Hey lady! I’m so glad Part 1 resonated with you, because now we’re getting to the fun stuff. It’s time to get into the nitty-gritty of the what and how you’re going to fill your own Adventure Tank and I’m so excited to help you get started!
Although I can give you all sorts of ideas, it’s important for you to start thinking of what YOU actually like to do as well. If hiking’s not your jam, then take yourself on a day trip to a cute, little town nearby and go shopping and out to lunch. Your adventure can literally be anything you want, as long as you feel excited about it, are open to new experiences, and are doing something different than your normal, day to day activities. By breaking out of the daily grind, you’re helping to pull yourself out of that funk, giving yourself a new perspective, and creating space for YOU again! So let’s hop to it. Here are some ideas for a multitude of budgets and geographical areas, and if you have anything different to add, feel free to comment below, as I'd love to hear about it!
Take yourself out to lunch or dinner alone.
- For me, I love going out to eat alone, even though it made me super uncomfortable at first. Sometimes it’s a quick and simple lunch and sometimes I take the time to treat myself, have a glass of wine, and read a book while having dinner. If I’m feeling really brave, I’ll force myself to leave my phone in my purse and just be present in the moment, with zero distractions. I won’t lie, it’s a tough one sometimes, but I always feel like a badass when I do it and it allows me to really focus on my thoughts and how I’m feeling in the moment. If that sounds like torture to you, start by picking an easy place, such as a sushi bar or coffee shop where dining alone is totally normal! Baby steps win in the end, sister, so do what feels right to you.
Take a day trip to a nearby town and explore your heart out!
- I LOVE this one because it feels extra special, without the cost of an overnight stay. Where are some areas around you that you either haven’t been in forever or have always wanted to visit? Start by gathering some fun playlists, Podcasts, or audiobooks you’ve been wanting to “read,” and enjoy the ride over! I love to bring some fun car snacks and my favorite sparkle water along too. Once you get there, check out some fun shops, take yourself to lunch, and explore the area a little bit! Is there a park you need to see, a walk along the waterfront, or brewery you could check out? I always use Yelp to guide my restaurant choices and Google nearby areas of interest you may want to know about.
- Around Seattle, my favorite day trips are to Port Angeles or anywhere on the Olympic Peninsula really, Whidbey Island, Edmonds, Port Townsend, Bainbridge Island, Bellingham, and Edison/La Conner!
Go for a day hike/walk at a nearby trail or park.
- If you live in the Seattle area, it’s like shooting fish in a barrel on this one! For urban hikes, I love going to Discovery Park in Magnolia, Pioneer Park on Mercer Island, Marymoor in Redmond, the Mercer Slough or Wiliburton Hill Park in Bellevue, and Interlaken Park in Capitol Hill. I also heavily use the WTA (Washington Trails Association) App as well. It allows me to filter hikes by location, distance, and difficulty, which is awesome!
- If you don’t live in the Pacific Northwest, try out a walk at a local park or on the waterfront in your area. If you Google local walking trails, I’ll bet there are spots you didn’t even know about! If not, maybe you can combine a day trip with an outdoor adventure too!
- However, safety first on this one, sister… I like to choose areas that I know will be relatively well populated when I’m hiking alone. I also bring Mace, a small first aid kit, water and snacks, my cell phone, a headlamp, and ALWAYS tell someone where I’m going and when. Also on most trailheads, there’s a spot to sign in so that people know you’re there too.
Mishaps on the Olympic Peninsula... Don't forget the Tide Map!
When I first moved to Seattle, I fell in LOVE with the Olympic Peninsula and took solo-day trips there often. In my mind, it was the most magical place on Earth and unlike anything I’d ever seen before! I mean, how was it possible to pack a snow-capped mountain range, majestically wild beaches, rainforests, waterfalls, and ALL the moss into one area like that? I’d pack up my sidekick and best pup, Lola, and we’d head off on an epic, 13 hour road trip to the Pacific Coast whenever I had the chance. It was my “Happy Place” and where I got some of my best thinking in. It’s funny how we attach ourselves to physical places like that, right?
