This article provides plenty of ideas on how to break the routine and add more adventure to your life!
Several years ago, when I was planning to create this site, I had no doubts in my mind. I wanted the site to focus on one of my greatest passions: travel.
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 or travel often. I have a full-time job (where I often work more than 40 hours per week) and am able to make one international trip each year. Do I wish I can have more vacation time? Of course. But I am not going to sit down and resent my current situation.
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, wasting time on non-meaningful activities will not improve your quality of life.
That is why this post will give 100 ideas to break out the routine and add more adventure to your life. I have two criteria for the ideas to make the list: they have to be easy and they have to be affordable. You can let me know what you think in the comments section. Also, feel free to share your own ideas.
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.
Break the Routine and Add More Adventure to your Life
- Have a photographic session
Nowadays, almost everybody has a camera (or a cell phone with a good camera). Why not use it to take pictures of you and/or your family? Use your imagination here. You can plan a session in different rooms of your house or in different areas of your neighborhood. Plan to take photos in different positions, different landmarks or all dressed in the same colors. If you want, you can invest in a proper session with a professional (this is not necessarily expensive).
- 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 idea is to eat in a different space.
- 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.
Read More: Camping in Southern California
- 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 is going to be a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables to buy. Sellers 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, you can find other interesting goods such as honey, cake, pies, flowers, crafts, and flavored nuts.
- 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 grill, find a park with adequate facilities.
- Call an old friend
With the proliferation of social media, I have no doubt your high school or college friends are your Facebook friends. The problem is that sometimes is difficult to have a profound conversation on the comments section of a post. Come on, call one of your friends. I am sure there is a lot of catch up to do.
- Try a new restaurant
There are literally hundreds 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 raised 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.
- Go to the library or bookstore
I personally love to go to the 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.
- Watch a documentary or educative 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 something called “telenovelas” (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.. Choose something where you can learn about history, culture, countries, food or music. You are going to be amazed at how much you can learn watching these. Plus, you can use what you have learned as a conversation topic.
- 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 and make friends. Startup 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.
- Help somebody
If you want to throw your woes away, stop thinking only about yourself and start helping others. Usually, when we think about helping somebody, we think about money. The truth is that you can offer more than money.
What about helping a coworker to finish some vital tasks or babysitting your friend’s kids while she goes on a date with her spouse? There are tons of ways to help others and I am almost sure that we all know somebody who can use some help.
- Surprise your loved ones
What about doing something special for your loved ones? I am not talking about a completely difficult thing. I remember a time when I saw one of my coworkers really happy. I asked her what was going on. She told me that her husband left her a note telling her how much he loved her. Imagine. Her husband decided to do something different that day and it had extremely good repercussions. I believe we can all break the routine by doing something different for the ones close to us.
- Learn to cook something new
Do you want to have fun? Try cooking or baking a new recipe. There are a lot of ways to find exciting recipes. Look for something you want to try, something you think you can prepare at home or just something completely different. Go to the store and buy the ingredients needed. Then, go home and prepare your delicious meal. You can even invite your family or friends to join the fun. I sometimes cook with my husband and friends. We tend to laugh a lot.
- Have a road trip
Road trips do not have to be 1000 miles in length. You can easily create a two or three-day itinerary. If you have read this blog, you know I am a big fan of road trips and have several itineraries posted. Additionally, it is a good way to save money because you can combine it with camping and cooking your own meals (not that you have to do this).
Read More: Los Angeles to Santa Barbara Road Trip
- Play tourist for a day
A good way to be a tourist in your own city or close surroundings is by buying a guidebook featuring your city. Go to the suggested places or follow the daily itineraries. A lot of people are not familiar with what their cities or towns have to offer. Another curiosity is that most haven’t visited the interesting sights surrounding them.
If you want to do something different, start by knowing your city and surroundings. As mentioned, use a guidebook or gather information from the Internet. You can check when local institutions offer free entrance or when free events take place.
- Explore the night sky
This is something I have always wanted to do. You can just observe the sky and try to find the constellations (there are some cell phone apps that can help you with this). Or, you can find somebody who knows about this topic and ask him if he can help you to see some interesting celestial bodies (some special equipment may be required).
