Edits by Kayte Demont
2017 was a year of substantial change for myself and many others that I know. We saw a lot of change in our country, we saw a lot of change in each other, and we saw a lot of change in ourselves. What I’ve always clung to in times of change is the ability to escape and adventure. While some of my adventures are planned and calculated, my favorite types of adventures (and honestly my favorite way to live my life), is to just go with the flow and see what happens. I can’t tell you the amount of times that I’ve just sort of stumbled into a supremely cool experience. It’s a natural curiosity that I’ve always had. I also hate planning unless it’s something like an event or a work project. I think it’s much more fun, and more fulfilling, if you let your emotions guide you and truly feel in the moment.
For example: a year or so ago, I was walking with my friends Heather and Austin down the Venice Boardwalk in California and we stopped to check out some prints that an artist was selling on the side of the street. The artist wasn’t there, but he had left a doorbell that wasn’t attached to anything on a sign that said “ring this or call me to chat about my art,” with a phone number under it. Naturally, the doorbell didn’t work, so Heather called the number and the artist directed us to his studio – located about a block and a half behind us, in a castle-like tower that overlooked the beach. Taken aback but intrigued, the three of us entered the building and climbed 4 sets of stairs to meet the man on the other side of the phone. What ensued next still stands as one of my favorite experiences and is exactly how I feel art should be consumed. The artist, a man in his 40’s with a face that kept no secrets, welcomed us into his studio and proceeded to tour us through each room of his space. We stopped at each painting to listen to him explain his process and the meaning behind his pieces – each had it’s own unique story and was accompanied by special effect lighting and a musical sound track. We ended our experience by purchasing the prints that we had been interested in, but we left feeling fulfilled and in awe of what had just happened. It’s not every day that you get to meet the artist behind a work and it’s not every day that you get to be transported into an alternate world, as if inside the creative mind that produced something so aesthetically pleasing. It was nothing short of amazing.
So, as we enter 2018, I wanted to share some tips with you all to enhance your own adventure experiences. Some involve some planning, some only require an open mind. But I promise you, if you adventure you will find yourself and a whole lot more.
- Stray off the beaten path. This might seem obvious, but the best adventures seem to happen in places that are not well known. If you have access to nature, try exploring a place that isn’t as well known. If you’re a planner: research parks or hikes in your area that look intriguing and plan your adventure around that. If you’re a fly by the seat of your pants typa guy or gal: Start driving (or walking!) and see where it takes you (this is my personal favorite way to adventure!)
- If you’re traveling far, find an awesome AirBnB. A couple weeks ago, Rachael and I traveled to Alamosa, CO and the Sand Dunes for a weekend getaway. Our sole objective was to take as many photos as possible so that we could crank out content to share and expand our skills. We knew that the Sand Dunes were the main event, but it was so nice to have a place to stay that had ample photo opportunities inside and out. If you’re a control freak and want to think of every detail: find a place to stay well in advance and gather your props and materials so that your Pinterest board or shot list comes to life. If you’re chill with just seeing what happens when you just throw a bunch of cool shit in the car: book your AirBnB based the best of what’s available and let the creatives juices flow. – For this trip (the photos in this post are from our adorable cabin), we sort of did both. Mostly threw stuff in the car and went with it, but also did some broad inspiration boards and photos lists so we had an idea.
- Stay local and hit up events on Facebook. One of my favorite ways to find out about what’s going on in my community is through the Events page on Facebook. There are so many things to do and ways to get involved/meet people in your community. If you’re feeling shy and need a push: Pick a couple events that look interesting to you and gather a friend or two to try one with you! It’s sometimes easier to open up if you have another person there to support you. If you’re an independent human trying to spread their wings and fly solo: Start going to events by yourself! Sometimes you meet other awesome humans, sometimes you learn something about yourself. Either way, you’ll be happy you put yourself outside of your comfort zone and tried something new.
- Keep an open mind – within reason. This tip is good for everyone (planner or spontaneous adventurer). Keep an open mind so that you can go with the flow of new experiences. However, always go with your gut and be safe. If you feel uncomfortable in any situation, make sure it’s a good uncomfortable that fosters growth, not an “I feel like someone is going to harm me” uncomfortable. Safety first, then teamwork.
- Document every moment. This one is tricky. How do you find balance between living in the moment and documenting everything for memories’ sake? If you like things to be set ahead of time: Plan times for specific activities, make sure you take some photos to remember the experience by while you’re navigating your itinerary. If you want to just relax and see what happens: Relax and see what happens. Rachael and I are both photographers so we love to take photos of literally EVERYTHING. But that’s our passion and how we create and express ourselves. While it may seem like that’s all we do, we actually also did a whole lot of lounging and dancing to music on our adventure. Just see what feels right and have fun!
Here’s to a happy, healthy, productive and adventurous 2018!