I’m sure you’ll all agree, that life can be pretty darn hectic and it’s easy to get into a pattern of all work, and no play. Sometimes all that’s stopping us from doing something adventurous is we don’t have a partner in crime giving us a friendly nudge. Or maybe we get so caught up in how busy we are at work and think we’ll just wait until things settle down a bit. Or maybe we think that we’d better save some cash so we can go away for a ‘proper holiday’ in 9 months.
Well, screw that. What are we working so hard for if we don’t stop and smell the roses, feel the wind on our face, kick up a little dirt with our heels or get a little salt water in our hair?! If you’re waiting for the ‘perfect time’ to go on an adventure, you’ll be waiting a very long time!
Now if you’re reading this and thinking “yeah, more adventures sound awesome… but I really can’t afford a big expensive holiday or extended time off work”. I hear you. And thats really not the type of adventure I’m talking about. Maybe what’s holding you back is your mindset. Does saying yes to adventure have to mean weeks away, or even a long weekend away? Or, can it simply mean saying yes to a two or three hour adventure on your Sunday morning pretty close to home?
To help inspire you to adventure out in the great outdoors a little more, here are my top 5 reasons why saying yes to adventure, means saying yes to your health:
1. Gets Us Physically Active
This first one is the most obvious one right? Adventures in the great outdoors involve you being physically active, and we all know there are a multitude of reasons why physical activity is good for our health! It can help us maintain muscle and bone health, boost our energy, reduce our risk of chronic diseases, help skin health, boost brain function, help us relax and sleep better, and even help relieve chronic pain.
2. Provides Quality Time With People We Love
Human beings are wired to love, to be loved, and to belong. Going on adventures with family or friends is a great way to spend quality time with those we love. Often adventures can take us to places with little to no reception which means putting the phone away and giving our full attention to the people we’re with and the experience we’re sharing. Talking, laughing, reminiscing, or, just being present and near one another. Moments like these (when we’re just hanging our with friends and family) actually causes bursts of oxytocin (aka. the cuddle chemical) which reduces blood pressure, decreases stress and reduces pain.
3. Promotes Better Mental Health
Getting physically active in natural sunlight is thought to increase serotonin levels in our bodies, which can improve feelings of wellbeing and happiness. (Serotonin is a mood-enhancing chemical, and a deficiency has been linked to depression, anxiety, fatigue, and impaired cognitive function).
4. Helps Relieve Stress
The environment constantly changes when we adventure outdoors. Weather, temperature, terrain… all factors that are out of our control. Because our minds are focused on handling these subtle changes, we receive a temporary break from daily stressors. Plus, exercising outdoors can help us feel grounded, deepen our connection to our environment and enhance our appreciation for the beauty around us. It’s these feelings of connection and gratitude that always leave me feeling relaxed and refreshed straight after I reckon.
5. Gives You Something To Look Forward To
Having adventures locked in your diary gives you something to look forward to, especially if you know work is really busy for the next few months. This way you have a little golden light at the end of the photocopier-lined tunnel.
For a little extra inspiration, here’s 3 adventures on my ‘to-do-list’ in 2019:
1. Downtime in Dwellingup
An hour and a half’s drive south of Perth set among gorgeous jarrah forest and water catchment areas Dwellingup is a hub for outdoor adventurers. Bushwalking the Bibbulmun Track, canoeing the Murray River, mountain biking the Munda Biddi, and a tree top and zipline adventure in Lane Poole Reserve, just to name a few. We’re actually going with ‘family downtime’ in mind so planning a one or two night stay with our toddler in Lane Poole Reserve. Easy bush walks, bit of water play, and maybe even a ride on the Hotham Valley Train.
2. Laps at Lake Leschenaultia
An hours drive east of Perth you’ll find Lake Leschenaultia. Set on 168 hectares of bushland the Lake is well known for it’s canoeing, swimming, cycling and barbeque facilities. Perfect for a family outing with cool shaded areas, lawns, white sand beaches and playground equipment. We’re planning either a day trip or overnighter here. There’s a nice and easy bush walk around Lake Leschenaultia – its roughly 3kms and is pretty flat the whole way round – a good one for young kids.
3. Cool views on the Cape to Cape
This one is a bit further away but so worth the drive. Located in the South West of Western Australia the Cape to Cape Track is approximately 125km long and stretches from Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse to Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse. Not something we plan to walk from start to finish this year, but rather something we aim to explore in bits and pieces. I’ve got the first 3.5km from Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse to Sugarloaf Rock in my sights. It has been constructed to allow assisted wheelchair and pram access (ie. all surfaces are either sealed or is boardwalk). In addition to this section, I’m thinking a morning visit to Injidup Spas is on the cards for something a little bit different and pretty spectacular.
So, what are you waiting for? Grab your nearest and dearest(s), and start planning a little adventure for you all to say YES to!
PS. If you’re keen to see those cool views on the Cape to Cape and need a family friendly farm to stay at and perhaps need a little help of someone local to drop you at your start point, pick you up from your end point and pack a little lunch for you… give my Beautiful Aunty Judith a buzz at Wyadup Brook Cottages