Adventure is everywhere. Yet, in today’s society we tend to get wrapped up in our daily whirlwind lives and these moments and chances for a new experience just pass us by. A question I’m asked all the time is how on earth do you have time to travel and go see all of these places that you share on Facebook and Instagram? Here are 5 tips to make time for adventure.
It’s true. I am busy. I wake up and put on my cape everyday like so many other supermoms. I have a career with deadlines and responsibilities, I’m a football mom, homework helper , chief cook, nurse, counselor, judge, and seemingly everything to everybody. I’m also active in my community and I run this little ol’ blog. So how then do I find time to go on all of these random adventures? Well that’s a simple answer. I made a personal commitment to myself to make it a point to literally stop and smell the roses as often as I can. If adventure and a chance to embrace the world around you is truly what you seek, then it’s a change in mindset and the way you manage the free time you do have. As with anything in life, if it’s important to you then you will make time for it.
1. Work in an adventure on a pre-scheduled trip that wasn’t planned for fun.
If you already have travel plans that were not necessarily for pleasure, but for maybe a conference, business meeting, wedding, family event or something of that nature where you weren’t traveling as a tourist per say, then plan an adventure into that trip. If time allows, build in an extra day to the trip to give you a chance to explore. You can search for a park, beach, historical site, etc using TripAdvisor, Yelp, and Google Maps.
For example, I traveled to Ft. Lauderdale last weekend to participate as a bridesmaid in a dear friend’s wedding. If you’ve ever been apart of a wedding party then you know that you are pretty much at the beck and call of the bride or groom. However, it’s not unreasonable to set aside a little time for yourself to explore the area before you have to begin your wedding party duties. I found a nearby beach park and went to watch the huge waves as a storm was brewing out in the Atlantic. I had a fantastic time just taking in the scenery and trying not to fall over from the extremely strong winds that day.
2. Foodventures are the best! Have an adventurous meal.
This is probably the easiest way to work in a bit of adventure, whether on a business trip or a random Tuesday night. Choose a place that’s not chain, but locally owned. To truly be a foodventure, eat a meal that will challenge your palate, whether it’s food from a different culture/country or a place serving unique ingredients you haven’t had before.
While in Ft.Lauderdale I used Yelp to locate nearby breakfast restaurants. I came across great reviews for Fresh First, a healthy all organic and gluten-free restaurant and it was right across the street from my hotel. If you know me, then you know that I’m a foodie, a real one. I like cheese, butter, wine, fat, calories…all of that. Now I am trying to turn over a new leaf and eat much better on a regular basis at home, but when I go out to eat, I go hard! None of that healthy smealthy stuff when I’m out.
However, this little slice of healthy heaven made me eat my words, literally. I had fresh squeezed orange juice. By fresh, I mean my waitress squeezed oranges with her bare hands right in front of me. I also had a breakfast sandwich made with rice flour waffles, a fried egg, a slice of tomato and goat cheese with a side of red and sweet potato hash with fresh from scratch hot sauce.
I finished the meal off with dessert! Yes, I had dessert for breakfast. That’s what foodies do. My dessert was the cutest little quinoa cupcake topped with fresh strawberry and cracked pepper jam and goat cheese frosting. It was seriously a fantastic breakfast that I won’t get anywhere else because they are local to Ft.Lauderdale. It was a terrific foodventure. Ironically everyone else in the bridal party are native to the area and they had never heard of this restaurant!
3. When planning for vacation it’s okay to think small.
Don’t misunderstand. Elaborate vacations are great! We all need those from time to time but most of us, especially us moms, are lucky if we get one big trip in a year, maybe two if we are really lucky. However, it’s important to rejuvenate yourself between the grand vacations. Mini trips are the perfect way to sneak in a little extra adventure. Plan unique activities when the kids have those random non-school days. There are tons of places that work great as a daytrip and you don’t even have to stay overnight. You can also plan a staycation (see Staycation post) where you will feel far enough away from home without breaking your wallet or needing to burn through those precious vacation days. State parks also make for great staycations.
4. See it. Pin It. Plan it. Do it.
My favorite way to get adventure inspiration is Pinterest! I love finding new experiences to try. I pin them to my board and I make it a point to check them off of my ever growing list. Doing one local adventure a month is a reasonable goal. Before you know it you will feel like you are always having some type of adventure. Be deliberate about it. When one of your many obligations is cancelled and you find yourself with free time, you will already have a handy listing of activities you can do with your new-found free time.
5. Take the scenic route or plan a detour.
When you’re out and about you take the fastest, shortest, least congested route you can find right? What if instead of taking the same route you navigate purely off of muscle memory, you take a route you aren’t as familiar with. You never know what you might find. On my drive back from Ft. Lauderdale last weekend I decided on a whim that I didn’t want to just drive up I-95 looking at miles and miles of nothing. I was already planning a detour to Blowing Rocks Preserve (see Visiting Blowing Rocks) on my drive back to Tampa, but I thought why not take a more scenic route?
I’ve always wanted to drive up the A1A highway along the Atlantic coastline. What better chance to do that then now? I pulled off the interstate around Boynton beach and slowly but surely I navigated my way north along the coast for about 40 miles. The weather was gorgeous! I let the windows down and listened to the ocean. When I saw something particularly beautiful, I pulled over. I happened upon John D. MacArthur Beach State Park and spent an hour wandering around before finally reaching the beautiful Blowing Rocks Preserve.
John D. MacArthur Beach State Park, Palm Beach, Jupiter Beach, Blowing Rocks Preserve
With a little creativity and planning, you can incorporate these five tips to make time for adventure in your busy schedule. You will be greatly rewarded when you get a chance to try something you haven’t tried before or see an amazing natural wonder. If this busy single mom on the go can find the time, trust me you can be more adventurous too. Make it happen!
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Lauren G. , Outdoorsy Diva™
“It’s only the great outdoors….what are you afraid of?”