During the first few summers of my marriage, Sarah and I would go camping roughly every other weekend.
We loved going to a new park, picking out a spot, pitching a tent, and starting a campfire on Friday evening. When Saturday morning dawned, we’d emerge from the tent and eat a quick breakfast. When cleanup was finished, either Sarah or I would make the same, familiar suggestion.
“Let’s go exploring.”
Now that I’m a parent, camping is a bit more difficult. I have three young children that constantly have to be watched at the campsite for their own safety and their needs are much different than those of an adult.
Yet, there’s still a moment in each camping day where Sarah and I will say that phrase to the children.
“Let’s go exploring.”
There are few things in life I enjoy more than exploring the area where I find myself. If I’m in an airport, I’ll wander up and down the whole terminal. I’ve walked down every street and every backroad within three or four miles of my home. Whenever I’m traveling, I find myself itching to wander, just to see what’s around me.
Sarah has this same itch, as do most of our friends. There’s something wonderful about simply wandering about, exploring your environment and seeing what you can see. The best part? It’s usually completely free.
Here are four great ways to add some exploration to your free time.
Go to a park. Wherever there’s nature, there are amazing opportunities for exploration. The enormous variety of plants and animals, stones and landscapes, sounds and smells, all put before us on this Earth are well worth discovering and re-discovering.
Go to a spot in your city that’s new to you. If you live in a big city, get off the metro in an area that you’ve not visited lately and just see what’s there. You can scout it a bit using the internet before you leave, but don’t spoil all of the surprises.
Walk outside your front door. Look around and ask yourself where you’ve never been that’s near you. Go there and see what there is to see. You might find something completely unexpected or find yourself bumping into someone interesting.
Walk outside the front door of a friend. Do the same thing as you would do at home, but in a new area. Even better, take that friend with you when you explore.
Let’s go exploring.
This post is part of a yearlong series called “365 Ways to Live Cheap (Revisited),” in which I’m revisiting the entries from my book “365 Ways to Live Cheap,” which is available at Amazon and at bookstores everywhere. Images courtesy of Brittany Lynne Photography, the proprietor of which is my “photography intern” for this project.