My husband and I just returned from our “honeyversary” trip (a term we coined for our honeymoon-plus-one-year anniversary) to Argentina and Chile. We spent an incredible 10 days exploring old cities and charming towns where bottles of water were more expensive than bottles of wine. We got back to College Park on a Saturday afternoon, and we were met with mixed emotions: total elation from the awe-inspiring journey we had just been on and a bittersweet “back-to-reality” sensation.
Naturally, the first thing we did was head to Graffiti Junktion for cheeseburgers and fries (which we craved after two weeks of churrasco and ceviche). After lunch, we sat on a bench by Albert Park to talk about how we were feeling. All we wanted was to be on vacation forever. (Is that too much to ask?)
I recalled an article I read in the New York Times a few months ago (yes, millennials read newspapers!) about Alastair Humphreys — a modern-day British explorer — and a term he coined: microadventure. His philosophy is simple: go “do the most epic things … without going far.” One of his catchphrases is “a 5-to-9 adventure,” the 16 hours between a nine-to-five job, where you have just enough time to “take the train out of town, sleep outside somewhere, and come back to work maybe a bit rumpled but feeling great.” We oftentimes get so wrapped up in the obstacles between us and an epic adventure that we miss out on all the opportunities in between.
And isn’t College Park the best place for that? A leisurely jaunt to Jack Kerouac’s house for a slice of history, or a walk over to a Juice Bike Share hub to spend the afternoon on the Orlando Urban Trail for a nature fix. Hungry? How about a picnic on Lake Ivanhoe, noshing on a Hubbly Bubbly falafel sandwich Georgie’s way? Feeling more stationary? There’s a leather workshop at The Hide Shop or a custom soap-blending session at Naked Bar Soap. (I could go on forever …)
The point is, we realized that adventure lives in the heart. It’s a state of mind. Whether it’s ordering a pizza and spending the night stargazing in our backyard, or walking Reggie down a street we’ve never turned on, we don’t need to be a thousand miles away from home to satisfy our wanderlust. We don’t need to leave our zip code to leave our comfort zone. So grab a partner, turn off your cell phone, and go be a tourist in your own city. College Park is amazing with fresh eyes. And let me know where you go; we need plans for tomorrow.