How often are you able to get out on a two week vacation? Once a year? Twice a year? Once every three years? Never? I ask because it seems that this is the expectation many of us have for travel and adventure. The problem is, we need time and money to get to those far off places we circled on the map. It takes time and money to get to that island in southeast Asia, find the perfect powder in Japan, or see an iconic view from the top of a mountain in South Africa. While many people choose to cram a year's worth of adventure into that one big trip, this is not the only way to get adventure in your life. Sure, you can spend your entire travel savings on an expensive plane flight, drinks around the resort pool, and dinners out. You can hoard vacation time, spending most weekends doing laundry, watching some netflix, and crossing off the days until your next adventure. (365 is a lot of days to cross off!) I also used to think that serious travel had to involve a passport a big ol' dent in my savings account. I thought that getting as far away from home as possible meant I was really breaking out of my comfort zone. Trips close to home seemed too easy and unexciting. The problem is, my bucket list is long and always growing. While I do manage to get at least one two week vacation in every year, how can this alone satisfy my wanderlust?! Do I have to quit my job and become a full time traveler to feel like a real adventurer?
Recently, I have started to look at travel and adventure as quite different things. It isn’t necessary to travel very far to explore. We can find adventure in our daily life, on weekends at home, or a quick road trip away. Passport stamps are not requirements for amazing experiences. While I love, love, love traveling abroad and am currently planning a trip to Thailand, I have a huge appreciation for smaller adventures. My friends and I have gotten pretty good at taking advantage of our evenings and weekends. It seems that each year we find new ways to explore. While we are each pretty adventurous on our own, we definitely step up each others’ game. About five years ago one of our friends decided to throw a year in pictures party. Everyone was asked to contribute a few photos which he projected on a big, white sheet in the backyard. Looking past on a year of adventures, big and small, I became even more grateful to have these people in my life. We enjoyed this idea so much, we have turned the year in pictures party into an annual event. This year we had a smaller group in attendance (probably because the others were off doing something equally fun) but we had just as many laughs.
To give you an idea of the potential for finding great adventures on a budget, without a lot of time, and staying mostly close to home (this is relative, I know) I thought I would show you in my own little year in pictures party, right here on the blog. Next week I'll share one photo from each of our weekend adventures (all of which I went on, so as not to exaggerate), and a selected few from microadventures taken during the week. Be sure to check back next week or sign up for the mailing list so you don't miss out.