Introduction by Jen.
There are many ideas that we associate with summer – from beach days to pool days, from vacations away to staycations at home – and yet they all have one thing in common, adventure. While adventures are to be had in any season, summer brings with it feelings of freedom that inspire us to try new things, to take risks, to live spontaneously.
Maybe you’ve lived a summer full of adventures big and small, and this project has helped you to document them.. Or maybe, like me, you are looking back at a quiet summer, wishing you had found more time for the fun things.
That is why we’ve saved this prompt for last – to help you squeeze the last little adventures out of your summer, and to fill those remaining pages in your #littlesummerJOY album.
Our hope is that these memories – and the photos you’ve taken of them, and the stories you’ve written about them – will carry you into the fall with a joyful heart.
I’m Annette and I love adventures! As you will see from my lengthy prompt, I had a lot to say and share. So I hope you’ll stick with me! Living with adventure in your heart is so near and dear to me. It’s one of my favorite approaches to life and it really gets me through some long days and tough times. I hope that by completing this prompt you will be inspired to create your own adventures this season!
So here we go:
I’m thrilled to be a part of this project and to be sharing with you one of my favorite ideas for finding and creating more joy in our summer (or season.) And that is to simply be open to adventure and follow the spark of serendipity where it leads. Keep open to the little delights and moments. I find it is often the little surprises and delights that come from saying yes to an adventure that bring me the most joy. I want you to keep in mind that adventure can be as simple as exploring your neighborhood. It doesn’t have to be traveling abroad or camping out, although those would be fabulous adventures as well!
For the Love of Microadventures
Recently I learned of the term “microadventures” and I fell in love. I may not have it within my lifestyle to go on grand vacations or travel right now and that’s okay. Going on multiple small-scale experiences can really keep the spirit of adventure alive. While researching this idea, I found a master adventurer turned micro-adventurer. He has some wonderful ideas and stories on his blog. I invite you to check it out and definitely check out his Microadventure challenge HERE.
I absolutely love his definition of adventure: “Adventure is a loose word, a spirit of trying something new, trying something difficult. Going somewhere different, leaving your comfort zone. Above all, adventure is about enthusiasm, ambition, open-mindedness and curiosity.” – Alastair Humphreys
I think this definition is definitely attainable for me. Let’s discuss a few of these points further, and see if we can channel an increased spirit of adventure by trying some of these things:
- Try something new // When was the last time you tried something new? Maybe a fun adventure for this season would be to try something new each week for the rest of the summer.
- Going somewhere different // This can be as simple as taking a different way home. Maybe try a photo walk. One summer I grabbed my camera and explored the downtown square of a nearby small town.
- Leave your comfort zone // What is something that has always peaked your interest but you haven’t given it a try yet? This may sound silly, but one season I put on my list: Go to an antique shop. I love them now but for some reason before I gave it a try I was quite leery of them! Leaving your comfort zone doesn’t always have to mean a highly physical activity, although it can include that as well! My sister visited us last summer and sparked our adventurous spirit by exploring new to us locations in our area.
- Enthusiam and ambition // Part of the excitement of an adventure is that enthusiasm that comes along with it. It definitely gives you a boost and can make your adventure so much better. If you are going through a stressful time right now, even small bits of adventure can give you something to be excited about and can help us overcome tough times. This week was particularly challenging for me and my big adventure this week was to take my peppermint tea outside, water the rosemary bush and relax for 10 minutes to watch the sunset. Little moments help calm and refuel me. Maybe it’s a “micro” micro-adventure, but it got me outside and breathing some fresh air. I say it all counts!
On the other side of that, if the situation allows you to make that spontaneous water park trip / beach trip, etc, enthusiasm and excitement are sure to follow! Our first trip to Schlitterbahn Water Park was one of those last minute pack the car and go kinds of trip. And it was awesome! Probably my favorite one! See what you can do to create more enthusiasm in your life.
- Open-mindedness and curiosity // A wonderful resource for stimulating curiosity is Keri Smith’s book “How to be an Explorer of the World.” In it she advises “Everything is Interesting” and “Life is a Scavenger Hunt.” If you haven’t picked up this book yet I really like it because it helps to encourage me to pay more attention to the world around me. You’ll never know what you can find or see through the fresh eyes of curiosity!
Overall, at least in my view, this definition of adventure shows that it doesn’t matter where our adventure is, it is our attitude that matters most.
Make a List
While you are thinking about it, I invite you to make a list. Write down a few ideas for an adventure you can take this week. Write it in your planner, your journal, on a sticky note or wherever makes you happy. This is similar to the Summer Manifest challenge in Lesson 1. If you completed that challenge, you can pick one of the items on that list and make it happen! There’s still time to make a few more adventures in your summer!
If you need a few more ideas, here are a few to get you started:
- Join in with the #microadventure challenge this week! On August 13th the Perseid meteor shower will occur.
- Water adventures: try kayaking or canoeing. Make a pledge to “get in the pool” as Ali Edwards calls it. Make plans or just go on that water park adventure / beach / lake adventure you’ve been meaning to do.
- Go for a hike or a camping trip.
- Do a scavenger hunt.
- Not outdoorsy? What about a new restaurant adventure?
- Try the “no plans” adventure: just go somewhere. Wherever inspiration strikes! You’ll never know where you’ll end up: last time we tried this we ended up getting an awesome parking place right in front of a restaurant specializing in grilled cheese! These are some of my most favorite adventures.
- Take a walk and explore your own neighborhood or city. Play tourist. Go on a photo walk. Try using an Instax or Polaroid or shoot with a different camera or lens than you usually do. If you usually use your phone, grab the big camera and vice versa. Pick a theme to look for or scavenger hunt to inspire curiosity.
- Backyard adventures: literally in your backyard. Turn on the sprinkler or have a water balloon fight. Watch a movie outside. Make s’mores! Make it a memorable summer with little adventures right at home.
- Is it winter in your part of the world? Bundle up and take adventures outside or snuggle up for some adventures at home! Maybe have an adventure in hot cocoa making and try various versions of your favorite treat? Have fun with it.
“The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure.”
— Joseph Campbell
Now that you might have an idea of adventures you want to try, the next step is to say yes! Make the plans. Pack the bags. Keep it simple. Enjoy the journey.
(Note: these are always fun photos to take: try taking photos of the car packed, or looking down at your feet with your bags ready to go. Getting ready for the adventure can be an adventure!)
Don’t worry if all your plans do not work out. Keep this in mind: failed plans are not failed adventures. Keep safe and do what you need for you and your family. Keep the spirit of adventure alive, but know when to let it take a nap too. Sometimes the timing isn’t right for something big. Is there another path to take or another adventure to make? It’s all in the attitude!
Adventure Challenge One |
Make a list of all of the adventures you want to take. It can be simple or complex. Make plans to make them happen.
I can’t wait to see and read your manifestos so please use the hashtag #littlesummerjoy so I can follow your journey. For my friends that are documenting winter we have created #littlewinterjoy. (I do ask though that you use both hashtags so that we can see your participation in the group.) I also hope you try this stamp technique throughout your project.
If you have any questions at all, or want to share your manifesto, please do not hesitate to leave a comment in the Lesson Six community.
Annette will be back each day this week adding another adventure challenge to this week’s prompt so be sure to check back throughout the week. We’d love to hear some of your ideas for adventures! Share your list in the Lesson Six community or tag your summer adventures on Instagram using the #LittleSummerJOY so that we can share our favorites with the LPP community.