Tag Archives: boredom

Can’t wait until the next big trip? Here’s how to avoid wasting the waiting time

Whether you’re counting down to a trip you’ve already planned, or just wishing you had a chance to go anywhere-but-here, it’s easy to overlook the things that are happening right now.

If we do that, however, we’re missing our life! Life isn’t made of only the big exciting trips and boring periods of waiting. It’s made of moments, big and small, that happen every day (even when it doesn’t feel like it).

The time will pass whether or not you enjoy what you’re doing – here are some ideas to make it count!

Be a tourist in your current town

Not only will this give you a chance to get out, do something fun and different, and help you appreciate where you are right now, it will give you ideas of things to do on your big trip too. When I recently played tourist in Seattle (the city I live in), I went on an architecture walking tour of a neighborhood where I’d never been before. It was super fun and interesting, and makes me realize I’d like to go on tours like that in other cities too.

Have a friend plan your day

No matter where you live, if someone else plans your day for you, you’ll likely do things you wouldn’t normally do, or do them in a way you wouldn’t normally do them. This can be great for creativity and help you enjoy new things about life.

Learn something related to your trip

If you have a trip on the calendar, or if you’re dreaming of one, you can bring a little of that adventure from the future into the present. Learn a language that will be useful for you to know, take a cooking class of cuisine from that area, or go to a seminar on topics like budgeting for travel, personal safety, or some other travel-related skill.

Adventure in your mind

“Reading is like travel, allowing you to exit your own life for a bit, and to come back with a renewed, even inspired, perspective.” –Laurie A. Helgoe

Read a book set in the place you want to go, or with a character doing the things you want to be doing. It’s not the same as being there or doing it yourself, but like so many readers will tell you, it’s nice to get away even in your mind. Who knows? Maybe it will even give you ideas of what to do for the real thing.

Hang out with friends (new and old)

One of the most interesting parts of travelling is that you get to meet a bunch of new and interesting people. One of the worst parts about travelling is that you can’t hang out with your friends at home. Take this time to spend time with the people you’ll be leaving behind, and capture the excitement of meeting new people by attending Meetups or other events in your area.

Enjoy the wait

When I travel, I often rush to do a lot of things every day, more than I might normally try to do (especially if I’m trying to make the most of a limited amount of time). This can be tiring, so it’s nice sometimes to just relax, appreciate being bored, and get rested so I can fully enjoy my upcoming plans.

*Got your own tips? How do you make sure you’re not wasting the waiting time?*

The benefits of being bored

Benefits of Being Bored.png

In our culture of FOMO and YOLO (Fear Of Missing Out and You Only Live Once), of celebrating being busy, and of always looking for the newest and best, sometimes I feel pressured to keep moving and never slow down.

As a bucket lister I’m often looking for the next new adventure but I also like taking some time to let myself do nothing, without goals or agendas, and to see what happens. It’s an exercise in flexibility and patience (which I need to practice) as well as a way to let my brain relax and to experience creativity with fewer boundaries.

Better ideas

I get some of my best ideas when I’m bored or not trying to think of good ideas. I also pay closer attention to what’s going on around me when I’m bored (trying to find something interesting – and there’s always something if you look), which makes me think in a different way and usually generates additional ideas. I also learn things I wouldn’t normally learn because I feel like I have the time and nothing more interesting to do. I’ve read detailed posters and pamphlets, watched documentaries and other videos, and skimmed books I probably wouldn’t have otherwise read, all because I was bored.

Appreciation for the small things

Because I’m taking time to look around and not be so busy, I notice some of the smaller, easier-to-overlook things in my life. The sound of the crunchy leaves on my walk, the slightly silly happiness of being able to perfectly color a picture (yes, I love coloring books!), the way that perfect stranger just smiled when we made eye contact. Those kinds of things are so hard to notice if I never take the time to stop and pay attention.

Leads to bigger things

My “crunchy leaf walk” tradition really got established after being bored at university one day. I went out for a walk just to do something random that I remember doing with my mom and brother during childhood and now it’s a yearly personal event. I’ve also had moments when I realized I haven’t connected with someone in a while and decide to send them a nice note, which then leads to bigger opportunities. It doesn’t always happen that a single moment of boredom leads to a life-changing habit or opportunity, but it happens often enough to list it.

Provides a restful space

Sometimes everything just gets to be too much and I really appreciate taking some time to be bored. I’ll do nothing but daydream or sit with a blank look on my face and to have no expectations of myself. It took me a while to be okay with this, but now I really enjoy it because it helps me acknowledge that I don’t have to be doing something in every moment.

On the other hand…

I think it’s good to let boredom refresh you and give you opportunity for creativity and appreciation. However, I know that sometimes I go the opposite way with this and begin to feel like I have nothing new or exciting in my life. I’ll be bored because I’m doing the same thing every day: wake up, work, go to bed, repeat. It’s not fun or interesting and it slowly drains all the energy and motivation from my life.

That’s when I like to do something small to change things up, to shake myself out of the rut and notice the things in life that are enjoyable, instead of focusing on the negative. My bucket list comes in handy for this a lot, and so does going on random adventures or talking to new people.

This feeling of being stuck in a rut is something I know we all experience from time to time. That’s why I thought it would be fun if we did something to get out of that, to challenge the boundaries we’re putting on our own lives, and to notice something or someone new.

I’m hosting the 31 Days of Everyday Adventure challenge and I’m inviting you all to join me. I’ll provide suggested daily activities to help you bring a little adventure into each day. You can decide if you want to do them all or only some, and can share your experiences in the blog comments and on social media (especially Instagram or Facebook).

If you’re interested in learning more, sign up for the Insiders list to stay updated or leave a comment here (The Insiders list is different than just signing up for blog updates). Also please let me know: what’s your favorite part of being bored?