- Decorate your office
Try to convert your office into a comfortable place. Decorate with pictures of your family, flowers, postcards, objects obtained during your travels, inspiring quotes, artwork or warm touches such as fuzzy rugs and mood lighting. Plus, decorations are good conversation starters.
- Get in a trampoline or jumper
Don’t give me that weird look. This is actually something normal. One of my friends hired an adult jumper for her 30th birthday. We jumped like crazy there. And, I not talking about only people in their 20’s and 30’s, her mom and aunts were also happily jumping. Thus, take a leap and be a kid again.
Ok, I have to confess this is not something I practice that often. Even though I do not exercise regularly, this fact does not make it less important. We all know about the benefits of exercise.
There are so many ways to exercise that there is no excuse for not doing something (ouch, I know, I know). Try to find a type of exercise that really motivates you (or find an exercise partner). If you already exercise, try a different routine, movement or instrument.
- Take a different route
Why is that we always take the same route to work? To the supermarket? To our friends’ house? Try a different route and pay attention to the details. You may notice places you have not noticed before.
- Plan a non-traditional birthday party
For some reason, birthdays (and other events) follow a certain pattern around my circle of friends. I am not sure if you have experienced the same. It is no brainer to predict what is going to happen or what we are going to do. And, sometimes predictability is not fun.
If you are planning a birthday party for yourself or somebody you know, you have the opportunity to do something different.
Why not plan a non-traditional party? What about a themed party? (Hawaiian, Greek, Chinese) Or, just choose a different venue (park, beach, a friend’s house with a pool or a place with a nice view).
I was once invited to a Fear Factor themed birthday party. The funniest part was seeing people eating gross food. That was probably the most memorable birthday party I have assisted. Great fun!!!
Or, you can get creative with your gift. What about asking guests to donate for a good cause instead of buying you a gift?
- Start a conversation with a neighbor, coworker or classmate
I don’t know if this has happened to you. Sometimes you walk by a neighbor, coworker or classmate, a person you have seen tons of times, and you don’t even know that person’s name.
What about saying hi? What about engaging in a simple conversation? You never know. A dear friendship can be formed from a simple exchange. Additionally, that person you always see around can be very cool and interesting and you are losing the opportunity to establish a relationship that can enrich your life.
- Greet people
This sounds simple but is really important. Don’t you get annoyed every time somebody is rude to you or others? I think we have enough of that in this world. Please, don’t add unnecessary impoliteness when it is not needed.
Good morning, thanks and please are magic words. Greet people when you get to the office, on an elevator or when you enter the doctor’s office. Greet people who offer you services. You show respect to others and the climate becomes warmer and familiar.
- Hang out with kids
Being surrounded by kids is a total adventure. You never know what they are going to come up with. If you have kids, let them plan the activities for a family day of fun. Do what they want to do. If you don’t have kids, I know you know tons of people who do. Join your friend’s family for a day out or leisure meal.
Ask kids questions about school or the programs they watch on TV. They usually have a lot of interesting stories. You can also ask kids to show you how to do something. For example, ask them to show you how to play a video game. You may get surprised at how much they know about certain topics.
- Go hiking
A hike can bring you a lot of benefits. First, it is good for your health. Second, it is a bonding experience if you go with your partner or a friend. Third, you may encounter beautiful flora and fauna. And there are many more benefits!!!
Find hiking trails close to where you live. Decide which ones you want to do and set a day apart to go. Local reserves and wilderness areas offer guided nature walks during the weekends. Try to find if these are available near your house. You can join one and learn about the area’s geology, flora, and fauna.
- Ride a bike
For me, riding a bike is always fun. If you do not own a bike, visit an area where you can rent one for an affordable price. It is just nice to pedal and feel the air in your face. Plus, is a great way to cover longer distances without having to deal with driving a car. You can also try mountain biking which can be more challenging but may offer the opportunity to learn new skills.
- Spend a day next to the water
Plan a day next to a beach, lake or river. This is a popular idea for many and for a reason. Take a dip into the refreshing water or plan to do some water-related activities.
- Go to an antiques, thrift or second-hand store
Want to find real treasures at good prices? Visit antique or second-hand stores. I am not an advocate of buying things just because. Therefore, I am recommending this because you may find things you need. Additionally, the prices may be really tempting.
