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Why Novelty Cures “Ruts” + Leavenworth Ziplining

You know those moments when you allow a huge goofy grin to spread across your face, and you’re transported back to childhood and all its magic and wonder (even if only for a moment)? That’s exactly how I felt flying over the treetops that were ablaze with red, yellows and oranges from the changing leaves. (As evidence in the above pic) 😀

Last week, we got an extra big thrill when we took the kids to Leavenworth Ziplining for one of our October “field trips.” I’m trying to do at least one field trip a month to take us out to experience something completely different and unique. When I started making my list, I knew zip lining had to be one of our adventure (don’t worry – museums will make appearances too). But this was something I wanted because Leavenworth is now our home, Paysen has never gotten to and, it pushes us to our limits and reminds us we can do scary things (more on that later).

So off we went to Leavenworth Ziplines!

The kids were so excited to go, especially Paysen, who was finally big enough to join us up in the trees. He’s been dreaming of ziplining for almost two years but wasn’t big enough when we zip lined in Scotland, so instead, he was an honorary instructor from the ground. But this time, he got to come up in the trees with us.

As you can see, he loved it!

If we are not careful, a life without adventure will just become a chore.

I have this whole theory about grownup life and why so many adults get stuck in “ruts” or really, discontentment – it has to do with novelty. Real quick, novelty is the quality of being new, original, or unusual. Consider that for a sec. When was the last time you tried something new, original, or unusual? I’ll bet that your level of contentment toward your life right now, will directly correlate with how recent or long ago that was.

As kids we were faced with novelty on an almost daily basis – we didn’t have a choice. New classroom, new places, new people, learn to talk, read, ride a bike, swim, do long division, dance with a partner, play a sport, to give a report, to perform at the play, go on a date… It goes on and on and on. Try to count how many new experiences your kids have already had this year. But what about us? What new, unusual, or original thing have you tried?

And what about as a family?

After making this discovery a few years ago, I made a huge change. I decided I wanted to introduce novelty back into our marriage and for myself personally. Our date nights became dance lessons, cooking classes, and other new silly things. I took up new hobbies, put myself in new scary (but exciting) opportunities, and it all brought us to our biggest jump of all – deciding to travel full-time.

The secret, yet amazing side effect that comes with introducing novelty, is that it instills a belief that you are capable of doing hard things. Because ‘new’, usually feels hard!

My kids here me quote “we can do hard things” –  quite often. I love this quote and its one that I want my kids to not only know but believe! Through there little lives, they have experienced a variety of hard things – some were not fun at all and others have been intentional experiences to push them past their comfortable (past all of our comfortable) and help them learn that hard doesn’t have to mean awful, sometimes hard is awesome!

As I’ve thought about the kind of adults that I want these incredible little spirits to become, traits like courage, kindness, service, leadership, faith, and self-reliance are at the very top of my list. If they don’t believe they can do hard things, that many of those traits won’t be able to develop.

A huge part of traveling has been ‘getting comfortable with uncomfortable.’ The thing is, uncomfortable gets a bad wrap, but it shouldn’t. Uncomfortable keeps life exciting, it gives us new stories to share, and it makes us brave. Whether it be new cultures, new foods, new friends, new homes, or standing on a platform in a treetop and jumping… Hard things not only make us stronger, but they give us glimpses into how powerful we are!

And as if to help my theory along, I saw our faith in ourselves get more and more confident and powerful as we continued through the lines.  Everyone got braver and braver, trying bigger tricks and more exciting send-offs (by the end we tried falling backward off the platform with no hands).

I think this was line 7 or 8, Ella is attempting to do the ‘Scorpion pose,’ I think we should maybe call it the rag doll. 😉

On the last line, she’s trying upside down with her hands behind her back.

We loved Leavenworth Zipline, the obvious reason would be because it’s crazy fun and exciting – I mean it’s a thrilling adventure. But the less obvious reason would be the amazing opportunity it created for our little family to encourage each other as we introduced a big splash of novelty on an unsuspecting Monday.  Look at these little faces, this is right after we finished, they are thrilled with themselves!

And Homeschool BONUS for us was that history was covered! Thank you, Jason (our guide) who gave us a full and very interesting lesson on the history of Plain, WA. Named because they wanted their own post office so they wouldn’t have to go all the way into town. The postmaster said Beaver Valley was too long and that they should go with something shorter and more plain. Apparently, they took it literally.

The Quick Recap: 

5 Stars for Leavenworth Zipline! If you’re looking for something adventurous and fun between about April and October in the PNW – Leavenworth Ziplining is it! They have a 5 Line and a 9 Line option, we definitely recommend the 9-lines, as the biggest zips are on the last few. We experienced LWZL as a family and for a couples trip two years ago – both were awesome!! Jason, who runs the course is all about the experience, and you can tell from the moment you arrive. The staff is super great and 100% family friendly. Try to make reservations in advance here), the calendar stays booked. That being said, when we came as a group of couples, we happened to luck out and get a reservation that day, so it doesn’t hurt to try.


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