As the days grow short and we begin researching plane flights home, the adventure motivation can start to slow. We shift our focus to family and friends, enjoying holidays that prompt us to appreciate the things that we hold dear.
However, just because we are headed back home for the holidays doesn’t mean our adventures are done for the year.
In this edition of Therm-a-Rest Beta, contributor Jenny Abegg educates us on a few ways that we can add some adventure to our trip home for the holidays.
1. Pack some adventure in your carry on or checked bags
Sharing quality time with family is an incredible thing, but often it requires us to put our lives on hold—or at least that’s the way it seems. We enter a world that is not our own and resign ourselves to dull evenings and slow activities, to no friends and no adventure. I too stray from my usual ideals—driving instead of biking, running on roads instead of trails, forgetting to do my morning yoga. It’s like part of me just wants to be an unmotivated kid again.
Since leaving the nest, you’ve likely learned a lot about how you want to live. This year, try bringing those values and habits home for the holidays. Keep up your healthy routines, get outside, take space for yourself—it’s bound to have a positive impact on everyone.
2. Recruit a family member
Need an adventure partner? With family home for the holidays, I’m guessing you have nothing but a captive audience. I’m sure your parents have seen your beautiful photos and want to experience a piece of your life. Take your relatives on a mellow hike—and you can even run back and forth to get an extra workout! Invite you sister to the climbing gym, organize a game of capture the flag, or pack a picnic for everyone and enjoy a beautiful evening outside.
If your relatives are not as adventurous as you, they still might be willing to support your escapades. And make this fun! Draw a treasure map and recruit your family to support a long run by meeting you with water and food at various checkpoints. Ask dad or mom to help you shuttle for a long bike ride or river float. In the end, everyone gets an adventure whether they know it or not!
3.Work out your workouts
Even if you can’t ski the gnar at your favorite mountain or clip bolts at your local crag, there’s always a way to get a workout and have fun doing it. You can get your climbing fix in by monkeying up and down the underside of an exposed staircase or design a makeshift bouldering traverse using the features around the outside of your house. Or, make a fun day out of skiing in all of your old winter clothing and gear with your siblings at the nearby hill. Run to meet your parents for lunch, or challenge your mom to a tennis match. Where there’s a will, there’s a way!
4. Bring a friend
There’s no better way to reinvent an old place than by seeing it through the fresh lens of another. If it suits you and your family, invite a friend home for the holidays—it could very well be a gift for everyone involved. Perhaps you’ll gain a new appreciation for your family or hometown. Maybe your friend will serve as a much-needed adventure buddy. You might get to share the gift of family. Plus, the reverting-to-a-child squabbles and annoyances that inevitably occur during these gatherings are less likely when there’s someone from your adult life in the mix.
5. Perspective shift
You might think you know everything about your hometown, and chances are your opinions aren’t great. My mom calls the city she grew up in “the armpit of the Northwest,” and years ago I coined my hometown “The Hole.” Our outdated notions define these places and the people in them, for better or for worse.
This year, try exploring your childhood haunts with a new lens. Figure out where you fit as an adult—discover what it is in the community that inspires you now. Visit the new climbing gym, find a place to watch the sunrise, or attend a talk at the local gear shop. Find the movers and shakers of your hometown. And as you do so, use the familiar backdrop of home to observe and reflect on how you’ve grown throughout the years.