December 29 2008 by Neal Mueller
As the adventure columnist for Best Western it's basically my "job" to encourage you all to live your dreams and be as adventuresome as possible. That is all well and good, but some of you have shared some practical matters with me, like a lack of vacation. You've told me that you it's just not a practical reality for you to take 4 weeks vacation and go trekking in Tibet or cycling in France.
Here are five adventures that will help you free your adventuresome spirit within the practical constraints of your jobby job.
#1 The Athletic Adventure: Swim to Alcatraz and back by 9 am (San Francisco residents only).
The Southend Rowing Club hosts a roundtrip swim to Alcatraz every Tuesday morning at 6 am. It's for conditioned swimmers only who are also members, but in my experience it doesn't take more than a few months of conditioning for most swimmers to get to this point. Participants finish in time for 9 am meetings. What a way to start off the day! And best yet, this adventure this takes zero vacation.
#2 The Intellectual Adventure: Learn a trade at your community college.
Most communities have a community college with lots of amazing weekday evening classes. The classes are usually inexpensive and interesting. Last week I took a class on Beginning Chinese acrobatics (I was inspired by the Olympics). Some other classes that are available are Beginning Auto Repair and Beginning Gardening. And best yet, this adventure takes zero vacation.
#3 The Living Room Adventure: Train to do 100 pushups.
An adventure into discovering your own strength. If you're serious about increasing your strength, follow this free six week web training program and you'll be on your way to completing 100 consecutive pushups! This adventure requires only gravity and your god-given sense of self-determination. And best yet, this adventure takes zero vacation.
#4 The Eco Adventure: Bike to work.
Biking to work is good for so many reasons. For me it has become a morning ritual that makes everyday an adventure. I bike 10 miles to work 3 days per week. Google Maps says it costs me $5.21. And best yet, this adventure takes zero vacation.
#5 The Cultural Adventure: Volunteer at a soup kitchen.
Chances are if you're reading this blog post that you have a warm meal and a warm bed every night. Many people are not so lucky. If you're up for a cultural adventure go spend an hour with the homeless and the needy. They are cash-poor and perspective-rich. Most communities have soup kitchens that need volunteers for breakfast and dinner. You can usually call a few hours ahead and arrange to pop-in and help out the kitchen staff. Seeing life from behind the counter of a soup kitchen line will definitely be an adventure. Trust me.
Think you might try one (or two) of these adventures next week? If you have a vacation-free adventure of your own to share please do! We'd love to hear about it.