Friday, February 12, 2010

Tips for a Successful Adventure

We have had our share of adventure busts - sometimes we get lost and never actually find our way to our adventure destination, sometimes we over-hype the destination, sometimes we push an adventure too hard. For every let-down, though, we've probably had 4 or 5 fun stories. We've come up with a list of things to make sure you do if you're in the mood for an adventure or two:

1. Make sure you actually want to have an adventure
This seems like it's common sense - of course you want an adventure if you're going out looking for one! But, sometimes when we get bored we think that what we really want to do is get out of the house and find some adventure! When, in reality, all we really want to do is eat ice cream and watch a "To Catch a Predator" marathon. When we have tried to force ourselves to have an adventure in the past, it never turned out well. So, make sure you're in the right mood before you leave the house.

2. Pick the right weather!
One summer, a few years ago, Caitlin and I went on a drive at least twice a week with the intent to get lost and then find out how to get home. Most of the time, we found wild places we never would have known about and had a lot of fun. During this time, the air conditioning in my car stopped working but we thought that we could just keep the windows open as we went out to lose ourselves on an 85 degree day. We ended up being miserable. Our legs stuck to the seats and we looked gross and no matter how fast I drove, we couldn't kick up enough wind to cool ourselves off. I have a rule that I don't go on the highway with my windows open (to save gas, of course) so we just drove around the hot city, next to the hot exhaust of other cars, stopping at red lights and suffocating from the lack of air. Not the best conditions for an adventure. Rain or snow is also rough because rain means that you usually have to stay in the car and snow means that you could get stuck somewhere unfamiliar.

3. Put good music on!
Neither one of us sits on a high horse named "Music" so what we mean by "good" is anything that you can sing along to. Yes, sometimes this does mean Nickelback. Any drive to find adventure can be made shorter by singing loudly and the harsh blow of an adventure bust can be lessened by some all star performances on the drive home.

4. Keep your expectations low
Unless you are expecting to visit the kookiest place on earth and find yourself at the Wilhelm Reich Museum, the chances that you will fulfill and overflow your expectations of a place are slim. The best adventures always happen when you least expect them! So, don't go to a cemetery being convinced that you'll see a ghost or to an abandoned house where you're convinced you'll meet a homeless veteran who has one eye and remembers you from a Dio concert. The best plan is to get in the car and drive. We promise you'll find something great eventually.

5. If you have a place in mind, get directions and give yourself plenty of time to get there
Even though we have rule #4, we often find ourselves getting super excited about a place we plan to go to. Usually, when our excitement is at its peak and our minds start running wild with crazy ideas, it gets really dark and we have to make the executive decision to go home before we get really lost. Or we end up driving in circles for an hour because we can't actually find where it is we want to go. The first time we actually learned from these mistakes was when we went to the Our Lady of Fatima Community Shrine. We had perfect directions and gave ourselves about 2 hours of extra daylight, just in case we screwed them up. It was probably the first time that we never got lost - it was great.

6. Take pictures!
Your memory isn't perfect so you'll want to have pictures - both to remind yourself of what it was like and to remind yourself that you were actually kooky enough to do whatever it is you did.

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