Jen at a little lake near Fallen Leaf Lake in the Lake Tahoe basin. We took this little trip last fall and also went to Taylor Creek to see the spawning salmon.

My wife, Jen, and I have a little ritual we call “weekday adventures”.  Since Jen works at home part-time, we have the freedom to get out of the house and do things.  However, since we have teenager boys we can’t really travel on a whim.  We have to be home in the evenings and cook dinner and make sure home work gets done, so we go out during the day on these little adventures.

We’ve gone for a drive in the mountains, gone bowling, seen a movie, for instance.  Due to the illness and death of Jen’s dad last winter we kind of got out of the habit, but we’re getting back into it.  Until we can get the kids out of the house and start our planned retirement lifestyle, these little day trips, along with our all to infrequent travel, will have to do.

For us, and many other retirees it seems, travel is a big part of the lifestyle, but what if, like us, you can’t.  For whatever reason you might find yourself tied to home.  Maybe you’re caring for a sick loved one, maybe money is short or you’re trying to save for a big trip, possibly you are unable to travel for health reasons.  In any case, you’re stuck at home.

I’ve always said that you could spend the rest of you life exploring the area within 50 miles of your house.  I mean it.  The 100 mile diameter circle has more stuff in it than you can shake a stick at, whether you live in an urban, suburban or rural setting.  I lie in a very rural area and the region is sparsely populated.  Still, I have access to several towns, Lake Tahoe, the Sierras, the deserts of western Nevada and much, much more.

I can only imagine what wonders would await someone living in a big urban center or a heavily populated rural region.  I guess what I’m trying to say is you don’t have to travel far to have fun and discover new things.  I’ve lived my whole life in this area and I’ve yet to go to or do more things than I can count.

While attending my son's football game in near Elko, Nevada, last fall, we took the opportunity to explore Lamoille Canyon and I got in a little fishing.

All you need is a sense of adventure, a willingness to step outside of your routine and maybe a little imagination.  Even the most mundane things can be fun and interesting if you’ve never done them before or haven’t done them since you were a kid.  Doing new things outside of your comfort zone can also be exciting and fun.

Going places isn’t the only way to have adventures, either.  Try doing something different at home.  I built a simple potato gun and whenever we have potatoes that are getting mushy we go out and launch them into the back of our property.  I’ve looked at inexpensive remote-controlled aircraft.  Buy or build some toys and play with them.  You’ve go the time and it beats sulking in front of the TV.

When the weather is bad, there is plenty of things you can do inside.  Planning future adventures is fun.  You could buy a Wii video game system or pull out those board games you still have collecting dust in the closet.  We’ve had theme nights when the kids are away.  We turned up the heat, cooked jerk chicken, drank rum and pretended we were in Jamaica.

The more fun stuff you do, the more fulfilling retirement can be.  Even the simplest of things can provide a ton of fun and adventure.  We have a blast bowling, something we haven’t done in years.  It’s not about adrenaline or spending tons of money, it’s about opening your mind and finding new and different things to do.

It’s all too easy in retirement to get into a rut.  That TV or computer is always calling for you to sit down and vegetate for a while.  This is especially true if something, money, health or situation, is keeping you from traveling.  For us it’s about finding an excuse to get out of the house and spend sometimes together.  For you it might be an excuse to get off the couch, meet new people, or develop new interests.

These little adventures may not be your preferred lifestyle, but when life throws you lemons you make lemonade, right?  There’s a world out there to explore and experience and it can be done by just about anyone on any budget.  Whether you’re dreaming of the day you will have more freedom, like Jen and I, dealing with some kind of permanent limitation, you don’t have to just sit on your butt and dream.  Find something you can do and go do it.

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