Be an Adventurer, Wherever You Are {Weekend Recap}

I like to think of myself as an adventurer. I love exploring new places (I have constant wanderlust!), doing “dare devil” kinds of things, and looking at life as one big adventure.

Many come up with lots of reasons as to why they can’t travel, move somewhere new, or be more adventurous in general. People have jobs they don’t want to lose, family they’re afraid to leave, and a pretty fixed vision of what “home” looks like. There’s no doubt that taking risks is scary, and there’s comfort in the familiar. 

I’ve also noticed that people like to look at this kind of stuff in a “lucky you” kind of way – as in, it’s great that I have the ability to do it, but it’s not possible for them.

“You’re traveling to XYZ? Do it now while you’re young!”

“You’re thinking of moving to XYZ? You’re lucky that you CAN do that if you want to.”

But I believe that everyone can be an adventurer if they choose to be – no matter if they’re 20 or 60, married or single, a parent or childless. Sure, it may change what kinds of adventures we’re talking about and how they can be done, but that doesn’t make it impossible.

Planking fun during a hiking + rock climbing excursion to Joshua Tree National Park

I remember when I was hiking Three Sisters Waterfalls and came across a family of four doing the hike – which is not easy by yourself, let alone with kiddos. The husband had a toddler strapped to his back, and the mom was helping her little girl down an incline on the trail. I said something to them about how I was impressed that they were doing the hike with their kids, and the mom replied, “We loved getting outside and doing things before we had kids, why stop after we had them? I’d lose my mind if we just sat at home all day long!”

Touché. I want to be like that mom one day! 

To be an adventure seeker, you don’t have to have the money and time to travel, or ability to move somewhere completely new. You can find the adventure wherever you are; you can be a tourist in your own city or town.

Being a tourist in my own city was exactly what was on my agenda last weekend. There is so much to see and do in the San Diego area, and I love taking advantage of it. Since my hubs was off from school and I had nothing pressing on my agenda, Saturday was the perfect day to explore.

We elected to venture into downtown San Diego. I used to spend a lot more time downtown when I lived closer, but since we live in North County now, we don’t visit the area as much… so it was a treat!

First, we visited the Little Italy Mercato – quite possibly my favorite farmers’ market ever. It’s such a great market full of local vendors, with everything from organic coffee and green juice to chocolate and art.

We strolled around and picked up some goodies, including berries, peaches, cinnamon infused honey, fig balsamic and cookies & cream peanut butter (I know, amazing right?). I hadn’t been to the market in probably a year, and it’s such a fun place to just walk around.

Next, we headed to Balboa Park – a stunning 1,200 acre park iconic in the San Diego area. It’s home to more than 17 museums, multiple performing arts venues, gardens, trails and more.

Balboa Park’s Japanese Friendship Garden

We walked around the park and checked out the sights & scenes, including the Japanese Friendship Garden, art market, the impressive Spreckels Organ Pavilion, where there were countless groups taking pictures for events, and the International Cottages, which is comprised of 34 little houses, each of which represents the traditions and cultures of a different country.

We settled in a quiet area surrounded by massive trees for a picnic, where we ate some of our farmers’ market goodies, relaxed, and each did some reading.

There is so much to see at Balboa Park, and I 100% recommend going there if you’re visiting San Diego (or are living here, of course!).

Afterwards, we hit the road again – this time to a surprise destination that my hubby wanted me to see. That destination turned out to be Mount Soledad – a veterans memorial that offers breathtaking views of San Diego.

I had never been to Mt Soledad before, so it was a first for me! My hubby had been up there during his 200-mile Ragnar relay race a few months back, and thought I would enjoy the spot. Not only it is pretty, it’s unique. Mt Soledad is home to the only memorial in America that honors veterans, living or deceased, from the Revolutionary War to the current war on terrorism, including images of veterans.

