Why Adventure? 5 Reasons to Get Out and Explore

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We live in an amazing era! In our modern age, technological advances have given us back so much time that used to be spent in just meeting our basic survival needs. Providing food, clothing, and shelter took pretty much 24/7 dedication for everyone except the elite throughout most of history. And by elite, I'm talking high ranking royalty, clergy, and military leaders. Everyone else spent almost their entire lives just trying to survive.

We've come a long way and one of the benefits of technology and modernization is more "free time". Most of us get to decide exactly how we want to spend at least a few hours each week. We have so many options right inside our own homes that require very little effort...read, nap, watch Netflix, play a game, work on a DIY project. All great options and sometimes just what we need. Easy access to these more confined and sedentary pursuits can sometimes keep us from setting off on an adventure. But, exploration and adventuring is so beneficial and should be a regular part of our lives.

So what is "adventuring"? Dictionary.com defines it as:

  • an exciting or very unusual experience
  • participation in exciting undertakings or enterprises
  • a bold, usually risky undertaking; hazardous action of uncertain outcome.

Now, you can decide where you are comfortable as far as risks and hazards go. I lean towards the risk averse end of the spectrum, but I am all for exciting and unusual. Give me a new city, national park, or lake to explore and I am in!

Eleanor Roosevelt said, “The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” What a wise and eloquent woman! Doesn't her statement make you want to get out there and experience something new?

If you need a little more motivation to start adventuring, here are 5 great reasons to get going:

  1. Adventuring exposes you to new experiences, places, people. Depending on how far from home you stray, you may even get to experience cultures that are entirely new to you. Generally, exposing yourself to new experiences can open your mind to different ways of looking at life. You may become more creative and find that you are more open to other points of view. Exposure to different groups of people and cultures can lead to increased empathy towards others. When you know someone instead of just know about them you will almost always focus more on the similarities between you instead of the differences. I often wonder how much we could reduce the conflicts in our world by simply experiencing each other in person.
  2. It's good for your body. Adventuring gets you on your feet and out in nature. A quick internet search will convince you that outdoor activity is good for your health and can have a positive influence on many health problems. There is even some evidence that it can reduce the effects of aging on the brain. And, don't forget to get a little bit dirty while you are out there adventuring - exposure to germs and different environments can be great for your immunity. 
  3. It's good for your mind. A 2015 Washington Post article "New Research Suggests Nature Walks are Good for Your Brain" cites a study that indicates that taking a 90 minute walk in nature can reduce the risk and negative effects of depression. This just adds to the growing body of evidence, both scientific and anecdotal, that outdoor adventures can in some cases reduce stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues.
  4. Adventuring offers opportunity to build problem solving skills, stamina, and resolve. Not that I'm complaining, but modern life can be a bit cushy. When my kids were toddlers and preschoolers, I'm not sure we ever went on an outing - even a short walk through the neighborhood - without sippy cups and snacks. When I was little, if I got thirsty while we were out, I hoped we spotted a water fountain. And if I got hungry while we were out...well, I usually stayed hungry. I'm all for providing nutrition and hydration to children, but I feel like maybe I did not give my own enough opportunity to develop the ability to cope with a little discomfort and boredom. Adventuring can provide those opportunities. It also provides a sense of accomplishment and empowerment. When we learn to overcome challenges on our adventures, we can apply those skills to our everyday lives. If you need a little extra courage and determination while adventuring, make sure to take along an uplifting oil or blend. Motivate, Passion, or Elevation are great options. 
  5. You can create amazing memories and strengthen relationships. Days spent in our regular routine can pass in a blur, but unique experiences stand out in our memories. The simple act of engaging in something new and unfamiliar can trigger your brain to be more observant. After all, you can't run on autopilot when you are bouldering, mountain biking, or even exploring a new city. You will be more aware and engaged with your surroundings in new or atypical environments. Now, add some family or friends into the mix and you are not only creating memories, you are creating shared memories. And shared memories build and strengthen relationships. So when you can, explore and adventure with your loved ones. You are not likely to regret it.

We'd love to here about some of your amazing adventures and the positive impacts they have had on your life.