If you’re anything like me, you love a good adventure. Sometimes a planned trip over a holiday weekend fits the bill and other times a quest through a grocery store does the trick. Over the course of my life, I’ve been told by friends and family that I’m “the most adventurous person” they know. Honestly, while I’m thankful for the sentiment, I don’t necessarily think it’s true.
Over the course of my life, I have come to the realization that being adventurous is a CHOICE. I can choose to do new, fun things! I can choose to be outside more than inside! I can choose the life I want to live just by taking small, tangible steps. And here’s the good news: you can too!
Anyone can be a free spirit with a fun, adventurous life. The best part about this is that no adventure looks the same! For me, grabbing coffee and going on a hike somewhere new is the epitome of a great adventure, but for others they might want to check out a new bar then go to a concert with a band they’ve never heard of. Adventuring is personal, and below I have come up with 5 tips that can help you kick start your adventurous spirit.
1 – Start Small
When I first moved to Montana in September 2018, I made a point to get to know my new town fast. Scared to go out and eat at restaurants alone, I decided that I would get around to all the local coffee shops to find out the best deals, drinks, and atmosphere. This not only gave me motivation to get out and explore my new town, it also allowed me to get to know the community quickly.
Oh! And I found some great deals. The coffee stand right by my house had a 16oz Lavender Latte for $3.50! Montana Coffee Traders had the best sense of community, london fogs, and oat milk. Oddfellows in the town where I worked had such a killer deal where they’d take off $0.50 if you brought your own mug. Also, all the other little coffee stands were just such a fun experience and a good way to stay caffeinated.
My point is this: start exploring! If you think you know your neighborhood, chances are there’s something new to see, eat at, or drink at. There’s probably a street you haven’t walked down, art you haven’t looked at, or a place you’ve neglected going to for whatever reason.
Being adventurous doesn’t require a trip to Peru or backpacking across Europe. It honestly starts in your own backyard. If you start small, you’ll be able to appreciate adventures anywhere and everywhere. Trust me.
2 – Make a Bucket List
Before I moved to Montana, traveled to Europe solo, or thru-hiked the Colorado Trail, I had these things written down on a list I titled “JUST DO THESE THINGS AT SOME POINT.” You can definitely call your list something else, but the important thing is that you know what you want to accomplish.
Write it down, too! If the list is in your head, you will only think about these things if it pops into your thoughts, but if they’re written down, you can look at them daily and make decisions to get you closer to accomplishing them!
They don’t have to be big things, either. Recently I started a “BAKE THIS” list with a ton of recipes I want to make. I’m like halfway through it and a couple pounds heavier, but it’s worth it!
3 – Watch the Sunrise
When was the last time you saw a sunrise? The last time I did was this morning! Little miss insomnia (me) woke up at 6 and wanted to hike. I didn’t want to drive, though, so I just walked out my front door and started up into the foothills. I witnessed a pretty, smokey sunrise and enjoyed a nice lil hike in the process.
Other great adventures I’ve had began with watching the sunrise, too. It inspires me to seize the day, and makes me feel ok about taking naps later. Honestly, watching the sunrise just makes you feel better in general. So give it a try! And if you miss it, you can always catch the sunset!
4 – Tell People What You Want
I have had so many conversations revolving around the question “What do you want to do?” As an indecisive person, I hardly ever know how to answer this question. However, when it comes to talking about dream vacations, movies to see, or what to have for dessert, I can speak up. Sharing what you dream of with others is a good thing! The good people won’t judge your desires, and they may even have ideas that can help you accomplish your goals. You will also be able to find some like minded adventure partners this way. After all, adventure is best accompanied with community.
5 – Don’t Compare Your Adventure with Someone Else’s
Oof. That pains me to write out because I am so bad at following this seemingly easy piece of advice. Seriously though, how often do you do something you feel super awesome about only to go on social media and see what someone else did and suddenly feel bad about that awesome thing you just finished?! I cannot be the only one who has had this problem. I’ve learned the hard way that comparison is the thief of joy, and I don’t want you to have to go through that either.
If you feel PUMPED about the new restaurant you ate at that had amazing Pad Thai, don’t let the rich girl with a fiance who took a picture of her sushi bring you down. Your Pad Thai was awesome, own it. If you feel STOKED about your first solo night of backpacking, but see a picture of all your friends hiking some mountain together, who cares? You just spent a night alone in the woods and survived! You’re a boss. After all, anyone can climb a mountain, but not everyone can be alone in the woods for a night.
What you do matters because it’s your life. You can let what others do inspire you to try new things, but don’t think for a second that your adventure isn’t good enough because it wasn’t exactly like theirs. Learning not to compare is not easy, but it is worth it for the sake of your adventurous spirit!
The life of an adventurer is often unpredictable, but it is never boring. Once you decide to lean into what makes you tick, you will find adventure in everything you do. Give it a try! Remember, start small, watch a sunrise, and take it all in stride. I wish you nothing but the best adventures!