My twenty-year-old niece visited us this past weekend and was brave enough to babysit Mitch and Drew (thanks again, Beth!) before she flew back to the Midwest for a week. Then she comes back for more adventures in North Carolina. And yesterday, my nephew turned 18! Holy cow, and happy birthday, Brandon!
It all reminded me about the way I was at that age, and how I could’ve used some advice about getting the most out of life and not being afraid to try new things. So of course, I had to put together a list!
Here are my Tips for Having an Adventure (at any age!):
- Consult a map to get the general lay of the land, then toss it in the back seat. You can use it later, but don’t be afraid to drive around, see the sites, and maybe even get lost. You’ll find your way back out.
- Talk to a stranger. Not the weird, creepy strangers you might see on a darkened corner, but people maybe in the same restaurant or street you’re on, people doing something interesting too.
- Pack a snack and some drinks. But don’t overpack. You’re going to want to get out and try the local food.
- Always get the specialty at a restuarant — the dish the place is famous for. Or if they don’t have a famous dish, as the waiter for his or her favorite one. And always, always try the beer brewed there.
- Step outside of your comfort zone and go places by yourself. Eating alone at a restaurant isn’t bad at all if you have a good book or magazine to read.
- Go to a show or concert or reading someplace you’ve never been.
- Go somewhere with someone you’ve never done much with in the past, and get them to talk about themselves.
- Ask questions. Be an inquisitive reporter about human nature, and realize that each person you meet holds an amazing depth of knowledge on this topic.
- Make a list of the 100 things you want to do in your life, and then make a plan to achieve these things. Include crazy stuff. Aim high.
- Never settle. Be happy but not satisfied. Be content, but always restless. Learn all you can, because you’ll find out that there’s always much, much more to learn.
Now… what have I left out? Let me know in the Comments section!