How to find little adventures (plus the TBT videos — available now for those who pre-order!)

One of the Tranquility by Tuesday rules is to have “one big adventure” and “one little adventure” each week. A big adventure is something novel or memorable taking 3-4 hours (think half a weekend day). A little adventure can be less than an hour — doable on a lunch break or a weekday evening — as long as it is out-of-the-ordinary.

Of course, we tend to be most familiar with the ordinary stuff in our lives. Finding something out-of-the-ordinary to do can be a little challenging. So, one common question I’ve been getting about this rule is how to figure out doable adventures.

There are lots of approaches, but one good one is recognizing that tweaks to normal activities can be adventures if done mindfully. So for instance, you can…

Get on the email lists for all sorts of local institutions. That way you can learn about their programs/festivals/events. You might find, for instance, that a library branch in your town has a new art exhibit upstairs. You can stop by the library as you might anyway, and then make an excursion to the exhibit space. Voila — a little adventure.

Work out differently. If you exercise in any way, this provides an opportunity to squeeze in an adventure. Try a new walking route, or bike to a destination. If you normally run on a treadmill or the road, running on a trail can be an adventure. And then each new trail you try can be an additional adventure, spread out over many weeks!

Be a tourist in your own town. Most places have at least some spot that visitors would be sent. If you’ve never gone there, try it out. Maybe there’s a historic cemetery a quarter mile from your office that you could walk to over lunch.

Get together with new people. Anything novel can be a little adventure, and new acquaintances are, well, new. Getting together with familiar people in new places can also be an adventure.

Explore your own house. When I did the Tranquility by Tuesday project in early 2021, some people still had Covid restrictions in place. But that didn’t mean adventures were impossible. Climbing a tree as an adult would likely be an adventure! Elisabeth Frost posted a picture of the giant Chutes & Ladders game her family drew with chalk on the driveway. That is an adventure too.

Ultimately, adventure is more a state of mind than an objective standard of measurement. If you think it’s interesting, novel, memorable, then it is. With the rule to build in one little adventure each week you start to be on the lookout for more adventures. And whatever we look for, we tend to find. So this rule becomes easier after a while.

What little adventures have you tried lately?

In other news: This weekend is going to be a doozy. Much hosting, including my first “big” party in the new house on behalf of one of my children’s schools. Hopefully it will go wonderfully and inspire me to host more parties. So after all those mentions of Costco-sized cereal in yesterday’s comments, I’m off to Costco today for party food…

I know a lot of people who read this blog regularly have already pre-ordered Tranquility by Tuesday. But in case you haven’t, there are some cool bonuses, including early access to the TBT In Real Life videos. People who pre-ordered got an email this morning with links to all four of them. If you’d like to see them too, just pre-order a copy (links on this page) and then fill out the form to get the pre-order bonuses (also on this page). Thanks for your support!

Individual orders really do matter. Most books don’t sell that many copies! We’re talking thousands not millions. It makes a difference.

9 thoughts on “How to find little adventures (plus the TBT videos — available now for those who pre-order!)

  1. My little adventure this week was going into the office to meet with my team. I work remotely full time now so it was a great way to shake up the week.

  2. Ever since being one of your Tranquility guinea pigs, I’ve been adding little adventures all over the place! A few weeks ago, my husband and I shifted our usual after-work dog walk to a lovely (though mosquito-filled) trail nearby and stopped for ice cream on the way home. Last week we attended an artist lecture where we unexpectedly saw an old roommate. This weekend instead of just taking my mother in law to lunch, we’re finally going to check out a museum in her town that I’ve always been curious about.
    Just having “little adventure” as a goal pushes me to look a little harder for interesting ways to spice up ordinary activities. It makes otherwise mundane days so much more memorable.

  3. One of my favorite “little adventures” recently was going with my mother to an abandoned house in our neighborhood and stealing some cuttings from the house’s neglected bushes. No one else was taking them so… (And before anyone judges, they are tearing it all down and putting in a bunch of condos so there will be a block of cement building there soon anyway). We felt both sneaky and excited about the flowers.

