Homegrown

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

Thank you to The Adventure Challenge, for sending me The Adventure Challenge Solo Edition Book for review purposes and to use for my Year of Adventure. All opinions are my own.

As summer declares itself in full force, all across the US and the northern hemisphere in fact, I considered whether I should carefully select an adventure challenge…or let the activity choose me. This current heat wave is breaking records, with no immediate end in sight. An outdoor activity could prove challenging indeed.

Ever one to play the random game, I let the adventure choose me. What a wonderful activity for summer…and this incredible heat. I laughed with the perfection of it.

This is Adventure Challenge #24, Homegrown.

Homegrown title meme

The Adventure Challenge Solo Edition

The Adventure Challenge books contain scratch off adventures, suitable for adults, families and individuals. Each hardbound book contain 50 fun and unique challenges to experience with a partner, spouse, friends, family members or on your own.

The challenges encourage you to get off your phone and electrical devices and connect with each other…or more deeply with yourself. They are the perfect way to explore your city or the great outdoors, try something new, reconnect with your inner child or make new friends.

The keepsake book makes it easy to document the memories, with snapshots and a few words about the experience.

There’s a catch though. The challenges are hidden. You don’t know what the activity is, until you scratch it off. If you’ve followed me for very long, you KNOW I love playing games built around randomness. The Adventure Challenge books are like the games I play where I draw random slips of paper out of a jar and do the activity I select. There are no “do overs”, in those fun games I make up, or in The Adventure Challenge.

Homegrown

My instructions for Challenge #24:

“Your hometown is unique. The local butcher shop, community garden or nearby farm could bring some of that uniqueness right to your table.

Today your challenge is to create a completely locally sourced meal featuring only local ingredients. Extra special and extra fresh!”

I adore this challenge activity. My community has local farmers markets that offer fresh produce…and other products…year around. In fact, I was just at the outdoor Webb City Farmers Market Saturday morning. This particular market sets up under a long open air pavilion every Saturday, Tuesday and Thursday. I happened to select this activity on Tuesday.

Off to the market I went, to pick out the ingredients for my evening meal. Since I am vegan, I intended to purchase a variety of fresh vegetables to create a homegrown meal with.

Homegrown farmers market
Homegrown – Webb City Farmers Market

Gathering Food

The Webb City Farmers Market opens from 4:00 – 7:00 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays and 9:00 – noon on Saturdays. I’ve visited this vibrant market for years. Besides fresh produce, shoppers can find many organic foods, crafts, plants, bakery items, soaps, herbs, spices, fresh flowers, food vendors, a variety of breads and, I’m happy to add, a vegan food vendor as well. A jar of her vegan dill ranch dressing sits in my refrigerator right now!

To complete this challenge, I focused on fresh, locally grown produce. I bought tomatoes last Saturday. During this trip, I purchased red skinned new potatoes, okra, green beans, carrots, onions, zucchini and yellow squash.

Homegrown veggies
Homegrown – my vegetable stash

Creating a Homegrown Meal

I wanted to use each of the fresh veggies in my meal so I settled on a simple vegetable hash for dinner.

A vegetable hash is so easy and delicious and, best of all, I can make it from whatever veggies I have on hand.

After washing and chopping the veggies, I heated a couple of tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a large non-stick skillet. Adding the chopped potatoes, onions and carrots first, I stir fried them over medium high heat until the potatoes and carrots were almost tender.

Next I added sliced okra, green beans, zucchini and yellow squash plus a teaspoon of smoked paprika and a teaspoon of cumin. I continued to stir fry the mixed veggies until tender, then added a small amount of water, covered the skillet and turned the heat to low. While the veggie mixture simmered, I sliced fresh tomatoes.

My homegrown meal of veggie hash and sliced garden tomatoes was so full of flavor. What a satisfying…and yummy…adventure challenge.

Homegrown veggie hash
Homegrown – veggie hash

Adventure Challenges

Do these adventure challenges sound fun to you? What about the amazing life lessons and/or synchronicities that accompany each one?

Challenge books are available in solo, family and couples editions. Each book contains 50 scratch off challenges. Check out the various books and the camera/book kits HERE. Use my code GOINGBEYOND to save 10% off of your order at checkout.

You can also purchase the camera HERE, from Amazon. The instamatic photos add to the fun, plus there’s a spot for them in the book as you document the challenges.

I enjoyed the trip to the farmers market, picking out vegetables and creating a meal from them at home. It truly was a farm to table experience. And, I have vegetables left for at least three more meals.

Do you have a farmers market or co-op in your area? What do you like to purchase there?

Homegrown adventure challenge 24
Homegrown – adventure challenge #24

 

Cindy Goes Beyond is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program provides a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra cost to you.

 

 

White Water Reading

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

What fun, to do this month’s adventure challenge in South Carolina! While on my trip, I spent an afternoon experiencing an adventure activity I selected before traveling.

