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Finding Adventure in Your Own Neighbourhood via Calculated Traveller

Finding Adventure in Your Own Neighbourhood

by Kim Humphreys
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Thornton Wilder has said: “When you’re safe at home you wish you were having an adventure; when you’re having an adventure you wish you were safe at home.” Makes sense, as we are human, after all.

But, who’s to say that adventure only happens when you’re not at home and only on vacation? Not me! So, what’s the average girl (or guy), that works a 9 to 5 job, maybe has kids at home, do for a little adventure in their life?

Make your own adventure! Here are a few ideas…


1. Exercise. I can literally hear the boos right after I wrote this! But, give me a second to explain—and then I’m fair game. Exercise, as most of you know, not only affects your mood, but, as you watch your body slowly change, you start to see a transformation in the way you see yourself and how much easier it is to do things. Exercising—whether by walking or biking, or whatever you choose, really opens your eyes to the opportunity and adventure around you. If it’s a rainy day, your local gym more than likely has group fitness classes. I love going there on a rainy day and going to a spin class. My imagination takes me away, and soon, in my own mind, I’m climbing muddy hills and sailing down country roads. There also is no better sense of accomplishment than coming home, drenched in sweat, after a great workout.


2. Explore local parks and trails. Now that you’ve done a few burpees and jumping jacks, start researching all that your town or city has to offer. Most have a city or community guide, either on their website, or in print that lists area events as well as local area parks and hiking trails. We have found new parts of our city that we’ve lived in for many years, including new paths and trails–all that admittedly I never noticed when driving by in my car. Why not, with map in hand, slap on lots of sunscreen, and take your spouse and kids out for a day’s adventure? Bring along some sandwiches and fruit and you can make it a picnic too.


3. Go to local sporting events. I grew up in a small town where, every Friday night, everyone headed to the school’s football game. A part of me still enjoys that home-town feel of cheering for the local team. Depending on the season, there are always local hockey, baseball, football, etc teams to root for, and although it can be a chore sometimes, to push ourselves out to the game, there is still an undeniable feeling when the home team scores and we are sitting in the seats and clapping them on. If cost is a concern, local teams play in the local parks for free. A lot of local recreation centres also have swimming, tennis, ice skating, etc for a reasonable price too.


4. Free outdoor events and concerts. Check your local listings. I’ve gone to outdoor music concerts and plays, including Shakespeare productions, and while I sat there in my lawn chair, I was surprised that I wasn’t just a few minutes from my home, but that the event, except for a donation fee, is essentially free. And what better way to enjoy the arts then under the stars.

5. Follow organizations and events that you enjoy on social media, including Facebook and Twitter. Opportunity comes to those who seek it. Recently, I was lucky enough to get free tickets to see a live taping of a Lady Antebellum special because I was following CMT.ca on Facebook. When they posted that people could apply for free tickets, I jumped on the opportunity. Seek out your own opportunities.


6. Use your imagination. Not everything has to be adrenaline-inducing or involve anyone other than you and your family. Why not pitch a tent in your own backyard and tell stories holding only a flashlight, or just get in the car and see where you end up? Or just drive to your local seafood store and bring the feast home. The dictionary defines adventure as: “An exciting or very unusual experience.” So, go out, in your own town and bring your own adventure home!

Have any ideas of your own? We would love to hear them! Please leave a comment.

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Anne @ Pretraveller December 7, 2013 - 8:49 pm

Kim, thanks for sharing some great ideas to make the most of our own backyards!

As a family with three children it is extremely expensive to get on an airplane to go somewhere more exotic, so we are currently trying to do as much as possible in our own backyard. It is a great option as there is a surprising amount to see and do in our local area and it is just a matter of making a small effort to make the most of it.

Anita Mac June 24, 2013 - 5:38 pm

So true – there are so many adventures to be had in our own backyards, how we think we must go further afield and miss what we already have is beyond me! Afterall, there are people who travel to where we live for vacation all the time!!!! I know I don’t get out enough in Ottawa, but I do love to get out and explore!

Jess June 15, 2013 - 1:57 am

I love visiting local attractions in places that I think I already know. One of my recent projects was to visit every independent ice cream shop in the area – I had as much fun as I would have trying foods in some exotic place I’d never been before.

Mary Chong June 15, 2013 - 2:24 pm

Great idea Jess – ice cream is such a universal item – found it all manner of interesting flavours. People don’t really think about it do they?? Love it! Thanks!

Kim June 13, 2013 - 9:57 pm

Hi JR, I admittedly did not hear of this term before. I just googled and, wow what a fun coincidence…an author with the same last name as me appeared. It’s from a National Geographic Journal article. Alastair Humphreys says: “You do not need to fly to the other side of the planet to find wilderness and beauty.” How true. Thank you so much for posting!

Mary Chong June 15, 2013 - 2:28 pm

Love that quote Kim!

noel June 13, 2013 - 6:47 pm

great suggestions, I tend to do alot of those already and its amazing how many activites you can find even in the smallest locations, the thing is to be personally active. thanks for sharing.

JR Riel June 13, 2013 - 2:49 pm

This reminds me of microadventures! Have you heard of that before. It just helps us to see that even if you don’t have the circumstances to travel the world, you can still find mini adventures in your own backyard.


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