Wednesday

Making Adventure Happen - No matter your location.

My "natural" habitat is the forested mountains. I would be out hiking every day if I could.

But I don't live in the mountains. I live in Oklahoma. Thankfully there are a fair number of trees in Oklahoma City but there aren't any mountains. I miss the mountains. I ache for the mountains. But not having mountains doesn't keep me from adventuring with my family.

I have moved A LOT in my life, as a kid and adult. I counted and I have moved 20 times and lived in 8 different states. As a result I have gotten good at adjusting and making the best out of less-than-my-ideal locations to live.

I moved from Utah to Florida my senior year of high school. From an outdoor adventurers' paradise
to a muggy, swampland. And I didn't even really enjoy the beach at that time.

The first thing I did learn to love in Florida were the trees (no surprise there). And while I was studying forest management in college I was introduced to many other aspects of the outdoors in Florida.

Did you know Florida has some of the largest natural springs in the world? Not to mention the Everglades and hundreds of miles of rivers and creeks. I learned to love Florida outdoors. About the only thing to do in the summer is to spend time in the water, but you have the entire rest of the year to enjoy hiking, camping, biking, whatever. I have so many amazing memories of my time adventuring in Florida.

What would have happened if I hadn't ventured out of my comfort zone while in Florida? I would have missed out on a lot of amazing opportunities. I had friends that complained about the lack of outdoor activities after moving to Florida, and I always loved introducing them to new activities. But sometimes they didn't take advantage. They had an idea of what they wanted in outdoor activities and couldn't see any other options.

I love being outdoors. I want my kids to appreciate the outdoors and learn to lead an active and healthy lifestyle. So, I make the best of wherever I am and make adventures happen.

If you are in a similar situation or just feel like you are stuck in an outdoor rut, here are my tips for making adventures happen no matter your location or situation.
  • Get in the right frame of mind. Don't expect your new location to be like your old. Recognize that every area is unique and offers different opportunities to make adventures, big and small.
  • Change your point of view (literally & figuratively). Buy a macro lens for your camera and focus on the small things. I bought a nice point-and-shot camera and am having a fun time playing with it. 
  • Enjoy the water. The last three of the four areas we have lived have had some pretty awesome water bodies close by and we have enjoyed taking advantage. In Oklahoma we have some large lakes and I plan on introducing my son to canoeing. Don't forget all the other types of water activities - kayaking, stand up paddleboarding, packrafting, or snorkeling. 
  • Check out local historic/cultural sites and memorials.
  • Learn something new. I studied forest management in college and I love learning about the ecology of the new areas I move to. What is your passion? Apply it to your new area.
  • Change things up. This move I was able to get a used bike and a kid’s trailer. So we will be able to bike around town and such.
  • Buy used or rent gear so you can try new activities. I got my bike for free and bought the trailer for $25. It doesn't get much better than that. I also bought my camera used and am enjoying learning a new skill.
  • Plan trips. We are visiting family in Phoenix this Christmas. Instead of flying we are driving and planning to stop at the Petrified Forest National Park. It will be cold but the crowds should be small. I am super excited!
  • Join like-minded people. Find running, biking, hiking, etc. groups to get involved with. We did a lot of hiking with our friends. It wasn't a formal hiking group but it was much more fun than hiking by ourselves. 
  • Above all, be active and get outdoors. Even if the trails aren't what you are used to, there are still generally trails and outdoor areas to enjoy. Get outdoors and explore!
    Check out these ideas for urban outdoor adventures from Rain or Shine Mamma.

    How do you adjust to a new area after a move or make the best of your less-than-ideal location to live?

    Follow along for more inspiration and ideas on getting outdoors as a family. 



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