August 4, 2017 Adventures Family Frugality Living Simple Living Well Philosophy 31

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The Adventure Rich family is a fan of, well, adventures!  (go figure)  And many of these adventures end up being last minute spontaneous adventures spurred on by a dose of inspiration…

“It’s a beautiful evening, let’s go for a walk!”

“What a day, want to go canoeing?”

“Dinner on the beach anyone?”

“Great day for a bike ride!”

Impromptu Father’s Day bike ride to the local pie shop for free “dad pie”

These spontaneous adventures are some of the most enjoyable times we have spent as a family.  They transform an ordinary day or a typical weeknight into a lifelong memory and foster a lifestyle of curiosity, excitement and eagerness to enjoy the beauty we are surrounded with each and every day.

What’s the Catch?

That all sounds rosy and nice, but how do we actually make it work?

How do we drop everything to take advantage of a day or an evening without any planning?

What is our secret?!?

Our secret is that we plan to be spontaneous. That’s right!  We have a well crafted recipe for spontaneity which aids our last minute decisions and our exciting adventures.

Random Thursday night Adventure

Plan to Be Spontaneous

Hold up.  Did I really just say that we plan to be spontaneous?  Isn’t that a contradiction?

I did say that we plan to be spontaneous.  By “plan” I mean that we have certain aspects of our life (physical objects and mindsets) organized, staged and ready for use.  This staging prepares our family for our adventures.  By always having these “ingredients for a spontaneous adventure” at hand, we are ready to get cooking when the craving arises!


The Recipe for Spontaneity

Ingredient #1-  The Go-Bag and Adventure Staples

Our favorite “Beach Blanket”

You know those “Emergency Kits” for your home or car in case of an earthquake or severe storm?  We prepare our “Adventure Kits” in case an adventurous opportunity comes our way!  Typically, this comes in the form of a bag that is pre-packed with some basics.

Our Adventure Kit in action (+ ducks!)

Summertime “Adventure Kit” Example

-Beach Towels
-Bathing Suits (+ Rashguard for AR Jr)
-Swim Diapers
-A full change of clothes
-Granola bars and Crackers

In order to keep the Adventure Kit well stocked, we will immediately re-pack the bag after washing our suits and drying out our  towels (instead of stuffing them back in a drawer upstairs).  And with non-perishable snacks added to the mix, this allows us to be relatively ready to dash to the door in 5 minutes flat!

We also have a “Car Kit” that includes items that remain in our cars a majority of the time so we are not constantly packing and unpacking the larger items.  This space in the back is an extra benefit of our Subarus.

Current state of my Subaru Outback

Summertime “Car Kit” Example

-Beach Blanket (We love the Tuffo Water-Resistant Outdoor Blanket, Stripe  <—affiliate link- read our disclosure here!)
-Volleyball, Frisbee and/or Football
-Kid Shovel, Bucket and Dump Truck
-Stroller (typically lives in one of our cars)
-Diapers, wipes and a changing pad

Between the “Adventure Kit” and the “Car Kit”, we have only a few things to grab on the way out the door for an adventure, making the last minute decision all the more attractive.


Ingredient #2 –  Portable Food

Fresh fruit ready for packing

In order to help ease the last minute midday or after-work stress of “But wait, what will we eat if we go (insert adventure here)?”, we have decided to stock up on relatively portable food for our adventures.

Portable Food Examples

-Sliced Bread
-PB & J (isn’t that required of all toddler parents anyways?)
-Lunch meat
-Veggies (We’ll buy bulk and cut into snack size)
-Whole Fruit (and Avocados if we’re lucky!)
-Beer in cans (no glass on the beach! 😉 )
-Cheese and Crackers
-Random Leftovers + Containers…

Containers of pre-prepped veggies.

The last item leads me to another helpful item, to-go containers.  I like to have plenty of to-go containers not only for packing lunches and storing leftovers, but also for quick access and packing for our adventures.  I have been setting the table with our dinner hot in the oven when Mr. AR suggests an adventure.  Into the tupperware goes our dinner and out the door goes the Adventure Rich family!


Ingredient #3-  A Flexible Mindset

Beach Night cut short by an incoming storm

A flexible mindset is key when we are embarking on a spontaneous adventure!
You see, the whole point is to be spontaneous…  impromptu… unplanned…

Which means the parking lot might be full, an event might be taking place, the weather turns sour, or a venue for an adventure might be closed (to name only a few potential roadblocks).

Any of these situations could lead to disappointment and discouragement unless… you guessed it, you have a flexible mindset!

Parking lot is full?

Find a place to park nearby and walk.

Event taking place?

Maybe you change plans and join in… I’ve seen the best parades that way!

Weather is uncooperative?

Play in the rain or find an alternative like storm watching from a hilltop!

Venue closed?

Find Plan B- locate the other hike, park, or beach and give that a try!

And if all else fails?!?

Take a deep breath, laugh at how silly the situation is, enjoy the time with your family and maybe go grab some ice cream instead.


Ingredient #4-  A Sense of Humor

About an hour before Mr. Adventure Rich proposed on a rainy, muddy island hilltop

It’s a good thing Mr. Adventure Rich has a great sense of humor when it comes to our spontaneous adventures.  In the dash to the door, you never know what we will forget!

Our good “sense of humor moments” include:

-Eating a messy dinner with our hands when we forgot utensils and napkins.

-Jimmying a wine cork out of a bottle with a knife blade because we forgot the corkscrew (cork floaties ended up in our wine…).

-Mr. Adventure Rich loaning the future Mrs. Adventure Rich his belt because her pants were rain soaked and falling off… right before he asked her to marry him!  (Yes, that does mean I was a rain-soaked, muddy mess when he popped the question.  Lovely, I know.)


Ingredient #5- An Adventurous Spirit

Lovely Oberon, Lovely Lake Michigan

And of course, spontaneous adventures could not take place without a good sense of adventure.  You need to have that wild side, that hint of crazy, that “hey- this is crazy, but what if we…” that sends you into motion and kicks off a spontaneous adventure!

Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be a “let’s go jump out of a plane” spirit (though that is certainly allowed!).  All you need is the out-of-the-ordinary inspiration that acts as a trigger for an extraordinary time

Good luck and get cookin’ with those spontaneous adventures!

Ready for an adventure!

Have you had any adventures recently?  Any other ingredients that spiced up the spontaneity for you?

Always an Adventure,

Mrs. Adventure Rich