4 Real-Life Tips for Getting Re-inspired (and Back to Adventure)
Work is piling up at your job. There’s midterms to study for. You’ve been getting an average of 4 hours of sleep a night. You’re just drained. We’ve all been there. Sometimes life gets busier than you thought possible, and at the end of the day, you don’t even have the energy to do your dishes, let alone get out there and embark on any sort of adventure.
It’s times like these that I find myself getting into a creative rut. My camera develops a layer of dust and my Lightroom skills deteriorate from lack of use. For me, this usually happens in the winter time. As a photographer whose subject of choice is the Great Outdoors, the bitter cold can sometimes have me running low on material to shoot. (Don’t get me wrong, I love a good winter landscape, but practically speaking, it’s simply harder to get out there. More gear, more preparation, more hand warmers.)
Yes, I’m all for accepting the ebb and flow of life, all that hippie jazz, but truly — feeling uninspired sucks.
In addition, I’ve found that so many online articles give advice for getting re-inspired that are totally abstract and unrealistic. (“Find your passion! Just do it! Let nature come to you!”) No hate towards articles that give out this kind of advice, but for me, I need something a little more concrete. That’s the kind of person I am.
Luckily, I’ve been in a rut enough to know a thing or two about getting out of one. Here’s 4 tangible ways to help you get re-inspired and back to adventuring!
Take a Walk Down (Hard-drive) Memory Lane
Something that always makes me want to go on an adventure is looking back at my old photos. Going through my hard drive and reminiscing about places I’ve been or things I’ve seen never fails to reinvigorate my soul.
Similarly, talking with friends and family you’ve shared adventures with is a sure-fire way to get you excited about exploring again.
“Hey, remember that time we got caught in a snowstorm looking for that plane crash in Iceland?”
“Yeah, we almost died.”
Listen to Podcasts
Anyone who knows me will tell you I have an obsession with podcasts. I listen to them everywhere. In the car, on the treadmill, on the toilet. You name it.
There’s a lot of great ‘adventure-themed’ podcasts out there that are sure to make you want to get outside. Some of my go-to’s are: Out There, The Enoromocast (for all you climbers), Sounds of the Trail, and She Explores (an essential for bada** ladies).
My current favorite though is The Dirtbag Diaries. This podcast has it all: from backpacking to roadtripping to snowboarding. Backed by Patagonia, The Dirtbag Diaries has over 10 years of outdoor adventure stories under its belt. Get ready to be inspired. A great episode to start off with (one of my all-time favorites) is “Roll the Dice.” It’s a 30-minute story recapping one insane week-long road trip two friends take. Each morning when Fil and Brian wake up, they roll a dice. A one means going north. 2 = east, 3 = south, 4 = west, 5 = stay put and 6 means crossing the nearest state border. The only rule? No backtracking.
You can listen to the Dirtbag Diaries on Apple Podcasts or online.
Engage with Fellow Explorers on Social Media
Social media might be toxic in a lot of ways, but I’m a firm believer that some good can come of it. For example, the ability to instantly connect with explorers, artists, and writers that you probably would have never come into contact with otherwise.
My social media of choice is Instagram. However, another online space that I frequent (that really doesn’t get enough love) is Thorn Tree by Lonely Planet. The Thorn Tree forums are my go-to when researching destinations I’m interested in visiting. With its huge community of people passionate about exploring, there will always be someone to address any topic you can think of. In addition, there a huge buy-and-sell forum section. You can find anything from camper vans to plane tickets to backpacking gear for sale. Talking with people on these forums is one of the best ways to feel reconnected with the outdoor community.
Watch Some Soul-Inspiring Movies
If I’m being honest, I don’t really watch a lot of television. A lot of times, I’m on the move and don’t have access to a TV, or I just don’t have time to sit down and watch Netflix. However, whenever I hear about a new outdoor-adventure movie, I make it a point to find the time to sit down and watch it.
Over the years, I’ve encountered quite a few that really spoke to my soul. They quite literally made me want to go on a hike the very next day.
Two movies that I highly recommend are “The Way” and “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.” “The Way” is about a father who treks the Camino de Santiago in Spain in honor of his son, who passed away on the trail, and all the unique characters he meets along his journey. From what I’ve heard, this film is a pretty accurate representation of the infamous hike. “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” is one of my all-time favorites. A disenchanted office employee for Life magazine decides to follow-up on a lost negative (one that was meant to be the cover photo for the next issue) himself, leading him on an adventure in Iceland and Greenland. Humorous and daring, and complete with breath-taking shots of the landscape. This is the movie that inspired me to visit Iceland for the first time.
And if you liked “Wild”…
Also, a movie that any adventuring woman needs to see is “Tracks.” If you saw “Wild,” and loved it, this movie is for you. This is another true story of heart-pounding adventure with a strong female lead. “Tracks” follows a young woman’s 1,700-mile trek across the Australian desert with no company but 4 camels and a faithful dog.
The bottom line is, everybody goes through phases of being uninspired. The trick is learning what to do to get yourself back into an adventurous mindset. I hope this article gave you some ideas to respark your spirit!