Embracing adventure has been a concept put on the back burner which means we haven’t thought about it much, yikes!
So let me ask you this, sit back though, get in touch with that visualization and that feeling in your gut before you answer these…
Does the idea of trying new things flood you with a rush of excitement? Did you use to seek opportunities like that on a regular? Or does the very idea of trying something new spark a fear within you that holds you back from leaving your comfort zone?
Unless you are an Enneagram 7 Personality Trait (The Adventurer), you may not be seeking out adventure and excitement from new experiences very often. We are creatures of habit and we get stuck in our routine and rarely stray from it.
But, just because you have a certain personality trait or inclinations, does not mean that you shouldn’t try to inject some adventure into your life. Let’s face it – we could all use a little excitement and spontaneity in our lives from time to time. Life has become very monotonous for many during the lockdown, and so everyday life can feel lacklustre and ordinary.
The good news is, now that places are opening up more after lockdown, there is no time like the present (and with the support of the energy of the summer months) to try something different and a little outside of your comfort zone. We may not be able to be a world-travel adventurer yet, but we can certainly be a local adventurer.
Let’s talk FEAR
Many of us let fear of trying something new stop us in our tracks. This is called Neophobia https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-the-fear-of-new-things-2671892
Sometimes I do feel this myself. Having children has made me look into how to conquer these fears and eventually I came up with the 3 E’s when I think about adventuring.
One thing I do before I hit up those 3 E’s is I don’t put pressure on myself to think of adventuring as something that requires daring acts or outrageous ideas. I think some of us need to take baby steps before we jump into things that require us to put aside fear and take the plunge!
Without further ado here are my 3 E’s:
How many of us can say we’ve gotten to know the City or Town we live in? Where I live, there are many areas to explore, including 100 steps, nature trails, downtown cores, the beautiful Grand River, local farmers markets and more! A couple of things you can do to get your mindset ready to explore is:
I’ve seen a lot of people online creating a bucket list for their hometown and I think it’s such a great idea! You can make a day or week of it (depending on your summer and fall holidays) and just start checking things off as you go. Think of landmarks or restaurants or stores that you might never visit. If you can’t think of any places off the top of your mind try a Google search of your hometown! What comes up that inspires you to get adventurous! It’s when you try new places you wouldn’t normally gravitate to that will give you some variety and all while supporting local businesses.
Create a Bucket List
Take a different route, maybe the scenic route!
I’d like to think I’ve gotten to know most of the streets in my City over the 23 years that I’ve lived here, but there are so many new ones! I love to just turn down a random street when I’m coming back from the mall or a store and see where it takes me. It feels good to try a different route home. I feel like it also keeps my brain sharp!
Cook or Eat Something New
Hands up if you’re a selective eater like me! I hate the term picky eater – I like to think of myself as having a selective palate! However, sometimes I’ve surprised myself and tried a new dish for fun, and I have been pleasantly surprised (and proud of myself for trying something new).
This can bring in a new experience all on its own! Sometimes without even leaving your own home. I encourage you too to try new food on a menu or find a recipe to cook that you’ve never tried before. Doing this I’ve come to know how good it feels to connect with different world cultures in this way, and also to appreciate and honour those who had originated the recipes.
Try One Activity that you would not normally do, alone
There are so many things that I do with my partner or friends that give me a sense of security knowing they are there with me for that ‘just in case’. Admittedly, as someone who isn’t confident in themselves, I’ve had to work through some limiting beliefs that say I need someone with me to be able to do something difficult or new.
For example, I love to canoe, but I have never canoed alone. It’s something that I’ve always wanted to try alone. I know I can do it, but I feel anxious when I think about the possibilities of getting myself stuck or caught in branches. I know what to do to get out of that situation, so the fear is just playing tricks with my mind and eroding my confidence.
This year I have decided that I am going to make a point to go out on a canoe by myself and to alleviate any fears of getting caught or stuck on logs, in a busy river it’s easy to make sure that I’m in eye-shot of someone. Sure, they may not be able to help me, but they can sure cheer me on as I push myself free!
The biggest reward out of trying an activity alone is the confidence that you will gain and hopefully, spur you to try another solo activity!
What’s an activity you normally do with a partner that you would like to try solo?
Discover an unexplored city and/ or town
If you can, take a day off from work (or even from your family if you can get someone to watch your kids for the day). Take a drive to a city or town near you (not a tourist trap necessarily) and just wander around.
Leave your worries behind and let a change of scenery inspire and enliven you. Take photos of places or things that inspire you. Don’t worry about getting lost, just remember to bring your phone with you and make sure to load up Google Maps just in case!
Take a Hike
Nothing says adventure and escape than hiking in the woods.
There are so many trails to choose from in the beautiful country that invites us to put on our adventurous hats and get back into nature.
According to the article from the Trans Canada Trail website,
“Every new hike is an adventure, a chance to discover something new, an opportunity to figure out something about yourself and about life. Of course, not every trek leads to a life-altering realization, but the potential is always there.”
For me, that is reason enough to get out there and take a hike!
Remember there are many different websites and apps to help you find trails in your neck of the woods. Don’t let the different trails overwhelm you or stop you in your tracks. A great place to start is downloading a hiking app on your smartphone.
According to Ontario Hiking’s website
“AllTrails is the most popular hiking app and one of the best hiking apps for discovering new hiking trails. You can search for hiking trails in your area or research places that you plan to visit. You’ll find information about each hiking trail, such as the length, difficulty rating, dog-friendly trails, kid-friendly trails, and user ratings. Then, you can add hikes to lists on the app so you can embark on these hiking trips in the future.”
I have found it easy to embrace the adventurer in me when I follow these 3 E’s: Explore, Experience, Escape.
I hope the 3 E’s of adventuring help you to start thinking or implement things you want to start trying and get a little adventure into your life.
For the last month of this summer, good ‘ol August, I will be practicing a lot of what I preach and trying some things myself! I know I could use some more adventure in my life and glad to expand my horizons!
To follow my newfound adventures you can find me on social media @meganjlaw