One day in February of 2016, I decided to head to my absolute favorite beach in La Push, aka Second Beach. I’d been during this time of year before and never had a problem, but that particular day was a little different… It was a random weekday around noon, which meant there were very few people around, so I decided to do my normal hike down to the beach and then walk along the water. Unfortunately after I had been walking for only around 20 minutes, the weather started to turn and the tide started rising SUPER QUICKLY!!! I was sprinting down the beach trying to get back to the trailhead as there were cliffs behind me and nowhere else to hide! I ended up being hit by a sneaker wave taller than I am and the tide swallowed me up, tossed me around, and pulled me down the beach... I was lucky enough to grab hold of a branch on a piece of driftwood and let the tide drag out again without me with it, thank goodness. It was seriously one of the most terrifying things I’ve ever been through and I drowned my damned iPhone in the process too! Needless to say, I now check out a tide map before heading to the beach and also look closely at the weather. If I’d taken the time to visit the National Park’s Visitor’s Center, I might have been given a warning about the tide and would have gone hiking in the rainforest instead… So please please please do your homework, sister! Especially when adventuring to places with unpredictable variables. I never ever want to deter you from living your best life, but just be smart and pay attention to your surroundings if you know what I mean?
Pick a neighborhood you don’t live in and go explore the area.
- So if tourist attractions aren’t your jam, then pick a neighborhood you don’t get to often and go explore what it has to offer. Maybe you’ll discover a new favorite restaurant or coffee shop, find a fantastic little gift store, or even a park you haven’t seen yet. This is one of my favorite ways to adventure on my own… It’s local, less crowded, cheaper than the touristy spots, and gives me insights into different areas of my city that I haven’t fully experienced yet. I’ve found some of my favorite restaurants through doing this and have even moved to different areas of the city this way!
Check out a nearby museum, tourist attraction, Groupon or Air BnB Experiences for local adventures.
- I don’t know about you, but there are still tons of touristy things I’ve never done in my own city… You with me on this one? Sometimes it’s fun to be a tourist in your own city and it’s a great way to spend an afternoon or evening by yourself! Groupon and Air BnB Experiences are also fantastic ways to find fun and quirky things to do in your town. Recently I found options for Goat Yoga, Pasta Making Classes, and a random bachelor who wanted to take men to bars and teach them how to meet women… I mean, you never know what you’re going to find and if nothing else, the ideas will probably crack you up! 😉
- Oftentimes, tourist attractions and museums give discounts to local residents and even have days of the month where their admission prices are lowered too. This is the best way to see them if you’re on a budget and don’t hesitate to ask about their pricing options when you get there.
- In Seattle, I’m a huge fan of renting a kayak at Agua Verde on Lake Union or Enatai Beach Park on the Mercer Slough. I also love visiting the Seattle Sculpture Park or Art Museum, cruising around Pike Place during a weekday, or even going to Smith Tower and checking out the observatory (Did you know they have a bar up there???).
As you can see, the opportunities are ENDLESS here…
No matter where you live or how padded your wallet is, it just takes creativity and your good friend, Google, to make a solo-adventure happen. If it feels daunting to tackle some of these ideas on your own, start small! Take your laptop to a coffee shop and hang out for a while, sit inside at your favorite lunch spot versus eating in the car, or grab the dog and head to the park together. Let’s be real, you’ll make his day, and pups are totally allowed on your adventures because they don’t talk back! 😉
Just get curious, be open-minded, and stay present in the moment, even if it gets tough or feels awkward… Remember why you’re doing this - to get to know YOU again, and also remind yourself that this is a practice, not a one time event. It doesn’t have to look perfect, be expensive, or consume your entire day to be worthwhile!
So start coming up with ideas and put one on the calendar for some time in the next few weeks. In Part 3 we’re going to talk about how to make this practice sustainable for your life, rather than a one or two time thing. We’ll also talk about time management and how to carve out more space for you in a very BUSY world.
I hope you have so much fun out there and remember to check the tide map! 😉