When I first realized that I wasn’t leading the adventurous life that I wanted, I found myself stymied. It seemed like I had no money, no opportunities, and no extra time, so it took me longer than it should have to get myself off the couch. Eventually, I realized that I needed to make a change; I had more opportunities than I realized, I just hadn’t been seeking them out. For so long, I thought I was bored, when actually, I was boring!
I set out to change that, and if I can do it so can you. I’m glad that more and more people are trying to figure out how to lead a more adventurous life. There can be challenges; maybe you’re out of practice, maybe you’re new to adventuring, or maybe you just need a little help trying to figure out what to do next. Whatever obstacles you face, I hope I can help you along your way.
With that in mind, I want to share with you three mistakes I made early on, that kept me from getting out and leading an adventurous life. These wrongly held beliefs kept me on the couch far too long, so read on and avoid some of the mistakes I made.
1. I believed that adventures have to be far-away, exotic, extremely difficult, or dangerous.
The thought of traveling around the globe and exploring exotic locales is thrilling, no doubt about that. But actually doing it isn’t always accessible; it requires lots of preparation, time, and money. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t consider taking a journey to a faraway land, but if you’re not in a position to do so at the moment, you can still have an adventure. There are tons of opportunities near your home for you to get your blood pumping. If you’re still set on that trip around the world (and I think you should be), practice these microadventures to start training your inner explorer so that you’re ready when the time comes!
2. I believed that adventure requires a lot of expensive equipment.
I love my gear. Most outdoorsy people do. I love my Cotopaxi roll-top and daypack. We recently invested in some new sleeping bags and a lighter more durable tent during an REI clearance sale. I almost always have my Mora strapped to my hip when I’m camping, and I take my Estwing any time I think I might need to process firewood. Gear is great, and can make an experience a lot more enjoyable, but expensive stuff isn’t necessary to have an adventure. Despite being a quality pack, my Cotopaxi Luzon is incredibly inexpensive, and my Mora costs so little that it’s hard to believe how great a knife it really is (and to be clear, it is awesome- a review is in the works). Our new tent and sleeping bags are a little more expensive than entry level gear, but if you’re just starting out with some car camping at a nearby park an inexpensive tent and sleeping bags from the local big box store will get you where you need to go. Fancy equipment is great, and I’m always trying to improve my kit, but don’t let a light wallet stop you from getting out and having an adventure this weekend.
3. I believed that an adventure has to take up a lot of time.
“I’m going to take an adventure when I finally get some free time.” I hear this over and over. Once upon a time, I said it over and over myself. The truth is, however, is if you wait until you have time, you’ll never go. You have to make time. That may sound daunting, but it’s easier than you think. Is there one day a week when you don’t have to be at your job or other responsibility? Do you have two hours to spare on that day? If so, travel for half an hour, hike for an hour, then return home. In two hours, you had an adventure. Sure, it wasn’t a long expedition, it was a microadventure, but you got yourself out of the house, spent an hour active outside, and that’s how it begins. Start small, just an hour here or there, and that will grow to grander adventures.
Don’t make the mistakes I did, don’t believe that you can’t have an adventure at this point in your life. Go hiking, camp somewhere near your house, or take a mini-road trip for the day. These microadventures are going to get your blood pumping; you’re going to be excited about your life and enthusiastic for adventure. Start now, not later, and try something new this weekend. You’ve got nothing to lose except self-imposed limitations. Get up, get out, and get intrepid.