How to live your life adventurously
Anna McNuff had a very “normal” job, working in an office 9 to 5 and felt completely unfulfilled.
One day, whilst sitting at her desk and having a tedious fight with a PowerPoint presentation, Anna felt the urge to throw her computer out the window.
Anna thought – “Is this me? Is this really everything that I have to give to the world?”
It was time to go on a huge adventure.
Anna made the decision to ride a pink bicycle (which she named ‘Boudica’) 11,000 miles through every single state of the USA.
Anna had no idea how to plan an adventure and was completely terrified about sleeping in the wild by herself. But she had this grand idea and couldn’t possibly think of anything else.
That was eight years ago. And since then, Anna has done many more crazy adventures. Most recently, she has just finished a huge run across Britain completely barefoot!
We interviewed Anna to get her insights on how we can all start to embrace our wild-side:
How can we bring adventure into everyday life?
1. Change up your daily commute: Can you get to work a different way? Run, cycle or walk? Mix it up! Perhaps you could try a different trail that will take you past something that you’ve never seen before.
2. Think about something you do every day, and do it differently: At first, you may think that you can’t be bothered and want to stick to the norm. Anna says: “Trust me, the second you do things differently, something that seems ordinary will suddenly feel exciting and different!”
3. Creativity needs oxygen: Don’t be so wedded to your laptop. At whatever point you are in your hustle, there may be a tendency to work every day of the week to bring it to reality. But it’s important to take time to do the adventurous stuff.
We’ve got this belief that play is wasting time because we’re not hustling, but it’s so important as it gives you the proper headspace to think. Ideas need to breathe and have a place to fly around. Set time aside for it!
What adventure ideas do you have for beginners?
1. Spend a night in a wilderness hut – Look at the Mountain Bothy Association for places to camp without a tent.
2. Go on a hike – Got a weekend to spare? Hop on a train, go for a hike and spend time in solitude with a friend.
3. Walk around your city – Look around your local vicinity with fresh ideas. If you’re struggling, flip a coin! Simply head out of your house and at every junction, flip a coin to see whether you should go left or right. It removes the decision about where you want to go and will take you places that you have never seen or thought of before.
4. Learn how to rollerblade! Anna recently attempted to rollerblade 100 miles across Amsterdam – unfortunately, they made it 60 miles before her friend broke her hand!
5. Cycle, walk or run between two towns beginning with the same letter – Perhaps you could go at sunrise or sunset to make it even more special.
All you need is an excuse and a reason – that’s it!
Some of Anna’s favourite adventure ideas can be found in her new book ‘100 Adventures to Have Before You Grow Up’ – it’s perfect for adults too!
How do you decide on a challenge?
Do you ever have a voice in your head that tells you that you can’t do a specific challenge? An ugly voice that vomits out all the reasons why you couldn’t possibly do it, e.g. commitments, money, time, etc? The reality – these are just blockers that you need to work around.
The three steps in the process are:
- Allow space to have that idea
- Shut out the reasons why you think you can’t do something
- Think like a child
What Anna loves about giving school talks, is that children do not have limiting beliefs or stories about why they can or can’t do certain things.
Some may be valid but the most difficult thing is being aware of those false stories that we tell ourselves.
If you’re going for a bigger adventure, remember that no one really knows what they are doing or feels ready – you just have to roll with it.
When you make that decision – you have to think about you standing at that start line and have that fizz in your stomach. That feeling is the right reason to commit!
If you’re saying to yourself that you aren’t ready, it will feel like a massive brick wall. But the more adventures you go on, you will realise that it’s not a wall, it’s actually a doorway and an invitation to an experience that you’ve not yet realised.
What is behind that doorway is pretty awesome!
What gets in the way of living adventurously and how do we combat it?
- The stories we tell ourselves
It took Anna six years to keep one foot in one camp (the steady income life) and the other foot in the other camp (experiencing fun adventures).
Don’t believe people on social media that say their transformations happened overnight.
There are bold decisions that need to be made, but all of the barriers are not a match for the want to do something.
The question is – do you really want to?
Gradually move (like a crab) from one side to the next. It’s not a swan dive. It doesn’t happen overnight.
The decision is the biggest thing. If you really want to do it, there is always a way!
Another barrier is the dreaded ‘Comparisonitis’ – it’s very contagious – often elevated on social media. It can be very demotivating.
It’s great to see the inspiration of people doing amazing things, but it can also bring on unhealthy comparisons.
Everything online needs to be taken with a pinch of salt. Remember that only the best bits are shared. There is a lot of hustle that goes on beneath an adventure.
If you hear a negative voice? Learn how to master it:
- Recognise that it’s just a voice
- Your thoughts are not your actions
- Sometimes you can thank that voice
- Voice is there to protect you – it likes security and to avoid discomfort.
- Talk to it.
- Have cheerleaders in your head!
A negative voice is often soldiers of self-doubt. Make them say: “Well done, keep going!”
Listen to encouraging words and suddenly everything will get a whole lot more fun.
Come and join 400 like-minded souls for an epic evening of inspiration. Anna McNuff will be at the event sharing her stories, lessons and advice with us.
The event is taking place on the evening of Monday 27 January in Central London. Get your ticket now.
Just by coming along, you’ll be a part of building a better future!