10 Rules for Living Adventurously

Living Adventurously.jpg

Rather than waiting until your decks clear for a once-in-a-lifetime epic journey, find ways to fit adventure into your life NOW. Imagine knowing you don't need to save thousands of dollars and wait months for your next getaway, and instead looking forward to taking your next trip literally tomorrow, or grinning at your co-workers, because you just got back from one.

  1. Think small and keep it short. Shift your thinking about adventure from weeks or months, and think in terms of days or even hours. What can you fit into a weekend? How about before work?

  2. Don’t plan a vacation. Microadventures are famously done between 5pm and 9am, so you can eat your adventure cake without missing a beat of your “regular” life. Or grab a long weekend and wander a little farther afield.

  3. Don’t look too far. Rather than spend precious time on long distance travel, look for nearby opportunities, and turn the getting there (by bike? on foot?) into part of the experience. Yes, getting out of Chicago can be daunting, but you’re sure to be rewarded. Challenge yourself to fill a couple months’ worth of weekends with trips of <50 miles.

  4. Find your own way. Sure, many times you will follow a trail others have traveled before you. But exploration can likewise be part of the experience. Prepare less than you think you have to, and let curiosity guide you.

  5. Keep your gear in one place, so that when the the mood strikes or opportunity presents itself, you can just grab everything and go.

  6. Make bad weather your friend. Weather can crank up the challenge factor a little or a lot, and can easily turn what would be a breezy bike ride in September into a veritable trek in relentless April rain. Tune your brain to the right frequency, get some rain gear, bring a small tarp and a way to make something hot. I guarantee you’ll never have a better meal.

  7. Go alone. For some of us, that in itself can be an adventure. Go without your partner, without your safety net, and get in tune with your own self-reliant spirit.

  8. Go guerrila. Set up a quickie overnight camp somewhere undesignated and unsanctioned.

  9. Be inspired but don’t be overwhelmed. While the heroic feats of others may sometimes inspire us, they can also be too extreme and removed from our everyday realities to seem doable. View epic experiences of others with caution, and don’t subscribe to the view that they are the only ways to experience adventure.

  10. Don’t make a vision board. Don’t plan too far ahead. Don’t wait. Go today.