What Now? Life After a Season of Adventure

If you’ve had the opportunity to travel at all- even to a city nearby or across the world you know the thrill that accompanies tires rolling across open roads, or the excitement that shows up in your heart racing as fast as an aircraft down a runway or the contentment that we feel as the soles of our favorite pair of shoes wear thin across cobblestone streets. Adventure. I think the desire to explore is ingrained in each of us to some degree. For some of us, we uncover that desire through traveling, but what happens when buying a round-trip ticket to Italy isn’t exactly doable? Here are a few ways to find adventure in every day:

One // explore locally 

Oftentimes we overlook some of the greatest places in our own neighborhoods because we focus on where we’re not. Of course, I daydream about walking down the street to stumble upon La Menagerie just to grab a foamy cappuccino and listen to the clamor of an Italian cafe during its busy hours. But I’ve found this robs me of being present and making the most of where I am now. I’ve been at university for nearly four years and just a few weeks ago I happened to find a new favorite coffee shop with cappuccinos that closely resemble the ones I had in Florence. You never know what hidden gems you’ll find if you take the time to look for them.

 

two // cook a meal

One of the easiest ways to transport yourself to another culture is by cooking. One of my favorite parts about traveling was trying the specialties in each country. It’s amazing to me that each culture has a unique set of values surrounding the dinner table. Flavors and conversations so distinct in each new city that by cooking a simple meal can bring back a flood of memories. Grab a few friends, cook a meal together and reminisce on some of your favorite places you’ve traveled to.  Recently a friend and I cooked a recipe that we had learned in a cooking class we took abroad. We chatted over a delicious eggplant recipe, some red wine, and of course, a playlist that accompanied our fond memories of life in Italy. 

 

three // read a book

 

It’s so easy to pick up our phones and see who’s where and what they’re doing. We’re more connected now than ever, but I sometimes find myself envying the travels of a friend or my favorite bloggers wishing for more adventurous days ahead. Rather than picking up my phone to scroll through Instagram, I’ve been grabbing a book. This is a simple way I found adventure as a child, and I think there is something so beautiful about returning to a place of contentment through reading. Allowing ourselves to get lost in the pages of a story will allow us to feel a part of something, even when we’re feeling stagnant when we pick the book up. 

 

four // pencil it in 

 

Designating a day for adventure. This is something I want to do more of. Because I’ve experienced the fullness of adventure and the pure joy that is woven within, I want to find more ways to activate the same excitement I felt when my life surrounded the subject of travel. Plan an adventure with friends. Set aside a day on your calendar to do something new- give yourself something to look forward to. Whether that’s a road trip to a city within driving distance, maybe it looks like taking photos in a location you’ve been eyeing or visiting a restaurant you’ve always wanted to but never had the time to- set a date and do it! After living in Portland over the summer and practically seeing and doing everything you’d ever dream of seeing or doing in the Pacific Northwest, I wasn’t sure what to do with my last few days in the city. So, a few friends and I bought disposable cameras and spent a day doing rather ordinary things and used these cameras to document our so-called adventures (a trip to Target and the purchase of a kiddie pool included). Something rather ordinary became one of my favorite memories because we declared our day to be an adventure- and so it was. 

 

five // stay inspired 

You know how you’re uniquely inspired. Whatever it is that inspires you- do it. And don’t stop at just gaining inspiration, make a plan to implement it. Create a dream itinerary or make a moodboard that captures what you’re feeling. Read a book, light a candle, learn a new language, listen to a podcast- find adventure in the small things so when the opportunity for big adventure comes your way it seems even grandeur that you could’ve imagined. 

 

I’ve found it difficult after studying abroad and living in a new city over the summer to be content with where I am now. It’s hard to be honest about feelings of longing without being accompanied by a feeling of guilt. Some people never have the opportunity to travel, I am so grateful that I have had that opportunity. But I don’t think these feelings are uncommon. Post traveling blues are real, and what I’ve mentioned above are a few ways I’ve found that have allowed me to take what I’ve learned while traveling and implementing those lessons into my “normal”, everyday life. I think rather than sitting in our nostalgia we should use that as a catalyst for finding adventure in each day. Its definitely okay to reminisce, but don’t let it stop you from living in the now.

How do you find adventure in every day?