Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Everyday Adventure Challenge #8

Learn about a New Holiday Tradition
WOW!! Where has the time gone?  I mean it’s already DECEMBER!!!  And you know what that means! It’s my favorite time of the year… the HOLIDAY SEASON!!  I bet a few of you thought I was going to say Christmas season, but there are so many more holidays this time of year.  Each one as unique and interesting as the last.  
You can feel it in the air, the uplifting spirit that comes with this time of year as if everyone is joining in a mental group hug.  Can you feel it squeeze ya?  Anyway, one way to promote that overall good cheer is to increase tolerance of things and people who are different from us. And an excellent way to do that is to learn about other people and cultures holiday traditions!  I love this idea, because there are so many fun and interesting things that people do this time of year, all over the world and maybe in the process you can add something new to your holiday traditions.
For your ease (because let’s face it, research is hard) I have created a short list of different traditions, and celebrations that are going on this time of year.  Check them out and see if there is anything you want to adopt into your holiday routine.  I have included a brief description (if you click on the holiday it will bring you to the website where I got the description) and below will be a link for more information. Some you will probably know, some you might not, but if you think I have forgot any feel free to leave a comment and I would be happy to add.  

Holiday List

Hanukkah Doughnuts Yum
Hanukkah - Also known as the Festival of Lights or Feast of Dedication. Hanukkah is an eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple (the Second Temple) in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire of the 2nd century BC. Hanukkah is observed for eight nights and days, starting on the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar, which may occur at any time from late November to late December in the Gregorian calendar

Kwanzaa - This is a week-long celebration held in the United States and also celebrated in the Western Africa Diaspora and in other nations of the Americas. The celebration honors African heritage in African-American culture, and is observed from December 26 to January 1, culminating in a feast and gift-giving. Kwanzaa has seven core principles (Nguzo Saba). It was created by Maulana Karenga, and was first celebrated in 1966–67.

New Years - New Year is the time at which a new calendar year begins and the calendar's year count is incremented. In many cultures, the event is celebrated in some manner
Hopi SoyalunaThe Hopi Indians traditionally believed that at the time of the Winter Solstice, the sun had traveled as far from the earth as he ever did. Only the most powerful humans could persuade the sun to turn around and come back to the pueblo. The purpose of Soyaluna, which is still held among the Hopi who live on the mesas of Arizona, is to prevent the disappearance of the sun at the time of year when the days are at their shortest.

Winter Solstice - Winter solstice is an astronomical phenomenon which marks the shortest 
 day and the longest night of the year. Winter solstice occurs for the Northern Hemisphere in December and for the Southern Hemisphere in June.
Las Posadas - This is a nine-day celebration with origins in Spain, now celebrated chiefly in Mexico, Guatemala and portions of the Southwestern United States beginning December 16 and ending December 24, on evenings (about 8 or 10 PM).

Boxing Day - This is a holiday traditionally celebrated the day
following Christmas Day, when servants and tradespeople would receive gifts, known as a "Christmas box", from their bosses or employers, in the United Kingdom, Canada, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Kenya, South Africa, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and other Commonwealth nations, as well as Norway, the Netherlands and Sweden. Today, Boxing Day is the bank holiday that generally takes place on 26 December
Bodhi Day – This is the Buddhist holiday that commemorates the day that the historical Buddha, Siddhartha Gautauma (Shakyamuni), experienced enlightenment also known as bodhi in Sanskrit and Pali. According to tradition, Siddhartha had recently forsaken years of extreme ascetic practices and resolved to sit under a peepal tree and simply meditate until he found the root of suffering, and how to liberate oneself from it.
Pancha Ganapati- This is a modern five-day Hindu festival celebrated from December 21 through 25 in honor of Lord Ganesha, Patron of Arts and Guardian of Culture. The festival was created in 1985 as a Hindu alternative to December holidays like Christmas by  Sivaya Subramuniyaswami (born Robert Hansen), a Western convert to Hinduism who founded the magazine Hinduism Today and the Saiva Siddhanta Church, headquartered in Hawaii; the festival is uncommon among traditional South Asian Hindus.
Christmas (I almost forgot this one haha)- This is an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ,  observed generally on December 25 as a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people around the world.  A feast central to the Christian liturgical year, it closes the Advent season and initiates the twelve days of Christmastide, which ends after the twelfth night.  Christmas is a public holiday in many-of-the-world's nations, is celebrated culturally by a large number of former or non-Christian people,  and is an integral part of the Christmas and holiday season.
Also check out this site for even more holiday fun!
So many fun things!  I know I am eyeing up those Venezuelan Christmas Butter Cookies! What are your holiday traditions?  I wanna hear them!!  Leave a comment or send me a message to

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!