wikiHow to Have an Adventure

Three Parts:Finding Your Adventurous SelfGetting Out There (and Back)Finding Opportunities for Adventures

Stuck in a cubicle all day with that panoramic view of a flickering screen and a fabric-covered half-wall? Feeling like your youth has slipped away? Or just ready for something, anything different? Have an adventure! You don’t have to climb Mt. Everest or sail solo around the world to have a fulfilling, rewarding adventure (although these would probably do the trick). Let your imagination be your guide, prepare (but don’t over-prepare), don’t wait for the perfect time, and just do it!

Part 1
Finding Your Adventurous Self

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    Define adventure for yourself. People tend to think of an adventure as something hazardous or dangerous; if that gives you pause, perhaps think of it as “something enjoyable, unique, and a departure from your routine.”[1]
    • What qualifies as an adventure depends upon you -- your perspectives, desires, experiences, and so on. One man’s adventure may be another’s routine. Don’t worry about how others may define it; if it feels like an adventure to you, it is one.
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    Seek inspiration. Even if it is up to you to determine your own adventures, examining the adventurous lives of others can help clarify your own goals, desires, and limits.
    • Read famous real-life adventure books and stories.[2] Examine them not only for the activities described but the transformative experiences of the author/adventurer.
    • Talk to friends and family. You may gain not only ideas and inspiration but a better appreciation for someone you think you already know so well. Who knows, your dull great uncle Stu may have had some fascinating adventures back in the day.
    • You’ll find that what others define as an adventure varies as well. Is it base jumping? Visiting a foreign country with a pocket dictionary, no itinerary, and no return flight scheduled? Going to an open mic night and trying your hand at stand-up? Camping out at a national park? Quitting your job? There’s no shame in “borrowing” one of their adventure ideas if it strikes a chord with you.
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    Imagine. What do you dream about? What activities do you do when you fantasize about being able to do whatever you want? Do some adventure brainstorming, and put no limits of practicality or feasibility on your ideas at this point.
    • Ignore the “be realistic” voice inside your head. That’s part of what keeps you from having adventures.[3]
    • Draw up a “to-try” list. Rank them from most achievable to most challenging if you desire. Mark them off as you attempt them.[4]
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    Know why you say “no” or “not now.” If you feel that you’ve become “boring” with age, it may be that you crave the comfort of predictability in your hectic life. Mix that with the all-too-common fear of failure and you have a recipe for a non-adventurous life.[5]
    • Do you delay or avoid following your adventurous dreams out of fear of the worst-case scenario? Confront it head on and write up a “worst-case list” for each adventure. Once you’ve written them out, rationally consider just how remote they are.[6] Compare them to your risk of being in a traffic accident on your way to work or getting cancer, if you must.
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    Don’t fear your fear. Courage is the mastery of fear, not the elimination of it.[7] Fear is part of what makes an adventure an adventure.
    • Master your fear not only of undertaking an adventure, but of failing at it. You know the saying about the journey being more important than the destination? Well, taking on the challenge of learning to surf is more important, and personally rewarding, than whether or not you can stay on your board and ride in a big wave.[8]

Part 2
Getting Out There (and Back)