Knowing I’d be on Johns Island, I looked through the activities and chose one with these icons next to it:

  • Away – go somewhere away from home
  • Supplies – might need some essential supplies for this activity
  • Outdoors – this activity takes place outdoors
  • Get Wet – prepare for the splash zone

This is Adventure Challenge #1, White Water Reading.

White Water Reading title meme

The Adventure Challenge Solo Edition

The Adventure Challenge books contain scratch off adventures, suitable for adults, families and individuals. Each hardbound book contain 50 fun and unique challenges to experience with a partner, spouse, friends, family members or on your own.

The challenges encourage you to get off your phone and electrical devices and connect with each other…or more deeply with yourself. They are the perfect way to explore your city or the great outdoors, try something new, reconnect with your inner child or make new friends.

The keepsake book makes it easy to document the memories, with snapshots and a few words about the experience.

There’s a catch though. The challenges are hidden. You don’t know what the activity is, until you scratch it off. If you’ve followed me for very long, you KNOW I love playing games built around randomness. The Adventure Challenge books are like the games I play where I draw random slips of paper out of a jar and do the activity I select. There are no “do overs”, in those fun games I make up, or in The Adventure Challenge.

White Water Reading

My instructions for challenge #1:

“For this challenge, you’ll need an air mattress, your favorite drink and a classic, fictional audio book.

Then, head to a body of water (lake, pond, pool, beach) and use the air mattress as your boat/floatie.

Float away as you listen to your book. Get lost in the story and the waves.”

My accommodations on Johns Island, South Carolina…Sailor’s Rest…has a pool onsite. I snapped a photo of the instructions, since the book and instamatic camera stayed behind this trip, and looked forward to pool time!

White Water Reading sailors rest
White Water Reading – the beautiful pool at Sailor’s Rest Airbnb

Pool Time

Sailor’s Rest Airbnb is so beautiful, so exotic and perfect for a long weekend getaway or as home base for a week of exploring the area. I arrived on a Sunday afternoon, flying solo to Charleston International Airport and renting a car for the drive to Johns Island, located just outside of Charleston.

After stocking up on groceries, my first order of business was to explore the gorgeous property. The pool looked so inviting and I felt excited to floating in the water and relaxing while listening to an audio book.

Monday I showed up at the pool, wearing my new swimsuit, chilled water and a towel in hand. After spending the day walking in Charleston and visiting the Angel Tree on Johns Island, I was ready for some fun in the sun.

What I imagined: floating serenely in the pool, enjoying the play of dappled sunlight on sparkling water as I listened to an audio book playing on my iPhone.

The reality: I took two steps down the stairs into the water and stopped. Neil, one of the Airbnb owners, warned me the day before that South Carolina experienced a cooler than normal spring this year. He said the water might feel cold in the pool. It was! The water registered about 74 degrees. I could not make myself take the plunge into deeper water!

White Water Reading pool
White Water Reading – first attempt…the water felt so cold!

Did I Experience the Adventure?

The next day, the sun burned away the low lying fog and the day quickly turned hot and humid, typical South Carolina weather. As I did the day before, I spent the morning and early afternoon out exploring, exclusively on the islands this time.

I visited Charleston Tea Garden on Wadmalaw Island and walked in the sunshine. After enjoying a delicious, healthy lunch in Freshfields Village, I explored that charming community until the pool back at Sailor’s Rest called my name. Hot and sweaty, a dip in cool water sounded perfect.

My second attempt to get into the pool was successful! After hesitating only a moment, I plunged in. You know how it is. If you try to enter cold water a cautious step at a time, if feels like too much. If you dive in, literally, you get it over with quickly.

I launched off the steps and into the pool, sucking in my breath. A floating tube, a big roll that I draped myself over, served as my air mattress. And in moments, I felt incredible. The dappled water delighted me and before I drifted to the edge to turn on my iPhone, I splashed and kicked and swam, thoroughly enjoying the pool.

Rather than listen to a fictional story on Kindle, I chose a podcast. Glennon Doyle interviewing Liz Gilbert on We Can Do Hard Things became the perfect audio to listen to as I drifted peacefully in the pool.

What a beautiful adventure experience.

White Water Reading podcast
During White Water Reading, I listened to a podcast.

Adventure Challenges

Do these adventure challenges sound like fun to you? What about the amazing life lessons that accompany each one?

Challenge books are available in solo, family and couples editions. Each book contains 50 scratch off challenges. Check out the various books and the camera/book kits HERE. Use my code GOINGBEYOND to save 10% off of your order at checkout.

You can also purchase the camera HERE, from Amazon. The instamatic photos add to the fun, plus there’s a spot to add them in the book as you document the challenges.

