8 Ways to be a Weekend Adventurer (When You Can't Afford a Plane Ticket)
I fancy myself an adventurer, to be sure, so nothing quite takes the wind out of my sails like feeling as though I can't afford a trip abroad. I live for travel. I loooong for travel. I love every piece of it, from the planning to the unpacking. But being an adventurer, I've been learning, doesn't have to always be synonymous with travelling abroad. In fact, there's a ton of adventuring to be done in your very own backyard.
Here's a few of my fave ways to be a weekend adventurer - at least when I can't afford a plane ticket ;-)
1. Sight-see your own city
We often overlook what's going on right under our noses in pursuit of the more exciting "out there" but it's worth a second glance. I guarantee there's some fun, even touristy things to do right in your own city. Heck! It's entirely possible there are attractions other people actually come there to see. So get out and discover them all!
2. Take a mini road trip
Find a friend, fill up the gas tank, and pick a direction. Promise to follow any interesting sign to nearby towns or attractions and just go! Don't plan. You can be home by dinner!
You might be surprised how much there is to find just beyond your normal routes and routines. Agree to pull over at every pretty photo spot, every hilarious sounding museum, every inkling either of you gets. Don't be afraid of getting a little lost - you may find something magical along the way.
3. Hop a bus
Hop a bus or grab a ride-share (check FB groups) to a nearby city or town you've never visited. Don't over plan it, just pack an overnight bag and figure it out when you get there. Try couchsurfing, find the cheapest motel imaginable (hey, bug bites heal and they make for a funny story, right? ;-) ), or pack a tent along. Most of life's fun is found in the unknown!
4. Have a theme party
Pick a continent or country you'd love to visit and have food and decorations in style with that place. Take all of the senses into consideration to really transport you and your friends - sights, smells, food, drink, colours and even lighting can all transform your apartment into a faraway place. Your choice whether it's somewhere you've been and you're showcasing it to all your friends, or if it's somewhere you're longing to go but can't make it to just yet.
5. Go camping
Going camping is like an automatic reset. Maybe it's not quite as exciting as exploring a new land, but it feels good to get immersed in nature for a while. Eat all of the camping foods - heck, it's almost like you're eating the food of another culture, amiright? When else in regular life do you spend so much time cooking, eat heaps of hot dogs (like way more than seems normal in any capacity), s'mores, corn on the cob, ALL of the potato chips, and way WAY too much beer? Ya, get camping. It's the BEST.
Try bringing a book that immerses you in some faraway land for an extra dose of wanderlust. And don't forget to stargaze, tell campfire stories, and put the cellphone away (even for taking pictures) at least some of the time. Consider renting a vintage trailer to really mix it up!
6. Try something new
Anything! Cross country skiing, Ethiopian food, bungee jumping, salsa dancing, poetry reading...anything new is an automatic adventure with the right attitude. If you've got a bit of cash to spare, find a cool music festival, go to a fancy new restaurant (dress up and be your alter-ego for the night!), go to the races, or head to the worst best bar in town. Just switch it up.
7. Set a new goal
Consider a colour run or a mud race or an urban race - anything that challenges you physically and mentally. If you're feeling really bold, train for a competition. You're guaranteed to come out of it feeling like a super badass, ready to take on the next adventure that comes your way!
8. Climb a mountain
Nothing gives you a rush of accomplishment and adventure than scaling a new mountain, I swear. No mountains nearby? Go for a paddle-board, a kayak, rent a canoe, snowshoe, cross-country ski, walk every path in a park in the city, go for a bike ride somewhere you don't usually go. Just get outside and get active. You'll definitely find an adventure - and solo adventure can be some of the most rewarding. Bonus points if you take kick-ass photos in full Wonder Woman pose (or Superman, for the dudes) pose.