In addition, these types of stores can help you to find inspiration because they may have merchandise you do not usually see in the places that sell brand new goods. I am not kidding. Famous designers visit these types of stores regularly. They pick up pieces that they can use later for projects. Who knows? You may find artistic inspiration in these places.
- Go out and take pictures
Do you think you live in a boring neighborhood? Think twice. With camera on hand, go out to find interesting shots.
I have seen artists who use their surroundings to create awesome pieces of art. They photograph objects from an unusual viewpoint and then add a personal touch. They can do this because they have learned to observe carefully their surroundings. For them, beauty is everywhere. So, go ahead. Take your camera and start discovering the lovely things surrounding you.
- Visit an ethnic neighborhood
You may have heard about a Chinatown, Little India or Brazilian neighborhood close to where you live. Why not pay a visit to one of these places? These are a piece of a foreign country in your own city.
Plan an entire day of exploring by finding out things to do, see and eat in the area. This is an opportunity to learn and experience a different culture if you are not able to personally visit a specific country.
- Choose a new accessory or piece of jewelry
If you want to look different, you do not necessarily need to buy a new outfit. Accessories work wonders. Why not try to wear a hat, a scarf or a tie? What about a distinctive piece of jewelry? I think people who know how to use accessories to their advantage are so cool. What you choose doesn’t have to be expensive. Look online or at magazines for ideas.
- Read a children’s book
Books designed for small children contain simple language but that doesn’t mean they lack profundity. In my experience, most books for young readers touch universal themes and discuss common wisdom. That is why some of them are classics.
By reading these types of books, we may focus on things that are important in life. We may have forgotten these truths due to the constant business of our minds. Alternatively, you can revisit a book you read when you were younger. Probably, you will understand it better and it may bring you sweet memories.
- Tip more than usual
If you receive excellent service from a waiter or waitress, think about tipping more than usual. Thank personally your server while giving the tip. This can be extended to any type of person offering a service. These types of service positions are hard (I know because my sister worked as a waitress for about 10 years, lots of horrible stories). Your gratefulness and kind words may fill with light someone’s day.
- Visit a museum
The range of museum themes is diverse. There are museums focused on paintings, sculptures, glass, furniture, cartoons, a particular object, the history of a city, etc. You may be able to find a theme that interests you. Most museums offer free entrance sometime during the month. Investigate when this happens and take a look (for free).
You can join a local museum e-mail list and receive periodical newsletters. In that way, you will know about the exhibitions coming to the area. Believe me, some of these exhibitions are really interesting. Last year, I saw one about mummies found in different parts of the world. This year, I saw one about illuminated manuscripts.
- Learn a new language
This is a fun and appealing way to break the routine. If you are traveling to a certain country or area, try learning the language. Or, just give it a try because you have always wanted to learn that language. There are multiple ways to learn. You can take a course offered in a community college, you can use the Internet, you can buy a course or you can use a book from the library. Whichever way you choose, I am sure you will have a blast.
- Ask somebody you know for a recommendation
If you want to do something different, why not ask somebody for a recommendation? For example, let’s say you know somebody from Korea. Ask that person where he goes to get good Korean food. He will know about authentic places serving the most delicious dishes.
Or, if you know somebody with a passion for reading, ask that person for a book recommendation. I am sure people you know will be more than willing to share their personal favorites. Moreover, you are getting recommendations from experts. Nowadays, people pay a lot of money to gain authority knowledge.
- Try something different during lunchtime
Do you do the same thing every day during lunch hour? How about changing the routine? You may start by eating something different. But, the change does not have to be purely culinary. You can decide to eat your lunch for half an hour and do something else the other half hour. You can exercise, read or do whatever you want. The idea is to choose something that you like to do. You may go back to work reenergized.
- Save for a bigger adventure
If you have a dream destination, start to plan and save. Determine how much is going to cost you to spend a determined amount of time on the place you want to go. Then, devise a savings plan. Based on that saving plan, set up a timeframe. For example, “I will be able to visit Spain in 10 months.” In that way, you will feel more motivated to grow your travel fund.
- Record a video
Nowadays, being a YouTuber can be a lucrative job or side business. However, you do not have to be a professional to record a video of you showing off a special talent, skill or passion. You don’t have to share it with the world (I mean the Internet). You can start by sharing your creations with a couple of friends.
