10 Tips to Help You Have More Adventures This Year

As I reflected on my previous years’ adventure list goals, I noticed that there were still adventures left on my list by the end of the year…and that’s ok.

When I was provided with the opportunity to cross something off my list, I took it. Some of my adventures that weren’t on my original adventure list were later added and then crossed off along the way.

It’s important to recognize the moments that are once in a lifetime, that you can only experience if you take action, at that moment, that time, that place.

I’m sharing practical tips to help you overcome obstacles and experience more adventures this year.

My mom and brother with special needs

Why I Try to Live Without Regrets

If you have been a reader of mine for a while, you know that a big motivation for me to live to the fullest is because of the death of my brother and mom. (“Why Death has made me want to live”)

A conversation with my mom on her deathbed has also fueled me.

In her final weeks of life, she shared that she had always wanted to go to Hawaii…but it was too late for that now.

You have to understand that she was full of life but the circumstances of taking care of my brother for years, all four of my grandparents at various points in time, and her own cancer chipped away from her time and zest a bit.

During my mom’s final months, she began painting again. She was an incredible artist but she had a new challenge. Her right arm had cancer in her bones which made tasks extremely painful. So she took up painting with her left hand.

Her paintings created by her non-dominant left hand displayed more talent than I’ll ever know. In her final weeks of life, she shared her talent and her prayers with those she came in contact with.

No More Excuses

So let’s take on this year and let our challenges become opportunities to be intentional to still seek adventure when we can, while we still can.

Time and health are not guaranteed for anyone.


1. If you want to do something bad enough, you’ve got to overcome the fear of going alone

Several of my most popular pictures over the years were from explorations by myself.

It gave me time to think, be grateful, and FEEL ALIVE.

For example, there is a historic cemetery in our area that I love to walk and take pictures of.

I also love to take photo walks downtown because street art always puts a smile on my face.

You may not always have someone available to accompany you, so why not test the waters and try going alone?

There are also some adventures that you can only experience solo, like the time that I jumped off the Stratosphere.

That was a moment!

It doesn’t always have to be so extreme. It could be as simple as riding your bike on a “new to you” trail.

It may be that trip that you want to go on but you don’t have someone to go with you.

When I went on a group trip to Nepal I was forced to get out of my comfort zone to get to know others on the trip. I didn’t have the safety net of a friend or family member by my side.

The experience allowed me to get to know others in the group on a deeper level and form friendships with people from all walks of life.

Trapeze with Cincinnati Circus Company1

2. Do it Scared

Confession: I’m actually kind of a wimp.

I’ve become braver over the years but I was definitely a late bloomer.

I didn’t even start riding REAL roller coasters until I was in 8th grade! I’ve progressively gotten braver/crazier over the years as I’ve gotten older which doesn’t make sense.

Guided Tour with Leavenworth Snowmobile Tours

Each time has given me more confidence for the next BUT there always has to be a FIRST TIME.

Like the moment that I experienced a childhood dream of trying the trapeze...Or when I drove a snowmobile in Washington State by myself.

I wasn’t very confident and struggled to keep up with the guide… but I did it!

Each time that you face your fear you’ll gain more confidence for the next adventure.

View of North Dakota Badlands at Theodore Roosevelt National Park

3. Be Intentional and Don’t Put Limits on Your Dreams

One of my all-time favorite quotes is

“If you want to do something bad enough, you will find a way, if not you”‘ll find an excuse.” -Jim Rohn

How often do we talk ourselves out of something that we want to do?

You don’t have the extra income for some of your goals.

Who cares?!

That’s where creative “FUNancing” comes in.

Sometimes it’s timing, but other times it’s just because we don’t want to put the work into it or budget for it.

Most of the time it’s easier to make an excuse than to make a plan and get intentional with our calendar.

I admire the people who travel the world for months at a time (like Connie) because they decided that the experience trumped the excuses.

taping of the Oprah Winfrey Show

Many years ago, I was able to get last-minute tickets to see Oprah Winfrey tape a live episode with members from “The View.” That moment was once in a lifetime.

Those people gathering together during the last season of Oprah’s show was an experience that could not be replicated.

There were logistical challenges on my end to make it happen.

My friend lived 6 hours away at the time, the kids needed childcare arrangements, and there was a short window of time for us to make it happen.

We figured it out and I have no regrets.

There was a bit of a financial sacrifice too but again I have no regrets because we recognized the value of a once in a lifetime moment.

Snowboards at Schuss Mountain

4. Challenge Yourself to Try New Things

Several years ago, I took a snowboarding lesson for the first time. I was concerned about being too old to start.

I FELT OLD compared to the kids that I saw on the slopes.

My snowboard instructor told me something that shattered that mindset. He said his oldest lesson-taker was in his 80s!

80’s!!!! He valued challenging himself to experience new things over the excuse of why not.

When you try something new it helps break up the monotony of routine and bring new life and energy.

I’m new to the sport of pickleball but I’m enjoying the challenge and the opportunity to meet new people.

hiccups from the source hot sauce

5. Don’t Allow the Fear of Looking Stupid to Stop You

I look stupid all the time, and I’ve come to embrace it. I actually enjoy laughing at myself when I try new things.

…Like the time I was the only one in our group who wanted to do the crazy hot sauce challenge. I was bound to look stupid but I had been training for this moment.

