Rules for Intrepid Living: Rule #6.

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Rule #6. Try something new. Embrace the weird.

What did you think this blog was about, doing the same old stuff day in and day out? If so, then you thought wrong!

Intrepid Daily centers on the notion that we can all have an adventurous life, even if we have full time jobs and can’t travel the world at a moment’s notice. We can all be adventurers in some way, but not if we’re unwilling to try new things. If you don’t want your life to stay the same, you’ve got to do something different. Something new. Something weird.

So what have you done lately that you haven’t done before? This weekend Clarissa and I hiked through Rock Island and Davenport, making a roughly eight mile circle, crossing two bridges, and seeing the Quad Cities from a perspective we had not yet experienced. Then we made Ratatouille using local veggies we bought from the farmer’s market (and you should seriously consider trying this, it was delicious and makes your house smell fantastic). This isn’t how everyone spends their Saturday, and that’s okay. Some people would call us a little weird, especially as Clarissa did the splits on Centennial Bridge. That’s just fine, we accept that weirdness and wear it proudly. Honestly, urban hiking and cooking French Provencal cuisine are far from the weirdest things we’ve done.

But weird is relative. To a number of my friends, growing, fishing, raising, or hunting your own food is weird. But where I’m from it isn’t strange at all. My sister and her family engage in all four throughout the year, and because of this they are closer to the food they eat than most people I know. It may seem weird, especially if you’re from an urban environment, but to them it is normal and natural.

My point is not that you need to plant a garden, go fishing, raise livestock, or hunt wild game. Sure, I would suggest that you give one or two of these a try at some point in an attempt to live a more sustainable lifestyle or at least have a better understanding of where our food comes from, but that’s another post altogether. No, today I’m simply emphasizing that normal and weird are subjective; one person’s weird is another man’s normal. So when I suggest that you try something weird, I don’t mean you need to go out, get a mohawk and a spiked leather jacket, maybe a few tattoos. Although if you’d like to give that a whirl, I fully support your decision. But what I want you to do is try something out of the norm for you! If you sleep in every Saturday, try getting up early and heading to the farmer’s market. If you go to bed early, try staying up late and taking a walk and seeing the world in a whole new way. The more you try new and weird things, the more adventurous you will become.

You may not be ready to ride horses on the plains, parachute from an airplane, or dive with great whites. That’s okay, I’m not either. But I will be, and part of that is because I’m willing to make ratatouille, something that would have seemed weird to me a few years back. A Wine Walk seemed weird to me. SUP Yoga seemed weird to me. You know what? Most of the worthwhile pursuits in my life have seemed weird. Because they were new, unusual, and exciting. Some people are born ready to jump out of the plane, and there is nothing wrong with that. Some people need to build up to that, and that’s okay too, just know that trying new things, things that seem weird or unusual, is one way to work up to those adventures that seem too scary, too risky, or unconventional.

So don’t let fear stop you. Don’t just wish that you could do something adventurous take a step toward a more adventurous life (remember Rule #3 and Start now, not later)…

Try something new. Embrace the weird. Be intrepid.

“Rules for Intrepid Living” is an ongoing weekly article that gives potential guidelines for how we can all live a bit more of an intrepid life. 

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