- Get a mentor
A mentor is somebody who can help you to get ahead in your career, business or life. Even if you don’t feel stuck (or not progressing on a goal), a mentor may be a good idea. This person can give you advice based on his or her experience.
Sometimes we insist on doing things by ourselves and we foolishly dig our own hole. A mentor can help us to choose a better path.
- Make a bonfire
A bonfire invites people to sit around and share stories and anecdotes. It is a simple way to stretch friendships and create community. Every once in a while, in a simple reunion, my friends and I start a bonfire. Look for easy ideas on how to set up the proper equipment to start one in your backyard.
There is always an opportunity to start one when camping or in the beach (in California, a lot of beaches have rings for bonfires).
- Reconnect with one of your former teachers or professors
I am sure that many people have good memories about a former teacher or college professors. What about trying to get in touch with a teacher that you loved when you were a kid? Or finding that professor that did a lot for you? I have to admit that some of my former teachers and professors are Facebook friends. It is always fantastic to talk to them and remember old times.
- Make a photo album
Nowadays, people rely mainly on their digital cameras to document different moments in their lives. As you may imagine, a lot of pictures end up getting forgotten on hard drives or memory cards. Do you remember those things called photo albums?
Well, in these times you can create more than a photo album. You can create a digital book, a webpage, a blog and/or a scrapbook with your photos. There are tons of services that allow you to print pictures in a lot of different ways. Do something with your photos. They are your treasures. Arrange them proudly so you can always show them in an organized way to others.
- Go to a festival or fair
This one is a no brainer. Every weekend, there is a festival or fair taking place near you. For me, this a unique opportunity to enjoy a day while getting exposed to new and different things. Festivals are full of food, games, parades, shopping, lectures, exhibitions, performances, etc. If you are on a budget, search for the ones that offer free entry.
- Attend a performance
Search for a list of the different performances taking place around your city. Some cities offer free seasonal performances. Attend a play, chill at a concert or enjoy an opera.
- Turn off the TV (or Netflix) for a day
If you love to binge-watch shows, give the TV (or computer or phone) a day off. Plan to do something different with your family. Play games, do homework together, eat dinner at the dining table, read a story aloud or embark on a solo activity. Read that book you have been putting aside, cook a nice dinner, make a new playlist, clean the closet, take a class. There are so many possibilities.
- Learn or improve a skill
There may be a skill you are interested in improving. Or there is that new skill you have been wanting to acquire. Go ahead. Research what is the best way to learn and make a plan. Set aside some time during the week or take a class.
- Hug somebody
I come from a culture where hugs are common. Every time I see my friends and family, I kiss and hug them. When we hug, it is because we want to show our appreciation towards each other. I understand this is not the norm in certain cultures (and some people prefer to keep their distance).
However, you can start with the people close to you. I think it is vital to hug somebody at least once a day. I hug my husband every day. Have you hugged somebody today?
- Do the things you want to do even if you have to do them alone
If there is something you really want to do, do it by yourself. If you wait for somebody to join you, there is the possibility of never fulfilling your desire.
One time, a friend and I talked about visiting Argentina. When I found a great deal, it was not a good time for her. Sometime later, another good deal popped in my inbox. She couldn’t make the money commitment at that time.
I booked the trip anyway. That was my first solo international trip and I had a great time. From that moment, I learned that if there is something I really want to do, I can do it solo if necessary.
- Donate something you don’t use
If you have a material possession that is in good condition and doesn’t use it, you may consider giving it to somebody who can use it. Come on, you know that a lot of things in your house fit the previous description. There are a lot of ways of giving your possession(s) to somebody who may need it.
- Give it to somebody you personally know and is in need of what you have.
- Save it for a future charitable event
- Investigate if the charity of your choice can give it a good use
You can make a person smile today with your act of kindness.
- Visit a place full of flowers
Have you stopped to smell the flowers? We all know that saying has a metaphorical dimension. However, the colors and patterns of flowers can calm the crankiest mood. This can sound cheesy or girlie but have you been surrounded by thousands of flowers in full bloom.
I have visited some wildflower reserves during peak season and it is an experience I would recommend to everybody. So, go check when the wildflowers bloom in your area. Visit a botanical garden, orchid farm or private nursery.
