This is the original introduction to the 2010 Everyday Adventures campaign.
How to Have an Adventure Every Day
By Laura Tomlinson*
What defines an adventure? Is it swimming an ocean, walking across a continent, cycling through inhospitable mountain passes? Or can it be at the mundane level of the everyday?
After several adventurous years, I finally settled down to a steady office life. However, it didn’t take long to become increasingly frustrated with the people around me, many of whom seem to be dissatisfied with the direction their lives are heading. They talk to the same people, go to the same pub and watch the same TV shows every day. Safe, secure, stable…but ultimately rather depressing. Unable to drop everything and escape, I quickly resolved to avoid this predictable drudgery, and started to look for things to make life more interesting. I began to explore the local area by going running at lunchtime, I joined the choir despite not being able to hold a note, and went to every work social I could. So what if I spent one dreary evening with a military history enthusiast? I also met some fascinating people, saw new areas of the city and learnt that even a bad voice can be drowned out.
Typical talks, films or books on the theme of ‘adventure’ leave me feeling restless and agitated. In theory, any of us could drop everything in pursuit of an exciting expedition but for the vast majority of us, real life kicks in and the excuses come flooding in thick and fast. Money worries, relationships, family ties, careers, fitness…real life can easily get in way of taking off for a few months to follow a dream.
The last few months have shown me that adventure doesn’t have to be accompanied by a big fanfare. Risk, excitement and the unknown can all be woven into the fabric of a more conventional life, without necessarily abandoning existing commitments and activities. Even the most basic variation of the usual routine can help you reclaim the thrill of adventure, and building small risks and challenges into your everyday life adds a bit of fun and excitement.
Over the next few months, try having an ‘everyday adventure’. Talk to someone you don’t know in the office, eat at a new restaurant or at a different time, or come out of the station from a different exit. Try cycling to work. Try taking a different route to work. Sign up for an event you’ve not done before – a run, a swim, a cycle, a dance class. Just do something that is a bit out of the ordinary, which will make the day that bit more memorable and that bit more exciting.
What defines an adventure? Whatever you want it to be, whenever you want it to happen, wherever you can cram it in.