Adventure in the Great Indoors
Welcome to the great indoors! The prospect of weeks within four walls is going to feel difficult for those of us who are used to escaping to nature when stressed, but the good news is that as long as you follow social distancing guidelines there are safe ways to enjoy outside. The health benefits of travel and the outdoors are undeniable, so let’s look at a few ways to reap those benefits (even without leaving home) in the midst of a pandemic.
Many people have access to local wilderness. Now’s the time to prioritize visiting it! Though facilities are closed the trails themselves are often open (check with your local parks service to get a full list) – it’s a great opportunity to try out a new one.
No parks nearby or too many people there to maintain proper distance? Just getting outside is great, too. Take the dogs on a new path around the neighborhood. Shuffle through the snow and carve a nice message or smiley face in the powder for the next person who wanders by. Bring chalk along with you to leave a note for a friend on their sidewalk or an inspirational message for others. Go for a walk and start wearing in your gear for the next trip.
At all times, be respectful of others and maintain social distancing protocol.
Keep Fit and Train for What’s Next
A sedentary lifestyle will not help you on your next trek, so it’s time to pull out that yoga mat or bike trainer and keep the blood flowing. Body-weight exercises like planks or lunges will build your strength. FitForTrips shared a great routine for strength and cardiovascular fitness with us that can be done with minimal equipment. Take advantage of the many fitness companies and gyms that are streaming workouts online and keep in shape on your own. For workout props, think around the home: stairs or furniture work nearly as well as foam blocks or barres. If you can make it to a local trail to push your endurance and get some on-the-ground training live, even better!
Try Something New
Mental health is critically important, especially during times of high stress, and one of the primary benefits of adventure travel is the resiliency of mind that comes with navigating the new or unexpected. While the novel coronavirus may be taxing our resiliency, there is stress relief to be found all around.
As every camper, climber, and fly fisher knows, there are always knots to learn. You could start to learn a little of the language featured in that place you always wanted to go (or something less practical if you’d find High Valyrian or Klingon to be more interesting). It’s the perfect time to dust off the hobby tools you collected and always meant to use: wood-burning pens to decorate walking sticks, needle and thread to embroider designs on day packs, yarn to knit a neck-warming snood.
On an academic side, the Ivy League universities have collectively released hundreds of courses to take, free, on the web, covering courses from Cornell’s Relativity and Astrophysics to University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Business School’s Introduction to Corporate Finance.
Make a Plan
In 2010, the journal Applied Research in Quality of Life released a study that found the mere act of planning or anticipating your trip can bring you more happiness than actually taking it. Take advantage of this now! Of course our regional specialists are waiting to talk you through the adventure of your dreams for later this year or next, but even if you’re not quite ready to pick up the phone there’s plenty to get you started just on our site. Need inspiration? Try the 20 Best Hikes of a Lifetime 2020, the Top 18 Expert Adventure Picks for 2020, and 4 Places I’m Dreaming About for Later in 2020.
Connect With Others
The internet is the door to the rest of the world, and even though it can’t quite take you outside, it can bring you closer to others. Google Hangouts, Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp video chats with friends and family are easy, by computer or phone. If you want to run a socially distanced movie night, there’s the Chrome browser extension Netflix Party and the stream-sharing service Rabbit that’ll let you connect while you watch. Don’t forget email, chat, text, and, of course, the phone! It may help to schedule time to connect with people so this very real social need doesn’t get lost in a week-long documentary binge.
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We hope something here has piqued your interest. We are in strange times but what helps keeps adventurers together is a determination to see every challenge through. Whatever the next few weeks bring, remember to take care of yourself, your family, and your community.
Be safe! We’ll see you on the other side.