I’m sat in my car driving the hour-long drive to what used to be my place of work. The route was all on A roads and back country lanes passing through little villages along the way.
This drive was something I’d done hundreds of times and knew every twist and turn. On many occasions I found that I couldn’t remember driving random parts of the journey. Like I had teleported instantly from one point to the next.
I wasn’t tired or sleepy, but as I had done the same thing so many times, my brain had switched off and became almost robotic. But more than that I was bored!
Thankfully, I don’t have to do that drive any more but even though I knew that route like the back of my hand I had no idea where any of the many roads branching off my route would have taken me. If I had of explored a little wider and took some of these side roads instead they may have led to a shortcut or an alternative more interesting route.
Obviously, you don’t necessarily get to choose a drive to work like this, you do it because you have to. However, humans are quite habitual and we like to do things that we have already done, like holidays for example.
We like visiting the same place and having that comfort factor of knowing where things are, which restaurant is good, which pub serves the perfect pint or your favourite gin. You go back to not only your favourite beach but your favourite spot on that beach.
There is of course nothing wrong with this, and we did exactly that on our last family break to Tenby in West Wales. Tenby is somewhere I have been visiting quite literally all my life and we do have our favourite places to go, but we also try and do a few different activities and visit places that we haven’t done or been to before.
If we didn’t do this, we would still have a nice time but we could find it hard for the holiday to remain exciting over time and there wouldn’t be anything out of the ordinary that would stand out from the last time we experienced it.
By choosing different things to do (and something a little more adventurous) we have found more new favourite places, have had new experiences that we will remember for years to come.
Of course you don’t have to restrict this want to live a life more adventurous to a drive to work or your holiday activities – you can benefit from this far closer to home. If you stood outside your front door how far would you have to walk until you got somewhere you haven’t been before? I think you would be surprised with how close these new places are. Over lockdown we went on a lot of walks and found a wood we had never been in before and a new field (perfect for sledging) that for some reason it’s now referred to in our family as ‘Freddies Field’ after my youngest son.
What would you find or see if you turned left and not right down that footpath, or what is hidden around the next bend in the river? I really enjoy studying all the marked footpaths and bridleways on an OS (ordnance survey) map of my local area and having a far more adventurous walk or run from my front door to a place I’ve never been to before.
So if you are feeling like things in your life are repetitive and you’re missing out on some wow moments, step out of your comfort zone, turn off the roads you already know and live a life more adventurous. After all, you don’t quite know where they will take you.
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