The adventure challenges are sometimes exactly that…challenging. After I wimped out of getting in the pool on my first attempt, I sat in the sun, thinking and coming up with a “Plan B” if the pool remained too cold to get into. Back home, there are other bodies of water that I could do the challenge in, when it became warmer.

However, that option didn’t sit well with me. I did not want to miss this opportunity on the island with a pool all to myself. Sometimes it takes a plunge ahead, a leap of faith, to meet a challenge. The momentary shock of cold water passed and that bit of discomfort was worth it.

Isn’t life like that too sometimes? Discomfort, hesitancy, taking a step back…and then the desire to plunge ahead, to boldly go and overcome.

I’m grateful I persevered.

White Water Reading in the pool
White Water Reading – floating in the pool

 

Cindy Goes Beyond is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program provides a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra cost to you.

 

 

 

Rainy Day Journal Away

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

It’s adventure challenge time! This week I opened The Adventure Challenge Solo Edition book to a random page and selected an activity, without knowing at all what it was about.

As it happened, I landed on a page under the category Rainy Days. “Perfect,” I thought. “We have rain in the forecast for Tuesday.”

However, as my favorite local meteorologist likes to remind us, forecasts are based on weather models. And weather models aren’t always accurate.

What do I do, if the weather doesn’t cooperate?

This is Adventure Challenge #26, Rainy Day Journal Away.

Rainy Day Journal Away title meme

The Adventure Challenge Solo Edition

The Adventure Challenge books contain scratch off adventures, suitable for adults, families and individuals. Each hardbound book contain 50 fun and unique challenges to experience with a partner, spouse, friends, family members or on your own.

The challenges encourage you to get off your phone and electrical devices and connect with each other…or more deeply with yourself. They are the perfect way to explore your city or the great outdoors, try something new, reconnect with your inner child or make new friends.

The keepsake book makes it easy to document the memories, with snapshots and a few words about the experience.

There’s a catch though. The challenges are hidden. You don’t know what the activity is, until you scratch it off. If you’ve followed me for very long, you KNOW I love playing games built around randomness. The Adventure Challenge books are like the games I play where I draw random slips of paper out of a jar and do the activity I select. There are no “do overs”, in those fun games I make up, or in The Adventure Challenge.

Rainy Day Journal Away

My instructions for the challenge I randomly selected:

“Time to bring out your inner Vincent Van Gogh. Go and get your favorite hot beverage and some art supplies. Today you are painting in the rain. (Not literally in the rain, that’d be kind of counter productive.

Open up your garage door, patio door or window, sit down and paint. As you paint have some music in the background that fits the theme of your painting. When finished painting, write a short story about the picture you created. You don’t have to paint what’s outside. The open doors and rain are for inspiration.”

With rain in the forecast, this activity seemed perfect! I love when things like this happen. I feel in the flow of life and empowered to create.

Except…what happens when the expected rain doesn’t arrive?

Rainy Day Journal Away buddha board
Rainy Day Journal Away – Buddha Board for art

Rain, Rain PLEASE Don’t Go Away

Rather than gather water colors to paint with, I decided to have fun with a Buddha Board.

These boards provide a relaxing, Zen-like experience for the artist. Inspired by the concept of living in the moment, you paint on the surface of the board with water, using a bamboo brush. The creation comes to life…and then slowly fades away as the water evaporates. You can paint again and again on the board, using water.

Art supplies selected, I waited for the rain.

Tuesday came and went, with no rain. And while the forecast for Wednesday initially included a high probability for rain, the percentages dwindled to zero as the day drew to a close. So far I was 0 for 2, for rainy days.

The thing about living in the flow and embracing randomness is that I’ve learned to trust, even when circumstances seem contrary to what I hope for or want. As I drifted off to sleep on Wednesday evening, I came up with a Plan B if the low chances for rain on Thursday resulted in another day without precipitation.

My plan? “Alexa…play thunderstorm sounds!”

Rainy Day Journal Away rain
Rainy Day Journal Away – heavy rain

Experiencing the Adventure

I awoke early this morning to a flash of lightning and the sharp crack of thunder. Moments later the rain started. And more than just rain, a downpour turned the world watery gray. Thunder continued to rumble. My opportunity arrived exactly when it was supposed to.

In a few minutes, cup of hot peppermint tea nearby, spa music softly playing in the background via Amazon Music, painting began. I loved using the Buddha Board and experiencing the impermanence of my artwork.

A bird graced the board first…and after it faded away a willow tree took its place. Then I knew exactly what I wanted to capture, on the board and with my camera. I painted the Chinese symbol for adventure.

Rather than create a short story around the symbol, I’m living it during this Year of Adventure. It’s my story I’m telling, guided by the adventures that show up in my life.

The rain ended an hour and a half later. My painting faded away. However, the experience lingers still, another wonderful memory tucked into The Adventure Challenge Solo Edition book.

