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Cultivating a sense of adventure and exploration. Adventure is a state of mind. Google Maps example.

November 5, 2019


Hello. For me, it’s the shortest long weekend of the year right now. Why is that? Because we’re finishing Daylight Saving Time on Sunday, and that means that
this weekend is 49 hours instead of 48 hours. Oh, and by the way,
it’s “Daylight Saving Time” with one S, not two. It’s not “Daylight Savings Time.” Okay. Today, I want to talk about cultivating a sense of adventure and exploration in life. You may have noticed that I changed the name of this channel to “Matthew’s Adventures.” I like that word: adventure, and the idea of exploration. Okay, so what is adventure? I like thinking of it as a state of mind, or a way of interacting with the world. We usually think of exploration and adventure as physically going somewhere, and it certainly is that, but it can also be a state of mind in other areas, too. It’s basically the idea of doing
things out of the ordinary. Mix up your routine every once in a while. Travel to new places, read books, watch TV and movies, and listen to music a bit out of your comfort zone. It can even apply to relationships: meet new people, and new kinds of people. All of these are ways of cultivating a spirit of adventure and exploration. And this can happen at different scales, too. For example, with travel, you could visit a different country for a week. Or a different city for a weekend, or just spend the day somewhere local, in your own city. Or if you have a couple of hours, find some place new in your neighborhood. Here’s an example: a friend and I once used a random number generator to find a place to go to dinner. I’ll show you how. Open up Google Maps and find your current GPS coordinates by right-clicking where you are and choosing “What’s here?” or on a mobile device,
long-press to drop a pin. You’ll see GPS coordinates for that location. Next, randomly choose two numbers between negative 0.1 and positive 0.1, and add those to the coordinates. I’m copying these into Excel, then using the rand function,
multiplied by 0.2 and subtracting 0.1, then repeat it, and copy the GPS coordinates back in to Google Maps, Add in the comma, and here it is. Let’s see, what’s the nearest restaurant? Right here. I’ve never been there before, and actually, it looks pretty good. But this brings up an interesting question. What if it’s not good? Trying something adventurous does have the risk of not working. But you know what? It’s okay to fail. I remember coming back from some afternoon adventure, (and I don’t even remember what, now) and my friend Aaron said “How was it?!” And I said, “Eh, it was kind of a dud.” But then I realized it’s better
to try, then fail, than to not try at all. Maybe if you’re not failing sometimes, you’re not being adventurous enough. I mean, what’s the worst that can happen? Maybe you try a restaurant
that wasn’t that good, or you waste an afternoon
doing something boring. Of course, you don’t want to be reckless, and your threshold for failure should be different at different scales. If you’re going away for a whole week, you’d want to be reasonably sure that you’re going some place you’d enjoy. And you do not want to fail at something like skydiving or rock climbing. I think the topic of risk versus
reward is really interesting, but maybe it’s a topic for another day. How do you cultivate this sense of adventure and exploration? I’d say this: start small. Do that Google Maps thing. Then, also, learn to notice and appreciate the things around you. I do this by taking lots of pictures. Also, learn to have a sense of space and where you are on the map. Like I said last time, I love that maps give me a
feeling of place in the world. I worry sometimes about people losing this sense of adventure. I work with college kids, and it seems like they stay home more than in past decades. There used to be less to do at home, I guess. You’d have to go out to find
something to do. But now, there’s this whole world of entertainment available at home, like streaming media on Netflix, or immersive video games. And this probably has something
to do with it. I actually don’t know if it’s
anything really different, or maybe I’m just turning in to an old man. Hey! Hey! Get off my lawn! Oh, sorry about that. See? It’s probably the latter. Okay, thanks for watching. Let me know in the comments what kinds of adventures you enjoy. And I’m curious to hear what happens if any of you try that random GPS thing. And, don’t forget to like and subscribe, I’d appreciate it. All right, see you next time. Okay, just a quick PS I actually couldn’t help myself,
I decided to go try that restaurant in my example from earlier. And it was pretty good. It’s called Off the Hook Grill. It’s 7 miles from my house. Which is just far enough that
I had never heard of it. And I probably would have never
come here otherwise. So, go try this yourself. And let me know how your adventure goes. And if you make a little video like this, then I will post a link to it
in a pinned comment, so everybody else can see how it went, too. And, now I’ll say goodbye for real. Take it easy. Bye.

2 Comments

  • Reply Coagulant November 3, 2019 at 4:49 am

    I love your serene approach to video recording.

  • Reply TheADhillon50 November 3, 2019 at 5:18 am

    My favourite adventures are watching your videos

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