5 Little Ways to Add Adventure to Your Daily Life
If you love exploring, it doesn't have to be a rare treat. Use these easy tricks to make adventure a fun part of your everyday routine.
In the modern world of computers, standing desks, gyms, chronic stress, and too-few vacations, it can be hard to connect to things that feel real. The things that bring you joy, excitement, and that happy weight in your gut that reminds you that you’ve accomplished something worthwhile today. Connecting to something meaningful can be hard when you look around at the rat-race and see acres of disillusioned people focused on acquiring the flashiest stuff in the quickest manner. That’s not what it’s all about, right?!?
If you woke up today to find yourself in this discouraging rut, don’t despair. There’s good news, too.
You’re not alone. Millions of people across the continent and the world feel the same pain. They are with you, if not in location then certainly in spirit. A quick internet search will reveal a million sites and blogs discussing just this phenomenon, and the many and various ways to pull yourself out, everything from decluttering, to spirituality, to exercise. Take your pick from the things that make sense to you.
YOU get to pick what you focus on, and your focus determines your reality.
I’m not implying that if you focus on a goldfish long enough you’ll grow gills. What I am saying is that you can spend 15 minutes of your lunch break listening to news anchors bicker about the latest scandal, griping about the boss with co-workers, or researching the best beach for your next oceanside vacation. Which one will leave you in a good mood and give you the best stray daydreams for the rest of the day? It’s your choice where you spend your time and attention.
You don’t have to be trekking across the wilderness to bring a sense of adventure into your life. It’s the little, everyday moments—like the 15 minutes mentioned above—that collect hour-after-hour and week-after-week to coalesce into a life of adventure. They'll also keep you moving toward those bigger adventures. Choose how to spend those little moments and the rest will follow.
To help get you inspired, here are our favorite tiny ways to bring more adventure to your daily life.
1) Leverage Your Phone
Find a picture of a place you want to go, or that inspires you to travel, and make that your new digital wallpaper. Most devices have a range of inspiring photos already included in their software for exactly this reason. Find an image that lights a fire under your feet, for soothes your soul.
Now, every time you glance at your phone your mind will be taken back to that wonderful place, and you’ll be reminded of your dreams and future adventures.
Here's a link to a pair of free ocean wallpapers for your phone or desktop from Nelson Makes Art. You can find even more over on our Patreon page, if you want to join our art and adventure community.
The most important thing is to find an image that makes you feel wonderful.
2) Give Yourself a Soundtrack
Whether it’s the gentle sway of trees in the wind or the pounding soundtrack of your favorite superhero movie, there is a soundscape that inspires you. Maybe it's Hawaiian ukulele, or Himalayan folk songs. Maybe it's classic road-trip tunes.
Find it, get it into your ears, and let it sweep your thoughts away to that dream that awaits.
Similarly to the phone imagery, re-playing this music regularly will help to keep you in the adventure mindframe, even if you're stuck behind a computer screen.
3) Dress for Adventure
You don't have to go buy a pith helmet or animal-print jacket (unless you’re into that sort of thing) to make you feel adventurous. If you can choose one piece of clothing or jewelry that you would wear on an adventure, or that reminds you of one, it can be your travel totem for the day and help your explorer spirit shine.
Maybe it’s a scarf that reminds you of the Greek Islands, maybe it’s a sturdy pair of boots that could carry you up a trail as easily as down the street, or the sunglasses you got at the beach. Maybe it’s a tiny ring in the shape of an arrow, pointing you toward your goal. Or, maybe it is that pith helmet.
Whatever you choose, it can be big or small, obvious or entirely secret. The point is that you’re dressed for adventure, and you know it.
4) Eat Like an Explorer
Nothing puts you in an exotic state of mind in quite the same way as your taste buds. Have a local Thai place? Try it out! Is China Town nearby? Take a walk through the sights, smells, and tastes of the neighborhood.
Many of us are lucky enough to experience international cuisines on a regular basis, but do you actually stop and think about the place where this food tradition evolved? Who were the people that created it? What factors shaped its current form?
Even if you don’t have a single restaurant in your neighborhood, exotic recipes abound online. Trying unfamiliar ingredients is a great excuse to visit new markets you may never have noticed before, and if all else fails, almost any ingredient can be ordered online.
If a hike is more your thing, make some trail mix!
If you’re dreaming of sitting on a white-sand beach, try out some classic tiki bar cocktails (like those in our Adventurous Mixology posts) or shaved ice!
Wherever you wish you were, find a way to give your tastebuds a bit of that experience.
5) Set a Goal
If you don’t pick a direction, you’ll never get anywhere.
What is something that excites you? Running a 5k? Backpacking the Appalachian Trail? Spotting a falcon? Visiting Fiji?
Pick a goal and start planning how to get there, in baby steps. Then start taking those baby steps.
Adventure isn't a finish line. It is built of all the little discoveries and challenges along the way.
Even if the ultimate end doesn’t pan out, the planning is fun and exhilarating, and who knows, maybe that white sand beach is just waiting for you to find it!
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Looking for more? Check out these other art and adventure posts:
Why Nature is Good for Artists, and for You
The Coconut Crush Daiquiri | Adventurous Mixology