Rainy Day Journal Away adventure
Rainy Day Journal Away – Adventure Symbol

Adventures Await

Do these adventures sound intriguing to you? What about the amazing life lessons that accompany each one?

Challenge books are available in solo, family and couples editions. Each book contains 50 scratch off challenges. Check out the various books and the camera/book kits HERE. Use my code GOINGBEYOND to save 10% off of your order.

You can also purchase the camera HERE, from Amazon. The instamatic photos add to the fun, plus there’s a spot to add them in the book as you document the challenges.

I’m enjoying the challenges. And just as much, I appreciate what I’m learning about myself and about life through them. I didn’t need a backup plan for this activity. Nope, I just needed to wait for everything to align perfectly. It did. And when it did, I was ready to seize…or paint…the moment. There’s a bigger lesson here that I needed to experience this week. I’m so grateful for that opportunity!

Rainy Day Journal Away water painting
Rainy Day Journal Away – painting with water

 

 

Cindy Goes Beyond is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program provides a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra cost to you.

 

Pancakes and Pillowforts

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

It’s time for another adventure, thanks to The Adventure Challenge Solo Edition book. I look forward to these fun adventures. Since I don’t know what the activity is, until I scratch it off in the book, there’s always a thrill of excitement along with a sense of entering the unknown.

This month’s adventure perfectly suited the day and my mood.

I randomly selected Adventure #2, Pancakes and Pillowforts.

Pancakes and Pillowforts title meme

The Adventure Challenge Solo Edition

The Adventure Challenge books contain scratch off adventures, suitable for adults, families and individuals. Each hardbound book contain 50 fun and unique challenges to experience with a partner, spouse, friends, family members or on your own.

The challenges encourage you to get off your phone and electrical devices and connect with each other…or more deeply with yourself. The challenges are the perfect way to explore your city or the great outdoors, try something new, reconnect with your inner child or make new friends.

The keepsake book makes it easy to document the memories, with snapshots and a few words about the experience.

There’s a catch though. The challenges are hidden. You don’t know what the challenge is, until you scratch it off. If you’ve followed me for very long, you KNOW I love playing games built around randomness. The Adventure Challenge books are like the games I play, where I draw random slips of paper out of a jar, and do the activity I select. There are no “do overs”, in those fun games I make up or in The Adventure Challenge.

Pancakes and Pillowforts

My instructions for this activity:

“Make yourself your favorite breakfast items, grab all the pillows and blankets in your house (yes, all of them) and look up some old school radio online, preferably 60s and 70s.

Feast on your breakfast in bed, surrounded by all your blankets and pillows. When the food is gone, dim the lights, close your eyes and immerse yourself in a world where TV and phones don’t exist.”

I smiled big time over this activity. As a child, I loved making pillowforts. And as an adult, I love piling pillows and extra blankets on my bed.

For my meal, with my taste buds already primed for Spanish Rice with black beans, THAT became my breakfast. Because sure, I could definitely enjoy this dish for breakfast! And I didn’t need to purchase anything since my pantry contained all the ingredients for the meal.

Pancakes and Pillowforts
Pancakes and Pillowforts – Adventure #2 in the Solo Edition

Setting the Stage

While the Spanish Rice simmered on the stove, I prepped for my evening adventure.

Two soft, cozy blankets joined nine pillows on my bed.

I lit a dozen candles scattered around my room.

Gathering some dried herbs, including lavender from Scotland, I lit a small charcoal briquette placed in my ceramic burner and let it get ashy.

A woven wooden tray provided a surface for my bowl of Spanish Rice and black beans and a cup of hot peppermint tea, steeping in the kitchen.

And finally, I selected a 70s station on Amazon Music, for easy listening after my meal. (Get Amazon Music for 30 days free HERE. Play it through the Echo Dot or an app on your phone.)

Pancakes and Pillowforts candlelight
Pancakes and Pillowforts – candlelight

Enjoying the Adventure

I carried my meal into my room and after snapping a few photos with my iPhone and the Instax camera, the adventure began.

Dried sage, lavender, cedar and sweet grass burned on the charcoal briquette, releasing their sweet, cleansing scents into the air. I dimmed the lights, enjoying the flickering candles around the room as I dined and sipped my hot tea.

Snuggled into the pile of pillows and soft blankets, I remembered building pillowforts with my sisters and later with my children and grandchildren. This experience felt perfect.

After the meal, I started the playlist called Rediscover the 70s. For the next hour, I closed my eyes, relaxed into the coziness surrounding me and listened. Queen, Fleetwood Mac, John Lennon, AC/DC, The Bee Gees, Led Zeppelin, Marvin Gaye and Bruce Springsteen charmed me with their songs.

I thoroughly enjoyed this adventure and a relaxing hour listening to music from my teens.

