How To Find Adventure In Your Own Backyard

I’m up really high right now! High enough on this mountain that the clouds impede my visibility. The glorious views of the landscape and city below have disappeared, replaced by a grey oblivion. It’s much colder now than what it was farther down. I put on my hat and gloves and tighten down my hood. The clouds that I’ve just entered offer a misty haze, causing me to squint my eyes. I continue moving up, putting one foot in front of the other, and making my way to the top. But I’m exhausted, for I’ve walked many miles during the last few days. This mountain is the final objective in this epic adventure, and I know that I have to make it to the top. So I press on, and keep moving up.

Then I sit back down at my computer and start typing my next blog post after coming out of my daydream. The wind and rain outside in my Michigan hometown reminded me of my summit bid of Ben Nevis in Scotland. I went there with a good friend of mine not very long ago. Now that I’m back home I’ve been reflecting much on my time in Scotland as well as my other travels. This has left me with a burning desire to seek out more adventures.

At the summit of Ben Nevis!

I imagine that you must’ve felt this at some point as well. You may have felt this way as you were counting down the days to your next vacation. Or you could’ve just come back from a vacation and wish that you were still away. Now you’re home and the fun and excitement must come to an end… or does it?

No two places are the same. Sure, there can be many similarities, but every place in the world is unique in its own right. And that includes the village, town, or city that you call home. For this post I’ve put together a couple of ways that you can find adventure when you’re not traveling. I like to call them “mini-adventures”. I came up with these out of necessity, so that I wouldn’t go stir-crazy while being back at home. So if you’re feeling the blues from returning from your vacation or are eagerly awaiting your next trip, here’s a couple of ideas for you.

Flip Through The Menu

Think of the last restaurant that you’ve eaten at. How many times have you eaten at this restaurant? What do you order? Chances are that you’re not exactly sure how many times you’ve eaten at this restaurant, because it’s been several. As for what you’ve ordered, it’s probably the same dish that you’ve ordered many times before. And why is that? Well, because it’s familiar to you. You know what it looks like, how big of a portion you’re going to get, and how it tastes. So you order it again because it’s a “safe bet.”

But next time you go out to eat, break out of your comfort zone, make an adventure out of it. Go to a restaurant that you haven’t been to before. If you’re a small town kid like me and have been to every restaurant in your vicinity, then make a drive to a different town. If there’s restaurant serving a certain ethnic for that you haven’t had before, then go in there and try it out. Me doing this is how sushi became my favorite food! Or if you do end up eating a the same restaurant, simply order something other than your usual.

Sushi in Japan!

Venture Into “Uncharted” Territory

Think about your commute to work or other places that you go to regularly (i.e. grocery store, movie theater, etc.). What route do you take to get there? This is likely an easy question to answer, because you probably only have one. So find other routes that you can take to get to and from your usual places. If you usually take the highway, opt for some back roads instead and see what you can find. This is also an important safety tip, but more on that later!

You can also take a drive or a walk just to look for new and interesting things. I had lunch with my brother the other day. After we were done eating we still had some time before he had to be back at work. So we hopped in the car and just drove around a little bit. When doing so I saw a lot of large older houses with interesting architecture, as well as a few businesses and parks that I didn’t even know were there. And I realized that there was much more to the place that I lived in than what I had originally thought. So get out and explore, see what might be in your vicinity that you didn’t know about before!

Find a New Hobby

Perhaps there are a few things that you’ve always wanted to try but never got around to. Go and try those things! Or get yourself into a class somewhere and learn a new skill, and it could be anything really. You could do something centered around fitness and go to a yoga class or try out Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Or you can do something creative and do a painting class or join a book club. These are also great ways to meet new people who will have similar interests as you.

Of course there are so many suggestions that I can offer. But really it boils down to what your interested in or what you want to learn. Finding a new hobby can be a good way to productively past the time. And you may find things that you’re passionate about along the way. Earlier this year I signed up for a pistol class on a whim once I found out that an instructor that I follow, named Kawa Mawlayee, was coming to Michigan to teach. By doing that I now have some good connections, as well as a sub-second draw from appendix (If you know what that means, then you’re awesome!). My instructor also became the first guest to appear on my podcast! Which is a great listen, so check that out: Episode 10 – Green Beret Kawa Mawlayee.

Kawa Mawlayee awarding me my certificate!

To Sum Up

One word that came up a few times in this post was ‘new’! Ultimately seeking out new things is the cornerstone of adventure. And that’s something that can be done anywhere in the world. So keep that in mind next time you’re feeling the blues in between your travels, and go out and seek out new things at home!