Adventure, like many things, is a state of mind. Most people immediately assume that having an adventure entails going to some far-off land to accomplish a major quest. While this is definitely an example of an adventure, it’s just that: an example. It is just as easy to have an adventure in your own back yard.
At least in my opinion, an adventure is something out of the ordinary, exciting, and memorable; usually they aren’t easy, and they definitely don’t fall in the idea of something “planned”. Though most think of adventures as a fun thing, it’s important to remember that adventures form from chaos.
The dictionary’s definition of adventure is “an unusual and exciting, typically hazardous, experience or activity.” Many other locations add the words “bold”, “risky”, and “potentially dangerous” to this mix.
So, here’s my idea on adventure:
Why we don’t have adventure in our regular lives
Our daily life is designed in a way to offer us ease. Homes are becoming smarter and smarter so, well, we have to think less. We don’t even have to remember where we put the remote anymore. We can just say, “Alexa, turn on the tv.” And, voilà, the tv comes on. With each invention in this digital age, our lives become easier and easier. And our brains become less and less stimulated. Our lives are designed so meticulously to keep us comfortable that we almost never step outside of our comfort zones. But THIS is where adventure lies! This is why we don’t experience daily adventures anymore.
How can we change this and invite adventure in?
If you read the paragraph above, I bet you know what I’m going to say- STEP OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE! The more we step out of our “norm” and allow ourselves the stimulation of using our brains and doing things that don’t come easily to us, the more adventure creeps into our lives.
Last year, I pushed a friend to go on a hike, which he wasn’t used to, and in turn, he passed out during the trek. Getting him back to the car while in a panic was an experience I’ll never forget. The regular hike became an adventure because we had to figure out what to do and how to solve this problem that we had never been faced with before. Now, does that mean you should get your friends killed to have an adventure? Of course not! Please don’t! But it’s meant to serve as an example to show you that adventure lurks in chaos and where you least expect it.
So, if you’re looking to have an adventure, be open to it! Simply push yourself outside of your comfort zone, do something you’ve never done before, and experience the ride! The more outside of your comfort zone you step, the more stories you will have to tell and the more adventures you will have.
“Planning” a safe adventure
I put “planning” in quotations here, as you can’t really plan an epic adventure. But, you can easily follow these steps to have one. And if you’re “planning” on having an adventure, you can make sure it’s a safe one- unlike the unexpected health fiasco mentioned above. Here are three ideas to help you form adventures:
- Go out with friends and plan nothing. Go for a drive and just see where you wind up. It seems simple, but grab a group of friends, turn off your GPS, and drive somewhere you don’t know. The more you don’t know the area, the better. Turn off your brain, and don’t try to figure out where you are, where you are going, or what direction you are heading. (At this point I should mention to ensure you have a full tank of gas before doing this!) See if you can find some exciting new store you’ve never been to after you’re good and lost. See if you can find a mom-and-pop eatery that you’ve never been to for lunch or dinner. Or see if you can find your way home once you are lost. This is a fun way to have an adventurous day with friends.
- Go on a hike you’ve never done before- without a map (but keep your GPS on hand just in case). The less you know about the hike, the better- be surprised by what you find on it. Take paths you’ve never taken before and see where they end up.
- Plan to visit a city or town you’ve always wanted to go to but have never actually visited. If you’re in SoCal, I’d recommend Julian near San Diego, Solvang, or Santa Barbara. Plan to head to one of these places or a town near you, and don’t plan past that. Just visit, go with the flow, and see what pops up that interest you after you arrive. Really experience what the town has to offer without planning and being in your head about it.
Living for Adventure
All in all, we can live in a state of adventure if we simply stop allowing daily conveniences to dull our brains. So, plan a day or two a week to go off your normal routine and experience something new. You’ll be happy you did!
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