9 February, 2018
What do you associate with the word adventure?
Riding elephants in Thailand, skydiving in New Zealand, climbing Mount Everest or foraging through forests in Vancouver – right?
Sure – these are adventures.
But what happens to those of us who are unable to embark upon these types of adventures? Does that mean we’re unadventurous? Certainly not.
Social media leaves us with a twisted perception of what an adventure is, making many of us feel bored and resentful towards where we live.
I want this to change.
So, I need you to know something: adventures can start right on your doorstep – in your hometown.
I’m quite confident that a lot of us take where we live for granted. Well – I certainly did for a long time. After school, 99% of my friends moved away, whilst I remained in Cheltenham. Many who moved still can’t understand why I’m still here, in the ‘Cheltenham bubble’. Well – it’s comfortable here, everybody knows everybody and it somehow has a way of sucking you in. My friends were able to escape, I have not – and you know what? I don’t want to.
It took me a few years to realise this, but I love it here. The impression I had of my hometown was severely tainted by what I saw on social media. Instagram is a constant stream of ‘epic’ photographs taken all around the world. Don’t get me wrong, I love seeing these photographs – they inspire me and give me a peep into what else is out there. But I admit, they used to make me feel quite negative about where I live; I felt as if I wasn’t capable of going on adventures because of location, time and money. This was so wrong of me. And if you do this as well, this is so wrong of you too.
Your hometown. What’s it like? What can you do there? Are there hills, rivers and nature trails? Or is it more urban with high rise buildings, tramlines and roads? Or somewhere in between? Try and understand it. Think of some reasons as to why people would come and visit.
I believe that an adventure can be embarked upon anywhere on this earth.
In my definition of the word adventure, I mention that it’s not just a physical process, but also a mental one. It’s not just about where you are, it’s also about how you feel and what you learn. Being adventurous isn’t just road tripping across the States or climbing Kilimanjaro – it’s also thinking outside the box, trying something new and exploring your mind and body’s capabilities, wherever you are.
(N.B. I’m not saying I’ll never travel around – of course I will. These posts are just to improve our usual everyday.)
My new series of blog posts – ‘How Do You Adventure?’ – are to highlight hometowns from all around the world, giving us an insight into how we can make the most out of where we live. Reading about other people’s hometowns will help you look harder at your own, enabling you to realise that where you live is capable of being pretty awesome – you’ve just got to think laterally, look harder and dig deeper.
Do you want to put your hometown in the limelight? Please send me a message if you would like to be featured.