The Journal

Take a look around, adventure is closer than you think

What does “adventure” look like to you? Not so much the big stuff you plan out meticulously for your once-a-year trip. The stuff you do just for the sake of it, the heck of it, to make you feel good. Jumping off a pier, wandering aimlessly, climbing a rock, dancing in the morning, basking in magic-hour sunlight. We started asking around, and found essential everyday adventures everywhere we looked.

A Journal Image

Ask your neighborhood surfer: they almost certainly know the feeling

Surfers will tell you their regular pilgrimage to the ocean is sacrosanct: one of the most important factors of any good day/week/month on Earth. Why? Well, as the saying goes: only a surfer knows the feeling. But that’s the point. It’s just a feeling. For some, it’s shaking off everything else. For others, it’s the speed rush of flying down the line. For others still, it’s simply engaging with nature – staring at the horizon, skipping down the beach, dancing on water. It’s just for fun, but for millions of surfers, bikers, dog walkers, skaters, swimmers, hikers, singers <insert any number of passions here> prioritizing adventure is a quintessential element of everyday life.

“We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” – George Bernard Shaw

Seek adventure, find your buzz

When children play, there’s something monumental at work. They’re developing the motor, social, cognitive, emotional, negotiation, and relationship skills they’ll carry with them for life. It’s important stuff: learning to navigate the world. Equally, there’s mounting research that the benefits of play don’t stop just because we’ve mastered the art of adulting. Adults who seek adventure regularly can enjoy reduced stress, better relationships, and boosted creativity, brain function and energy.

A Journal Image
A Journal Image

– Five ways to pack a little more play into every day –

1. Be that person

Who brings a plan to the table. Lunch-break block walks. Coffee-to-go in the park. A mid-morning group plank. It doesn’t have to be a big deal. And if you’re not the type of person to be that person, practice saying “let’s go!” for those moments someone else comes up with the plan.

Tip to start: Make a list of six simple plans that’ll take 20 minutes or less. Roll a dice each day this week and see where the numbers take you.

2. Keep it close to home

“Adventure” doesn’t have to mean K2 basecamp with frozen snot. Find your nearest walking trail, public pool, bike path, climbing wall, B-Ball ring. Hire one of those scooters, try a different subway stop, walk a new way home from work. Your neighborhood is your playground – leave no corner unmapped.

Tip to start: Print out a map of your neighborhood (old school, we know). Draw a circle around your house at a five mile diameter. Mark the routes you walk/bike/scoot/skate with colored pens each day. When you can’t see the streets through your squiggles, it’s time for a new adventure.

A Journal Image

3. Change-up your existing routine

No shortage of adventure in your life? Time to change things up. Love a sauna? Try an ice bath. Carving off 40 laps freestyle? Attempt it backstroke. Night owl? Check out the sunrise. Every. Day. This. Week. By its very definition “adventure” is about chasing unusual, exciting and daring experiences. Explore the possibilities of the flipside.

Tip to start: Eleanor Roosevelt famously said, “Do one thing every day that scares you.” Write down five things you’ve never tried because they’re slightly beyond your comfort zone. Line them up. Check them off, one by one. Fill your bucket. Bask in your glory.

4. Join the club

Strangers doing stuff together: it’s a thing. And whether it’s your local urban flash mob, nature walking group or your cousin’s friend’s book club, there are associations, organizations and leagues of people stepping out with people everywhere. And they’ll hold you to account if you don’t show up.

Tip to start: If sparking random conversations with strangers isn’t your thing, there are plenty of platforms and apps, apps for that.

5. Calendarize it

You’re busy. We get it. So rather than leave adventure time to the vagaries of “spare time,” make time. Block out 10/15/half an hour every weekday/other day/Tuesday – whatever works for you. It’s important, because it’s in your calendar, so you’re more likely to actually do it.

Tip to start: Don’t let your packed schedule stop you. Fill the gaps from A to B, after the kids are in bed, between work calls. Set alerts, alarms, reminders. Hound yourself – nobody else will make it happen.

