8 excellent reasons to just say ‘screw it’ and go explore

Our Instagram feeds are freaking killing us. All of those outdoor adventurers we follow are stepping up their game while we sit looking at the same illuminated screen for hours on end.

We ask, “How do they do it? How do they manage?” But in all honesty, the real question should be, “Why aren’t we doing it too?”

You don't know where the trail leads until you follow it yourself. Photo by Kade Krichko

You don’t know where the trail leads until you follow it yourself. Photo: Kade Krichko

There are plenty of adequate excuses -- family, proximity, significant others, a paycheck -- that can be daunting when we face the prospect of dropping everything and going exploring.

To counteract those societal shackles, we’ve compiled a list of perfectly good reasons to just say “screw it” and get your butt outside -- where it belongs.

It battles brain block

Hey, if the cardio boost isn't enough to clear the cobwebs, we're pretty sure hanging it over a massive cliff will scare off the brain fog. Photo: raphotoltd/Twenty20

Hey, if the cardio boost isn’t enough to clear the cobwebs, we’re pretty sure hanging it over a massive cliff will scare off the brain fog. Photo: raphotoltd/Twenty20

That crazy yogi who always claims to think more clearly after exercising might be onto something. Turns out that being physically active changes the brain for the better, improving memory and cutting through the brain fog that most affects our productivity.

RELATED: Making the case for playing hooky

In fact, a study from the University of British Columbia suggests that regular aerobic exercise may delay the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s.

So remember: It’s not skipping work, it’s investing in your long-term health. That has a much better ring to it, right?

You’ll learn something new

Granted, you can always read a tutorial from your office chair, but getting out and actually practicing a new skill is one of the best ways to learn. Don’t know how to tie a proper knot? You’ll learn pretty quickly on your first venture into sport climbing (we hope).

RELATED: Tips for inspiring an adventure when you're in a slump

Perhaps that’s an extreme example, but surrounding yourself with outdoor experiences has a way of teaching you a new thing or two.

See it before it’s gone

Not to be a downer, but the natural world is transforming faster than ever. Who knows how low snow levels will affect prized national parks or what wildfires might do to that mountain range you’ve always talked about climbing?

RELATED: Climate change may essentially eliminate skiing in Australia by 2050

Don’t wait to read about how our favorite landscapes have been forever altered; see them now. This isn’t a doomsday warning, but it’s, like, kind of a doomsday warning.

Practice a different kind of commitment

You’ve committed to your job and to your partner, so why not practice committing yourself to you? What makes you happy? If that answer revolves around exploring and seeing the world, make it happen.

Set a goal to trail run twice a week, and do what you have to do to get shoes to dirt. Consider it part of your professional development. Remember: Nobody likes a quitter.

Experience new cultures

You don't have to go all the way to Everest to experience a different culture ... but then again, why not? Photo: Daniel Prudek/Shutterstock

You don’t have to go all the way to Everest to experience a different culture, but then again, why not? Photo: Daniel Prudek/Shutterstock

One of the best parts of traveling and expanding your world reach is meeting other people and immersing yourself in different cultures.

RELATED: The case for trusting strangers during your travels

A worldly view is a coveted character trait, and there’s no better way to develop one than experiencing cultures firsthand.

You aren’t using your vacation time anyway

According to a 2015 article in the Huffington Post, in a study conducted among 1,500 American adults, nearly 42 percent of the group reported not using a single vacation day in 2014.

That’s ridiculous.

RELATED: Have you ever been adventure shamed?

What better way to stick it to the man than skipping out on work, doing something awesome and getting paid while you’re out there?

Don’t let regret win

Who needs a 5 star hotel when can have a billion stars right here. @paulinadao

A photo posted by Blair Lockhart (@blairlockhart) on

Long before FOMO was trending, regret staked its claim as the strongest reason to say yes to the next adventure. Nobody wants to look back at their life and say, “What if?”

Next time those words creep into your brain, let that be a sign that it’s time to take the afternoon off and finish up your emails later. After all, when was the last time you said, “What if I had just stayed in and typed up that TPS report?”

Find new friends

Yay! Doubles! Photo: erjaack/Twenty20

Yay! Doubles! Photo: erjaack/Twenty20

This is an obvious but often overlooked one. When people realize you are out doing cool things, and trying new things, they want to be a part of that energy.

Suddenly your “table for one” turns into a gang of seven and people stop asking about work and start saying, “Hey, I didn’t know you liked to surf -- me too!

As much as adventure can be a personal thing, it also brings us together, and it’s always better when shared.