I’m super guilty of having a wandering eye when it comes to adventures, traveling, and living in other places to where I currently am.
This is likely the product of spending time growing up in several different countries, and the inherent struggle around where truly feels like ‘home’. It may also be the product of studying things like history & classical civilisations, art, spanish, archaeology & anthropology as a young person; being introduced to the development of human kind and the diversity of culture that exists on our planet makes me want to learn and grow by connecting with new places and people. Undoubtedly my life experiences have been a privilege, but I often find myself feeling like wherever I’m at in space and time is not the ‘best’ place for me to be.
So now I want to try something different. I want to cultivate that sense of adventure, and also of contentment, by making the most of what is available to me, where I’m at right now.
Here are a few tips I’ve realised and am beginning to practice, to live the adventure wherever you are at:
Be mindful and present.
Rather than let your brain dip into negativity bias and constantly worry about things, miss things you used to have, or anxiously hope and plan for better times in the future…try to cultivate your mindfulness practice and pay attention to the sensory experiences that you have available right here and now (e.g. what can you see, hear, taste, touch and/or smell?) Apparently we spend about 47% of our waking time up in our heads, but we are never happier than when we are experiencing the present moment. So let yourself truly experience all the loveliness that exists right before you, before it itself is gone!
How I do this: through meditation I have learned how to notice (some/most of – it’s a practice!) my thoughts and emotions as they arise. I often focus on my breath to ground myself in the present reality if I get carried away. In particular I make the effort to focus on my 5 senses when I do something with the intention of making it a mindful practice (i.e. when I hike or walk on the beach).
Actively keep track of positive, adventurous, contentment-filled moments that do occur!
A regular practice of journalling, drawing, writing poems/songs etc. (whatever you like!) to document the good bits of your life is a really good way of training your brain to notice the positives and perhaps counteract some negative thinking. We can take the pressure away of being happy all the time or by thinking we need to win the lottery or get proposed to for our days to be good…instead you could set a goal of finding one or two positive moments from the day and let yourself take time to appreciate them.
How I do this: I currently make daily notes of ‘self appreciation’ and ‘gratitude’ (as well as documenting other feelings and experiences I’ve had, as a mode of releasing energy). (Added bonus – this practice will act as a reminder for good times if you ever want to look back!)
Explore what new things there are to do in your area.
There are so many exciting organisations, societies, restaurants, museums, parks/outdoor spaces, new people, etc. that you may never pay attention to, especially if your daily routine revolves around strict routines & habits. But it’d be so easy to shake things up a little simply by exploring some different options and trying something new. Take a new route during your journey to work/school one day, google new types of foods or activities you’ve always been curious about but never tried before, let yourself get lost in an unfamiliar part of town, ask for recommendations for new outdoors adventures/museums/shows/etc. I’ll bet there are so many cool options that when you do step outside your bubble and explore you won’t know which new thing to try first!
How I do this: I have so many interests but am not super good at zoning in on any one thing to develop them into super skills. However right now I’m really enjoying cultural events/educational trainings/shows/exhibitions, so I just use google, eventbrite, and facebook to source upcoming experiences that I think I’ll enjoy, and without fail I always feel pumped and more alive after attending something than if I’d given it a miss!
A handful of photos from a handful of my adventures