Tonje Lilleås

Excuses not to get outside and explore

There seems to be a lot of excuses not to get outside and explore. Today I just really wanted to remind myself and others that rainy days can be great. Who’s up for jumping puddles?

All the excuses not to

I think I’ve written to boredom about exploring locally. About how you don’t have to travel far to be an explorer. And just to warn you; I will continue to do so. Because I strongly believe that we are able to make true adventures even right outside our doors. However there’s a lot of excuses not to get outside.

There’s no fun locations in our local area. We don’t have the right equipment or clothes. The weather is either too hot or too cold or too wet even. We don’t have any experience with the outdoors. Our children prefer indoor activities.

There’s so many excuses not to get outside. But the point is; they’re just excuses. Let’s go through each one mentioned here and see if we can tackle them.

Lack of fun local locations

This was an excuse I used a lot for myself not to get outside and shoot images once I moved to the area I live in now. No mountains, no fjords = nothing to shoot, right? Wrong. I just had to change my perspective. If I didn’t find interesting locations to shoot, I was not really interested in exploring the possibilities that actually are present in my local area. Once I decided to look for what was here instead of what wasn’t here, I was able to make a lot of interesting images locally.

It’s the same with locations for local family adventures. I’m sure there’s a forest, a beach, a lake, a street or a park somewhere in your local area that can make for a great location for a family adventure.  And if you don’t get out and explore, you’ll never be able to see just how great the possibilities in your local area are.

We don’t have the right equipment or clothes

As long as you’re not naked, you can get outside and explore your local area. No special equipment or clothes are needed. Actually; I’m pretty sure some places you’ll be able to explore naked as well. Point is; you wear the clothes you have available. Nature doesn’t demand special gear to let you visit and enjoy. I know the outdoor industry is trying to tell you otherwise, but you really don’t need hiking boots and a gore tex jacket to be able to go for a short hike in your local forest. Your kids don’t care about having the “right” backpack for your Instagram updates, they just want you to explore with them. Lower the bar and the expectations and don’t care so much about gear.

The weather isn’t right

I have news for you; the weather is never right. It is either too hot, too cold, too wet, too snowy or too windy. (And sometimes it is, I’m not suggesting you go outside and be irresponsible in a storm or anything). But the way around is to just get outside without caring too much about what the weather is like. You can’t do anything about the weather, so why let imperfect conditions stop you from adventuring? If you don’t have a rainproof jacket, go for a shorter walk in the forest. The forest will provide some shelter and you just have to remember that even though your jacket isn’t weatherproof, you are. It might be uncomfortable to get a bit wet or soaked even. However it’s very rarely dangerous. And getting back inside after a walk in the rain feels much better than just staying inside all day anyway.

We don’t have any experience with the outdoors

I want to make this one really short, because the solution to the problem is simple. You will never get any experience with the outdoors without actually getting outdoors. If you find it too scary to go by yourself, ask some outdoorsy friends or acquaintances. I’m sure they will show you the ropes, we certainly would if someone asked us to help them get more outdoorsy.

Our children prefer indoor activities

I might be wrong on this one, but I think children naturally loves outdoor activities if someone shows them the magic of being outdoors. As parents we have to lead the way. It’s more comfortable to stay inside with the TV or iPad or legos or books. But the magic happens outside. That’s where children can use everything that are naturally present in them; the energy, the curiosity, the will to learn and wonder and explore.

As I listen to the thunder outside I’m not thinking about the excuses not to get outside. I’m thinking about how puddles after a rain shower like this one are great for jumping in. And how vibrant nature will look when it’s refreshed. Get outside and explore tomorrow. There’s really no excuse not to.



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