One of M and my goals for this year is to work on our savings. Whilst this is great in the long run, it also means I’m going to have to rather squash my urge for constant adventures in the interim. I’m one of those people who doesn’t quite feel right unless I’ve got my next trip planned, a little tricky when on a limited budget.
I’m sure we’re not alone in this challenge. Static wages and rising costs often mean that adventure falls to the bottom of the priority list. And, often, the simple life is more appealing than regular journeys to the nearest airport. Still, surely all this is an opportunity to get creative and think outside the box?
Become a tourist at home
I know I know, any local finds the tourists in their city frustrating. I know any self-respecting Londoner does. They walk too slow, never seem to know which way to exit the tube and seem to stop every other second to take a photo. Just like I do when I’m on holiday.
But what if you became that tourist when you were at home?
The View from the Shard (yep, I had friends visiting!)
It’s easy to pass over the popular destinations in your hometown. You know how it is, “I’ll go there one day” you tell yourself. “I’ve got plenty of time.” The occasional out of town visitor can kick us into action and nudge us to exploring but, more often than not, this is all too infrequent.
What if, for once, you went out exploring on your own? Head out with your phone on airplane mode and just wander. Resist the temptation to open Google Maps and plug in a destination. Instead, really look at where you live. Immerse yourself in it, just like you do when overseas. You never know what you might discover.
Turn ‘one day’ into today
When I was living in Buenos Aires, I had a lot of North American friends. When, after six glorious months in Argentina, I headed home I promised them that I would visit them at some point. That one day I would make the journey across the Atlantic and tour the USA.
It took two years but I finally did make it there. I had saved up some £££ and was able to travel to NYC, Boston, Montreal, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Chicago, Kansas, Colorado and back to NYC over the course of six weeks. Admittedly, this was a big trip but one that definitely wouldn’t have been possible if I hadn’t been staying with friends the whole time. By turning ‘one day’ into today I was able to have the adventure of a lifetime after completing my masters.
That time we rode around New Orleans on my friend’s tandem bicycle
So, look up that long lost relative who you’ve never met. Get back in touch with the friend you’ve been meaning to call but who lives two thousand miles away. Not only will you probably strike up a wonderful friendship but you’ll discover a whole new part of the world with a local to guide you, on the cheap.
Adjust your attitude
I was on the phone to my friend Kiah the other night, catching up on her recent trip to Ghana, and both of us noted the “oh f*** it” attitude we seem to take when abroad. The attitude that makes you say yes and end up in wonderfully weird places, the kind that have you asking yourself “where the hell am I, and how did I get here?”. The kind that seem like a distant dream the next day. At home? Well, it’s all too easy to reply “oh I really shouldn’t, I’ve got work in the morning”.
Adventure doesn’t have to be something that’s planned, it doesn’t have to be something that only happens when we take a trip. Adventure can be our lifestyle, we can almost make it our everyday. It could mean simply learning something new or trying something different. If we can make adventure an attitude, instead of a destination, then life at home could get far more exciting.
Take a trip down memory lane
I think there’s a tendency, now that travel’s so easily accessible, to feel the need to constantly go go go. We always need that next trip planned in the calendar (Lord knows I do) and can often feel a squirm of discomfort when there’s no adventure on the horizon.
A little trip down memory lane can sometimes be just as fulfilling as actually going somewhere. When craving another trip I often find myself reaching for my laptop and opening up my old photos. For half an hour or so I relive the adventures of the last year or so, finding myself remembering moments that had fallen from my memory.
M and my living room wall has a whole section dedicated to highlights from our trips together. We have Venice, Cape Town, Los Angeles, Rome and NYC. It’s always a happy moment coming home from work, flopping on the sofa and glancing up to a sunset over Table Mountain. We might not to be able to travel each and every day but we can definitely make those adventures last forever, if only we get a little creative.
I have fond childhood memories of pulling out the driveway with a full tank of petrol and my dad turning to me and asking “Where shall we go? Have you got your passport?”. Whilst we never drove much further than the supermarket on those days, I still relish that feeling of so much wonder and possibility at what could be. Even when living in the routine of the everyday.
How do you find adventure, even when on a limited budget?