New Adventures, Novelty and Mental Health

New experiences generally don’t transpire organically. A little planning can give you something to look forward to and offer you a new perspective about yourself and the world around you. One of the most common ways is to travel. It can provide new scenery, food, people, and activities to name a few.

I’m not talking about getting on a plane and travelling thousands of miles to another country. You can visit a new town that may only be a few miles from your home. If you’ve never explored it, then it’s new to you.

Discovering a new place can be exhilarating and a little scary. It’s the “unknown” factor that drives the duality. There are benefits to new experiences beyond the thrill of seeing the waterfall cascade over the crest of the mountain for the first time, or biting into a delicious new delicacy. Our horizons are being broadened, we are building up our tolerance to uncertainty, and it contributes to our feeling of wellbeing.

These new adventures have us thinking differently about where we’ve been, where we can go and what we can do in our lives. We feel a little more confident about trying new experiences the more often we do them.

My latest trip got me thinking about new experiences and how they change us. I rented a campervan and stayed at three state parks in Washington over a four day period. I’d been RV camping, but was never responsible for driving and setting it all up. I had also been to two of the parks, but it had been over 17 years. Not all of it was new to me, but it was new enough to stimulate new connections between my nerve cells and have me smiling with delight.

I have new memories of trails hiked, views admired, and watching wildlife in their natural habitat. My confidence level has increased when it comes to driving a big rig and camping in general. I am not sure what my next adventure will be, but I know I’ll go into it with an open mind and heart to be forever changed by the sheer experience of having it.

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