How to Find Adventure in the Everyday

How to Find Adventures in the EverydayOnce upon a time, before we had kids, on the spur of the moment Kendra and I would pull on our hiking boots, grab our backpacks, and head off to hike in the woods.

Nowadays, our window of opportunity is a lot smaller thanks to nap times, early intervention appointments, and different work schedules. Not to mention, hiking in the woods can be a big production when you add three kids into the mix. In addition to our own gear, we need to pile lots more into the car – extra clothing, diapers and wipes, snacks, drinks, kid carriers for the twins, and Addie’s backpack. There’s no doubt things will get easier as the kids get older, but for right now, we generally only hit the trails on the weekends.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t find adventure in the everyday. Sometimes it’s hard to remember that the goal is to enjoy the outdoors together – whether hiking up a mountain, snowshoeing through the forest, playing at the park, exploring the city streets, or walking around our neighborhood. Adventure can happen anywhere!

How to Find Adventure in the Everyday

I have to admit, I lost sight of this simple idea over the last year. It felt like walking around the neighborhood didn’t “count” as outdoor time. Yet my body was craving being outside. With Boston hitting the all time record snowfall this winter, we spent a lot of days snowed indoors. Something needed to give.

Hike It Baby LogoEnter Hike it Baby. Founded by Shanti Hodges after the birth of her son in 2013, Hike It Baby is an incredible group of moms and dads across the United States committed to getting outdoors with their kids. I happened to find Hike It Baby just in time to join their March Hike It Baby 30.

Always one to thrive when presented with a challenge, I signed up to log 30 miles outside in 30 days. What really kick-started me are the “rules” for the challenge. Outside means outside – on the trail or the sidewalk. Knowing that I can’t get to a trailhead most afternoons, I have been forced to find alternatives to get in our miles.

So, instead of packing the car and heading for the trail, we are exploring our own neighborhood, and beyond… and it has been awesome! We’ve walked between one and two and a half miles on every outing. The twins love riding in the stroller with Addison leading the way.

How to Find Adventure in the Everyday

Addie likes to be our “line leader.”

It’s so much easier to get outside everyday when the trailhead is our front door. We need way less gear – a diaper bag tossed in the bottom of the stroller holds the essentials. Once Evan and Kate are strapped into the stroller, we are good to go.

How to Find Adventure in the Everyday

Ready for an urban adventure!

Our adventures have brought with them a much-needed change of routine. The fresh air has been great for everyone, and we discovered all sorts of neat places during our walks. The most intriguing are the yellow spray-painted handprints. We are still trying to figure out what they mean!

How to Find Adventure in the Everyday How to Find Adventure in the Everyday

5 Tips for Finding Adventure in the Everyday

1. Try a New Route! Instead of taking your usual path to the store, try a different route. Don’t be afraid to get a little lost as you explore your neighborhood!

How to Find Adventure in the Everyday

I knew there was a pond near us, but during our exploring we found an awesome little bridge that took us across the pond and above a waterfall!

2. Let Your Kid Lead: It’s so easy to overlook the little details in the rush of everyday life. Letting your little one lead the way is one way to slow down. Even better – they often they see things from a totally different perspective, so you start to see your surroundings with new eyes. Encourage them to share what they see!

How to Find Adventure in the Everyday

Addie is super good at finding puddles. Or broken pencils. Or leaves. We always come home with new “treasures.”

3. Encourage Your Toddler to Walk! It can feel a little scary to let your littlest ones loose, but they love the independence! Evan is enjoying more and more time out of the stroller, exploring the world from a standing vantage point.

How to Find Adventure in the Everyday

My boy LOVES to walk!

4. Appreciate the Beauty: Just because neighborhoods and urban areas aren’t covered in trees doesn’t mean you can’t spot beauty. Look for funky architecture, interesting textures, or a juxtaposition between nature and human-made objects.

How to Find Adventure in the Everyday How to Find Adventure in the Everyday

5. Take Advantage of Cafes! You can’t get a latte in the backcountry, yet there’s nothing like celebrating the end of a long walk with coffee, hot chocolate, and pastries. Stop at your local café for a fun treat for everyone.

How to Find Adventure in the Everyday

We’ve been inspired – and hope you are too! See you on the sidewalk!

About Jen

Outdoor adventurer and traveler. Writer, Photographer & Communications Professor. Wife. Mom of twins plus one. Tubbs Snowshoes Ambassador. Blogger at gayfamilytrips.com.

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6 Responses to How to Find Adventure in the Everyday

  1. bj Crandall March 16, 2015 at 8:25 am #

    I love the 30 miles in 30 days approach….that suits this 75 year old a whole lot better! I am always so awed by your hikes and climbs and so proud of you. Now you have got me on to something I already do in my neighborhood. I love to look at folk’s yards and see what new is coming up in the spring and I see turkeys walking through yards and roosting in trees on occasion. But one of your sentences sent me into gales of laughter!!! “There’s no doubt things will get easier as the kids get older.” Well, you are correct in a small way. With your spirits of adventure you will rise to and grow with every challenge, of that I have no doubt! Love to the 5 of you….

  2. Casual Travelers (@CasualTraveling) April 11, 2015 at 11:37 am #

    I love the picture of your daughter splashing in the puddles! Proves to show that you don’t have to go to fancy resorts and faraway places for the kids to have fun. Lots of good advice in this article, and since the weather is finally nice and nearly all the snow has melted, I think we’ll go explore the neighborhood as well.

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