Looking through some TED videos, I discovered Matt Cutts. An engineer at Google, Matt decides to take upon 30 day challenges to add mindfulness to his routine. And so he goes: a photo a day for 30 days, biking to work, writing a novel… The themes deepen and expand. Inspired by this cute idea to incorporate into my days of learning, I challenged myself to go on an adventure a day for 30 days.

Compelled to clarify my expectations of what an adventure entails for me, I chose to define adventure as choosing to explore an aspect of myself by stretching past my comfort zone.

The striking details of the month that follows highlight the greater truth that Matt examines. By focusing on my goal of adventure each day, I distanced myself from distractions and therefore was able to make the most out of each 24 hours.

I also find it easier to recall exact details of my days of adventure as well as my feelings intertwined with each mindful decision to accept an invitation for a day exploring Jerusalem with Danielle, running from my school in Beit Vagan to the Old City one Saturday night to feel the wind tickle my face and blast Eric Hutchinson from my headphones and to arrive at the Kotel an hour later with more love and inspiration than any previous visits.

Timing also worked in my favor. Sukkot break welcomed me to use my days of freedom for adventure. Chana and I tackled Ein Gedi’s sweatiest hike with a pep in our step by greeting Israelis and discussing our relationships to Judaism and to the individuals that inspire us. The next day, I took on the social adventure of joining a group of seminary girls of which I knew no one to go zip lining, rock climbing and crawling through damp, narrow caves… No biggie. I remind myself that the night before, social anxiety swarmed around my self assurance but a guiding force looked out for my karma because that spectacular day defied limits of what it means to get to know people and bond with close friends that I met hours before.

My 30 days were merely a kick start, a raw appetizer to tease me into craving the rest of my year. The camping, hiking, poetry writing, rain dancing, friendship making, praying… It all just enhanced me. I love this land and love myself more now because of my internal arguments, because of my sight seeing and tense discussions, because of my steps in growing in observance, because of the expansion of my understanding of diversity, and because of the individuals that transformed my adventure.