- Try a new fruit
When it comes to fruits, I have my favorites (pineapple, mango, plums, nectarines). Once in a while, I take advantage of the seasonality and buy something different. Or, I visit ethnic markets to see if I can find fresh, exotic fruits. Farmers’ markets are also great places to try different varieties of citrus, apples, and pears. Here are some to try: soursop, jackfruit, durian, blood orange, lychee, rambutan, and persimmon.
- Compete on a local race
Cities (or communities) are constantly arranging walks or runs. Start with short races (5k, 10k). Then, you may consider a marathon or triathlon. You will get a great workout, meet new people and help a good cause.
- Get a massage
I don’t think I have to describe this idea in depth. I wouldn’t mind getting a relaxing massage daily. I am sure there are many businesses offering these services close to where you live (get a referral or take a look at reviews). Hint: don’t pay full price. Check what discounts are available at websites such as Groupon and TravelZoo.
- Get a new hairstyle
We all have seen TV shows were people look amazing after a makeover. I am a person who likes to focus on character and attitude but also believe you should put a reasonable amount of time on looking your best. It is all about balance. When you are not feeling well inside that will reflect on the outside and vice versa. If you have neglected you appearance for some time, I encourage you to take some action. You can start by getting a new hairstyle (or hair color).
- Talk to store employees
I know most of us would describe ourselves as “busy.” We just want to take care of stuff and move on. However, I believe it is important to get connected to people around us. If can be very beneficial to greet and converse with people working in stores, restaurants and coffee shops. You would probably get a better service or great advice on how to save on some items. Plus, remember you are contributing to make someone’s day better.
- Practice gratitude
I know, what gratitude has to do with breaking the routine? Well, if you think about it, a grateful attitude can help you to see situations from a different perspective. Studies confirm how grateful people are more satisfied. You can start by being grateful for all the good things you have in your life, counting the good things that happened on a given day or thanking those who do nice things for you. Imagine the impact that will have in your family or workplace.
- Try an alternative form of transportation.
Do you realize there are many ways to get from point A to point B? You can walk, bike, ride a horse, take a boat, kayak, use a pedal boat or get in a tuk-tuk. Why not use a different mode of transportation once in a while?
- Celebrate when you feel like it
Who said you have to wait for something big to happen to celebrate? If you are feeling joy or won a small battle, why not celebrate? This can be personal (where you do something for yourself) or collective (invite friends to join you).
- Send a letter
In these modern times, this sounds like the most antiquated thing to do. However, this continues to be a nice touch. You don’t have to strain your fingers. A thank you, feel well or congratulating note will do the trick.
- Have a wildlife experience
It is difficult to resist the allure of watching animals behaving in their natural environment. People pay hundreds and even thousands of dollars to get close to certain species. But don’t worry my friends. There is no need to spend an exorbitant amount of money to get in contact with the natural world.
Are there natural reserves or protected areas close to where you live? Is there any institution dedicated to the care of certain animals and open to the public? If I have been able to have some encounters with the wild in the concrete jungle of Los Angeles, I bet you can too.
- Buy some gourmet food
Why not splurge once in a while in some delicious, out of the ordinary food? Think about the mind-blowing flavors of French cheeses, Italian cured meats or Swiss chocolates. Browse for your favorites (or ask for recommendations) in your nearest supermarket or specialty store.
- Taste a different ice cream flavor
Even ice cream is getting a facelift nowadays. It is possible to go way beyond the vanilla, chocolate and strawberry flavors we grow up with. Tasting different ice cream flavors is one of my favorite activities when traveling.
However, there is no need to travel halfway around the world to enjoy a frozen treat. I have discovered flavors such as green tea, lavender and black sesame close to my house. The real question is, which flavor to try next?
- Try a sport
Let me be honest here. Practicing or watching sports is not one of my favorite things to do. Nonetheless, I recognize sports (or any type of active pursuit) are essential for a healthy life. Even though I do not enjoy sports, I have been trying to walk or run around the house (or the beach).
I am also trying to plan day trips involving lots of hiking. It is my way to be in contact with the outdoors while getting a dose of body movement. I encourage you to get active in whatever discipline you enjoy. Or, try interesting things like kayaking, climbing or canyoning.
- Practice the habits of happy people
I am not trying to get philosophical. The fact is that there are tons of scientists, sociologists, and authors trying to discover the root cause of happiness. Even though their findings may not be definitive or apply to every single person on earth, you can use some of their “discoveries” to your advantage.
