I ran into this couple the other day who had spent six years on a sailboat cruising around the globe with their eleven and fourteen-year-old daughters. They had fantastic tales to tell and I was all ears to listen. At the end of our conversation, however, they ended with the idea that they were hungry for their next big adventure, but were not sure where to go at this point. They were actually a bit sad. It sounds weird, to have just had a terrific time on a big adventure, vacation or experience and yet, feel sad for it to be over. Surprisingly, I have heard many people describe how they are not only sad that it is over, but they find themselves already thinking of what the next big adventure might be.
I could really relate to this experience, but then I realized that it is possible to infuse adventure into your life when it is not feasible to cycle across Europe or live in a camper van for a year. Big bold adventures that leave you feeling euphoric, and make you wonder how you can “top that one,” are fantastic, but there is also plenty of opportunity for what I call, “around the corner” adventures.
One of my favorite “around the corner” adventure is my family’s nightly neighborhood bike ride. If you don’t have bikes, it could easily be an evening walk around the neighborhood. My daughter usually prompts us to take a spin around the neighborhood somewhere between our last bites and when we start the dishes. And so, we hop on our bikes and begin our loop. This ritual alone is a great family time, but what makes it an adventure is how we infuse entertaining experiences into our route. For instance, we have our neighborhood cats, Sugar and Gussy along with their dog brother Mojo. We always stop by their house to see if our animal friends are around and perhaps snag a few hugs and pats. Further down the road, a neighbor has a frog bench in their front yard. We always stop and take a seat on the bench and have some pretend cookies and tea. Another neighbor has a tree in their front yard that has a tiny door and stairs at its base. We always stop there to knock on the door and see we can meet the mouse that we suspect lives there. Finally, another neighbor has a vegetable garden behind their house. We sometimes cycle by to check out what is growing.
This is pretty simple stuff, but not only does my daughter love it and look forward to it, but my husband and I do as well. Additionally, we are doing something as a family, getting outside and finally, creating creative ways to experience adventure just out our front door.