Thursday, November 20, 2014

Everyday Adventure Challenge #7

Be a Tourist in Your Own Town
One thing that really bothers me about the travel blogs that I see are that they are all about people who have up and left. They quit their jobs and travel the world.  And what really bugs me is that we applaud them for it.  Now don’t get me wrong.  I would love to do the same thing. But that’s not real life.  Most people in the world can’t just leave their jobs, their homes, their families, in search of adventure.   And you shouldn’t need too!  That’s what this blog is all about.  It’s about building a community of people who find adventure in their everyday life.  It’s proof that you don’t have to runaway to find adventure.
That being said, this challenge is probably my favorite one yet!  Be a tourist in your own town.  What are the things that people travel to your area to see? Even if you live in the middle of nowhere I bet you, there is something “touristy” that you have never done.
Take me for example.  I come from a tiny little town in WI.  I am going to be honest, there is not a lot to do there.  But we do have one claim to fame.  We have one of the BEST fly fishing streams in the country.  Guess how many times I have gone fly fishing in my life.  ZERO.  Now fly fishing isn’t really my thing.  There is so much technique to it!  But still, I should really try it at some point, just to see what all the fuss is about. Maybe take a class on tying flies or go on an excursion. It could be an amazing adventure!
Now, if we even expand that a little. I am half an hour away from the Mall of America, the biggest mall in the country.  An hour away from one of the country’s best theater and arts scenes . Two hours away from the world famous SPAM museum (I know right!).  Three hours from Lake Superior.  And let’s face it four hours from Canada (yes I do have a Fargo-y accent). And yet there are so many days when I am thinking I just want to go on an adventure.  

Well this is our chance to prove there is adventure everywhere.  Even the most exotic locations in the world are someone’s backyard.  So go explore your own backyard this week and make some adventures!

PS this picture is Lake Superior!  I really need to go up there more!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Everyday Adventure Challenge #6

Write a Book

One thing that is on many peoples bucket list (mine included), is to write a book.  And, conveniently enough, this month is National Novel Writing Month.  Now this isn’t some like nonsense type celebration like say National Doughnut Day (which is the first Friday of June each year and in my opinion is
 not nonsense).  National Novel Writing Month is a big thing.  Like HUGE! In fact it has its own website.  You can find it here.  The description the website gives is this: “National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing. On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30.  Valuing enthusiasm, determination, and a deadline, NaNoWriMo is for anyone who has ever thought fleetingly about writing a novel.” AKA anyone who has “Write a Book” on their bucket list.  Not only does this get your creative juices flowing and get words down on paper, there are also some awesome prizes that you can win.  You can find out how all of this works here!  Now I realize that it is already November 10th and we have all lost 10 precious days in this writing month, but really the whole point of the month is to get writing!  So to get you started I have come up with a few tips on how to kickstart your writing.  Let's write a book, shall we!!

5 Tips to Start Writing and Keep Writing

Start a Routine:

Now in November, if you decide to try the NaNoWriMo, you probably are going to be writing      everyday.  Possibly for hours everyday.  But in the long run you need to develop a routine.  Pick one or two days of the week that you can dedicate to writing.  My day is Wednesday.  Every Wednesday, I go to a specific coffee shop away from the world and just sit and write.  This starts the habit of writing and gets your body used to that mind set. 

Make it a Priority:

I can’t tell you how many people have told me to “Try to write everyday!”.  I understand where these people come from.  Its the "if you don't use it you lose it" mentality and yes writing everyday would be ideal, but people who live in the real world, with work and soccer practice and laundry, don't always have time for that.  But, most people can either set aside a chunk of time on one specific day, or spare a moment here or moment there to write.  If you make it a priority you can make the time for it.  I have a friend who intentionally goes to her son’s soccer practices early, to pick him up, so she can spend that 20mins everyday in the car writing.  Its not much, but even if she only writes 10 pages a week, thats still a book in a year.

Have a Place Specifically for Writing:

It doesn’t have to be fancy.  It can be a small desk in the corner of a room, or a quaint coffee shop.  But where ever it is, reserve it specifically for writing.  It can be a way to kick your brain in gear.  Your brain will associate that space with the creative energy that goes into writing, seeing as that is the only thing you do there. This eventually can cut down on the amount of time you stare at a blank piece of paper, waiting for genius to happen.

