Explore Later: Strategies to Pursue your Adventures While Indoors

I’m here to help you fend off insanity during the time of covid.

I won’t rehash the current news (since it will no doubt be outdated by the time I post this), but chances are you’ve found yourself inside with some free time on your hands. Perhaps that’s why you’re reading this at all! As someone with the same ability to sit still as a puppy (I need at least a daily walk so I don’t chew up the sofa), I was VERY concerned about being home so frequently. To my surprise, I’ve adapted much better than I thought, and I wanted to share some of the strategies that I’ve used to keep myself busy and inspired. Hopefully this time can be used to reconnect with yourself so you can come out of this refreshed and ready to explore your playground again.

Get inspired by adventure/travel books – Some of my favourites:

  • Into the Wild (by Jon Krakauer) – You’ll either love or hate the main character of this true story about a young man who denounces society to live in the wilderness of Alaska.
  • Touching the Void (by Joe Simpson) – Possibly the most harrowing, unimaginable survival story of our time. A climber in the remote Peruvian Andes must make the decision to sever the rope that connects him to his climbing partner, thereby condemning the other man to death.
  • Into Thin Air (by Jon Krakauer) – A firsthand account of the 1996 disaster on Mt Everest wherein a storm rolled in and killed 8 climbers. See what people face when they take on the tallest peak on earth.
  • Buried in the Sky (by Peter Zuckerman and Amanda Padoan) – A haunting account of the life and culture of the Sherpas who guide European climbers on the world’s deadliest peak, K2, and the disaster of 2008 that left 11 climbers dead.
  • Marching Powder (by Rusty Young and Thomas McFadden) – An account of a coke dealer’s years in the bizarre San Pedro prison in Bolivia, where families live in the prison with the inmates, cells must be purchased from prison real estate agents, and inmates run shops, restaurants, and Bolivia’s busiest cocaine laboratories.

Get motivated by goal setting/inspirational reads – Some more of my favourites:

  • The Compound Effect (by Darren Hardy) – Explores the strategy of achieving your goals through small, smart, and consistent choices. Easy, concrete, and very powerful.
  • 12 Rules for Life (by Jordan Peterson) – Some seriously helpful ideas on how to live your life. This book is the opposite of fluff; it’s concrete, down to earth, and not sugar-coated. Probably the best and most impactful read I’ve had in the last decade. Strongly recommend.
  • 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (by Stephen Covey) – You’ve probably heard of this classic, and with good reason. It contains some very powerful habits that will change the way you think about your relationship with yourself and others.

Bookmark some flight deal websites – for Vancouver locals, these are the ones you want:

  • YVR Deals – regularly posts amazing flight deals and booking instructions using a custom algorithm to find ultra-cheap and ‘mistake’ fares – I book 90% of my travel here.
  • Alexi’s Flights – A mailing list featuring both free and premium options with flights departing from Canada’s three biggest airports: Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver.

Try a new language – You probably won’t end up fluent at the end of this, but exploring a new language on apps like Duolingo can be a lot of fun. There’s an adorable owl to motivate you, and the app feels like a game, which makes logging time really easy.

Find some new music for long plane/car/train rides – Explore the Youtube rabbit hole like Alice in some kind of modern, auto-play Wonderland.

Read up on a new sport – Always wanted to try ski touring? Kite boarding? Bike packing? Sailing? Orienteering? Find out what it takes to start, such as the time and financial investment for gear, rentals, classes, guidebooks, etc. and make a plan to put that time and money aside.

Travel with food – I’m going through an obsession with Lebanese food currently, but I’ve never even tried to make it at home. Now’s the time for some fancy food blogs and quality kitchen time.

Plan the “Big Trip” – Many people have a huge goal on the horizon of their life, whether it’s to climb Denali, travel around the world, camper-ize a van and tour the United States, visit all five continents, see the pyramids, or just move to a foreign country for a year. Take some time now to start the research! What are the steps? How much will it cost? How can you save/raise the money? Do you need any special skills/courses to make it happen? How about visas? What the best time of year to go? In order to hit a target, you must first take aim.

Be grateful for the luxuries of home – Remember how good the first hot shower after a camping trip feels? Try to recapture that gratitude by considering what you wouldn’t have if you were on the road right now. Here are some things I particularly miss when out traveling or camping:

  • Hot baths
  • A large variety of neatly hung clothes from which to choose
  • Food already sitting in my fridge and pantry
  • My dishwasher
  • An in-suite washer and dryer for constantly clean clothes
  • A comfy bed
  • Blackout curtains
  • Consistent wifi
  • Full control of the temperature
  • No insects or lizards creeping around to startle me
  • Lack of critters to eat my food
  • Having my own private space

Take some time to appreciate and reconnect with your home. Do some spring cleaning, rearrange a room, redecorate (now’s a great time to support small and local businesses with some moderate online shopping), or start a home improvement project, like hanging shelves, refinishing some wood furniture, or starting a veggie or herb garden.

How are you staying sane at home? What are some of the activities you’re getting up to now that you didn’t have time for before? What silver linings have you identified? Share your positivity with me in the comments below!

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