For those of us who call ourselves “adventurers”, “wanderers” or what have you, it’s easy to feel lost during this time; no pun intended. Understandably so, things just aren’t the same. The socially responsible voice playing in our head or on our Instagram feed (@whereslightfoot, anyone?) is telling us to stay home. Granted, I’ve been guilty of sneaking some much needed time on trails and paths but so has everyone else! I’m not using that to justify my time out, rather, the opposite. If we’re all out on the same trails or at the same parks then it’s easy to see how risky it can be. By all means, go for that walk or that bike ride – but do so responsibly! I can promise you that the day the green flag waves will be unimaginably wonderful. Until then, let’s try something new – something different. I bet you didn’t know that Google Earth offers virtual tours of 31 National Park sites. Maybe you didn’t realize the vast amount of nature films and documentaries on the most popular streaming services. You’d be amazed at all the interesting and fun ways to bring the outdoors indoors! Here are just a few.
I mentioned Google Earth but I didn’t tell you what a vast resource it actually can be. You’re able to take all sorts of adventures from the comfort of your couch or under the covers of your bed. As your local guide today, my first suggestion would be exploring some of our nation’s most treasured places; the National Parks. The best part? No admission fees! Give yourself an hour and you can mosey around Arches National Park in Utah for a few minutes and then find yourself in Maine, at Arcadia National Park, for the rest of the time. If that doesn’t tickle your fancy then shoot on over to the Florida Everglades – all before lunch. I encourage you to check out the “voyager” tab inside Google Earth for a few more surprises too!
If you’re a nonfiction fanatic like me then I’m sure you can appreciate the long list of outdoor adventure films and documentaries that streaming services like Disney Plus, Netflix, and many more, have listed. I’ll follow with some of my favorites here with a link to their homepage if they have one – but be sure to check if they’re still streaming:
Into The Wild (2007)
Nature (38 Seasons and still going!) – PBS
National Parks Adventure (2016) – Netflix
The Dawn Wall (2017) – Netflix
Mountain (2017) – Netflix
Night On Earth (2020) – Netflix Original Series
Jumbo Wild (2015) – Amazon Prime Video
Antarctica: A Year On Ice (2017) – Amazon Prime Video
Something a little different: At The Drive-In (2019) – Amazon Prime Video
If all this screen time lately has you overwhelmed then I’d urge you to find something else to break up the monotony that we’re coming to know. If you’re feeling something more stimulating try things like potting plants! These can be for either indoor or outdoor beauty. It’s hard to argue with the benefits of indoor plants. If you find yourself as one of those people who can’t seem to keep a plant alive for more than a few weeks (like me, oops.) there are always alternatives. Pressing flowers can be a great way to preserve some gems that you’d like to hold on to – just remember to respect wildlife and keep in mind the Leave No Trace Principles if you’re looking outside. REI has a great blog that includes a number of outdoorsy activities that are worth checking out while we’re hunkered down at home.
We’re having to live life a little differently right now, and frankly, that’s the perfect time to experience something new! As I hope you’ve seen, experiencing something new doesn’t necessarily mean leaving the house. Let’s make the most of this time and find adventure in places where we’d least expect it. Go watch a movie or read a blog. Pot a plant or just admire their beauty from afar. I hope you found some solace in this piece and remember to take good care of yourself. Let’s rekindle our love for the great outdoors and find wanderlust in new responsible ways so we’re ready when the green flag waves.