Forget About Writing What You Know:

It is common advice to “Write what you know.” This is rubbish.  Better advice would be to write what you feel.  You may have a scene where someone is dangling from a cliff.  Well most people have never dangled in their life; however, to convey that sense of terror think of a time you have actually been terrified.  What were your physical reactions, sweating, dry mouth?  What were your emotional reactions? Etc.  This can help you convey a more realistic feeling without actually living the situation.

Just Write:

So many people really want to write a book.  That is why its on their bucket list, but so many people get hung up on the details. Using the right words and language, focusing on trying to make it sound “literary”.  Some of the best writers in the world didn’t use giant words or superfluous language.  Some didn’t even have actual stories.  Stop stressing the small stuff. Writing, like art, is a form of expression, a way to see the way other people see the world. So it feels right to you, it probably is right.  The important thing is to get it down on paper.  To finish the story.  Then you can always go back and play with the wording or the sentence structure or whatever.  I sometimes leave blanks in my drafts when I can't think of the right word, because it forces me to go back and look at it.

In the end, if writing a book is on your bucket list, let November be the kick in the pants to get you started.  Even if you don't write 50,000 words, it might just be enough to get you started.  Who knows you might have the next best seller on your hands.  For more tips on writing and finishing a novel, check out the links below.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Challenge #5 Accepted

Start A Travel Jar

Here is my travel jar.  Less jar I guess and more pig.  So here is my travel pig!  I chose the pig for a few different reasons.  First, its not clear, which was very important to me, as now I can't be taunted by the money sitting in there.  Second, its a chalk board, so I can change it to whatever adventure I am planning at that time.  Currently, I don't have any real big adventures planned

other than life, so I just drew the world on it.  Like the saying goes, "I haven't been everywhere, but its on my list."  And yes, I realize my drawing isn't perfect. But life isn't perfect, so its fitting.  Let's see your travel jars! Send your pics to and I might just post them on the blog!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Challenge #4 Accepted

Create a Bucket List
The last challenge I gave you guys was to create a bucket list.  Many times people (like me) have a bucket list in their heads but they never actually have it down on paper.  But there are so many benefits to actually writing it down. Overall it makes you accountable and gives you specific goals to strive for.  So using the tips included in that post,  I created my own bucket list.  It is a work in progress but it is listed below.  Take a look and let me know if there is anything that you think I am missing.  I am open to pretty much doing anything so send your ideas over.  It might get added to the list. 
  • Hang Glide over Rio
  • Visit Every Continent
  • Retire Early
  • Start a family
  • Start video blog
  • Surf in Tofino (picture to the right)
  • See the northern lights
  • Help people accomplish their dreams
  • Tomato Fight!
  • Run a race with my shirt off and not jiggle
  • Write a book
  • Bungee Jump off a bridge
  • Sky dive some place exotic
  • Be worth over 1 million dollars
  • Hike the Appalachian Trail (picture below)
    Picture from a deactivated deviant art account by shashaa
  • Stay in a tree house hotel
  • Swim with a Whale Shark
  • Train and compete in a Triathlon
  • Watch the Sunrise and Sunset both in the same day.
  • Feel alive
  • Milk a cow
  • Keeps some bees
  • Geocaching
  • Mash grapes with my feet
  • Tiger Leaping Gorge, Yunnan, China

One thing I was surprised about was that it was way more difficult to come up with this list than I would’ve thought.  Things that I knew I wanted to do, somehow got lost in the shuffle of my head and it was a few days before they popped up on the list.  Let me know what you think.  Write a comment or send me an email at  Also feel free to send me your bucket lists and (if you want) I can list them on the blog. And we can help build our lists together!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Everyday Adventure Challenge #5

Start a Travel Jar

Picture found on Pinterest 
Or a piggy bank.  Or a bucket list jar.  It doesn't matter what you call it but something that you can randomly stick change or a couple bucks into.  This is a really simple way to start saving money to start crossing some of the bigger things off your bucket list.  Now, how often you put money into it is up to you.  I do have one suggestion though.  If you can try to go with something that is NOT clear.  Again I repeat, NOT clear, no matter how cool it looks.  The reason I say this is that if its clear, some day when you really need to put some gas in your car but you are low on cash, you might see a ten in there and just grab it.  Obviously, this is counter productive.  If the jar is not clear then it takes away any temptation to use the money that you are trying to save.  Also feel free to send me a pic of your travel jar so I can post it on the blog!   Might inspire someone else to make one.  You can also post a picture of it on Instagram and I might feature it on the Make Your Own Adventures Instagram page.  Lets see how creative you can get!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Everyday Adventure Challenge #4