Pancakes and Pillowforts playlist
Pancakes and Pillowforts – 70s playlist

Pursue Your Own Adventures

Do these adventures sound fun to you?

Challenge books are available in solo, family and couples editions. Each book contains 50 scratch off challenges. Check out the various books and the camera/book kits HERE. Use my code GOINGBEYOND to save 10% off of your order.

You can also purchase the camera HERE, from Amazon. The instamatic photos add to the fun, plus there’s a spot to add them in the book as you document the challenges.

I’m enjoying the book full of challenges. Although I originally thought I’d do one a week, it’s more naturally worked into one a month. And that’s fine with me. I’m looking forward to another adventure next month and to experiencing an adventure while on my trip in May.

If you purchase a book, let me know which adventure you do first!

Pancakes and Pillowforts solo adventure

 

Cindy Goes Beyond is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program provides a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra cost to you.

 

 

You Don’t Succulent

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

It’s time for another Adventure Challenge from the Solo Edition. I’m loving using this book as a guide during my Year of Adventure.

Once or twice a month, I select an activity from book…there are 50 of them…scratch off the covering over my choice, and do that challenge. It’s a fun way to try new adventures while pushing myself beyond my comfort zone.

I chose Adventure #47 for my activity this week: You Don’t Succulent.

You Don't Succulent title meme

Adventure #47: You Don’t Succulent

The adventure challenge: Go to your local hardware store or plant store and buy a little succulent. Pick wisely for this succulent isn’t just a plant, it’s about to become a friend.

Name your plant, give him or her a backstory filled with drama, love and agony. After you’ve come up with your backstory, give it to a friend you think will appreciate it.

Challenge accepted! I love plants and already own several succulents. And I knew exactly which friend to gift the succulent to, once I named her and created a backstory.

You Don't Succulent lowes
You Don’t Succulent – a trip to Lowe’s Garden Center

Finding the Right Succulent

I drove to Lowe’s Garden Center with a mission: find the right succulent for this adventure.

The garden center offers a wide assortment of succulents. I didn’t yet know what I wanted however I trusted the right succulent would make itself known to me.

And it did…she did. As I looked over the selection of succulents, one stood out. In fact, she seemed to have a hand raised in the air, to get my attention. “Choose me!”

It worked. I walked out of Lowe’s with a succulent and the beginning of a story to go with her.

You Don't Succulent stand out
You Don’t Succulent – “choose me”

Alma the Succulent

My succulent is in the echeveria family, notable for their striking rosettes. She prefers bright sunlight, direct or indirect, and water every two to three weeks, when her soil dries out.

I selected the name Alma for her. Alma is a Celtic name with Latin roots. The name means “kind, loving, soulful”. With her “choose me” personality and beautiful appearance, a backstory unfolded rather quickly in my mind.

You Don't Succulent alma
You Don’t Succulent – Alma

Alma’s Backstory

Alma left the nursery with her many brothers and sisters, excited about the next part of her journey. The group of tiny, thriving succulents arrived at a garden center, eager for someone to take them to new homes.

Alma watched with delight, at first, as one by one, her siblings left for new adventures in new places. As days and weeks passed, her delight turned to despair. “What is wrong with me?” she wondered. “Am I too small? Not beautiful enough? What do I lack?”

Her constant worry and comparisons with the other plants caused Alma’s appearance to shift. Her once plump leaves shriveled a bit and some leaves grew more quickly than others. The gardener put her in an extra sunny location and then eventually moved her to the back of the display.

There Alma’s thoughts turned inward. “Would she ever find a new home? Who would want her?” Finally one day, Alma decided that the only way to grow, was to let go of her fears and focus on being herself.

Time to Grow

She stopped comparing herself to her few remaining siblings and the other succulents. Instead, Alma got to know herself, from her sturdy roots to the tips of her pointy leaves. She savored the sunlight and felt grateful for it, soaked up her infrequent drinks of water and allowed herself to feel love for the first time…love for her unique beauty, her strength and endurance. To her surprise, she felt herself becoming more…growing into the succulent she was meant to be.

The garden keeper stopped in surprise one day, as he passed the succulent display. “Well look at you,” he exclaimed to Alma. “You grew a flower stalk. You are blooming.” He moved Alma back to the front of the display.

That same day, a woman arrived in the garden center. She carefully looked over the succulents. Alma held very still, confident in who she was, although her flower stalk bobbled just a teensy bit. The woman smiled at Alma. “You caught my attention, little succulent. You are the only one with a flower stalk. It’s as if you are raising your hand. I choose you.”

Alma felt waves of positive energy radiating from the woman. She sent waves of energy back. Together they left the store.

You Don't Succulent adventure challenge
You Don’t Succulent – challenge accepted

Completing the Challenge

I love having Alma in my home. However, the challenge isn’t over. Now it’s time to give Alma to a friend who will love her as I do.

