By Matthew Jones - Adventure Expert at Universal Dialect
When we think of an adventure, we typically think of going somewhere. We imagine the adrenaline rush provided by packed bags and roaring engines, and we relive, even for just a moment, the pure joy that comes from doing something entirely new.
This excitement, this feeling of happiness, is something many of us chase and try to recreate as we move through life. But this effort can feel frustratingly futile when placed alongside the struggle to meet the rest of life’s obligations and responsibilities, and this can make your happiness feel reserved for some future, far-off moment that may never actually come.
However, that moment of joy is only slightly the result of your decision to leave one spot for another. Instead, that joy is a fleeting example of the sustained happiness we can experience when we treat life as a constant adventure.
Recognizing this will make it easier to see that adventure can still be had even when packing up and heading out are not realistic options, providing you with the positive mindset needed to live a healthy, productive, and fulfilling life. It also reminds us that happiness is not something we need to wait to achieve, but rather that we can reach and grab right now.
To show this to you, here are five seemingly normal activities the right mindset can turn into an adventure and a source of pure joy:
#1 Explore Food
Food is central to our lived experience. The different things we eat, and the unique flavors we create, serve as a sensorial homage to the humbling diversity of cultures thriving on this planet. Yet we too often forget this and treat food as a cumbersome necessity.
However, one way to add more adventure to your life is to bring wonder back into your diet. Think about the joy of eating new foods, then spend some time researching new foods to enjoy in your city and traveling to try them. If you can’t find a specific place, head to a new area of the city and walk around until you find something the calls to you.
Make a point of tasting a new type of cuisine every week, even if that means looking up a recipe and cooking it yourself. The act of tracking down new ingredients and learning how to cook in a different way will help you turn more of your meals into opportunities to explore other parts of the world.
#2 Visit a Museum
The “I can go whenever” argument often causes us to dismiss the idea of visiting museums in our home cities and towns. However, if you do this, you’re likely missing out on some of the more exciting adventures your city has to offer.
Not only can you learn more about where you’re from, but most cities have at least one strange museum you’ve never heard of that you can visit to turn a boring day into an adventure.
Just to give you an idea, consider that there is a Museum of Cryptozoology in Portland, ME, a museum of weird medical science in Philadelphia, and a banana museum just outside San Diego. Who knows what strange museum is hidden in your city?
But in the end, it doesn’t matter what you find. Instead, the point is to approach your home city with the same interest and excitement as you would a city you’ve never visited before, and to be willing to have these types of experiences even when you’re still close to home. This will reveal the adventures to be had in your life, helping you develop the mindset needed to live your best self.
#3 Find a New Park
A park is an important aspect of any neighborhood, especially in larger cities where green spaces are more scarce, and visiting them can be a great way to have an adventure in your home city. Not sure where to go? Just look at Google Maps, find the green spots, and go. Don’t think. Don’t plan. Just enjoy the spontaneity of adventure.
Doing this will give you the chance to not only experience a new park in your city but also a new neighborhood. Take public transportation to get a feel for how the area connects to the rest of the city, and plan to spend some time there just soaking in what you see. You’d be surprised how fulfilling it is to gain a wider understanding of the place you call home.
#4 Act Like a Tourist
When we’re in a new place, we are desperate to fit in, to hide our tourist identity and pretend to blend. However, when we’re home, we do blend. We get caught up in our routines and form a set image of the city we call home, depriving ourselves of the chance to diversify our experiences and do new things.
A good way to fight this rigid mindset is to think like a tourist. Imagine what you would do if you were in town for just a few nights, and explore the city as something brand new. Think about using apps such as Couchsurfing or Meetup to find other travelers and experience your city from a different perspective.
It will most definitely feel weird when you first do this, but that happens anytime we try something new. Over time, you’ll find little things such as this to be highly-effective at breaking the routine and restoring some spontaneity, excitement, and adventure to daily life.
#5 Give Back
Helping others is a phenomenal way to boost your overall level of joy in life, and it’s also an excellent way to explore. It will give you the opportunity to connect better with another area of your city and also to interact with people from different backgrounds, something that stimulates our appreciation for life.
There are countless organizations out there looking for people to help them with their cause, but before you begin, do some soul searching to find something you truly believe in, and train yourself to see giving back as an adventure. This will afford you the positivity you need to connect with your true self, live in the moment, and experience the joy of what you’re doing, something that will improve the experience for all involved.
What’s Your Adventure?
These are merely a few ideas of how you can have more adventures in your home city, but we know there are countless more. The right mindset means an adventure is never too far away, and while developing that mindset in every aspect of your life takes persistence, effort, and time, it starts by choosing, right now, to see life as an adventure.