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    Plan for the unplanned. Don’t wait for the perfect time to take an adventure, because the perfect time will never come. That’s just an excuse people make for not going.
    • Do a little less planning than you’re comfortable doing. Pack your suitcase as normal, then force yourself to repack using a suitcase half the size. Go on a drive with no destination in mind and no GPS. Go skydiving without updating your will.
    • Erase your expectations.[9] Don’t assume you know what will happen when you take a trapeze class or go abroad as a disaster relief volunteer. You’re going to be surprised regardless of how much you think you know about what to expect. Embrace this uncertainty.
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    Say “yes.” When presented with an opportunity, seize it. The next time someone asks you to do something that you would reflexively turn down, accept the offer instead.[10] Go to that NASCAR driving experience at the racetrack. Sign up for your community theater’s next musical.
    • Don’t be ridiculous, however. If someone asks you to help them rob a bank or swap spouses for a month, that may be a little too much adventure. Set boundaries based on any physical limitations or essential responsibilities you may have, but set the bar a little further out than you typically would.
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    Seek support networks. No one said an adventure has to be a solitary affair. Backpack across South America or go whitewater rafting with a friend.
    • Join an adventure club. You’ll get ideas and support for your adventures, as well as some beneficial peer pressure to get out and do things.
    • When you’re out adventuring, do find ways to keep in touch with loved ones.[11] Just because past adventurers had to “go dark” for long stretches doesn’t mean you must. Let them experience a little of the excitement of your adventure, and in turn give you support to keep at it.
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    Make mistakes.[12] Put your mastery over your fear of failure into action. Assume that you will not be a good skier at the start. Don’t be afraid to visit France because you’re sure that those snooty Parisians will scoff at your terrible French. Maybe some of them will, but so what? Muddle through it and keep going ahead with your adventure.
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    Choose to “swim” when you could “sink.[13] Don’t give in to your “I knew I couldn’t do it” impulse when things get difficult. Do not quit on your adventure because it’s tough -- it’s supposed to be.
    • If you get booed off the stage at that open mic comedy night, go back the next time and start with a crack on the crowd’s lousy booing technique. (Nobody said this was “How to Do Stand-Up Comedy.”)
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    Celebrate your adventure. No matter how successful your attempt at bull-riding, be proud of your achievement and enthusiastic in recounting your adventure to others.
    • Remember, the adventure itself is more important than the result.[14]
    • Line up your next adventure. Don’t rest on your laurels. Strike while the iron is hot. Prepare to hit another item on your “to try” list while still basking in the glow of the last one.
    • The best way to make the most out of having an adventure is to have another adventure.

Part 3
Finding Opportunities for Adventures

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    Get adventurous in you daily life. Activities like these might not be worthy of a book or movie, but they can be fun, easy, and a nice change of pace.
    • Try a new cuisine -- West African, Argentine, Pakistani, some place you've never heard of before.
    • Redecorate a room in your house with a favorite theme or a bold color palette. A different pastel color on each wall and Care Bears décor in your dining room? That's an adventure!
    • Go to a haunted house. If you're more adventurous than that, find one where you can stay overnight.
    • Turn off your phone and go without the internet for a week. Or even a day for that matter. See if you can complete your daily routines without them.
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    Perform adventurously. Getting out of your comfort zone, especially if you have anxiety about being in front of a crowd, is one way to have an adventure.
    • Sign up for a belly dancing class. Put that thing to use!
    • Go to an open mic night at a comedy club and get on stage.
    • Start a garage band and play some gigs. Sure, maybe it didn't work out when you tried it in high school, but why not now? It also gives you a good reason to clean out your garage.
    • Ask to sing the national anthem at a local sporting event. If your voice is just too terrible to do your country justice, get a couple of friends to join you and put the best singer in front of the mic.
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    Travel the world of adventures. Near home and on the other side of the planet, countless adventures await.
    • Take a multi-day train ride in a foreign land. And don't spend the whole trip in your cabin. Get out and experience a different culture.
    • Visit a distant ancestor's hometown. Southern Italy? Rural China? An Appalachian hideaway in West Virginia? Go and experience some family history and a different world.
    • Search the internet for the most beautiful photo of a place on earth you can find ... and go there. Print out the picture and compare it to the real thing.
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    Put some action in your adventures. If trying Korean barbecue or digging up a plastic container of odds and ends doesn't spell adventure to you, take it up a notch.
    • Go skydiving. Yes, one of the classics, but still quite a rush.
    • Go cliff-diving. Another common one, but at the very least it means you are at a beautiful beach somewhere.
    • Train for and enter a triathlon. If this is beyond your physical capability, start smaller. If a 5k run is an adventure for you, go for it and be proud.

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Categories: Enjoying the Great Outdoors