I know just the friend. I spoke to her on the phone this evening and I’ll meet her this weekend, to give her this beautiful succulent and share Alma’s backstory.

The last two years challenged my friend. She’s experiencing health issues and yet she continues to send kindness, compassion and positivity into the world. My friend loves plants too and I know she will care for Alma and nurture the little succulent as she continues to grow. Alma will send waves of energy to my friend as she continues to heal.

Using my Instax Camera, I snapped a selfie with Alma. It goes into the Adventure Challenge book as a memory.

You Don't Succulent snapshot
Succulent selfie.

Want to Try These Adventures?

The Adventure Challenge Solo Edition is proving a fun way to enjoy new experiences. It’s perfect for me and for this year.

The company includes Adventure Challenge books for couples and families as well as the solo edition. If you’d enjoy these fun challenges, pick up your book HERE. Use my code GOINGBEYOND to save 10% off of your order at checkout. The company offers kits that include an Instax camera for documenting the experience. Or you can purchase one at Amazon. Use this LINK.

Watch for another adventure challenge soon! What will I do? I don’t know…and it’s so fun not knowing. Where will adventure take you today?

You Don't Succulent adventure 47

 

Cindy Goes Beyond is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program provides a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra cost to you.

 

 

Animal Crossing My Mind

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

During this Year of Adventure, one of my tools is The Adventure Challenge Book, Solo Edition. I received this book last year from the company. I’m grateful for the opportunity to experience these fun adventures and share some of them.

Today I scratched off adventure #18, Animal Crossing My Mind. How fun this evening, to carry out the adventure.

Animal Crossing My Mind title me

The Adventure Challenge

As a reminder, the Adventure Challenges are scratch off adventures, suitable for adults, families and individuals. Each hardbound book contain 50 fun and unique challenges to experience with a partner, spouse, friends, family members or on your own.

The challenges encourage you to get off your phone and electrical devices and connect with each other…or more deeply with yourself. The challenges are the perfect way to explore your city or the great outdoors, try something new, reconnect with your inner child or make new friends.

The keepsake book makes it easy to document the memories, with snapshots and a few words about the experience.

There’s a catch though. The challenges are hidden. You don’t know what the challenge is, until you scratch it off. If you’ve followed me for very long, you KNOW I love playing games built around randomness. The Adventure Challenge books are like the games I play, where I draw random slips of paper out of a jar, and do the activity I select. There are no “do overs”, in those fun games I make up or in The Adventure Challenge.

Animal Crossing My Mind petland
Animal Crossing My Mind – a visit to Petland

Animal Crossing My Mind

Today I scratched off Adventure Challenge #18. It reads:

“Go to your nearest pet store and bring your phone. As you look around, take photos of you and 3 – 5 of the animals you see (do not use flash).

Return home and come up with a name and backstory for each new friend. Once you’ve done all that, write a short story about an adventure they’d all go on together.”

This evening, I drove to Petland in my city, armed with my phone and my instax mini 11 instamatic camera. Greg accompanied me, thankfully, to help document the adventure.

Before taking photos, I asked permission to do so from the store manager and explained about my adventure. She was delighted to have me there and immediately suggested I hold one of their snakes! Store employee Donovan kindly assisted me with the four animals that I took photos of and answered my questions.

Animal Crossing My Mind donovan
Donovan at Petland, helping me with my challenge.

Vanilla Ball Python

Donovan first introduced me to a vanilla ball python. This gentle beauty, with a sleek brown body and vanilla splotches, makes a perfect pet for first time or experienced snake owners. The vanilla ball python grows up to six feet long and lives for about 30 years. Ball pythons are friendly and fairly easy to care for, preferring a diet of crickets, mice and rats.

Following my challenge instructions, I named this snake Pearl.

Pearl’s backstory: This wise snake lives with Chloe, a college student. Pearl’s roomy terrarium sits in a small sunroom, at the back of Chloe’s ground level apartment. The other animals in the neighborhood stop by frequently, to ask Pearl their deepest questions.

Animal Crossing My Mind ball python
Animal Crossing My Mind – Pearl the vanilla ball python

Parakeet

Animal number two was making a joyful racket behind me, along with her buddies. The white and dark gray bird caught me eye. Before arriving at the pet shop, I hoped to see such a parakeet.

There are more than 30 recognized color combinations for parakeets. My sister owned a blue and white one when we were young.

Parakeets belong to the parrot species. They are social birds that enjoy companionship and typically live 5 – 8 years.

I christened this gorgeous parakeet Henrietta.

Henrietta’s backstory: Henrietta…Henri…finds herself without a home after her elderly owner passes away. When a relative attempts to load Henri into his car, he accidently drops the cage, freeing the frightened bird. Henri is the main character in my story. She’s experiencing fear as a result of her freedom.

