I’ve lived in many different places- small towns, big cities. Michigan, Oklahoma, United Kingdom, Colorado, Illinois, Wisconsin, etc..
It is always the same.
Everywhere I’ve lived the locals tell me it is the “most boring place in the world” and there “isn’t much to do in the area.”
The truth is, there is always something to do.
There is always fun to be had.
Most people live near interesting things but never visit them. Perhaps it is because they don’t realize their surroundings are interesting or perhaps it is because they figure they have all the time in the world to do….whatever the local adventure is.
I am no exception. When I lived in Wisconsin, there was a candy factory not 15 minutes from my home and yet, I never took a tour. At first is was because I never knew the place even existed. Then it was because I figured there was no rush- there was always next weekend or next month. Eventually I moved away. I still regret not taking that tour when I lived there.
Now days though, I would never let that happen.
At a certain point it clicked in my head that, no matter where you are, whether it is London or Chicago or some tiny town that no one has ever heard of, adventure isn’t something that happens to you, it is something that you make for yourself.
Contrary to what our favorite books may have led us to believe, there is no one who is going to show up on our doorstep and and led us to adventure (exceptions for persons named Bilbo and Harry)- We must go out and make an adventure for ourselves!
I know some of you are probably shaking your head and thinking, “I wish! But who can afford an adventure now days?”
To that I say, you can.
Anyone can actually.
So what if you can’t afford plane tickets to Rome or train tickets to Dallas or a summer cabin in the Rockies or gas to drive to the Grand Canyon or a hotel room New York? You can do plenty of adventuring right where you are, in your own home state, perhaps even in your own home town.
If you set out assuming that you know everything about the town you live in then you’re sure to come up empty handed. If you approach your home town as if you’re a tourist rather than a local, then you’ll find all sorts of fun gems!
Take for example the small town I have been in for 6 months. My in-laws have lived here for well over a decade. When I asked them for a nice local restaurant, they couldn’t name any. A quick Google search of the area revealed a small 4-star restaurant with a killer Cajun menu only 6 minutes from the house! When I mentioned the name of it to my in-laws, they had never heard of it before even though they drove past it every day for years!
I bet there is a place like that in your town, something fully awesome that you just don’t yet know exists!
And even if you do live somewhere so desolate that there is nothing other than a mom and pop general store, you can still make your own adventures!
Take long walks and pay attention to the little things you pass along the way.
Pick a street corner and do some performance art: dance, sing, draw stick figures with chalk.
Write a list of average, normal items and go about the town to see if you can find them. (It is a scavenger hunt of sorts, but take care! Friends may not appreciate you looking for cream of mushroom soup in their pantry.)