  4. This is key: “Adventure is more a state of mind than an objective standard of measurement.”
    I think sometimes we get hung up on the word adventure and think if it’s not sky diving or trying some crazy new culinary experience in an exotic destination than it can’t be classified as an “adventure.” But little things can make for as equally pleasant and memorable experiences as something far more dramatic (like, for example, sky diving – which I haven’t done yet, and would certainly classify as a big adventure…)

  5. I agree with the thought that adventures can be found at home! Lately I’ve been thinking that even trying a new recipe can be an adventure – the whole process of checking out a cookbook from the library, leafing through and trying something I’ve never made before, be it a new baking project or even a dinner option. Yes, we have to put dinner on the table nightly, but it doesn’t have to be the same old every evening- we’ve been trying to eat more healthily lately and exploring vegan cookbooks and recipes certainly has been “interesting, novel, memorable” (jackfruit, anyone?). Plus it has the frisson of the unknown that I think good adventures have – “Will the family like this?”
    Perhaps off topic, but it also makes me think, too, that perhaps adventures can also be found at work, and not just thought of as a leisure pursuit. Often at work, my colleagues and I will call things “adventures.” Like a trip to find the IT office in the bowels of the parking garage – “Well, that was an adventure,” we’ll say when we finally make it back to our office. A really hard rehearsal full of bizarre requests from singers and directors, “Well, that was an adventure,” we’ll say to each other at the end of the evening. Maybe not the intentional intention of your Tranquility by Tuesday Rule, but could be a helpful framing for those particularly memorable moments at work?

  6. These are some of the little adventures we’ve done:
    ~ Michael’s (the craft store chain) has “Make Breaks” – free art classes on Sundays. Even the supplies are free. And you often get an extra little bag for a make-at home project with beads and pipe cleaners and stuff like that. My 6 year old and I often go, and then go grocery shopping after. We like looking at the holiday decorations they sell, too. I’m not a huge craft person, but my nieces are (7 and 10), and it’s helped me get ideas for presents, and the teacher is an expert and has helped me find good gifts for them.
    ~ Target sells these little $4 Halloween gingerbread house kits that my son and I build and decorate together. Once I bought a whole bunch of them for my mom and my nieces to build together and they had a blast.
    ~When I am recovering from being sick, I like to make Rice Krispie treats. They feel special because I don’t always have the ingredients on hand, but they are easy to make. I bought seasonal sprinkles (orange and black) and voila, we have Halloween Rice Krispie treats.
    ~ I often make Halloween and Christmas cookies, but we’ve had so much sugar in the house lately, that instead I bought a bucket of Crayola air dry clay and we used the cookie cutters to make clay decorations. (I don’t usually care for crafts and knick knacks because it just feels like more junk in the house, but these will get put away after Halloween.)
    ~ My six year old is really into fuse beads. I like that they give us something to do together and we can chit chat. (I don’t love playing toys; it can get violent with super heroes fighting and it hurts to sit on the floor. I like that this has a natural conclusion; sometimes when we play he just wanders away, but expects me to keep playing…)
    ~ We’ve been borrowing DVDs from the library for stuff that isn’t on Netflix. It feels special, somehow, because we only have the DVD for a limited amount of time, and we make popcorn and get under a blanket on the couch. When I see a preview for something, I write it down in my phone so that I remember to check the library. Also, I love that you can order online from the library now, and they pull from all the neighboring libraries. I can be more thoughtful about my choices and get books that we both like.
    ~ There’s a lot of festivals going on now, with inflatables or animals or even just booths that have little games and crafts. You can find them in the penny saver, by signing up on the parks and recs website for their emails, by using event brite, or community kangaroo. My kid won a week of karate lessons at one of the festivals, so we’ll see how that goes!

    1. @LauraK – these are great ideas! Thanks for sharing. We have a Michaels about 10 minutes from us and I have in no way exhausted the possibilities there. I have a few kids who would love to start getting more craft stuff…

    2. I don’t know yet if they’ll be available this year, but Trader Joe’s has sold gingerbread turkey kits the past few years. My nieces had fun making them while waiting for Thanksgiving dinner.

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