The pitch of this blog is “Sharing the beauty of life one story at a time”. Sometimes, I write it as “Sharing the beauty of life through love, life and travel stories”. Either way, the focus is intended to be on sharing stories that help people to understand that life is great even when seen from different angles. I know I write a lot about travel. That is because I love to travel and just the simple mention of a place gets me excited. But the beauty of life is not only encountered when we travel. Every day brings an opportunity to write a new story about our life. It doesn’t matter who you are, what you do or where you are.
Yeah, I know not everybody is able to travel a lot. I even have a 40 hours job and am able to take about two international trips each year. Do I wish I can have more vacation time? Of course. But I am not going to sit down and cry about my misery. I am going to try to make the most of every opportunity. Hence, most weekends I do something different. Sometimes during the week I meet my friends for a fun evening. I don’t lose a chance.
See, I believe that you do not have to depart your country, not even your city, to have a great adventure. And, why is that? Because novel things are adventurous per nature and we can find novel things to do in our own backyard. If you are able to go out and explore the world, good for you. But if you do not have that blessing, sitting in the couch in front of the TV is not going to make things better.
Last Sunday, I wrote a post titled “Shame on you: when you don’t even know your surroundings”. The post is about people who have lived in the same spot for many years and don’t know anything about the places surrounding them. If you ask them where to find a good restaurant or a park, they don’t know because “they have never been there”. Their daily routines don’t allow them to go out and explore. My point is that you can break the routine by starting to explore your neighborhood, city, surrounding cities and close businesses. Or you can start to do different things with your family and friends.
That is why this post (and upcoming posts) will give 100 ideas to break out the routine and add more adventure to your life. Every week (for a total of 10 weeks) I am going to give you 10 ideas. I have two criteria for the ideas to make the list: they have to be easy and they have to be cheap. You can let me know what you think in the comments section. Also, feel free to share your own ideas.
Some people tell me that I go to a lot of places and they ask me how I do it. I tell them that I don’t do anything out of this world. Everybody can explore, have fun and create stories if they want. You have my word that what I am writing in here are things I do or am eager to try in the future.
1. Have a photographic session
Nowadays, almost everybody has a camera. Why not use it to take pictures of you and/or your family? Use your imagination in here. You can plan a session in different rooms of your house or on different areas of your neighborhood. Plan to take photos in different positions, different smirks or all dressed in the same colors. You can also go to one of those booths in the malls where you can take different photos in a short amount of time. That sounds like lots of fun. If you want, you can invest in a proper session with a professional (this is not necessarily expensive).
2. Have a picnic
Buy or make some picnic worthy foods (sandwiches, salads, cheese and/or cold cuts) and take them to an open area (like a park). The real idea here is to have food in a different space.
3. Go camping
Even if you don’t like the outdoors, this is something you should try. You don’t have to camp for a week. One or two days do the trick. If you check around where you live, I bet you there are a lot of campsites available for a modest price. Camping is not restricted to National Parks. Bonus: the campground should be surrounded by nature, trails or a body of water. That means that you can relax in different surroundings.
4. Go to a farmers’ market
This is like the new trend out there. A new farmers’ market seems to pop up in a different city every month. This is a golden opportunity to do something different. First, there are going to be a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables to buy. Seller offer lots of samples and you can try new flavors. Most farmers’ markets have a food court area. You can delight in an amalgam of exotic or local flavors. Plus, there are other interesting offerings.
5. Have a BBQ
This is an easy one. Call up your friends and tell everyone to bring something for the grill. Cook and have a good time. If you don’t have a BBQ grill, ask a friend who has one or find a park with the adequate facilities.
6. Call an old friend
With the proliferation of social media, I have no doubt your old friends are your Facebook friends or Twitter followers. The problem is that sometimes is difficult to have a profound conversation through these mediums. Come on, call one of your friends. I am sure there is a lot of catch up to do. If you don’t know his/her phone number send them a Facebook message or tweet them (sometimes they work for our purposes :0).
7. Try a new restaurant
There are literally thousands of restaurants surrounding you at this moment. I get really frustrated when somebody asks me how Thai food tastes when there is a Thai restaurant close to their house. I have read that human beings are conservative eaters. They tend to prefer the food they were raise with. But I think we should make an effort to try different cuisines. It’s so great to discover new flavors. What about Thai, Vietnamese, Indian or Mediterranean? The options are endless.
8. Go to the library or bookstore
I personally love to go to bookstore and look at different books and magazines. You can buy a cup of coffee and immerse yourself in a different world. Public libraries also offer opportunities to browse books, read magazines and use the Internet. This can really help you to enhance your creativity.
9. Watch an educative movie or TV program
If all you watch is reality programs and shows where a person is killed every 5 minutes, I can’t guarantee your mental sanity. I know about it. We Latinos have the same problem with “novelas” or soap operas. A lot of time is wasted watching these programs and little is learned. It would not be a bad idea to watch once in a while “good” TV or movies. Choose something were you can learn about history, culture, countries, food or music. You are going to be amazed at how much you can learn watching these.
10. Talk to strangers
Ok. I know that I said these ideas are supposed to be easy. I am telling you, talking to strangers is not that difficult and can help you to be more open to people and to make friends. Start up a conversation in the supermarket line, the gas station, the doctor’s office or your typical lunch spot. Be prepared. You never know who you can meet.
Are you willing to do any of this? Let me know in the comments section below.