How to Be an Explorer
Loved writing this piece for GOOD: Make Room for Discovery: Five Simple Steps For Explorers
Magellan, Columbus, Da Gama, Amundsen, Cook, Eriksson, Lewis & Clark, Shackleton—all names synonymous with adventure and exploration. They circumnavigated the world, discovered continents and became the subjects of history books. There was an unknown, and it was meant to be explored.
In the modern age of the Internet, cell phones, and around-the-world air travel, that sense of the unknown has changed, but it certainly hasn’t disappeared. While there may not be entire continents up for grabs, modern day exploring is just as important as it was during the Age of Exploration, if not more so.
A smaller, more connected world means it’s much easier to live under the illusion that we know everything, have seen everything, and can get access to everything. After all, we don’t risk falling off the edges of the earth because we think it’s flat. But the more you start to explore, the more you realize how little you have seen and known. Exploration isn’t just for the personal journey—it’s for the journey that inevitably makes you a better and stronger part of your global community.
There is always room for discovery. You just have to make the time and space for it. And with this sentiment in mind, here’s a checklist for the modern-day explorer:
1. Appreciate the small adventures
You don’t have to be on the other side of the world to explore. Start in your own backyard: Meet a neighbor; photograph an alleyway; start a guerilla garden; visit the local library; buy a new vegetable you’ve never tried at the farmers market. Small adventures are what lead to the big ones.
2. Break out of your comfort zone
Exploring is about pushing yourself—going beyond what you know. Sometimes that’s hard. Sometimes it’s painful. Sometimes it’s overwhelming. But it’s also what keeps us fueled, inspiring us to move forward and keep trying new things. Good things happen the farther you are from your comfort zone. Dare to step out of it.
Read the full list here.