If you would like to have an adventure, this is for you.

10 steps for Adventure(ing like a responsible adult) :

1. Decide to have an adventure.

2. Invite someone to join you — you can adventure by yourself, but it’s better to have an adventure partner lest you need help climbing up a snow embankment, need someone to grab the broken windshield wiper before it flies away, or someone to walk you to the drug store after you accidentally eat peanuts (this is probably only necessary for those allergic to peanuts).

doing so on social media is encouraged. It allows others to jump in too, if that’s your desire. If you         struggle with control, or really want an exclusive adventure, save posting about it until it’s happening, or after it’s over.

3. Go somewhere. You don’t even have to decide ahead of time. It could be adventuring into a new part of your town (or the surrounding land if you want to get naturey), or it could be the other side of the world.

4. Know how much time you have until you HAVE to be back. Then decide along the way where to go in between. Flexibility is key to adventure.

5. Know how much money you have to spend. If you know you have only $10, my advice is to know what priorities you have: if food isn’t one of them, but entrance to a national park is, then eat from the McDonald’s menu so that you can afford the latter. Be a grown up when it comes to money management, even on adventures. And know when it’s worth it to bend the budget for the sake of an experience/memory.

6. Talk to people. People you know. People you don’t know. Ask people for their suggestions (what’s your favorite drink here? Where do YOU like to get donuts in Portland? What’s your favorite graphic novel, man who is standing in the graphic novel section of Powell’s and looks like he belongs there?)

7. Practice the art of wandering and exploration. This applies in cities and outdoors. Remember what it was like to be a kid, eyes wide with wonder at the world unfolding around you, always excited and curious to know what lay behind the next bend? Practice letting yourself do that again.

8. Take a camera. But don’t spend too much time taking pictures. Make sure you see the beautiful views with your eyes, not just your lens finder.

9. Do some leg work ahead of time if you are going to a place where you know nothing about, but know that there are specific things the place it known for. (Look at possible routes. Look for famous places. ask around for people who have been there. Check your tires before you leave — I would suggest realizing you need a new tire prior to the day before the trip… but that’s still better than realizing you need one when it blows out on the highway. These are hypothetical examples, of course.). But then be willing to let your itinerary go if need be.

10. Enjoy yourself. Even in the mishaps. That’s part of the adventure. And make sure you laugh a lot along the way.

If you are super adventurous and flexible, have no schedule commitments you have to be back for, and have unending funds, follow steps 1, 3, & 10.

That’s how to have an awesome adventure. So go have one. And tell me about yours when you go!

Sharing the adventure stories with each other helps to keep our sense of adventure alive, even when we’re doing the important work of everyday life.

If you missed it, you can read my latest travel adventures from my roadtrip to Portland last week (and see photos of some of the awesomeness we found along the way!).

Joanna O’Hanlon is an adventurer and storyteller. She tries to be honest about the ugly and hard parts of life, and the beautiful parts too. This blog is one of the places she shares her thoughts and stories.

Other places are

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