Adventure is Medicine for the Stressed-Out Mind


A glimmer of sun peaks through the curtains of the side window. The crisp fall air nips at your nose and ears. You reach over and open Alison’s rear doors to the splendor of a new fall day. You cuddle under the blankets a moment longer enjoying the seclusion and coziness or your little home on wheels. Your favorite fleece is within arm’s reach, tucked on the shelf above your head along with the novel that lulled you to sleep last night. Gathering your coffee and donning your jacket, you retreat to the back of the van, pull out your hideaway kitchen and start your morning brew. There is nothing quite like the intermingling of the smells of wilderness and coffee.

With every mile, the stress slowly melted away. Your shoulders relaxed as you slowly turned the volume knob up. The wind pulled the music out the window as it mussed your hair. Out past all the traffic, wheels spinning on the open road, you pointed your compass towards adventure and it has made all the difference.

The stress of everyday life can wear you down. Days turn into weeks, weeks into months, and months into years. It is time to start taking back your weekends. The south has a lot to offer in beauty and exploration. Adventure and travel are not just for Instagramers and sponsored kids. You could be the person escaping the monotony of the every day for a stolen weekend out on the road. You could wake up at a trailhead and be outdoors before most people have time to hit the snooze button. Here are some tips for becoming a professional weekend warrior.

  • Map it out: Go to Google Earth and map out a circle that spans five hours in every direction. These are all the places you could be by ten if you left work at five. This gives you a visual and helps you see all the possibilities that are near home.
  • Adventure calendar: Purchase an adventure calendar and start making plans. Every weekend can be a new adventure. Discover your favorite places to visit. Find new trails to explore. You don’t have to quit your nine to five to live a life of adventure.
  • Pack a bag: Pack an adventure bag and take it to the office with you. That way, when the clock strikes five, you can grab your bag and hit the road. It is easy to get distracted by life and put off travel plans indefinitely. Resist the urge by taking advantage of every hour you have off on the weekends.
  • Leave the kitchen sink: It is easy to think you need all the toys and things to have a good time. Road trips are a great way to simplify. Try packing only the bare minimum. Consider wearing the same clothes the entire weekend. Getting away is a lot easier when you don’t need a week’s worth of clothing. Allow your imagination to run wild and invent new forms of entertainment. Adventures should relieve stress not create it.

Weekend exploration might be the key to saving your soul. Get to planning. Be the person waking up to adventure. Who knows where you might find yourself next weekend.