Animal Crossing My Mind parakeet
Animal Crossing My Mind – Henrietta the parakeet

Ferret

My grandchildren purchased their pet ferret, Rocky, from Petland. I hoped to see one there tonight, on my visit. A single ferret, identical to Rocky, occupied the spacious pen.

I snuggled him while Greg attempted a photo. This little wriggler enjoyed burrowing under my hair and would not hold still. I snapped his photo after returning him to his pen.

Ferrets belong to the same family as badgers and minks. They make excellent pets for those dedicated to caring for them properly. Ferrets are affectionate, playful and quiet. They live for 5 – 10 years.

In my story, the ferret goes by the name Griffin.

Griffin’s backstory: Griffin lives with his family, in the same neighborhood as Pearl and Henri’s former owner. He is playful, outgoing and always looking for adventures. He may or may not frequently find himself in a spot of trouble.

Animal Crossing My Mind ferret
Griffin the ferret

Corgi

Finally, Donovan asked me which puppy I’d like to hold. While many of the frolicking pups make me smile, the little corgi tugged at my heart. What a sweet bundle of fluff.

The corgi is a cattle herding dog breed that originated in Pembrokeshire, Wales. These stocky, short legged dogs reach a height of 10 – 12 inches and live for approximately 15 years. Corgis are playful, tenacious, bold and protective.

I named the corgi in my story Major.

Major’s backstory: this friendly little guy takes it upon himself to patrol the neighborhood. He knows every human and every animal by name and prides himself on knowing schedules and habits. If anything out of the ordinary happens, Major is on it.

Animal Crossing My Mind corgi
Animal Crossing My Mind – the sweetest corgi

Working on the Short Story

Now that I’ve met the animals, named them and created brief backstories, it’s time to let the story simmer in my brain for a few days. As I prepped for this adventure today, a story began to play out that included a parakeet, a dog and a ferret. The surprise addition of the snake changes the story somewhat, however I like how it is developing.

My intention is to write a story featuring these four animals that can be sold as a children’s story. How’s that for an adventure? It’s what I love about new experiences. While I never quite know where the adventure will lead me, I’m always game to find out.

I’m working on a title and allowing the story to flesh itself out. Stay tuned for more about this fun adventure challenge!

Animal Crossing My Mind solo edition
Animal Crossing My Mind – book and camera

Purchase Your Adventure Challenge Book

Does this type of adventure sound fun to you? The Petland store manager asked me questions about the book and my experiences. The Solo Edition sounded perfect to her.

Challenge books are available in solo, family and couples editions. Each book contains 50 scratch off challenges. Check out the various books and the camera/book kits HERE. Use my code GOINGBEYOND to save 10% off of your order.

You can also purchase the camera HERE, from Amazon. The instamatic photos add to the fun I think, plus there’s a spot to add them in the book as you document the challenge.

I look forward to experiencing more Adventure Challenges, and sharing them with you. If you purchase a book, please share which challenge you tried first!

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Cindy Goes Beyond is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program provides a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra cost to you.

 

 

 

The Adventure Challenge Solo Edition

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

Thank you to The Adventure Challenge, for sending me The Adventure Challenge Solo Edition for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

I love adventures, trying new experiences, randomness and solo travel. So when I came across this company, The Adventure Challenge, the name alone caught my keen interest.

The more I investigated the company, the more I loved their concepts.

Want to freshen up the fun…as a couple, a family, a friend or on your own? I do! Check out my experience with The Adventure Challenge Solo Edition. And find out how you can bring the challenges into your life.

The Adventure Challenge Solo Edition title meme

What is The Adventure Challenge?

The Adventure Challenges are scratch off adventures, suitable for adults, families and individuals. Each hardbound book contain 50 fun and unique challenges to experience with a partner, spouse, friends, family members or on your own.

The challenges are designed to…well…challenge you! They encourage you to get off your phone and electrical devices and connect with each other…or more deeply with yourself. The challenges are the perfect way to explore your city or the great outdoors, try something new, reconnect with your inner child or make new friends.

Plus, the challenges are fun. The keepsake book makes it easy to document the memories, with snapshots and a few words about the experience.

The best part, for me, is the catch. The challenges are hidden. You don’t know what the challenge is, until you scratch it off. If you’ve followed me for very long, you KNOW I love playing games built around randomness. The Adventure Challenge books are like the games I play, where I draw random slips of paper out of a jar, and do the activity I select. There are no “do overs”, in those fun games I make up or in The Adventure Challenge.

The Adventure Challenge Solo Edition cindy
Excited to try my first challenge in The Adventure Challenge Solo Edition.

What’s Inside the Book?

You can purchase an Adventure Challenge book only or a kit that comes with the book and an instamatic camera. Each page in the book includes a scratch off adventure, with a few clues about the challenge, a space to write about your experience and a place to attach a small photo.