It’s crazy to expect that you will be good or perfect at something the first time you try it.

When I tried aerial silks it was WAY harder than I anticipated but it made me appreciate my progress even more.

I’m scared or intimidated to try A LOT of my adventures, but each time I face my fear, I have more confidence for the next thing.

I’ve even witnessed that in my kids as they face their fears and also don’t put limits on their dreams.  

We’ve been blessed to share so many incredible experiences that have expanded their confidence.

friends snowshoeing in Sandusky Ohio

6. Find people who get you and who challenge you to dream BIG

I have people in my corner who understand me, encourage me, and push me when my insecurities begin to hinder me from moving forward.

They get me and how I’m wired because they share the wanderlust gene.

I don’t have to explain my desire to travel to more places or try more adventures because they are actively seeking more adventures in their lives too.

There will always be people who don’t understand me. They don’t understand why I’m constantly seeking adventure all the time.

Some of those people may even be closest to me, but that doesn’t stop me.

I can’t let their disapproval or misunderstanding of my motives stop me because I’m more concerned about their opinion.

I would have missed out on so many incredible experiences over the years if I had paused to filter whether I thought everyone would approve.

I’m choosing to enjoy and live my life to the fullest.

That can look different than other people’s visions and that’s ok.

Going back is not an option.

Extreme tree climbing with Earth Joy Tree Adventures

7. When you step out of your comfort zone, you make comfortable people…uncomfortable

When you see someone go for a goal, it challenges you to evaluate what you’re doing, question why you haven’t gone after your dream, and lean on excuses.

I have a friend who has lost a lot of weight.

Observing her transformation has challenged me to think about what is getting in the way of my healthier lifestyle goals..time, laziness, and excuses.

What you do with that uncomfortable feeling is what matters.

Do you step up and improve your life or do you try to sabotage and bring that person down so that you feel more comfortable?

It happens all the time. Sometimes people might not even realize they are doing it to someone else.

Use that uncomfortable feeling to bring positive change. 

You also have to challenge yourself to seek to be uncomfortable regularly.

Stand Up paddleboarding at Cumberland Falls in Kentucky Up paddleboarding at Cumberland Falls in Kentucky

8. Stay Curious -Add to your list all year long and be open to new experiences with different subcultures

So many incredible experiences that I had this past year were not on my original list. Be curious about people and places around you. Ask them about their adventures.

I found out about a Wolf Encounter years ago from a conversation with my friend Heather.  

We added it to the list and we later experienced it.

Some of the most interesting people I’ve ever met were from subcultures of hobbies that I normally would not come in contact with.

A few examples are Intro to curling, trying the Luge, making pottery in Gatlinburg, pickleball, and riding in a gyroplane.

Adventure List
Adventure List 2
Adventure List 3

Write Down the Adventures You Want to Experience

There is something about taking the time to write down what you want to do and the satisfying feeling when you finally cross it off.

I recommend having BOTH a local adventure list and an adventures away list.

You can refer to the list when you have extra time or want to plan ahead.

You can either download and write down your adventure list on paper or keep a running tab on your phone.

I use the notes area on my phone to keep track of local adventures and adventures away. I can check them off as I go and also add to them when I get suggestions.

Big Zipper Zipline at Sheltowee Trace Adventure Resort

9. Identify What You Want to Do and Be Intentional With Your List

Opportunities Take Action.  You need to plan out what you want to do and get it on the calendar.

Quit saying “should” because it implies feelings of guilt and shame.

What are your interests and talents?

What do you want your dream life to look and feel like?

Your list is Individual. Live Your OWN Dream!

I love quirky things and I don’t apologize for it. When I discovered a disco bathroom at a Kentucky gas station I added a visit as one of our road trip stops.

Don’t allow comparison with another person or fear of judgment to keep you from enjoying things and becoming the best you!

Comparison is the thief of joy and each of us is on our own journey.

When you are passionate about what you do, the work to get there doesn’t bother you as much.

I put A LOT of hours into this blog, but it’s something that I LOVE! It motivates, intimidates, and challenges me all of the time, but it’s my passion.

fat tire biking in the snow in Northern Michigan

10. Set Goals (BIG and small) and Share an Adventure with Friends and Family as Often as Possible

ALWAYS have something to look forward to.

It could be as small as taking the time to drink your favorite coffee in front of your favorite landscape or taking the time to plan a game night.

Don’t just wait for a special event or vacation once a year to look forward to. You can also invite others to join you on an adventure to stir up bravery too.

Find beauty in each day and always have something on the horizon coming up soon.

I wouldn’t have dreamed that I would be able to cross off so many adventures this past year.

I’m continuing to add items to the list because I didn’t do all of last year’s adventure goals.

I still have so many incredible memories from adventures shared with my family and friends because I set goals and took advantage of opportunities to accomplish them.

One of my favorite things to do is share a first-time experience with someone.

It could be something as little as sharing someone’s first time riding an electric bike.

There is magic in the firsts.

“Shoot for the moon and if you miss you are still among the stars”

Even if you don’t achieve all of your adventure list goals in a year, you can still create a lot of incredible memories.

Remember “A Goal is a dream with a deadline.”

Don’t let time get away from your dreams.

What’s on your “shoot for the moon” list?

What should I add to mine? Who wants to join me?

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