Have you stepped out recently, just for kicks, and discovered any new or hidden areas near your home? This may sound like an odd idea, but it can be really fun to go lose yourself for a while, just to see and experience something new. I don't mean getting scary lost, of course. I mean, just go explore or wander around somewhere totally unknown to you, alone or with a friend, with you dog or whole family. The experience will feel adventurous and eye-opening to anyone. Here are some tips to considering when picking a new place to explore:
1) The best time to do this is early in the day, so that you can be sure you'll make it back before dark
2) Give yourself several hours for your adventure, before your next commitment. It's no fun at all if you're rushing this.
3) Be sure to tell a couple of people where you're headed, like a neighbor and family member, if you're really going off the beaten path. Then check in with them when you get home so they know you're ok.
4) Bring a fully charged phone, a map, a compass, a first-aid kit, a flashlight (in case you do get stuck out a bit late), a whistle and plenty of fluids and high-protein snacks.
5) Pick somewhere new but not uncomfortable to you. So if you've never been hiking or camping, don't just venture out into the woods alone your first time. Pick a new park or historic town or beach nearby instead. Somewhere close to civilization and where you will be able to SEE houses, and roads and have cell phone reception in case you do get lost.
6) If you are not outdoorsy, or if the weather's keeping you from enjoying nature, that's ok. There are loads of exciting and very interesting urban and indoor places to explore too: Try a new museum exhibit, or library, or festival or cultural center. I've gotten lost in dinosaur exhibits and street fairs. Most recently, I got lost (on purpose) wandering around Chinatown, and I ended up eating who-knows-what next to a postman from Shanghai who use to be a duck farmer on the Yangtze River. That was pretty cool.
So next time you're itching for some new perspective and excitement, try getting lost some place new. You might find that it's just as refreshing as traveling far away or even going back in time. Even if its just a neighborhood or town away.
Do you like to wander and explore new places?