Practice gratitude. Be engaged in the present. Accept what you cannot change. Sounds like common sense advice, right? Do a little bit of research and start to practice one or two “happiness traits.”
- Call family members once in a while
Seem like many families are all over the place nowadays. For example, I am the only member of my family living in California. That means I am very far from family members living in the East Coast and Puerto Rico. I call regularly my parents and siblings but am guilty of not communicating very often with my extended family. Maybe the same happens to you. What about making a phone call to your favorite uncle or cousin? You won’t regret having news from your loved ones.
- Be positive on social media
When it comes to social media, I love to read the updates of friends who are always encouraging others, posting motivational quotes or finding a funny twist to events. Have you tried to be positive or helpful on social media? Maybe this is the key to better interactions and to attract like-minded people.
- Declutter your house/apartment
Have you thought about reorganizing the closet or worst, the garage? We tend to save stuff we don’t need or use. Why not make the determination to organize, clean, throw and donate? Clutter can slow you down in many ways.
- Host a game night
Repeat after me, games are not only for kids. Friends, food, games, and laughs sound like a fun way to spend an evening. Games to try: Charades, Pictionary, Taboo. There are tons of cell phone trivia apps that can be used in parties.
- Use a new fragrance
Don’t you like when a person walks next to you and you are able to smell their amazing perfume? Some fragrances have the power to awake certain emotions. Go to the store and pick a cologne or perfume that makes you feel good.
- Cook with a new vegetables
Chances are your diet does not contain a wide variety of vegetables. If there are any, they probably are the “standard” ones (tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, onions). Doctors recommend eating colorful vegetables in large quantities. What about trying simple dishes like green bean casserole or eggplant parmigiana?
Or, look for recipes based on seasonal vegetables or vegetables you do not eat that often. The other day I bought snow peas and looked for ideas on how to prepare them. I ended up with a succulent plate of Asian style beef with snow peas. Browse the veggies section in the supermarket and think about the possibilities.
- Enter a contest
What about a little challenge to bring some emotion to your life? Contests can give you a push to be better at something you are already good at. Think about photography, painting or writing contests. Or, get more adventurous by entering a fitness or cooking contest. You may get surprised at the results.
- Plant a tree
When I was a kid, I remember how my siblings and I planted a lemon tree. In a few years, the tree grew wider than taller. Its branches were so full of lemons that we had to give some to our neighbors. Remembering that tree gives me a cozy feeling. Is that weird sensation of contributing to the life of a being. You can get the feeling too by deciding to plant a fruit or an ornamental tree. Or, volunteer for reforestation efforts. I am sure you are going to learn a thing or two.
- Teach one of your skills
Think about it. People will pay big bucks to learn one of the skills you are an expert on. I mean you can charge money to pass on what you got but the idea is to help somebody as an act of kindness, and gratitude. I have volunteered to help elementary school kids with their math skills. It feels amazing to see how your “students” progress every day. There are no limits here. You can teach something to a coworker, help the technology challenged or share instructions on how to prepare a delectable dessert.
- Contact somebody who holds a job or position you are interested in
Before deciding to move to a new position, job or career, it may be a good idea to talk to somebody who can give you a better idea of what you are going to get into. One of two things can happen after talking to that person, you cannot wait to jump into the unknown or you can start to reconsider your initial decision.
,Sometimes we want to take decisions based on preconceptions not facts. Seeing reality through somebody else’s eyes can help us to decide what we really want to do. You may even get some pointers on how to proceed or some contacts to continue your research.
- People watch
I don’t know how to say this but…. people can be really interesting. Nowadays, we miss so much from the actual world because we tend to be connected to our technological devices. Take some time to visit a café, park, fair, cool neighborhood or artist’s area. Sit still for a few minutes and let the world go by. I am sure you are going to laugh more than once.
- Compile your favorite quotes
There are so many quotes that resonate inside me. I tend to save them on a text document and read them when I need a burst of energy. Since these days we have Pinterest, I have a board full of quotes I love. I encourage you to do the same.
- Ride a horse (or take a horse riding classes)
Riding a horse sounds like tons of fun. You can get on a horse riding tour or get proper classes. In that way, you can get feel competent on future rides.
