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I fully admit that I’m a homebody and an introvert. I like comfort and peace. Still, this year has been lacking adventure for me, and let’s be clear on what kind of adventure I’m talking about. I want Anne of Green Gables adventure, I want Little House on the Prairie adventure (easy on the typhus and scarlet fever, though). I decidedly did not want to find adventure like in Hunger Games or the MaddAddam trilogy.
Yet here we are. In the thick of 2020, the year of… I don’t even know.
First, let’s just be clear I know how privileged I am to be living in a small town in Finland, almost completely sheltered from coronavirus. That does not, however, mean that I did not spend weeks in isolation or that I’m attending parties here and there or carelessly traipsing around the globe or even the country.
I just no longer have recurring nightmares where people get too close to me in the supermarket.
Just like many of us, I had plans.
You know what the coronavirus and weather have in common? It’s no use arguing with either. Sure, argue with people not wearing masks in a pandemic or umbrellas in the rain, but the circumstances? The circumstances do not listen to you. Which is why you might as well enjoy what you got.
(Another privilege disclaimer: I am white and I live in one of the safest countries in the world. I understand that not everyone is able to do what I do without being in danger.)
If you have a camera, you have an adventure
You don’t have to be a professional nature photographer – I definitely am not – to go out there and shoot. In fact, your pictures don’t even have to be any good and you do not need to have a “good reason” to take them. It is, after all, 2020, and we have the technology. I’m old enough that I’ve had a film camera as a teenager, and I’ve certainly been scolded for taking too many pictures of the same thing. Now you don’t have to give it a second thought, take as many shots of that cool flower or ugly dog as you wish.
Here are some ideas for what to take pictures of:
- flowers that you don’t know the name of
- interesting colour combinations (like a yellow bike on a purple bike rack)
- light sifting through the trees
- an object somewhere it doesn’t belong
- your own shadow
See? It doesn’t have to be complicated, and you could even make your own bingo card for things you’ll have to find and photograph outside. Or, you know, you can use this one that I made for you.
Creativity, of course, is an adventure in and of itself. When you learn to look at things in a new way, you start to find adventure in surprising places. You’re welcome.
Go where you haven’t been before
Although you may think you’ve already been everywhere, you’re probably wrong. Did you really go and try to find adventure on every public inch of your neighbourhood? Because I don’t think so! To be clear, if you’re already well-versed in trespassing on other people’s property, I do not have the power to stop you. I would not even know if you don’t tell me, so keep your bad self to yourself. The rest of us, however, should stick to going where we’re allowed to go.
To give you some ideas, maybe try going behind a building you’ve only ever seen from the front. If the neighbourhood pond is all too familiar, are you sure you haven’t thrown rocks from the exact same spot for the past 20 years? Try a little harder. Go a little further. If nothing else, put your best mask on and try a different supermarket for once.
Do something unexpected
I feel compelled to start this by specifying that I’m not talking about doing something unacceptable or illegal. Are we clear?? We are here to find adventure, not to find trouble.
You could say you are particularly spontaneous, but there are still things you’re not used to doing. Or to be exact, that your brain is not used to doing. Do a little dance, start learning a new language, memorize a page of your favourite book, anything. I know you might be thinking that you don’t have the time to start anything new and that it’s waste of your precious resources to begin learning anything, but that’s not what we’re talking about here. Learn Farsi for a day! Figure out your favourite opera and then forget all about it! You don’t really even have to do anything, just click on a Youtube video you would never normally watch, and there you go. You’re on an adventure now, pal.
Adults are far too preoccupied with “is it useful?”, “can I put this on my CV?” and “will this look good on my Instagram?” (I’m guilty of all three) when we should be more concerned with “am I feeling joy or excitement?” Don’t let trying to be more marketable come in the way of you experiencing small adventures every goshdarn day. It’s actually good for you.
Find adventure by bringing it WITH YOU
Most of all, I reckon, adventure is a state of mind. Even if you don’t leave your home or your yard, you can read where you’ve never read before or write where you’ve never written before. Have you not yet tried a new podcast while folding your laundry? If you’re ordering dinner to your home, why not eat it on the floor in front of an open window?
You are always much bigger than your circumstances. You are the adventure.