Aaron and I are heading to Ireland in two days (!!!!), so we decided to watch the movie Leap Year for no reason other than the fact that it was filmed in Ireland.

Honestly, it’s a terrible movie. Don’t watch it. The protagonist is really good-looking and has a lovely accent, but other than that, the whole thing is pretty cringeworthy.

Despite the one-dimensional acting (except for the protagonist, whose acting was great…or maybe I just didn’t notice if he was bad because of his visual and auditory appeal), the movie had a pretty strong life-takeaway that made it worth watching, after all:

Be adventurous.

I’ve blogged plenty about how life can become stale if we don’t challenge ourselves to be creative or find learning experiences in our every day hustle and bustle. When it comes to keeping life interesting, however, I’ve somehow failed to write about the importance of good old fashioned adventure! Until now.

In Leap Year, Amy Adams plays a shallow Manhattanite and interior designer who desperately wants her boyfriend to propose. Her priority in life is to “have it all”– a thriving career, a high-rise condo, and a Doctor husband. Her “perfect” cardiologist boyfriend seems uninterested in proposing, so she follows him to Ireland on his business trip, because an old Irish tradition says that every four years– on Leap Day– a woman can be the one to propose to the man.

She tries to surprise him in Dublin, but her trip turns into a four day unwanted adventure across Ireland from Dingle to Dublin with a hot tour guide who is her exact opposite. This Irish native who is supposed to drive her to Dublin is the kind of guy who never makes plans, while she’s a control freak. He believes in sentimentality, and she believes in materialism. He is patient, she is high strung. She blames him for everything that goes wrong to delay her arrival, furious that she’s going to miss her one chance to propose to her boyfriend. Over the course of the few days, she and Hot Protagonist unwillingly get to know one another, until– you guessed it– they finally arrive in Dublin and realize that they’re in love.

leap year movie gif

The movie ends (you’ll probably never watch it, so I’m not ruining anything) with Amy Adams leaving her “perfect” life in Manhattan to live a life full of adventure with Hot Protagonist. We never found out if she actually got her VISA to reside overseas forever, but I guess that detail wasn’t important.

By the time credits were rolling, Aaron and I felt incredibly inspired. We’ve always valued adventure, so much so that Aaron mentioned it in his proposal speech and in his vows. But even the most adventurous couple can use a little filmspiration! Part of remaining close with someone is experiencing the world together, whether by huge trips to Ireland, or bike rides through the park. This movie added even more fuel to that fire, getting us pumped up for all of the adventuring ahead of us in the form of road trips, vacations, blog dreams, babies, and possible relocation.

Recently, while visiting my grandmother in Annapolis, MD, Aaron grabbed my hand and said, “I want to do all the little adventures with you.” So instead of going straight to my grandmother’s home, we stopped for lunch by the water, then walked around downtown Annapolis and grabbed an ice cream to share on a bench overlooking a sailboat race. It was the simplest of adventures, but such a gorgeous reminder to break the mold and see where the day– or year, or lifetime– takes us.

aaron me annapolis

Sure, it’s fun to have new kitchen appliances, watch a movie on the couch, and hustle for your dreams. But more than just once in a while, I encourage you to shake up the routine. Don’t get in the car as soon as you finish lunch– spend the extra 20 minutes to get pecan caramel ice cream with your husband and sit on a busy dock. Don’t say no to a trip just because of money– save up by eating on a strict budget for a few months, which can be an adventure in itself. Or if a huge vacation isn’t an option, drive to Charleston, Richmond, or whatever cute little city is near you, and explore.

Adventure sometimes feels uncomfortable. It feels like rain drenching you as you run to the nearest hole-in-the-wall pub. It feels like someone you don’t relate to sparking up a conversation on a crowded bus. It feels like getting home a little later so you can explore a little longer. It feels like questionable food, no makeup, and sore legs.

When it’s all said and done, the monotonous nights at bars with friends won’t hold your most precious memories…come on, we know that they all blend together after a while. Netflix won’t hold your most precious memories either. No, the memories that will provide comfort on our deathbeds, knowing that we truly lived, will be the adventures that breathed new life into our stale little souls. Of course the humble, quiet moments of love and laughter are important as well, but they will be better appreciated if strengthened by the lessons learned and fullness felt on unpredictable escapades. I’ve never been more alert to the beauty of simple moments than after a bona fide adventure!

See you soon, Ireland!