4 Places to Seek New Experiences

07/11/2011

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I tend to get a stir crazy pretty easily and need to seek out new adventures every so often. Right now this urge is worse than normal. I’m feeling the urge to mix things up big time.

Normally, I would just book a trip somewhere. And, I did that…. I’m headed to San Francisco for work, and I decided to take on some extra time to explore the city. I’ve loved spending time there in the past, but haven’t felt like I’ve been able to explore it nearly enough. Now I have to cut the trip short because I’ve been grounded.

Doctors orders. It turns out that overtraining for the half marathon I ran in March can have some pretty serious implications – namely a stress fracture in each shin, which mean lots of ice, no weight bearing exercises for about 4 weeks (including walking for any real distance), and a handicap sticker, which my doc recommended, but I can’t bring myself to go pick up!

It’s truly amazing how hard it is to sit still and relax, or sit still and be productive, when all you want to do is get going.

So I’ve been doing my best to channel my excess energy into a couple projects and other sedentary pursuits. The list below includes a few “places” where new experiences can be found, in case you’re feeling the need for something new. I couldn’t resist adding the travel to the list!

1) In Your Work…

Seek new experiences wherever they are. “Life is just a set of experiences. As long as there are new experiences for me in a corporate job, I don’t think I have to be an entrepreneur. The cool thing about being an entrepreneur is I can guarantee to myself that it’s going to be new, because I am going to make it so.” by Sam Yagan in Confessions of a former entrepreneur. (Who, me?) This seems like the right idea to me. Don’t worry too much about the length of your future with any one company. Stay as long as there are new and interesting things to do.

Follow the work. “Social norms push at us relentlessly to make decisions about a singular work path. Choosing well, we are told, will set us up for success or failure.” This can be limiting. … “Focusing on a body of work will give you more freedom to choose different work options throughout the course of your  life.” by Pam Slim in Blow up traditional careers in favor of bodies of work

2) At a Desk

Grab a pencil. I’ve started following a number of talented illustrators on Twitter, including Michael Nobbs. To better understand what they do, in preparation for a new project I’m working on, I’ve tried my hand at it using Michael’s Start to Draw Your Life booklet. If you’ve never done it before or it’s been ages, prepare to be humbled! Then, upload your bad drawing to his Flickr group created just for that purpose!

3) Abroad…

Have a unique experience. Afar Media, responsible for Afar Magazine – a favorite of mine, has recently launched a new service their calling Afar Experiences – providing once-in-a-lifetime events for spirited world travelers. They’ve put together an amazing three day event in Cairo in October featuring a unique schedule of events including the opportunity to understand Eqypt more deeply and to hear stories from many of the young people involved in the recent revolution. I’m normally much more of an independent traveler, but I have to admit that this kind of tour – small, unique, and focused on experiences – is the kind of tour I’d take. For a little more information about traveling in Egypt these days, check out Traveling and Safety in Post-Revolution Egypt, by Christine at Almost Fearless.

Get a passport. “The numbers tell the story: Of the 308 million-plus citizens in the United States, 30% have passports.” … “There were 61.5 million trips outside the United States in 2009, down 3% from 2008, … About 50% of those trips were to either Mexico or Canada, destinations that didn’t require a passport until 2007. Despite the climbing number of American passports in circulation [AFP: only because they're needed now to visit Canada and Mexico!], 30% is still low compared to Canada’s 60% and the United Kingdom’s 75%.” Need a resolution you can keep? Get a passport if you don’t already have one!

4) Online…

There are a couple of new sites I’ve started to visit online…

First, is Google+, the new social networking “project” put forth by Google to rival Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. It’s brand spanking new and still hard to tell what it will be like when (or if) it will really be in use. I’m still getting my head around it, but here are a few of articles I’ve been reading to make some sense of it: Google Plus – First Look, How to Blog with Google Plus, and What Google+ Means for Your Business, all by Chris Brogan, and How to Use Google Plus from Read Write Web. If you’d like an invite, let me know…

Next is Pinterest, which is MUCH more intuitive to use than Google+ and super simple. It’s a virtual pinboard. See something you like while browsing online, from clothing to books to travel destinations to recipes to illustrations, then pin it. Using the bookmarklet they provide, which you drag up to your toolbar, you can pin something to Pinterest and add it to one of your many boards with a caption, without even leaving the page you’re on. I’ve started a travel bucket list, foods to make, and quotes I like, among others. Check it out, and follow me on Pinterest if you do.

Where are you seeking new things lately?

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