Create a Bucket List
“We live, we die, the wheels on the bus go round and round.”  This is a quote from the movie The Bucket List and it pretty much sums up the inevitability of life. This movie, if you haven’t seen it, is about two old guys who are dying.  Depressing I know but it gets better.  It’s this one guy who is extremely rich and he has to share a hospital room with another guy.  They both decide that they haven’t done enough with their life so they start
to do things they have always wanted to do.  So they make a list of things they want to do before they kick the bucket.  AKA the Bucket List.  Now I have no idea if this movie is good, honestly I have never seen it, but the idea is really something I can get behind.  Life is short! That is just the way it is.  So this week I am challenging you to grab a pencil and physically write down your bucket list.  You only live once right (did I really just use YOLO), so you might as well use the time you’ve got.  And many people , me being one of these people, do collect a list of things they want to do in their lifetime.  But we never write it down.  I mean I fall
into the trap of talking about something I really want to do someday, and saying “That goes on the list,” Or “Cross another thing off the list,” but the list isn’t actually anywhere but my brain.  And that is key!  By writing them down, it makes it real.  It says “Hey! These are thing I actually want to do in my life, let’s start doing them!”  It makes you accountable.  In ten years you can pull out this list and actually see how many of these things you actually did.  And it makes them more attainable.  If you have some actual things, you have actual things to work towards instead of just crossing them off an imaginary list. So let’s get writing!  Unsure where to begin?  Well I have scrapped up some tips for making your Bucket List the best one EVER!

Be Specific
The more specific they are, the more attainable they will seem.  If you know for sure that you want to bungee jump off of the Twin Falls Bridge in Idaho, put that on the list.
In fact, do some research when
you add it and maybe include companies that do it.  That makes the activity that much more real and makes it easier for you to remember exactly what you implied when you added it to the list. (PS the picture is of the bridge... you can actually bungee off that....crazy right!)

Be Vague
I realize this is contradictory to the last one, but hear me out.  If you have items on the list that are more general activities, keep them vague. For example, I really want to see the Northern Lights sometime before I kick it, but I am not very picky on where I see them.  That’s when you can keep it vague.  You can see the northern lights all over the world, so if you don’t care where you see them leave it vague so that the activity is easier completed.  It might be a good idea with things like that though to maybe add a side note on when and where good places to do that might be.  Because you might have a trip to Canada planned and not even realize, before looking at your list, that you are half an hour  away from the best place to see the northern lights.

Keep it fluid
This is a process.  Don’t sit down this weekend and think that you are going to have a complete list.  It should constantly be changing and being updated.  It should evolve with you.  People change over time and things that you thought you would never want to do, might end up at the top of the list.  And don’t be too hard on yourself if you can only come up with a few things.  Again it will grow as you grow.  But if you do need ideas to get started, there are plenty of websites with bucket list ideas.  Check out this one for starters. Or here. Or look at your friend’s list.  Maybe some of theirs are some of yours and you can do them together!

Be true to you
This is one is EXTERMELY important!!  You might check out websites or see things that people say,  “Oh dude/dudette, you have to do this!” (who talks like that…anyway) . If it’s not something that interests you, don’t sweat it.  This is a list to keep you from not doing the things you want to do, not the things Joe Bob wants to do. So make it yours!  Now I will add a but to this section.  It was H. Jackson Brown Jr who said, “Be bold and courageous.  When you look back on your life, you’ll regret the things you didn’t do more than the ones you did.”  Just a thought.

Get Creative
Have fun with it.  There are so many crazy things you can do in the world.  Why not add some of the crazier ones.  Like do a Zombie Pub Crawl, or go to a giant tomato fight.  There are so many options, don’t limit yourself to just the normal ones.

Cover all aspects of life.
Lots of people, me included, focus mainly on travel when creating a bucket list.  Don’t DO IT!  Create relationship items, and financial ones.  Cover all aspects of your life and if you are really ambitious, categorize them.  It will keep your life well rounded as well as your goals.

