'It should not be denied that being footloose has always exhilarated us. It is associated in our minds with escape from history and oppression,law and irksome obligation, with absolute freedom, and the road has always led west'.
I've always loved this quote and every time I read it a shiver of excitement runs through me. The delicious possibility of adventure is out there if we simply choose to follow its call.
At some point we can all recollect a time when we were living through that feeling, a time when we really felt totally in the moment of original experience.
For Emma and I it was decamping to Costa Rica to escape the English winter, improve our surfing and most importantly make a conscious effort to put more adventure into our life.
We rented a small house on the edge of a river which fed into the sea. Our nearest neighbours were an eccentric German couple who rented out horses and Quad bikes. We found a yoga class run by a dude from California who looked like Bruce lee's younger brother.
I recall riding along the jungle lanes of Boca Nosara one Tuesday morning with the sun glinting through the palm trees and the warm jungle breeze on my face. I just laughed for the absolute joy of experiencing pure pleasure and living the adventurous life.
We came back to the UK with a good tan, a vaguely credible surfing style but most importantly a mission to seek out adventure in our daily life. We've found the following to be highly effective in keeping the adventure juices flowing and you don't even have to board a plane.
- Mid-week Camping- Even a world which you see everyday looks different when you sleep under canvas. The back garden is a good place to start, if not available then borrow from an obliging friend.
- Picnic Time- Why reserve leisurely picnics just for the weekend?. Arrange one with friends or work mates for a weekday. Everyone chips in with food, blankets and obligatory bat and ball. Choose a nice leafy area as far from a computer screen as possible. Eating communally outdoors is a wonderful way to add richness to a simple activity. Plus if planned correctly minimal washing up.
- A Dawn Experience - The world has a different feel as it comes to life each day. Pack a breakfast picnic and a couple of warm rugs and watch the world light up whilst listening the dawn chorus. You'll be glad you didn't hit the snooze button.
- The Path Less Travelled - Take a new direction on your most traveled journey, you'll be amazed at what you see when you're in a new environment. Set yourself a goal of at least once a week to choose a new path for familiar journeys and you'll start seeing your surroundings with fresh eyes.
- The Weekend Travel Challenge- Give yourself a budget, say £30 per person, go to either your local bus/train station. Pick 5 places from the departure board, put them in a hat, pick one out and see if you can get there, have lunch and return without exceeding your budget. You can be as financially generous as you like but remember the less budget you have the more imaginative you become, and thats where the fun begins!