As adults we harp on all the time about how important it is for children to be out enjoying the great outdoors. We talk about how vital it is for them to be going on adventures and to be exploring the world around them. But when was the last time you grabbed your wellies and jumped in a puddle, just for the sake of doing so? Or wandered out into a forest only to find you were so captivated by your surroundings that you found yourself temporarily lost? Or set out from your house without knowing exactly where it is that you’re going to end up?
As we get older we supposedly become wiser and yet we simultaneously find it even more difficult to listen to the advice that we spew out to others.
When I was a child I grew up in a world fuelled by the adventures that the Famous Five, Secret Seven and Swallows and Amazons children went on. They weren’t far-fetched, or particularly dangerous in most cases, but that was what made them so enticing. They were stories that I could re-enact from the safety of my garden, local park or nearby field. And while, as an adult, prancing around pretending you are heading out to solve an imaginary mystery doesn’t quite bring about the same sense of adventure as it did when I was a child, there are some elements of those days that we can all bring forward into my adult life.
How many Sundays do you spend simply lazing around in your bed? How many sunrises have you seen in the past year? I’m going to guess that your answer to the first question is quite a few, and the answer to the latter is not that many. While there is nothing wrong with the occasional lazy weekend and while there is definitely no need to rise with the birds every single morning, switching up your routine can have its benefits. Pick a weekend and push yourself to get outside, no matter what the weather is doing. Grab an umbrella, pull on some wellies and take along some sunglasses (because you just never know what the weather is going to do here in Britain). Just get outside. You’ll never experience adventure from the comfort of your own home, so the best way to bring an element of it into your life is by simply getting out and seeing the world.
When I was younger, I would spend hours clambering through the trees behind my house, only to look back and realise that I wasn’t quite sure how I had got to where I was. But being so engrossed in the moment and then having to carefully think through my route home was all part of the fun.
Fast forward to today and I am still adamant that it is when you get a tiny bit lost, or at least don’t have a set plan, that you find the hidden gems. Don’t be afraid to head out to a destination that you haven’t been to before without fully researching it beforehand, let parts of it stand out naturally to you. You’ll often be surprised at what you find. And nine times out of ten, you’ll return home with a far better adventure story to tell than you would if you just followed a set route.
Go Back To The Basics
When I completed my Duke of Edinburgh award at school, the activity that gave me the biggest sense of achievement was guiding my group across the Peak District simply by using a map. So, why not really challenge yourself by leaving behind your smartphone/satnav and picking up a map and a compass* instead? You’ll find yourself taking in far more of your surroundings, because you actually have to look around yourself, than you would if you were just being guided by a piece of technology.
Try A New Adventurous Activity
For those looking for a bit more adventure than a walk in the woods can bring, an adventure activity experience could be exactly what you’re looking for. From companies such as Go Ape, that offer tree-top experiences, to Red Letter Days that will allow you to sign up to hair-raising activities like sky-diving or white water rafting, there are definitely plenty of options to get your adrenaline pumping. Push yourself out of your comfort zone and try something that makes your tummy feel a bit funny when you think about it. Not only will you get the adrenaline rush you’re craving (in a safe environment) but you’ll also feel a real sense of achievement at having pushed yourself to do something that you would have normally been too scared to try.
Experience The World In A Different Way
If jumping out of a plane or fighting against the rapids in a river isn’t quite your idea of fun, don’t worry because you won’t ever catch me voluntarily jumping into the sky with a parachute attached to my back either. And there are still plenty of other ways to find adventure as an adult. But, while those activities might be a bit too adventurous, from time-to-time you’ll probably find that going on a woodland walk or a stroll by the canal isn’t quite enough to ignite a sense of adventure either. For the days when you want something a bit more out of the ordinary, book onto a boat trip, find a local company that does helicopter tours or organise a day to go for a hack on horseback with your local riding stables. It is so easy to get stuck in your ways but sometimes simply stepping away from your normal viewpoint can be enough to allow yourself to experience the world in an entirely different way.
According to the Dictionary, an adventure is classed as an “unusual and exciting or daring experience” but that doesn’t mean that you have to risk your life to achieve it. It simply means it has to be out of the norm for you. The thing with adventure is that it doesn’t always have to be extravagant to be exciting. I used to find adventure in my back garden, now I find it in entirely new ways. Galloping down the beach on my horse is something that I do each summer, but it still feels like an adventure to me because every time is ever so slightly different to the one that came before it. From the first year when we didn’t dare to go too far, to the second when we galloped for miles, to the third when we braved swimming in the sea and a seal popped up a matter of metres away from us. Bringing a sense of adventure into your life is all about the excitement that you associate with that activity, not the activity itself. And the only way to have more adventures is to get out and find them.
If you ask me, the most important thing to remember when it comes to adventuring as an adult, is that each adventure is completely personal. What will be an adventure to one may be boring to another. To some, an adventure is all about doing something that scares them but I personally find myself filled with a sense of adventure when I’m exploring somewhere new. Which is why I had this beautiful compass* from Personally Presented personalised with the saying “the world is at your feet”. Because it is. And I want to explore every inch of it, from the local bridleway to the nearby field, to the top of a mountain in Peru, to the sandy beaches of Thailand. Because, to me, exploring a new area, whether that is in the UK or a far off country is a form of adventure. And now I have a gorgeous compass, the very emblem of adventure itself, to remind me that "the world is at my feet" and that there is an adventure to be had in every corner of this planet we call home.
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