Our Mt Soledad visit concluded our day date, and it was a great day of exploring and enjoying our city! I also want to note that we only spent a few bucks at the farmer’s market, and the rest of our day did not cost a penny. A lot of things I enjoy doing on the weekends are totally free, from going on hikes and mountain biking excursions, to walking on the beach with my little family and having sunset picnics with my hubby. Doing fun excursions doesn’t have to require a lot of money, so don’t let that stop you from exploring.

Chances are pretty good that you haven’t seen everything there is to see in/near your city or town, so what are you waiting for? Do a day trip into a new surrounding area, try a workout you’ve never done before, visit a new park, or dine at a restaurant you’ve been wanting to try. Adventure awaits for those who are open to it! 

Tell me… What was the last “touristy” thing you did in your own town? 

PS – Hope that all of you mamas enjoyed your Mother’s Day! Sending lots of love to my wonderful mom, and also to my mother-in-law! I love you both. 

7 thoughts on “Be an Adventurer, Wherever You Are {Weekend Recap}

  1. Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table

    I 100% agree with you! I love adventuring here, in the next state over, or in the next country. If you make it a priority, there’s always a way. I need to check out some of your local hikes though!!!

    Saturday we went to Sunset Cliffs to do a walk there. I can’t believe I’d never done that! I think I like it better than Torrey Pines!

  2. marcie

    When my family was on a hike down from a very steep trail in Boise Idaho, we saw a very fit mom with a toddler girl, a small baby strapped to her back in a backpack, and she had a dog. It was so inspiring! She didn’t let anything stop her from hiking and I wish I had had that kind of moxie when my boys were small. Love the message here and so true — some of the best things in life are free!

  3. Dawn - Girl Heart Food

    So true! So fun exploring your own city or town and it’s something often overlooked! Thanks for the reminder of that. Just waiting for the silly weather to warm up so it’s actually sensible to go out being a tourist in my own city rather than freezing my little buns off, lol. P.S. Those beets are gorgeous!!

  4. David @ Spiced

    You’ve got such a good approach to life, Nicole! Laura and I definitely fell into a rut there for a while when Robbie was really young. I mean he had to nap so often that it really limited what we could do. And when we did go out, he would get so angry and fussy that it was hardly worth it. But he’s at a better age now, and we’re getting out and exploring so much more now! There is quite a bit to do in our area, and we’ve been out exploring on the weekends with Robbie…it beats the heck out of sitting at home all day! Also, I love your outdoor photos. They make me want to go hike somewhere! 🙂

  5. Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health

    I love your sense of adventure and try to live by the same mantra myself. We’re trying to save to buy a home so our travels will be less frequent but there is still lots to discover in our hometown. You certainly do a great job exploring yours. I always love seeing your pics of San Diego. So beautiful!!

  6. Ashley@CookNourishBliss

    I so agree! We’ve been so busy with all the house reno stuff that we can’t really travel much right now – but we are instead having so much fun exploring our town / nearby! There’s always new things to discover no matter where you are!

  7. Nikki

    YES YES YES!! I couldn’t agree with you more!!! I swear the family of 4 that you ran into, sounds like a family from my old church and they moved across the country to WA last year. They hike and camp ALL the time with their toddler son and daughter! Granted, I don’t have kids, but I feel bad for families that have kids and say, “Oh, I can’t go camping/biking/kayaking/fill-in-the-blank b/c the kids are too young.” WHAT?! My mom purposely put me under the water at 7 days old. We had a boat when I was a toddler and they took me tent camping as a baby. I was flying and traveling and I am SO thankful that they got me out there and gave me those experiences as a child! They didn’t stop their lives or hobbies – just got us involved and I really feel like that is why/how I’m such an adventurer and risk taker NOW! I WAS a scaredy-cat for many years, lol, but after I got over fears of doing things without my parents, as an adult, I loved it and I think I’m a much stronger, more confident, well-rounded person because of the risks and adventures.
    (p.s. I saw your comment on the other post I posted on….I literally just restarted a blog a couple months ago! Missed the “diary of training and socializing” LOL


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