There is that quote. You know the one I am talking about.
“If you think ADVENTURE is Dangerous, Try Routine. It is LETHAL”.― Paulo Coelho
It is a small reminder that unless you do something to break out of the mould you have created of your own life, things can feel stagnant, boring, predictable…
The travel culture of our generation reminds us that travel is the ultimate routine-breaker. The thing that will make us fulfilled, the path that can change our perceptions and create a new version of ourselves that is bigger, bolder and braver. I believe in all that. It’s true.
Maybe not for every single person that will embark on a travel journey but at least for all those that are willing to go through the process.
The process is relatively straightforward. You step out of your comfort zone, open your eyes and ears to the way other people lead their lives. You engage in conversations that are uncomfortable on issues that you may not always agree on. You try different foods, attempt to pronounce different words, get lost in foreign places, request help from strangers and learn to adapt to confusing and often scary situations.
That process can be applied without travelling very far. How? By micro-dosing with mini-adventures.
Here are some examples from the past year that might inspire you to come up with your own list of small adventures, wherever you live, whatever your budget allows.
Explore a New Neighborhood
Do you live in a city? Have you seen all of the city? Didn’t think so.
On your day off, grab your car or better yet jump on public transport to a new area of town you have yet to discover. Here you can do exactly what you would be doing had you been dropped in a city in another country.
Just imagine you have never been there before. If you are rolling your eyes right now thinking this is the stupidest thing you have ever heard, it is because your perception does not allow you to break free. Kill that perception.
Then go explore new bakeries, new shops, photograph streets, walk around alleyways you have never wondered down before and take some photos.
Go Somewhere Alone
If you have always dreamed about solo travel but don’t know how well you would manage it then you need to start small. Pick one thing you enjoy and go at it sans friends.
My activity of choice is usually a play, a musical or a theatre production. The room usually gets dark as soon as people take their seats. You don’t have to talk to anybody unless you want to but you can test out how much of a social butterfly you are by talking to people after everything is finished and everyone is eager to share their experience and comment on what they enjoyed or didn’t enjoy.
Try A Different Cuisine
I am not a foodie. I wish I was that fancy. I just really like food. If it’s in front of me I will eat. While I wish I could empathize with picky eaters or people that just flat out refuse to try something different, I just can’t.
You have never tried it! How do you know! Just give it a shot.
Actual food phobias aside and people that need help to overcome their picky eating, what I do know is that trying new flavours is part of the travelling experience.
You don’t have to like all of the flavours. But if you were to take a trip to Thailand tomorrow or Russia, and only eat your American style buffet at your hotel, then you would have missed out on this whole aspect of the travelling experience that I find is integral to the process. So don’t be that person.
Instead, do a bit of Googling and find some restaurant or cantine or food stall in your city that is doing something different right now. Something you have always thought you wanted to try but never gotten around to it. Then go eat it!
Technology Can Be Your Friend
Social media and technology have been blamed for most of the issues plaguing our generation. We know that’s not true. If you are struggling to make ends meet, have wages that barely cover rent and everybody else is posting pictures from Bali, spending a bit of time on your phone every day to relax and catch up with friends is not social suicide. It’s the only way that’s left to feel connected to the outside world.
In 2020, I will be looking at more ways of using technology to remind me that life has a ton of interesting moments. If only I look close enough.
Last year, I used the 1 Second Everyday App for a month to record snippets of my day that I can look back on. It served its purpose well. Because of the video, I can still recall a random night with my friend eating burgers, the beautiful rainbow that appeared outside of my house, the supermarket run for wine and candy that turned into a movie night and other insignificant moments that altogether add up to a pretty amazing month.
Try A Walking Tour
You will find walking tour options in most cities. What’s best? You can find a FREE walking tour. The latter one will only require you tip accordingly at the end!
I love walking tours because you get to see what you have seen before but someone is forcing your attention to spots you have overlooked or facts about those spots you never knew. A cultural, historical or food tour are all excellent options if you can’t find FREE walking tours.
Even though I only completed five mini-adventures in 2019, I am still amazed at how much purposefully setting out on a little adventure journey helped. I had something to look forward to, something to plan. That in itself can boost your spirits massively.
What about 2020 Mini-Adventures?
I am now ready to get back to planning mini-adventures for the New Year!
There is a ton of ideas, some may sound stupid to you but fun to someone else. I will be looking forward to your input, suggestions and real-life examples of mini-adventuring!
Thanks for reading, and let’s keep the chats going in the comments below!