doesn’t sleep, right?
So that’s what we did. We walked around the city for a while. Then we decided to make use of our subway passes. We were so tired and so cold, we just hopped on any old subway to rest and be warm. Well, quite by accident, we fell asleep on the subway and woke-up on Coney Island, the last stop. We sprang up, walked across the platform and headed back into Manhattan.
We toyed with the idea of sleeping on the steps of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral. It seemed like a fun idea and would make for a good story. But we decided against it because of weather and safety, and we didn’t want to get in trouble. So what’s the next best thing?
Yup, Kinkos. Being recently graduated college students, we knew Kinkos was open 24hrs. It would be a warm and safe place to pretend to work. So we found the nearest Kinkos and took shifts sleeping under the desk while the other acted legitimate.
Long story short…
Eventually, the sun rose, and the bus came, and we went back to Boston. It was quite the adventure.
So why am I telling you this story? Because I glimpsed my soul on this adventure, and because I always find my soul when I adventure.
If we are chasing soul, we must retrace our steps and identify where we’ve often seen it. For me, adventure always stirs my soul. Hikes, the unknown, whimsy, the unexpected, the half-planned, the jump-first-ask-questions-later moments, the big city, the foreign country…somehow they are all windows to my soul.
It’s in these moments we see what we’re made of. It’s in these moments we sense a world bigger than ourselves. It’s in the unknown I come to rely more deeply on God. It’s in the gray spaces where I tap into something other, something real, something alive, something more. I see my soul in adventure. How about you?
Does adventure awaken your soul? How so? Let’s talk about it in the comments.