It’s summer and the perfect opportunity to leave our schedules and time tables behind, but that doesn’t mean you and the people in your crew can’t explore and gain new skills while having fun. The best part of having more freedom is using it to develop tools that will naturally help us in sports, gathering knowledge or on building life skills, when we do go back to a routine.
Often the most fun comes when we don’t feel like it’s learning and when new ways of thinking feel like exploring, it ends up recharging our batteries in ways that we couldn’t have imagined. As the great Tom Kelley of IDEO says, “You are the undisputed world expert of your own experience”.
Acting and thinking like a traveler comes naturally to most of us, especially in summer.
We are taking both big trips and small outings and within each one of these experiences lay the building of creative skills that help us recognize details and make connections between what we know and new items we’ve never seen before.
For example, that walk to the local park that you’ve taken so many times before suddenly becomes a whole new experience when you go with the intention of bird watching, what seemed like a barren wasteland suddenly is teaming with life, what’s the difference? It’s a shift in our perspective, we suddenly are in traveler mode, you know the state you take on when you’re going someplace new and you become hyper focused on every detail. The streets look different, the shoes seem crazy, and money is a funny colour.
What would have sailed right past you at home now has a whole new interest level. When we start to look through this lens, we realize there is opportunity all around us, no matter how far we travel from home. Setting out with a purpose or theme for the day can take it from blah to fantastic.
This summer, before you head out for that trip, take a few moments up front to make a game out of what new items you want to discover along the way. I guarantee that it will make your outings fun and help you become a curious and inspired learner. You may find that your old bike trails never look the same again, and that ability to really see the differences, is one way to use the strengths you already have in order to relax and appreciate your year round adventures.
Here are three things to remember when acting like a traveler:
1. Pay attention to the small details in everything, what can you see that you didn’t see before? Are manhole covers always blue, do running shoes have long laces, do flowers do better on the south or north side of the garden? What new information can you gather along the way, now share it with your family and friends?
2. Treat your outings like they are science experiments. Even though we’re talking about being a traveler, when you head out don’t be afraid to treat it like a lab and try new things along the way. It can be as small as checking to see how fast leaves flow down the park stream to finding out what bubble tea is made of. In these small finds you’ll open up new ways of looking at the objects you pass by every day, and from there new ideas form, there is no right or wrong.
3. We are all travelers at heart; don’t be hesitant to ask others to come along on your outings. Having someone to share your finds with helps create new and bigger thoughts and experiences.