Make some of them easier!
One thing many people forget to do is add more immediate options.  There are plenty of things people want to do that are instantly attainable (I recommend building a rocket ….link) .  And it keeps your bucket list from getting discarded and ending up in the back of the closet where no one will see it.  If you include smaller things that you can do while working towards the bigger ones, it will A.) keep your life more exciting and more full of adventures and B.) you’re more likely to keep up with it.

Post it Publicly
Like on here.  If you want to you can send me your list and I will post it on here as an example.  You can also post it places like Facebook or Tumblr.  This keeps it easily accessible, even if you forget about it for a while and keeps you more accountable.  Plus someone might see it online, and it completely matches theirs so you decide to meet, and you realize that you are SOULMATES.  Too much?  Well it is possible to make friends with people who want to do similar things this way, and even more likely to get tips on how to make specific things happen.  For example you post that you really want to go surfing someday, but you live in MN.  Someone might comment and tell you that there are actually people that surf on rivers and lakes in MN (this is the truth, see below).  And before you know it another bucket list item checked off the list.

Last but not least---Put something you can do TODAY!

Remember we are about action!  So go out and do something today!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Everyday Adventure Challenge #3

Look at things differently 

I saw that!  Don’t you roll your eyes at me.  Yes, I realize it is extremely vague.  I mean “Look at things differently” what does that even mean?  And what if I like the way that I look at things. But come on, everyone has a time when something really gets your goat and your blood pressure starts to rise.  It could be a co-worker that won’t leave you alone when you have so much to do or some traffic that made you late.  It could be a gargantuan dragonfly that landed on your leg that you thought for sure was going to bite you or the stairs that you tripped on while going up them.  We all have those moments when something just really peeves you. My challenge to you this weekend is to try to look at all of these things differently.  Still unsure what that means fully?  Well let’s dive on in.
Let’s start with literally.  When that dragonfly lands on your pant leg, before screaming and
flicking it off, take a deep breath and do something really daring.  Get closer.  Bugs are sometimes the most interesting things to look at close up.  Their bodies are so rigid and detailed but you really have to get close to see those details.  Plus, its said that if a dragonfly lands on you, its good luck. And I promise dragonflies don't bite…I think.

Another literal way to look at things differently, is to take some pictures.  Spending a day thinking like a photographer can really help you notice the small glorious details that are easily missed in life.  The sun illuminating some fall leaves, the way a road winds and twists through the hills, or even the steam rising from a cup of warm coffee.  All little details so many people miss.

The last literal way I am going to talk about might be my favorite.  Literally, change view points.  This one might only be for the brave out there, but do something screwy.  Hang upside from some monkey bars like you did when you were a kid.  Lay down on the ground to get a better view of something tall. Stand upside down just for giggles!
You might notice something you never even thought to look at.  And someone new might notice you!  And then you and this new person will start talking, and then you’ll go out for coffee, then ten years later you will be happily married picking out house furniture together, all because of that one time you decided to look at things differently… Wait, what?

Moving on.

Then there is the less literal approach to this.  One of my favorite quotes, is “Everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about.”  The next time someone really peeves you, take a step back and jump into their shoes.  How would you react if you were in the same situation?  Sometimes in the repetitiveness of day to day life, we forget that not everyone deals with the same things, in the same way that we do.  So something that might not have been a big deal to you, could have made all the difference to someone else.  

Recently I have gotten really into a personality test called the Myers Briggs Type Indicator.  I find it to be such a fascinating tool to use.  It can really show you how differently people think and handle different situations, which in turn can show you not everyone thinks the same way as you.  You can take the test here.  And then read about other personality types here. Have everyone you know take it and then once you know their personality type you will know exactly what they are thinking.  Well not really, but it will give you a better understanding of how their brain ticks, making it easier to step into their shoes.

Now there is even another way to look at things differently.  Say its not someone, but something that is really bothering you. A situation or a decision that didn’t go in your favor.  In these times, it can be really hard to look at the bright side, but I challenge you to step back and look at it from a different lens.  Is there a reason that you can see why this ended up the way that it did?  Is there a way that you can learn from it?  And if the answer is no, sometimes you just have to remember that everything happens for a reason and when one door closes, another one opens.

So that is my weekend challenge for you.  Take something in your life and really look at it differently.  It might make life seem a little less stressful.  How are ways you try to look at things differently? Whether it be through creative expression like fashion, or the unique type of coffee you get from the farmers market, let us know in the comments below.  Or shoot me an email at  I would really love to hear and who knows maybe I will feature your story.  Have fun!