I think we can all agree that we're enthralled with idea of adventure. We say yes to weekend trips, we find ourselves double tapping images of girls looking out towards an epic skyline, we want to collect as many passport stamps as humanly possible... we're those type of people. We want to drink in the world.
The reality of life is that most of us can't hop on a plane at any moment in time. Between physical restrictions, work schedules and limited vacation time and the dreaded financial strain that comes with booking a grand adventure, the truth is... life often gets in the way of letting us live our adventurous dreams.
And that's why living worldly and traveling without travel is something that is so important to us creative adventurers. By adopting a mindset that encourages a curiosity for life, we are able to see the larger scope of the world in our own backyard. By tapping into an adventurous mindset, we can explore while tracing the same steps we've trekked for years. We can discover while staying in our neighborhoods. Yes, adventure is totally a mindset. And sometimes, it can be even more meaningful than a passport stamp. So let's explore this new outlook on exploration together, shall we?
1. Observe - Always Be On The Lookout
The art of adventure stems directly from observation. This skill is one that we forget, especially in today's fast-paced, saturated and distract-able society. To sit and notice, without a camera, without a phone is to find a little taste of adventure, no matter where you are. Stop, be still, look and become hyper vigilant. Look for the oddities. Look for the ordinary, and then look deeper. Notice patterns, trace lines in the cracks of the pavement, question sounds... just look closer. Observation is an art form. It takes a willingness to be curious and receptive. But with practice, observation will lead you directly to adventure.
Late this summer while cooling down from my tri-weekly running routine, I started noticing all of the vivid colors of my neighborhoods' front porches. It was like they were asking for me to document them! From that first day on, I made it a point to take a different route home in order to find a new "porch scene" to document and appreciate. And, yes, for those of you asking... I am totally known as the neighborhood weirdo since I started this tradition! I just can't help myself!
2. Do One Odd Thing A Day
Reroute your commute, make an odd choice in your morning routine or switch your meals (eating waffles for dinner is ALWAYS a good idea). By keeping your schedule ritualized, we often forget the joy that can come with some change. Take the scenic route during sunset, go to the nostalgic diner that you pass on your way home, just switch it up. Altering your course, while remaining sensitive and observatory in every turn, can open an adventure in a matter of seconds.
3. Consider Every Sense
Becoming hyper-sensitive to the smells, sights, tastes, textures and sounds that surround you on a daily basis is something overlooked so often. What are the specific sounds you observe your particular block? How are they different to say, the sounds in the closest park... or even compared to the sounds you've heard on your last grand adventure? Are there similarities? Record them, share them, write about them! How does your backyard (or closest park) shift and change with the seasons? Are there particular foliage or flowers that you look forward to seeing? Go see them! Is there a tree that blooms the absolute best cherry blossoms, or the brightest, most vivid fall leaves? Document it's changes! Is there a texture you see repeatedly used on exteriors of your area? Are they anything like you've seen in other parts of the world? Draw comparisons! See if you can find your own local Taj Mahal! When you consider every sense, picking up on nuances that you often overlook, curiosity takes over and (you guessed it) adventure ensues.
4. Stay Curious, Document Often
Question everything. Find the stories behind what's sitting around you. Don't consider anything to be ordinary. This seems obvious, but boy does it take practice to master! As I've mentioned above, documenting "front porch scenes" was by no means my intention when I first noticed the crazy blooming flowers in my neighborhood. But adding a little dose of curiosity to my routine run has definitely allowed me to gain a deeper sense of appreciation and understanding about my neighborhood.
5. Think Like A Newborn... Or A Tourist
Live your day as if you've never seen what's around you before in your life. I mean, that's what adventure is... isn't it?
Living here in Lancaster has definitely opened my eyes to Amish history and culture. So much so that I sometimes forget how odd it can be to drive past two or three horse and buggies everyday to work... like, helloooooo Laura, this is totally not a normal commute thing! I'm sure to many tourists would see a horse and buggy and it would completely make their trip. And that, my friends, is why seeing your surroundings with a fresh perspective can 100% add a serious dose of adventure to your day to day.
Ask yourself... if I were a tourist, what's one thing I'd love to see or do in my town?
We are able to travel without traveling. We are able to live worldly without leaving our living rooms. We are able to explore without a passport. Adventure, friends, is right here. Adventure is a mindset. And we're able to tap into it whenever we want.