Photography: Ben Duchac
When it comes to adventures, folks can be surprisingly close-minded. We picture lacing up dirt-caked boots, loading the car up with tents and coolers, and driving as far away from the city as we can. The thing is, an adventure can simply be what you make it—whether you’re climbing a mountain or exploring an area of town you’ve never been. Read on to discover how we like to turn the skyscrapers of our cities into towering pines and the winding roads into meandering rivers—and have an adventure in our own backyard.
Adventure #1: Take a Tour
You can live in a city for years and never know what lies right in front of you— whether it’s a 150-year-old building that was a part of the underground railroad, a cemetery with a famous tenant, or the treasures of your local museum. Most cities boast information packed tours—they cover art and architecture, food and booze, even supernatural specters! Learn about your home by hopping on a tour—you might be surprised at what you learn!
Adventure #2: Get a New Perspective
It’s easy to get into a groove at home. You commute to work, you work, you come home, maybe you break things up by going out to your favorite restaurant (which you’ve been to a hundred times already). When you see and do the same things every day, it’s easy to feel like your city isn’t the most exciting. Take a moment to step back. Look at your life and figure out how to change your perspective. Always meander through town with the same people? Call up a friend you haven’t seen in a while or even a new acquaintance that you don’t know very well, stroll through the streets, and find out about their favorite spots in the city. Always driving? Take a subway, bus, or water taxi and view your town through new eyes. Always at ground level? Grill out on a friend’s rooftop patio and get a bird’s eye view of the streets. Better yet, the WG Grill is easy to set up and take down, so not only does it come in a convenient carrying case for all of your city adventures, but it’s ready for you to use within minutes.
Photographer: Katie Botwin
Adventure #3: Take your Tastebuds for a Ride
Do you have a restaurant that you’re a regular at? That’s great. But have you tried that tiny hole in the wall down the street from your apartment? It’s easy to get into a routine, whether that’s with the people we see or the places we frequent. Breaking out of our routine challenges our comfort zones and encourages our brains to make new connections. Take your tastebuds on an adventure, get out of your comfort zone, and try that old Eastern European restaurant you walk past everyday. Don’t just look for something new on Yelp—actually get out there and explore until you smell something so delicious that you just have to stop for a bite. Who knows, maybe you’ll find a new favorite spot!
Adventure #4: Explore your Streets
Get lost. No, really. Go get lost. Exploring your hometown is about making new discoveries, and how can you do that when you trudge down the same roads every day? Lace up your walking shoes or hop on a bike and cruise around town—down streets you’ve never been, through parks and cozy neighborhood streets you didn’t know existed. Oh, and if you do decide to actually get lost, please make sure that you have a map or fully charged phone with service so you can get back to where your came from!
Photographer: Katie Botwin
Adventure #5: Be a Tourist
“But how can I be a tourist in my own town?” you may ask. Never fear— that’s why we’re here! What would you do if you were to visit a place you had never been? Rent a hotel room? See a musical at the performing arts hall? Ask locals for recommendations or directions? It may feel goofy, but it’s easy to find a new adventure right in your own town when you gain a new perspective. Stay at a friend’s house in a different part of town, cart your camera around, and strike up conversations with new folks by asking for recommendations—you might be surprised at the adventures you find!
You don’t need to head into the woods to have an adventure—heck, you don’t even have to leave your neighborhood. By breaking down the concept of what you think an adventure is, it’s surprisingly easy to find them wherever you live. We hope that this list just begins to show you how you can break out of your norm and go on an adventure in your own backyard.