When I think of adventuring, my brain automatically goes BIG. Like, globetrotting big.
Hiking through the Alps. Exploring a Scottish castle. Cliff jumping in Hawaii. Bungee jumping in Costa Rica. Speeding down the Autobahn. Skydiving over Dubai. You get the idea.
While I plan to do all of the above—and more!—I also understand that adventure doesn’t need to be extreme or intense. There is such a thing as the ‘everyday adventure.’ The kind of low-adrenaline adventure that requires minimal travel, but still appeases my cravings in between those intense, globetrotting experiences.
And, adventuring doesn’t even require visiting a new place! Here are six ways I adventure on the regular, right around my home in Knoxville, TN.
- Pretend you’re experiencing things for the first time. Whether venturing downtown or walking our dog at our go-to park, I often pretend I’m there for the first time. Calling to mind that first experience—the sights, sounds, emotions—reminds me why I love where I live, and keeps my favorite spots from going stale.
- Walk further. I already walk a LOT, but in the spirit of everyday adventure I push myself to walk further than I might normally go. OR further than I might feel like walking at the time. And you know? I never regret doing that. Almost always, I’ll witness something unexpected that I otherwise would’ve missed, or I’ll feel more energized. Or maybe, I’ll just end the walk happier that I spent more time in God’s creation.
- Find a new perspective. Even if I don’t walk further, I’m constantly seeking new vantage points at all my local haunts. Crouching. Laying down. Looking down. Looking up! Venturing under or over something. Even walking a path in the opposite direction. It’s funny how the smallest variances can show me things I never noticed before!
- Challenge myself. This goes beyond just walking further or finding a new perspective. I like to challenge myself physically in a way that takes me out of my comfort zone. Maybe that’s crossing a shallow stream during a hike or taking a fly fishing class and learning how to cast. Nothing extreme, mind you, but definitely not always easy or comfortable—or everybody’d be doing it!
- Be present. The more frequently I visit a spot, the easier it is for me to ignore its details. Sadly, I’m more apt to focus on my phone, or get lost in my thoughts than I would be in a brand new-to-me place. But, proper adventures require a certain level of presence, consciousness, in-the-moment-ness. Sure, I’ll often still have my phone out to take photos, but I take time to pause between snaps to create mental photographs with all my senses engaged. And all those to-do lists running on autopilot in my head? Also paused.
- Take someone who’s never been there. Seeing a familiar place through the eyes of a newbie is, well, eye-opening! I love watching others experience my favorite places for the first time. Witnessing their reactions is like watching my own first experience—or what I imagine mine was like from the outside looking in.
Ultimately, the key to mastering the everyday adventure is mindset. It’s a decision to remain content with your present location, while also looking beyond its face value. Treasure is a shell on the beach. A twilight stargazing session at a nearby park is an epic quest. Every day can be an adventure if you choose to see it as such.
Are you an everyday adventurer? How do you keep your go-to spots feeling fresh and exciting?