Stories & Articles

5 Ways to Live on the Edge

Vanessa de Largie | Topic Media | January 28, 2012

I completely understand why people walk out into the bush with a flask of water and live off the land.

I completely understand why people get addicted to extreme sports.

I completely understand or at least identify with any person who lives radically and bravely.

In a conventional society filled with conventional people living conventional lives and speaking conventional dialogue, it is no surprise that occasionally, one feels like escaping it all.

A lot of us silence those natural urges of wanting to do something ‘crazy’ by going out on the weekend and getting plastered or burying our heads in work. Anything, not to face our true desire to be spontaneous.

I believe we should honour our urges. As long as we are not hurting another human being and we are doing something entirely to please ourselves. I say – ‘go for it!’

Routine is seen as a sensible option for how to run our day to day lives and perhaps it does give us a sense of false security. Like Bill Murray in the movie ‘Groundhog Day’ – we know what’s coming. But do we?

I am always amazed at how much focus people put on the future. They plan for their retirement and they rely on their super funds they will receive at the end of their working life. It’s all about owning things – cars, properties, franchises.

We don’t really own anything though, do we? Because you can’t take it with you when you die.

My parents always talked about their retirement and how they would go on holidays and do this and see that. They both got terminal cancer and never had the chance to see any of their plans and dreams be realised.

I have gone the polar opposite. I don’t own anything, I don’t care to own anything. My assets are my experiences and my passions, things that cannot have a dollar sign put on them.

Below are 5 suggestions on how to be a little more spontaneous and live life on the edge.


I think everyone should travel. Travel educates you, it gives you tolerance for other cultures and their people. There is something uneasy yet thrilling arriving in a country where you can’t speak the language. One has to go into survival mode. Travelling gives you a rebirth, a new perspective.

Go skydiving 

I did it with my nephew in 2010 and it was exhilarating to say the least. Falling through the sky at that speed, then looking over the city when your parachute opens (if it opens) is so amazing.

Shave your head

(This ones for the girls) It’s not really a biggie if you’re a bloke.

As women, we often hide behind our hair or are attached to it for vanity reasons, which is why you should do it.

I took the plunge on my 32nd birthday. For me, it was cleansing, I had been through some rather horrific and crappy life events and wanted to get rid of the old and invite in the new.

Having a shaved head as a woman has its positives. Less time in the bathroom each morning and people often let you go in front of them at the ATM or at the shops, I assume because they think you have cancer. Humour aside, it was very liberating and I can’t wait to do it again.

Skinny dipping

Most of us have done it at one time in our lives. It’s so nice to feel the water against our skin, it feels so natural, so earthy. I like to do it in the evening, preferably with a friend. Apart from having your bits bitten off by a shark, it’s a fairly harmless activity.

Deprive yourself of media 

How attached are we to our phones and our TVs and our internet connections? Disconnect. How can you ever honour your spontaneous urges while being hooked into the world’s chaos?

I would never make a suggestion that I had not tried.

Do you have any suggestions for spicing up one’s life a little and living on the edge?

I’d love to hear.

Now I will leave you with one of my favourite quotes from one of my favourite authors;

“Some people never go crazy, what truly horrible lives they must lead.” ~ Charles Bukowski ~