Do you get that exploration itch? That feeling that you want to just go, not knowing where or why. For many of us, traveling and finding those new experiences, venturing into unchartered territories to see what we can find is what we would do if money wasn’t necessary, our careers weren’t in the way, and we didn’t have responsibilities tying us to people and places. In our own ways, we all enjoy a good adventure, and there are many different ways to open that window of opportunity to explore not just the world around you, but yourself as well.
For those that don’t know me, I am a gamer that really enjoys open-world rpgs (role-playing-games). Growing up, World of Warcraft was one of those games that I couldn’t put down. My sisters and I have such fond memories of playing together on the same couch, bumming out during the summers, grinding through quests to see who could max out there level first and trying not to get creeped out in Duskwood while playing at 3am. There are those that played for the community. To me, the beauty lied in the amount of places to explore. The map grew with every expansion, and there were more quests and achievements to do that would take you all over the place. It was impossible to be bored.
Now, in my post-college life, with a 9-5 schedule and commutes totaling up to 2.5 hours in the car every day, unleashing that urge to explore and find new experiences becomes even harder, especially when sometimes all you want to do is enjoy the comforts of your bed and home. But I found the best ways to create your own adventure is to look at your home, your city or town in a different perspective, as it changes your experience and relationship to it.
I am a lucky soul to work and live in the DMV area. It is hard to be bored in DC, for there are so many places and things to see and experience. For anyone who has done the monuments at night vs the ever crowded day tours can vouch that it creates an entirely different, a much more peaceful and pensive atmosphere, leaving you time and space to ponder bigger thoughts next to Lincoln that you might have had dodging tourists.
For me, wandering through the many residential areas of DC is my adventure. There are hidden gems to find everywhere, from styles of homes and beautifully curated gardens, to unlikely mom & pop restaurants and the many dogs out and about. The best part, though, is the quiet. The serene peacefulness that comes with being away from the main roads. Its during these walks that let me think more about what I’m searching for and being okay in not always following the plan. And, it’s totally acceptable to spend a lazy weekend at home playing Assassins Creed Origins, and not going out and participating in stuff with people. FOMO has no place here.
So, for those like me that look for that spark of adventure here and there, take a saturday morning, and just walk. Don’t look at a map, don’t plan out your path, just go and see what you’ll find. Or, if you still wish to stay in bed, perhaps a little open-world gaming is in order :).