Don’t we all love some form of adventure? This could mean a luxurious hotel in Vegas, new hiking trails somewhere nearby, a dirty hostel in Berlin, the amusement park in the next town over, or even trying a new restaurant.
This past weekend, I took a road trip from Los Angeles to San Francisco. Nothing ground-breaking happened with the logistics or location, but the trip was majorly ground-breaking for my psyche. Having an adventure shifted my perspective enough to appreciate home, while inspiring a further craving for adventure.
Regardless of your destination, a change in circumstances can be eye-opening. The issue is that our natural urge for growth seems to be hindered when we CAN’T get the heck out of dodge.
Whether you have the so-called travel-bug or you’d just like a brief respite from the daily grind, there are aspects of adventure that, if brought into our daily lives, can contribute to a deeper, fuller understanding of the world and of ourselves.
Here are four ways to find adventure right where you are:
1. Get out of your comfort zone.
I love to be taken out of my comfort zone, see the many ways people choose to live their lives, see the different definitions of normal. We become so accustomed to our routine, our street, our favorite coffee shops, our inner-circle, and so on, that it's easy to lose perspective.
When you leave home, your comfort zone, you learn. Every minute you change. You're different from the person you were a minute ago. Regardless of where you're traveling — be it to Omaha, to Bangkok, or to the grocery store — observing differences can bring us out of our bubble.
Simply notice your comfort sphere. What are you missing? Did you notice the trees, the sidewalks, and your neighbors’ eccentricities? Simply become aware of all perceived normalities that you may take for granted.
2. Learn that feeling in control is just an illusion.
Have you ever noticed that when you travel, certain challenges are never really a crisis? For example, if you're in the middle of Central America and your flight is cancelled, you barely give it a second thought. We almost expect things to go awry.
When you're in your comfort zone, in contrast, the urge is to micromanage. We have high expectations. And when things inevitably don't go according to plan? Crisis mode.
The adventure mentality embraces chaos as part-and-parcel of the journey. It's an opportunity to delve deeper into where and who you are - an opportunity to observe your reactive behavior and let go. When adventuring, there is no such thing as a "crisis," there's only opportunity.
Try checking your crisis tendencies at the door and see challenges as a chance to break through to your higher self.
3. Let yourself be constantly amazed.
When you're in a new place, some form of "wow" becomes part of your vocabulary. Like at a new restaurant, when they place a gorgeous dish in front of you for the first time? Someone always utters a "wow," in amazement.
During a trip, exotic or not, simple buildings inspire awe, trash cans with foreign directions force a second glance, and every person suddenly shines with potential.
How can you bring this awe factor into your day-to-day? Try an "awe" mantra. Allow everything to be a source of inspiration and beauty.
4. Remember, it's the journey of self, and not the destination, that matters.
When you only have a limited time somewhere, you become clear about the things you want to do, the things that you love. Getting to your destination is rad, but the journey there is where you reveal who you are.
Be an adventurer by appreciating the daily grind, the down-days, and the little things. It’s the appreciation of the in-between moments that create an adventure right where you are.
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