“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” -Eleanor Roosevelt
At the start of this summer, Lindsey proposed that we should “reach out” to “newer and richer” experiences by making adventures out of our summer weekends. The adventures could be big or small; the only criteria was that the activity had to include an element of play, newness, exploration, and outdoor travel (near or far).
The idea behind this was twofold: experience a new place together and connect around the shared experience. For example, we’ve gone to sand dunes, tried some new restaurants, went to swimming pools, embarked upon road trips, and had some creative double dates in a new gym.
- Preparing for and going on an adventure creates anticipation and builds excitement. Even making the sandwiches the night before a road trip and picnic was exciting! Somehow, it was more exciting than preparing the same sandwich the night before work.
- Adventures place us in different settings and as a result, expose aspects of ourselves that we don’t normally display, so we get to know each other better. We came across a public game of checkers on one of our adventures and sat down to play a couple rounds. Since we rarely play competitive games against each other, this was a fun and eye-opening experience!
- Adventures make space for improvisation and play, which can be a positive thing for a relationship. The sense of play that permeates our adventures makes space for genuine behaviours and stress relief.
A few weekends ago, our adventure was to explore Stratford, Ontario through a scavenger hunt! Take a look at our list:
- Make some tea for the road
- Take a silly picture together
- Buy something we normally wouldn’t buy
- Find something cool that we could put in our house (if we have one together one day)
- Have a picnic in the park
- Go for a walk to a cute place
- Eat something delicious
- Find some dairy free ice-cream
- Find a rock for our rock collection
- Go to the toy store on the main road
- Dance on the sidewalk to someone’s music in their car
- Text someone we haven’t talked to in awhile
- Write each other a letter about what we think is awesome about the other person
- Take some Relationship Zen photographs
- Meditate by the river
- Play a competitive game
What we really enjoyed about this adventure was that we didn’t simply “go” somewhere. The hunt enabled us to be present in a different way – to engage with the environment and each other more actively.
Even though we’ve been together for almost four years now, we learned more about each other because the change in scenery and the nature of the team-based activity caused us to have new conversations.
We also had a lot of fun just hanging out… without tea this time! ;)
If you’re looking to leverage some adventure to build your relationship, start small. Planning a long and expensive vacation may not always be the best thing and can actually be quite stressful.
Try a series of smaller and more affordable adventures to build up the level of connection needed to maximize a more long-term shared experience. However, if you feel you’re ready for a more pronounced and prolonged adventure, then by all means, pack your bags and explore the world together. That’s on our bucket list!
What adventures have you been having this season? Let us know on our Relationship Zen Facebook group or in the comment section below!
Sending you positive vibes,
“Your life is an occasion. Rise to it.” -Suzanne Weyn