Two years ago we went to see an apartment for sale and ended up on the roof terrace with a terrific sunset view. Thank you, Facebook, for reminding about it with this picture. The apartment block used to be an office building before. It had some 14 floors, boring flats, and a roof terrace. We asked for the terrace keys and unexpectedly caught an amazing nature show, in all colors of the dawn.
Today I want to share my thoughts about the ability to find and create small adventures and look at the world with wonder.
We all want novelty. It is a basic human need. As much as we need stability and security, we also need insecurity because otherwise the life would be too boring to bear. We are hungry for adventures, novelties and news. We travel, near and far, surf the internet and social media, and browse the shops checking out the new fashion collection or the latest smartphone. Good news is: I have discovered that for your mind to be happy, it doesn’t have to backpack around Asia for this sense of novelty and excitement. The smallest adventures feel as great as the big ones, and if there are many of them, it even feels better than one great adventure surrounded by the everlasting routine.
Once I read an article which listed ideas to introduce novelty into the daily life without great costs or dramatic changes like moving to a new city. It included tips like reading a magazine that you never read, listen to a new radio station, take a new road to your work, eat lunch in a new place, move your bed, your desk to change the perspective, etc. This article happened to me many years ago, and I can’t say it stuck with me. But its general idea stayed in some corner of my mind. And from time to time I find myself reinventing the same truth: sometimes you don’t need to travel far, sometimes it is enough to take a new turn – and you will discover excitement and happiness.
Some years ago I used to sit on the same bus to and from work, taking the same route every day. I would look dreamily out of the window at the little bakery on the corner. One day, out of the blue, I felt moved to step out of the bus on the wrong station and go to that bakery. Suddenly a boring afternoon became a little adventure. I found myself in a place I’ve never been before, sipping coffee by the window and looking at the buses passing by. From there I walked home (which was not far away) and discovered a sweet little neighborhood, Rodeløkka. Its old-fashioned style, gardens and wooden houses were my love at first sight, and I would return there several times to take pictures. Maybe, it is no wonder that half a year later I got a new job exactly in this neighborhood 🙂
Yesterday I was walking in my neighborhood, my usual route, passing the shops I never stop by. When my eye caught a pink beanie in a window shop, and as I popped inside I discovered a small concept store, selling clothes, plants and interior pieces. A tiny corner with the desk, cactuses and pictures on the wall made me all weak and dreamy. Why have I never seen it before? Because often I am in the serious adult modus, knowing my way, going my way, straight to my goal. No time for nonsense. But sometimes I hear my inner child’s voice: stop here, walk inside here, make a different turn there. And when I follow it, small wonders happen – but every time. It is like falling into the rabbit’s hole. Suddenly the switch clicks and I become like a child, with eyes wide open that see wonders, and the soul tingling with excitement.
Sometimes it is a natural inclination of a character. Carles, my man, is good at it. “Look, they took away the gate here, let’s go inside and see!”, he said to me yesterday as we were walking the same street I walk every day. Why haven’t I thought of it? So we went inside and saw a backyard we never saw. And on our way back we saw the view of my over-walked street which I’d never seen before. It is a small thing. But it makes my day brighter. Sometimes not. Sometimes we don’t discover anything nice, and then I roll my eyes “why have you taken me here?” But it is worth a try, isn’t it?
The good news is: if you don’t have a natural inclination like this, you can practice. And get better at it. You can set small goals like that article’s ideas: buy a magazine you never buy, take a street you don’t usually walk, look inside the store you usually pass by. Take a new turn. Let your inner child play. And with time you will get better at hearing his voice calling you for an adventure. It is not loud, this voice, it is usually oppressed by your adult seriousness – but the more you practice playing and listening, the better you get. That is the best thing about practice. You just do it again and again, and then you get better.
What kind of new turn could you think of in your day-to-day life? Share with me if you’ve got some ideas for small adventures!