Creating Wonderland: Keeping Adventure Alive
Making Your Own Rules, Finding Your Fountain of Youth
by Jessica Johnson
Remember when you were a kid? Adventure and excitement lurked around every corner. New friends, extracurricular activities, field trips, and field days all brought the promise of doing something you’ve never done before. You dreamed of adulthood as an extension of youth. What do adults do except for anything they want … right?
As we grow older, life’s responsibilities begin to weigh us down without us even realizing. It becomes harder and harder to maintain feelings of excitement and wonder. But it’s important to keep your inner child alive. Nothing is worse than waking up with regrets for things you wished you tried in your youth. So we’ve come with some ways that you can stay wild and free (within reason).
1. Switch Up Your Routine
It sounds small because it is: Something as simple as taking a different route to work or a new workout class at your gym can help break up the monotony of adulting. Go to the local coffee shop instead of Starbucks (which is gross, but let’s stay focused). Do dinner at a restaurant you typically walk by. Catch the drift? Doing something different once (and not dying) makes you more likely to try something new again. When you feel yourself getting sluggish, a quick switch may be all you need.
2. Remember You Set The Rules
A lot of people equate being adventurous with being irresponsible. This is not true. Just as you define what fulfills you with your career and relationships, you define what adventure means to you. Maybe you don’t want to jump out of an airplane, but there’s indoor skydiving you and your buddies can try. Perhaps you’ve outgrown clubbing but there’s a dance class you’ve been eyeing. Or you can go for the gusto and jump out that plane, take that job in a city where you don’t know a soul. The one advantage of being a grown-up is that you can finally make your own way and rules. So be like Nike: Just do it!
3. Enjoy Your Present, Wherever That May Be
Often we spend too much time looking ahead or living in the past. STOP. Seriously, stop. There’s an old cliche that says, “The present is a gift,” and it’s a gift we seem to never unwrap. Ask yourself how many times your phone got in the way of a conversation or how many emails you answered on your last vacation. If the answer is too often or too many, perhaps the best adventure you can give yourself is shutting off your phone and tuning into yourself. There’s a joy that comes with being present in the moment. Take in the scent of the air as you run. Stop and observe the butterflies in the flowers. Feel the ground beneath your bare feet. Enjoy the moment.
Adventure doesn’t necessarily mean running off to the beaches of Bali (unless you can — then by all means, GO). Sometimes the best experiences, the biggest adventures, are right there all along.