I am lucky to be the mother of a wild and curious toddler. While this can be a constant challenge, it has also opened my eyes and brightened up my life in a million ways – not least of all being my renewed sense of adventure. As an adult, the tasks and chores that take up so much of our day can become tedious. For a toddler, however, even the most mundane of activities – a trip to the post office, for example – is a grand adventure. Wouldn’t we all be happier if we lived this way?
While it sounds like a great idea, it can be difficult to look at our daily chores and see a world of excitement. Most of us need a little bit of help to get started in changing our mindset. For that reason, I have compiled a list of ideas designed to help you view your world with fresh eyes and start to live your life as if it were a grand and exhilarating journey.
Here are six ways to turn your life into an adventure:
Dance to a New Beat
Listen to three great, highly recommended songs from a genre you would otherwise never consider – bonus points if they also come from a past era of time. Music has an almost magical way of restructuring your perspective and transporting you to another place. Even if you don’t end up liking the genre, your worldview will be considerably expanded. To delve more deeply into experiencing your new mindset, try to be as specific as possible – for example, instead of just “rap”, try “1980’s rap about social injustice.” Here are three feminist country songs from the late 1960’s and early 1970’s to get you started: Harper Valley P.T.A. by Jeannie C. Riley, Rose Garden by Lynn Anderson, and Just Because I’m a Woman by Dolly Parton.
Research Something Odd
Did you enjoy playing Oregon Trail as a child, or learning about the bones in the human body? For young children, learning is a joy rather than a chore. Remember how much fun it used to be to undertake a great school project when you were very young – before grades really mattered? Recapture this feeling by creating your own just-for-fun project. Pick a topic you find interesting – the more offbeat, the better. It can be anything from the mating habits of zebras to the history of fairies in film and literature. Learn everything you can about it. You will engage new parts of your brain, re-spark your interest in science, history, or whatever topic you chose, and ultimately become an expert in something strange and obscure.
Take the Long Road
The next time you have a boring errand to run, leave an hour early and take a long, roundabout route to get there. Make a stop on the way at the most interesting place you can find. Not only will you have a fun side-trip, but in looking for it your eyes will be open and seeking excitement. In the end, who knows what you will discover – a new favorite bakery or a peaceful pond? Maybe even just a renewed eye for possible detours off the beaten path? This is a simple idea to add into your day, and is almost certain to be worth the trouble.
Have a Theme Night
Is there a time or a place that you’ve always been drawn to? Maybe you have been curious about Malaysia ever since meeting a girl with beautiful hair from Kuala Lumpur. Maybe you wish you had been alive during the Renaissance in Italy. Turn a regular weekday evening into an adventure by having a theme night. Choose a nation, era, or both, and cook a meal that you might have eaten as a part of it. Learn three new words in whatever language you might have spoken – or three words specific to your chosen era, if that language is English. You could really go for it and dress up in an applicable outfit, or opt for a more low-key approach and watch a movie about your far-off world. Delve as deeply as you wish, and learn as much as you’d like to.
Discover a New Talent
Is there something you’ve always wanted to be able to do well – like paint, speak Chinese, or ride a unicycle? Why not try it? Take a class, read a book, or ask a friend to teach you. When you embark on the journey of mastering a new skill, your entire worldview will become refreshed. You are sure to uncover a new part of yourself – be it artistic, physical, mental, or cultural – that you might otherwise never have known existed.
Get in Touch with Your Inner Child
What were you really into around age three, five, or thirteen? Chances are, you have not thought about it in awhile. Were you super interested in bugs, or did you draw up plans for a fantasy tree house? Did you enjoy playing in your grandmother’s garden, or take apart an old radio and try to put it back together? Return to the thing that made you tick as a child. Most likely, that part of you is still in there, waiting for you to return. Once you spark one aspect of who you used to be, others will come back as well. An afternoon of trying to master ballet moves might lead to a forgotten favorite dinner of spaghetti and lemon bars.
Adventure has the uncanny ability to expand our world while also pushing us more deeply in touch with our inner selves. Embark on one of the escapades listed above, and rediscover the wild-eyed explorer inside of you. You’ll be glad you did.