By Michael Kimmel | Life Beyond Therapy
Does your life feel too boring and predictable? Maybe you need to have an adventure. If you have a little time and a bit of money, that’s all you need. People think that you need to spend a lot of money to go away on some big, expensive vacation to have an adventure. Not so!
Here are two definitions of “adventure” that I like: 1), An unusual and exciting experience or activity, and 2), the exploration of unknown territory.
Defining what’s unusual (e.g., fresh and new) for you may not be the same for your friends. What excites you — not someone else — is what matters. As someone who likes to explore unknown territory on a regular basis, I have made my life full of adventures. Let me tell you about a few of them.
Every now and then, I reserve a hotel room for a night or two somewhere in the greater San Diego area. Recently, I stayed overnight in Imperial Beach and explored the area, especially the amazing wildlife preserve and beautiful beaches there. A few weeks ago, I stayed at a hotel in Temecula for a couple of nights, exploring the horse farms, wine country, Old Town, museums and thrift shops (they have some really good ones).
In recent years, I’ve had one-day or two-day adventures in places like Escondido, Murrieta, Yuma (Arizona), El Centro, Fallbrook, Valley Center, Alpine and Brawley. Yeah, these aren’t places where most of my friends or clients typically go, but, so what? I like an adventure and I like them fairly often.
I know that some people wait a year or so to save up for a big, expensive vacation in glamorous places like Paris or New York City, and, hey, why not, if that’s what makes you happy? But, these same people often spend months talking about how bored they are with their jobs and can’t wait for their next vacation — so why wait?
If money or time is tight, make your adventure smaller (and cheaper) but let yourself still explore unknown territory. Last week, a friend of mine and I had a half-day adventure walking along the San Diego river behind the On The Border restaurant in Mission Valley, it was free and beautiful, then we had a reasonably priced lunch.
Some days — for a short and inexpensive adventure — I’ll go to a bargain matinee movie and have a nice lunch after. Or I’ll go to museums in Balboa Park. Many are free to San Diego residents on Tuesdays, did you know that?
And, of course, you can walk in that world-famous park every day, and the arboretum and Timken Museum are always free and gorgeous.
You can even have an adventure closer to home. Instead of taking a short walk around your neighborhood, extend your walk. Make it an hour-long walk, or, even braver, a two- or three-hour walk. You can also take the bus or trolley somewhere you haven’t been (like Lakeside, La Mesa or the San Ysidro border) for very little money. You don’t even have to get off the trolley to have your adventure!
Many of us are sometimes bored or lonely. We sit at home, watch too many reality TV shows and spend so much time on our phones that we forget that there’s an amazing world out there, just waiting for us to come and explore.
Your adventure could be joining a Meetup group, taking a class at the LGBT Center in Hillcrest, or going to a free lecture or concert at SDSU or UCSD. In most cases, it’s really not about money, it’s about adventure — you just need a little time and a bit of motivation.
Whenever you do something new or exciting, there’s always a bit of fear. As you contemplate having an adventure, acknowledge that you may be a little scared, but don’t let it stop you. Feel the fear and do it anyway.
Enjoy your adventure(s)
— Michael Kimmel is a licensed psychotherapist who specializes in helping LGBT clients achieve their goals and deal with anxiety, depression, grief, sexually addictive behavior, coming out, relationship challenges and homophobia. Contact him at 619-955-3311 or visit lifebeyondtherapy.com.