EVERY YEAR YOU START OUT WITH THE BEST INTENTIONS.
You decide on who you’re going to be, and all the awesome things you’re going to accomplish. Then to show the universe how serious you are, you write it all down on a nice list.
No way to fail now - you wrote that list in pen.
And yet somehow every February finds you up against the ropes, with your hopeful list throwing punch combos you never saw in training. By March you’re already tossing in the towel, claiming that this vicious year has beaten you into submission.
But don’t worry, next year you’ll be back. You’ll rise like a phoenix, run up some stairs with Rocky music playing in the background, and achieve your resolutions. Or at least beat last year’s record of 3 weeks.
Well, this is that year. It’s the year you finally achieve your adventuring goals. And here’s why.
1. Because You’re Running Out of Excuses
Your house is a mess. Christmas is coming up. The kids have rabies. These are just excuses, and they don’t really need to stop you from adventuring. Except for the last one. That last one should stop you.
But telling yourself you can’t spend an afternoon adventuring because you’ve got laundry, or you’re afraid of getting lost – these are excuses.
You have to see them for what they are: things you tell yourself so you can avoid trying something new.
Listen to those voices, hear them out. Then remind them how ridiculous they’re being, and go outside for some kick-ass adventuring.
2. And You’re Running Out of Time
We don’t want to be all doom and gloom, but it’s the truth. The world isn't getting any less awesome, but you are getting older. Time is always ticking, and you always have less of it than the day before.
The thing about adventuring is, you need a body to do it. Waiting until retirement to start your adventure goals might not be the safest bet.
The good news is if you start now, you can help your body stay young into old age. Exercises like walking and hiking have been proven time and again to lower your risk of heart disease even in people at high risk. They also help you stay mobile into your later years.
So next time you find yourself putting off an opportunity to adventure, ask yourself that famous question; if not now, when?
3. You Only Have Yourself to Impress
Adventure doesn’t have to be about digging a pick axe into the ice or free climbing up a cliff.
For some people it is, and that’s fine, but you can go at your own pace. A walk in the woods is more than enough. Even lounging by the water might be plenty of adventure for one day.
Don’t let anyone make you feel like you’re not “adventuring hard enough.” Go as far and as slow as you want. You’ll probably find pretty quickly that no ones there to judge you anyway.
4. You Could Use the Fresh Air
In fact we all could.
Everyone knows the air in cities is a choke fest, but do you realize the air inside your home is probably even worse? Tough to swallow, but studies have shown that indoor air can be up to 100 times more polluted than the air outside. That's because it's full of dust, mold, and furniture toxins.
Even your table is trying to kill you.
So what can you do?
Head for the hills, dear friend. Or the woods. Studies also show that mountain and forest air can boost your immune system, that it has higher levels of oxygen, and that it can help you to destress. You need more of all those in 2017.
5. Finding the Best Hiking Trails Is Easier Than It’s Ever Been
Nowadays getting out into the wilderness is easier than ever. We have cars to take us places, highways connecting you to everything, and websites like Outbound Collective to tell you where all the best trails are.
Their app let's you put in your location, and then tells you where the best adventure spots are nearby. You could wake up in the morning with no plan at all, search some trails, call an Uber, and be knee deep in nature-ville by lunch time.
6. Finding People to Hike With Is also Super Easy
Unless you have dreams of re-living Henry Thoreau's Walden, you don't have to go adventuring all alone.
And we know it can be tough convincing your lazy friends to go with you. We suggest trying anyways - but as usual, if your efforts fail, you can always rely on the internet.
Online groups and apps have made it super easy to find people to hike with pretty much anywhere. Almost every city has a facebook group for local hikers. They're usually easy to join, although you might need to eat a live goldfish for some. Okay not really... you just sign up online and bam, you're in, free to join on adventures, or suggest one of your own.
Apps like Meet Up also have categories for outdoor adventuring, so you can find like minded people no matter where you are. The only time you need to adventure alone is when you choose to, which is totally awesome by the way.
7. You Already Have Everything You Need to Go Hiking
Adventure stores are packed with boots featuring kangaroo paw traction, and jackets meant to keep you dry in a swimming pool. These are nice to have around, but they really aren’t necessary for your average trip into the wilderness. You need surprisingly little to consider yourself ready for some light adventure.
Here’s a few of the more important things:
1. A pair of running shoes (any pair will do, just choose the ones with the fewest holes)
2. A couple of hours
3. An area of nature that seems like a good place to spend those couple hours. This could be a forest, a mountain trail, or a patch of grass with a couple trees.
That’s pretty much it. A first aid kit is a good idea if you're heading way out, but not necessary for every walk through the park. Just don't skip the shoes and water.
8. Instagram Has Created a Generation of Adventurers
There was once a time when hiking was only for people with thick beards and subscriptions to National Geographic. City dwellers would see these rugged mountaineers with their hiking poles and think, “I’d love to do that, but I don’t have the beard for it.”
But those days have long gone. Instagram has officially made adventuring cool for everyone, even people without facial hair. Last week I saw a picture of my hair dresser posing on top of a 1,400 foot peak, and my bank teller posted a shot of her wearing an orange bandana, standing next to a 60-foot waterfall.
I thought she only wore navy skirt suits. Who knew.
9. You Want a Drool Worthy Selfie of You on a Mountain Top
You know it's true. You might deny it publicly, like "Oh I don't need a really awesome selfie of me hanging out above the clouds or surrounded by an enchanting forest. I've got that one of me in the bathroom at the club."
News flash: Bathroom selfies are dead. Adventure selfies are in.
Plus we all know it's not the selfie, but what the selfie says about you that counts.
The first one says, "The most exciting place I've been lately is the bathroom of this nightclub, and it smells like bleach."
The second one says, "I'm living it up on top of a mountain, the view is epic, and I feel fantastic."
See the difference there? Subtle, but crucial.
10. Kids Can Adventure Too
As Kristina Priddle showed us in her interview with People of Adventure, kids can adventure too.
Kids love the outdoors, if you give them the chance to. Sure, if they're really small you might have to carry them, and maybe you can't summit a mountain with a 5-year-old, but adventures can be any size you make them. And any age is the right age, so long as you set reasonable expectations.
Kids learn their behaviours from you, their parent. So if you start taking them outside at an early age, you’ll turn them into active little nature lovers, who genuinely enjoy exercise and interacting with people. Likewise, if you let them sit in the house all the time, then guess what… that’s what they’re going to do when they grow up.
Instead of looking at your kids as obstacles to adventure, look at them as reasons for adventuring. You’ll be surprised how eager most kids are to get outside and go somewhere new.
Just pace yourself. And again, take some tips from Kristina.
11. Because You Spend Way Too Much Time Staring at Screens
We know this get’s said a lot. In fact people have just stopped listening. ‘I know I know, too many electronics.’ But seriously folks, all this screen time isn’t healthy, and it’s starting to show.
It’s time to wean ourselves off the electronics, or at least set aside time when we don’t use them. No one is saying you shouldn’t bring a phone for your hike. It’s great to have in case of an emergency, or in case you see a flower and want to take a picture of it to send all your friends.
By all means take the picture - send the flower to your whole list. Then put your phone away and get back to enjoying your surroundings.
They want you to, by the way. Friends always want pictures of flowers.
Ready, Set, Go Outside
And that's why 2017 is going to be your year.
It's the year you finally dust off your sorry excuses.
It's the year you ditch that bathroom selfie for a forest shot worth huge internet points.
It's the year you start off slow and see what you're comfortable with.
And it's the year you slowly start to take back your health while seeing some of the beauty this ol' world has on display.
And we have to say, we're pretty damn excited for you.