There are four rules to using the challenge book:

  1. Disconnect to reconnect – unplug from everyday life, connect with others or self and have fun.
  2. No take backs – you must do the adventure you scratch off. If the adventure makes you uncomfortable a bit, that’s good! Discover new things about yourself and others.
  3. Document the journey – take a photo of each challenge and write about it in the book.
  4. Show it off – upload photos of your adventure on social media and tag #theadventurechallenge.

Each scratch off challenge has icons posted with it, clues about the adventure to come. Some examples:

  • $ is approximate cost of the adventure
  • clock symbol represents best time of day to do adventure
  • hourglass equals approximate duration of adventure
  • silverware means you will eat a meal
  • shopping cart is a heads up you’ll need some supplies
  • house means you’ll complete this adventure at home
  • car means you’ll go somewhere for this challenge
  • sun is for daylight hours
  • moon represents nighttime fun

Adventures don’t have to be done in order. They are divided by categories. You can choose any adventure you want or randomly select one.

The Adventure Challenge Solo Edition page
Page from The Adventure Challenge Solo Edition

Scratching Off My First Adventure

I asked for The Adventure Challenge Solo Edition. Why? Because I immensely enjoy this type of random experience that pushes me out of my comfort zone or teaches me something new. There’s another reason as well, that I share at the end of this post.

For my first adventure, I HAD to choose one on the “It’s an opportunity to learn something new” page. I selected number 19, Party Trick or Treat. Icons indicated no cost, could be done anytime and approximate time to complete, one hour. Two other symbols showed me it was a chill exercise and could be done at home.

I scratched off the adventure with one of the gold plastic discs provided and read my challenge: Research top ten party tricks, find one that speaks to you and learn it. Share with a friend via Facetime.

Yes! First, I rarely go to parties. And if I do, I NEVER do a party trick. New experience coming up!

The Adventure Challenge Solo Edition party trick
Can you guess which party trick I chose?

Move a Straw Without Touching It Party Trick

After researching top ten party tricks, I narrowed my choices down to three. I initially ruled out the straw one, because I don’t use plastic straws. However, in a funny little twist of fate, I ended up with a single straw that day. Decision made.

The trick: Balance a straw on top of a bottle and ask a friend if they can make the straw move, without touching it or knocking it off the bottle. When they can’t, show them that you can.

Pick up straw and rub it on your clothes or on your hair. Return to bottle top and bring hands close to the straw without touching it. The build up of static electricity causes the straw to spin on the bottle top.

I practiced this party trick a few times and discovered that my long silver hair created the right amount of static electricity. I set up my iPhone and created a short video of me performing the trick…and sent it to my grandkids. They want to try the trick as well.

I documented my fun adventure with an instamatic photo, from an Instax Mini camera I borrowed from my granddaughter, wrote briefly about my challenge and included the date. Want to see my trick? Catch the Instagram Reel HERE.

The Adventure Challenge Solo Edition
My documented challenge.

How I Will Use The Adventure Challenge Solo Edition

I enjoyed my first challenge! It pushed me beyond my comfort zone, which is always a desired experience for me. And it was fun to document.

Here’s the most exciting part of all this for me. My word for next year is…adventure. How perfect this solo edition is, for 2022. With 49 remaining challenges, I intend to experience one each week next year, and perhaps make up a few of my own to create 52 adventures. There’s actually a blank page at the end of my solo edition book that I can use for these extra adventures.

The well made, attractive book is destined to become my memory book for 2022. This is something new, right there. I can’t wait to begin, the first week in January. You know I’ll write about some of those adventures.

You don’t have to wait though! The Adventure Challenge books make wonderfully unique gifts for weddings, anniversaries, your spouse, your family, your grown kids and their families. And…there’s a new Blind Dates edition for some crazy fun if you are dating.

Or perhaps you know someone like me…or you are someone like me…who enjoys the thrill of challenging herself to go beyond, go past comfort zones, fears and limiting beliefs. Someone who likes to have fun while learning more about herself. This is THE ultimate gift for her…or you.

Check out the various books and the camera/book kits HERE. Use my code GOINGBEYOND to save 10% off of your order.

The Adventure Challenge Solo Edition first challenge
I learned a party trick!

Adventures…Yes Please

In the introduction at the beginning of the book, founder Bryant S. Ellis reminds us that we can become entrenched in repetition and get used to doing the same old things. He believes that random creativity shocks us out of our normal day-to-day life. It gets us exploring again…ourselves and the world around us.

I agree. And I actively and intentionally choose adventures and going beyond on a daily basis. I’m grateful for this new to me company and their Adventure Challenges. They will be foundational to my growth and my fun next year.

How about you? Are you ready to challenge yourself and enliven your days with adventures? Grab a challenge book and get to scratching. Don’t forget your code for 10% off…GOINGBEYOND.

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Cindy Goes Beyond is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program provides a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra cost to you.