One of the things I love the most about being in a new place is getting to explore the surrounding area. I love to hike and be out in nature, so whenever I move
somewhere new I try to find places to hike or just be in nature. This doesn’t just have to be when I move—sometimes I get the urge to explore my hometown area that I have known for years and it is just as rewarding.
Summer is an amazing time to get outside and do fun activities that get you active (going along with my last article on working out when life feels crazy). For me, my outdoor activity of choice happens to be hiking—it is something I can do alone or with other people that can become a shared experience or a quiet, solitary time alone.
Exploring your area just for a few hours on a weekend is extremely rewarding. Getting outside and being okay with getting a little lost along the way has been some of the most fun I have ever had. Being in an environment that gets me away from the hustle and bustle of city life is truly a breath of fresh air.
A little disclaimer: exploring your area doesn’t just mean getting outdoors and hiking, biking, etc. Exploring your area can mean finding cool hole-in-the-wall restaurants that you’ve never heard of, walking downtown and going into little shops, getting out on the water (if you happen to be near it), or anything else that gets you out of your daily routine.
It is really easy to get into a routine rut—you get up, go to work or school, come home, eat, watch television, get on the internet, go to bed, repeat (or something of that nature). Making sure you take the time to get out and do things that are out of the ordinary is important for your mental and emotional health.
I know that for me the best way to explore is to go with one or two friends and make a day of it—start with no specific expectations and let the day be what it may. I like to get up early and go hiking or out shopping. Allowing your mind to take a mental break from the stress and confines of your daily routine is important to being healthy. Plus, getting out of your chair is good too. Getting into a routine can be comforting, but if you allow it to it can make your life mundane and stale. You only get one life to live, so you might as well make the most of it.
Plus you never know, you may end up finding your favorite place in the world—an awesome hidden gem of a coffee shop, a beautiful trail in the mountains, or an adorable antique store. The world is your oyster, and you never know what you may find if you don’t get out and see for yourself. Build relationships with others or with yourself.
So, my challenge for you is to go explore somewhere new this week—stop in a random neighborhood or park you always say you’ll stop at one day, try a new coffee shop, map out a new hike—and commit to it. I guarantee that you will have an adventure, and oh the places you’ll go.