I’m always looking for an adventure – mini, maxi, or something in between – and it’s never been too hard for me to find one. Perhaps I was born with an adventure gene, I don’t know – maybe I can pass on some of that “gene-wisdom” and maybe you’ll start thinking about adventures in a different way than you’re used to. Even when I was a single mom, working full-time and going to school 4 nights a week, I still found time for adventures so I find it hard to believe that there’s time for computering, time to eat, time to drive to work, and no time to adventure. I just don’t believe it actually! There’s always time for some kind of adventure! Turn those normal-everyday-things into adventure!
If you work full time, do you drive to work the same way every day? Do you drive home the same way? Is there any other way you can go? Most locations will have more than one way to get there. Mix it up. Drive through the parking lot of a shopping center or strip mall you’ve never been in before – you just might find a local ice cream shop that makes their own! You might find a used book store you didn’t know was there. You might run into a friend you haven’t seen for awhile. You never know! If you truly don’t have another way to get to and from work, maybe on your way home, you could take a scenic route that might be a little longer but will be different than what you’ve been doing every day.
Always eat dinner at the table? Throw a blanket on the floor and eat your dinner at an indoor picnic. If you have kids, they’ll really like this! If you have a spouse or significant other that doesn’t appreciate things like this, maybe you both can compromise and one day a week it’ll be the “fun dinner” night, each of you coming up with something different for dinner. If you have one of those ant farm thingys, you could place it in the middle of the blanket for a more truly authentic picnic experience; just don’t let the little guys out!
Is your food always the same color? If you have kids, color their food. Add food coloring to milk, pasta water, rice, mashed potatoes – anything that’s light-colored is fair game for coloring up. We made neon-colored mashed potatoes one year for Thanksgiving dinner and arranged all four different colors on one platter – it was super colorful and tasted just the same! And we didn’t even have any kids at dinner… we were all adults at the table!
Only have a few extra hours? Spend it in your own hometown pretending to be a tourist. Take your camera and act as if you’ve never seen the local churches and unique buildings before; take photos like you’re seeing them for the first time. Have lunch someplace you’ve not eaten before; or if you’ve tried all the eateries, order something off the menu you’ve never had before. Take a walk around the downtown, looking at it as if you’ve never been there before. Visit a museum you keep driving by and not stopping to see because you can come back and visit any day since you live nearby. What other places does your hometown offer to a visitor? Go there.
Got a whole day? Drive to a nearby town and do the same thing, maybe staying overnight at a local B&B or hostel, taking in a local play or seeing a movie you’ve been wanting to see, having a great dinner at a place you might not normally go. Go to the nearby mountains or beach and be a visitor for the day. Pick up a couple of shells or a small rock. Take photos of the sunset and/or clouds.
Short on funds? Most museums have a “free” day when local residents can get in free of charge. Check out a used book store, even if you don’t have any money to spend – make a note of interesting books that you might buy in the future when your money is a little looser. Don’t like to browse or shop when money is tight? That’s me – so I go for places that don’t require money:
- libraries – read the magazines
- parks – if there are no kids at the playground, swing on the swings, slide down the slides; if there’re kids, take a walk around the grounds (at least until the kids are gone, then go swing and slide!)
- tourist offices and Chambers of Commerce – they have tons of free brochures about stuff to do in the area – grab a few for some additional ideas and maybe a some ideas for things to do when funds are more available
- war memorials – I go here to remind myself that the world doesn’t have to be this way
- public art displays – some big towns have smartphone apps that tell you where to find art and all about it (there’s a great app for Portland, OR!)
- a bench by the river or lake – eat your brown-bagged lunch or dinner (or maybe even breakfast)
- a friend’s house who’s having similar funding issues right now – take a bag lunch of stuff from your fridge and/or cupboard and share what you have with each other
- a blanket – put one out on the lawn and eat your lunch outside; it can be the front lawn, a park, the river-side
- the front step – brew up a cup of tea and sit outside
- the block where you live – walk around it and check out your neighbors’ flowers
Adventures are everywhere. Once you start, you’ll find them all over the place. Don’t let the weather keep you in! Dress appropriately and get yourself outside! Don’t let the lack of finances keep you from adventuring! Just find something that fits in your budget and go! Don’t let the costly adventures of others get you down! Think of all they’re missing because their adventures always seem to require a bunch of money!
You can do it! Make up your own!
I’m out there with you, looking for adventure. Now, let’s go!
The photo above was taken on my walk yesterday – there were crazy, weird, yellow clouds, big, huge raindrops, tiny hailstones, and the ends of three rainbows. If I had stayed indoors because the weather wasn’t “perfect,” I would have missed it all.