It’s easy to start to feel trapped with the ins and outs of everyday life. That’s why it’s important to get out and adventure any chance you get.
My new prognosis for the work day blues are driving to neighboring cities and exploring what they have to offer. Lucky for David and I, we live in the best area for this, surrounded by a variety of quaint beachside towns.
The past two Sundays David and I hopped in the car after breakfast and drove.
Our first outing took us north to Cambria. I forgot how wonderful that little city was, tucked away in the hills off Highway 1. It gives you a sense of mountain life, hidden within a pine forest and running ramped with wildlife (Not in a “get that squirrel off my sandwich” kind of way, but in a magical “wow, did you see that deer hopping through the brush”). You can trust that to be fact because I really did see a deer hop right by me as we sat for coffee on the outside patio at Lynn’s Easy as Pie Cafe.
This Sunday we went south and a little east into Los Olivos. I’ve been to Solvang plenty of times but Los Olivos was just a name I’d heard before. Now I know it to be a small vineyard town with a lovely downtown strip of wine tasting rooms that close promptly at five o’clock. (We’ll remember to leave sooner next time.) Still, it was fun to mosey down the street, enjoying the finely crafted buildings with their walls of bricks and steel panels – the most trendy in architecture these days – and of course a prosperous amount of lush greenery fluidly running along the sidewalks and strategically placed at each establishment.
Walking around and peaking through over-priced boutiques, funky thrift stores, and searching out the cutest and most flavorful ice cream spots and coffee shops is really much more fun then we give it credit for. Even just getting out on roads we don’t wander on a daily basis was a breathe of fresh air in itself.
The key here is to stay local. It’s incredibly easy to drive an hour or two, and it really doesmake a world of a difference.
The woes of normality can keep you stagnant when you think the only option of true adventure is hidden hours away in the woods and waters of the High Sierras or up in the glamorous city life of San Francisco (install the appropriate far away cities and camping spots to make sense for your specific location). We somehow believe that true adventure only occurs when you can escape to far-off lands. That used to be my perspective too.
I get antsy when I haven’t been somewhere awesome in even two weeks. I’ve wondered if my restless curiosity was just unnecessary complaining, an ungrateful attitude, or needy behavior, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that this adventurous spirit was good and right. It’s healthy for human beings to be inquisitive about the world. There should be a true need in our innermost being to get out and explore. I’m convinced it is one of the most precious gifts God has given us. Why wouldn’t He want us to have a sense of wonderment towards all that His hands have made?
Though in my desperate need to get out and go somewhere, I also found a sense of discontentedness to stay local. Bingo! We have now pinpointed the faults in our adventurous spirits.
Are you content to explore in San Luis Obispo, Carpinteria, Pasadena, San Diego, as well as the surrounding cities near you? (again, input your specific city here) I had to ask myself this very same question.
If not, you should be! Sorry, there’s no better way of saying it. That perspective must change before your options can multiply.
(Take a second to decide…Alright, now that you’ve made your decision you can either exit this page or continue reading. Please keep reading!)
You are now ready to answer an important question:
What’s in your own backyard? (No, I’m not talking about the crazy Smiths with their three howling Huskies in the house behind your fence. I’m talking about your own home city.)
What cities are closest to you? Check them out! Already been – go again! Dive deeper into their unique qualities, wander through their downtowns, parks, and neighborhoods.
Maybe you can’t journey away right now – look up hiking trails in your own city, guaranteed there’s at least one. Not a woodsy fella – go discover the mysteries of that exotic restaurant or fancy cafe you’ve always been curious about. No extra dough –then take a drive or a long walk through your surrounding neighborhoods.
My aunt responded to my backroads post with excitement, proclaiming that in her 30 years of living in Carpinteria, there was still so much she knew she had to learn about this little southern California beach town, and was glad I was taking my time to explore and write about the area.
The day I moved from Carp to SLO I wondered too, as I pulled onto the freeway, how many streets I had failed to discover in the 21 years growing up in that tiny town.
Open Google and pretend you’re an intrigued outsider who finally gets to visit your hometown!
There’s so much adventure out there. Traveling locally might not be the adventure you’re looking for, but if you find a way to create curiosity in it, you can have so much fun even in the city that you live. Find the unknown down the street from you; you’d be surprised how much adventure there is to be discovered so close by.
Get out there!