- Listen to different music
Here I am again trying to get you out of your comfort zone. We tend to stick to what we know and like. That can prevent us to discover more things we enjoy.
Music has the power to awaken certain emotions. If we only listen to the same genre, well, it would be difficult to discover other states where music can take us. Try international rhythms like tango, samba or fado. Or, listen to music in other languages and focus on the tone, voice, and cadence.
- Visit a small town close to home
Enchanting small towns are everywhere waiting for visitors with open arms. Some are famous for its culinary contributions, natural surroundings or friendly locals. Plan a short getaway to recharge your batteries. Don’t hold me responsible if you suddenly have a desire to leave the big city to establish yourself in that quaint town.
- Go to a viewpoint
My favorite part of being on an airplane (and I don’t like airplanes in general) is being able to contemplate the ground from the heights. It is simply majestic. A view that we don’t get every day.
But, there is no need to board a plane every time we want to observe the city or the country from a high point. Go to a lookout in your city. Take a look from the highest building. Climb a mountain. Paraglide, hand glide or ride a hot air balloon, if you dare. I bet the view will give you a new perspective of an otherwise known place.
- Organize a volunteer program
Get this into your head. You have more power than you think. You may not be able to collect a million dollars or provide for 500 families but your best effort can make the difference in someone’s life. Enlist your coworkers, family or friends to do something for someone in need or for your community. It is not all about money. People build houses, tutor children, clean beaches, ensure parks security, etc. There are many things that can be done for those around you.
- Try to learn something every day
Those who read (myself included) are always discovering and learning new things. Make an effort to read the newspaper, a magazine or an educational website every day. If you are not so inclined to reading, try to come up with questions about what you see or hear and search for an answer once you get home. Look up words, names or places you hear about.
- Pay attention to funny signs
I love to pay attention to my surroundings. Once in a while, I find interesting and funny signs around. I even like to take pictures of those and save them on a special folder. Well, you don’t have to go to those extremes but an advertising message, menu typo or silly sign can make you smile.
- Don’t wait to do something in the proper setting or time
It looks like certain activities go together with places or times of the year. We eat turkey and pumpkin pie during the Thanksgiving weekend. We make s’ mores around a fire when camping. Summer seems like the perfect time of the year to grill hamburgers and hot dogs. However, there are no rules set in stone (not that I know) that you should do this or that during a specific time. So, if you want to enjoy an activity or dish, don’t wait for the “proper time.” Do it when you feel like.
- Make your own burgers
I don’t know about you but I like my burgers full of flavor. That is why I believe nothing beats homemade burgers. You can have prepare them with different proteins and add as much cheese and bacon as you want. Cook them on the grill i fpossible.
- Rewatch cartoons from your childhood
Maybe you have the same thoughts I have about this topic. When I see the cartoons kids watch nowadays, I am like “Those are so bad. Rainbow Brite, The ThunderCats or Captain Planet were way much better.” If you want take to a second look at those childhood goodies, go to You Tube (don’t ask me how I know) and try to find your old favorites. Somebody crazier than you, have already uploaded the videos.
- Make a friend from another country
Having friends from different countries have elevated my cultural knowledge to another level. I have learned their lingo (not only the proper way of speaking), how to eat their food and details of how they used to live in their countries. I have also gotten a deeper understanding of the history of their lands and even been invited to family gatherings. If you have friends from other countries, I assure you will always be in a constant state of attentiveness.
- Learn how to deal with fear
If you are resolved to have a more adventurous life, you will need to manage your fears. Fear is a primal emotion designed to aid us in perilous moments (help us to run or fight). Therefore, it is always going to be there. The good news is that you have control over the decisions you make in life. So, you can choose to do certain things even if they are scary. The point is making the decision. Don’t let fear paralyze you.
- Get surrounded by positive people
I have spent quite some time with negative people. More than that, a lot of those people became very close to me. Most times, when I commented about going back to school, traveling or changing careers, they had something bad to say.
At one point, I had enough and decided to move on. It was not easy to get distant but I needed fresh air. I believe we have the power to make the best of all circumstances. However, I don’t see why we have to punish ourselves by getting into dreaded territory. If you want to be different, it is better to count on those who embrace your decisions (or advise you from a position of love).
What are other recommendations to break the routine and add more adventure to your life?