A Journal Image

We asked around, and discovered how “adventure” looked for Bellroy people

From our globe-traveling ambassadors to distance-running designers, suburban surfers to Thursday night krumpers – Bellroy HQ is a hotbed of adventurous types. We quizzed some of our crew on how they prioritize adventure and play every day.

Lydia: explorer, mountaineer and Bellroy ambassador

The first woman to climb Everest without oxygen, Lydia Bradley has chased “adventure” in the world’s highest places, across more than 35 expeditions above 6000m. Yet, surprisingly, it’s the smallest moments of engagement that fill her daily life with adventure.

“Adventure can be found in the smallest of experiences… by asking questions to deepen the understanding of the things around you. Questioning who designed that striking building you pass daily en route to work. Planting pots to encourage bees. Eating simple but quality food and talking to the people from whom you buy it (if you can). The adventure comes from what you get out of it – the unique conversation, the learning, the movement of becoming a human more engaged in the environment in which we live.”

Julia: full-time Bellroy brand communications director, part-time booty popper

Julia’s days are spent in various states of deep work, contemplation, consideration and planning. But when the beat drops, there’s zero time to overthink it.

“Most of the time, people would use words like ‘rational’ or ‘practical’ to describe me. I’m in my head A LOT. So for me, learning a bit of Dancehall, Afro or Hip Hop on a Thursday night in an unassuming corner of Melbourne is just about the furthest I can push myself away from the rational thoughts in my head. Making my spine pop like that is not practical. And sometimes that beat is so furious that I can’t help but leave everything at the door and let adrenaline do the rest.”

A Journal Image
A Journal Image

James: Bellroy product director and resident surfer at our Surf Coast HQ

At our Jan Juc office – near Australia’s famed Bells Beach – the crew have built twice-a-day surf checks into their daily office routine. For James, this fits perfectly into his surf/life balance.

“I ride to work in the dark before the sun comes up. That journey before anyone is on the road prepares me for coming into the office. Then I’ll get changed and run down to where I want to surf that day. It’s a private moment that builds into a social moment, and a real connection to the weather and elements – the perfect way to start the day. Then at 11am and 4pm, the whole team – non-surfers included – walks down to the Bird Rock lookout. It’s a little moment for people to connect outside work mode. We used to joke that no matter how busy things are, you cannot predict what you’ll be talking about by the end of that walk.”

Karan: artist, global explorer and Bellroy ambassador

Whenever Karan lands in a new city, one of his favorite things to do is set out on foot after dark. The outcome is unimportant. It’s all about exploring the new and letting the streets guide him.

“I’m drawn to the quiet and contemplative nature of the night. I started venturing out at night more when I lived in Tokyo and Amsterdam. The cities tend to take on a whole new personality when the sun goes down and the people disappear. There’s something calming, and also a little indulgent about having the city to yourself. You are able to appreciate things in a whole new way!”

Mitch: Bellroy designer, rock-scrambler and lunch-break boulderer

For Bellroy Designer Mitch, hanging off a climbing wall or rock is his reminder to take a break from all the seriousness.

“It’s the perfect combo of focus, critical thinking and play. It’s confidence building, challenging, rewarding, nerve wracking, tiring. It sometimes hurts and at the same time it’s also a lot of fun. It clears my mind, forces me to be present and gets my body moving – three things that are really important to my sanity.”

A Journal Image
A Journal Image

So, when and where will you find that feeling next?

You don’t have to answer right now. You don’t even necessarily need to think it through. Getting that daily adventure fix can be as simple as one foot in front of the other, and a plan can be as loose as wandering freely. Make play a priority and that feeling you love is closer than you think. So, what are you waiting for? Stop reading. Get out there. You got this.

If you haven’t noticed, at Bellroy we’re big on playing outdoors. Check out our outdoor collection for everyday adventuring of your own.

More from the Journal