Finding Your Adventurous Spirit in the New Decade

The familiar often seems safe, and it’s easy to fall into a rut; in fact, our modern society seems to be built on ruts. Yet, our ancestors lived in an uncertain world where they faced new challenges every day. Whether you know it or not, adventure is encoded in your DNA. To truly feel alive, you need to embody this adventurous spirit, and living on the edge is easier than you think.

Start small.

You don’t need to climb mountains on the very first day. In fact, you’ll be doing both your body and mind a favor by starting small. Begin your adventure with a short, easy hike outside of the city, instead of climbing straight up a mountain. While your goal might be mountaineering, unless you’re experienced, you’ll need to build up slowly. You’re not only building up your body and your skill, but you’re also freeing your mind and building up your self-confidence.

Gear up and show up.

If you dream of kayaking down the mighty Colorado River, you’ll need a kayak. If your goal is to hike the Appalachian Trail, you’ll need a sturdy pair of boots. Whatever type of adventure you want to go on, you’ll need some gear. When you spend the money on the stuff, you’ll be more committed to following through. Once you buy let’s say, a kayak, you’ll feel obligated to use it even if it’s just in the pond at a local park. However, once you’ve started, little by little, you’ll accomplish bigger adventures, until you reach your goal.

Look local.

Outdoor adventure is closer than you think, even if you live in a big, bad city. The truth is, every state has both national and state parks within its borders, and you’re probably within an hour’s drive from one. Before you do something like an African safari, why not go on a bird watching trip to a nearby city park. Tent camping is a relatively inexpensive thing to do, and that’s what state and national parks were made for. Getting outdoors for a little adventure only requires your time, so spend this weekend on a local adventure.

Practice disconnecting.

Disconnecting from modern life is an essential step in developing an adventurous spirit. When you’re at home, practice detaching from your smartphone and your computer. Social media is best left behind on an adventure. Don’t give the obligations of modern life any space in your head. This is a time to get in touch with your soul.

Just go.

Thinking is the enemy of spontaneity. Often, the best adventures happen when you act on a whim. But know where you’re going and let someone know your loosely knit plan. However, don't be unprepared or contrarily, over-plan. Bring weather-appropriate clothing, have a map on hand, and while you want to “disconnect,” bring your phone along for emergencies. The goal is to fully embrace whatever you find at your destination with an open mind and heart. In fact, an open mind is a key to an adventurous spirit.


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