The how-to guide for adventuring solo

Take time for you, yourself, and you


Mission Dolores Park, SF//July 2016

Mission Dolores Park, SF

Summer is an amazing time to catch up with old friends, or dive headfirst into a new internship. But it’s also a perfect opportunity to adventure free from the confined monotony of school and work. Road trips, beach days, and camping are great activities to do with friends, but equally important is making time for a personal adventure day. Whether it’s a woodsy hike or a city excursion, it’s both exhilarating and therapeutic to take the day off and adventure on your own, exploring new territory both outside your body and within yourself.

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Hudson River, NYC

Ignore time

Try to adventure on a day when you don’t have anything else planned. Otherwise, you’ll be constantly checking the time, and free-flowing thoughts will be clouded by “Okay, I have to leave here at X time to get back there by X time, and then have enough time to get ready to leave for X event in X location at X time, so I only have X amount of time for XYZ…”

Being on a schedule defeats the purpose of simply wandering, purposelessly.  Our days of strictly regulated with to-do lists crowding every waking hour, so escaping your itinerary, even for a day, will give your mind invaluable breathing space.

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Andrew Molera State Park, Big Sur

Stow your phone far, far away

Definitely have it with you, or a camera, in case you want to document something special, but don’t freak out about being plugged in the whole time. Some of my most relaxing moments have been after my phone died while roaming San Francisco. Yes, it’s initially a bit nerve-wracking, but remember, people did once survive without Google Maps.

That being said, if this step seems a little too scary for you, take a portable charger with you, or a wall charger and step into the nearest Starbucks when you’re getting low. Also, you can preemptively put your Iphone on Low-Battery mode in Settings, before it hits 20%, to extend your battery life for a few extra hours.

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Sequoia National Park, CA

Roam around

Don’t drive or take the train or bus; these forms of transportation are meant for convenience and speed, so they whoosh you by everything. Try taking it easy, on your own two feet. Even if you walk along the same avenue that you drive down everyday, I guarantee that you will notice things on foot that you’d never see going 60mph in your car.

Also, don’t roam in a straight line. If you take certain streets to a museum or cafe, detour a couple of blocks and follow a different route on the way back. If you’re in the wilderness, venture off the beaten path. #literally

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Clarion Alley, SF

Find cool stuff to do

I am 100 percent for uncharted rambling, but if you’re exploring a totally new area, there’s no harm in doing a bit of research beforehand. Bookmark a local boutique or restaurant for lunch, anything that seems interesting and will help you maintain a sense of direction. Also, find out if any one-time events are happening, like farmer’s markets, street festivals, art exhibits, poetry readings, etc.

 

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Greystone Mansion, Beverly Hills

Talk to someone random

The girl lounging under a tree with her guitar, that guy sitting on bench staring dully at his shoes, say hi. Strangers, I believe, are a lot less rude and scary than the stereotypes people use to envelop them.  A construction worker will more than likely be happy to give you directions to his favorite sandwich shop, and that older couple in the park would probably love to tell you tales from 60 years ago, of their growing up in the region you’re just beginning to discover. Exploring a place includes meeting its people, listening to their stories and welcoming perspectives that expand your own. Remember, a simple hello can brighten any lonely day.

Cape May, NJ // June 2015

Cape May, NJ

Don’t rush

For some people, relaxation is spontaneous yoga or a spa day. If you’re like me, it’s laying in the park with notepad in hand and falafel in mouth. So sit on a bench and people watch, or climb to the top of buildings and mountains and take in the view. Find your paradise, and give yourself time to enjoy it.

Ali Baba's Cave, SF

Ali Baba’s Cave, SF