Last weekend I was in one of those funks; you know, those ‘I’m so bored’, ‘I’m so broke’ moods that make it hard to get excited about anything. It had been a long week of job searching and money woes, so I was pretty much ready to throw in the towel and waste away my weekend in a haze of doing nothing.
It’s easy to fall into the why-bother mindset. Trust me, I know. A long, hard week can easily lure you into thinking you deserve to do nothing for the whole weekend. Avoid that trap! Even though it might feel like it at the time, doing nothing is not a reward!
Remember when you got sent to time out when you were younger? Remember how awful it was to be stuck staring mindlessly at the wall while you sat in limbo?
I’m going to voice an unpopular opinion here and say this: binging on Netflix and chips is not a reward. The activity just disguises itself in an attractive package. Sure it’s worth doing every once and a while (maybe more than we’d all care to admit), but wouldn’t it be great to have a better story to relay on Monday morning when the inevitable ‘so how was your weekend?’ question comes up?
So while it can be hard to imagine while you’re sprawled out on your bed aimlessly flicking through Instagram or watching your fifth hour of Gilmore Girls, you really will feel better if you get out of bed, slap on a pair of sunglasses, and go on a little adventure.*
*Emphasis on little.**
To prove it, here are eight weekend adventure ideas that I love and use myself when I’m feeling too lethargic to get creative. Let’s go, guys:
Chase the horizonAn easy way to kick-start a mini-adventure: pick a spot in the distance and try to get there! If you’re in the city, start from a tall office building and choose a new park or interesting landmark. If you’re somewhere without tall buildings, try a decent hill or mountain (or even Google Maps in a pinch!).
Book a day-long bus or train tripNot only does a bus or train trip take away the stress of driving yourself, but a quick trip is a great reminder that not every adventure involves a plane, tons of money, and a lot of time. Take a look at the cheapest Greyhound, Megabus, or Amtrak options from where you are.
Give Geocaching a tryGeocaching has gotten more and more popular in recent years, making it also certain there’s a chance to give it a try, no matter where you are. For those who don’t know, geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. With small caches hidden around the world, geocaching is a great adventure to try wherever you are.
Go on a street art huntPick a new place in town to visit and make a point to find and photograph at least 3-4 examples of street art or graffiti. There’s nothing better than a graffiti hunt to get you wandering down unexplored side streets, camera in hand. Trust me, that’s not nearly as sketchy as I just made it sound.
Crash a meetup gatheringI’ve recently discovered the fun of joining Meetup groups and can’t wait to join the perfect event. I love the sheer variety of groups and events on offer, even in a lot of the smallest towns. Not only will Meetup open you up to events you might not have known about, but you’ll also make a few new friends along the way!
Camp in the nearest national parkYou’d be surprised just how many protected areas there are within 100 miles or so of any given city. Put those preserved areas to good use: toss a tent and snacks into your car, drive an hour or three, and enjoy a weekend in nature. You’ll feel refreshed, revitalized, and – after a good scrub-down – ready to tackle the week ahead.
Close your eyes, point to a map, and goI’m a big fan of this mini-adventure – whether you’re walking around in a big city or hopping in a car to head out into the country, you’re almost certain to discover something new. Wherever you’ve chosen, you’ve got to go. Make a day of it by grabbing lunch at the nearest restaurant or picnicking in the nearest open space. If you’d like to make the exercise a bit more controlled, go digital and use Google Maps to zoom in on an appropriately limited area.
Make a pilgrimage to the area’s most haunted placeNot for the faint of heart, exploring local haunted areas is the perfect adrenaline-fueled mini-adventure. Most towns have at least two or three local haunts (ha!) known for their paranormal activity and they’re usually not places you’d normally venture. Bonus points if you can find a brave tour guide to take you. Double bonus points if you see some paranormal activity.
What small adventures have you undertaken to get to know where you live better? Remember: if you try any of these, be sure to tag them on Instagram with #LLLADVENTURE!