I must admit, the idea for the series of columns came about because of two different things. The first (and probably strongest) factor, is the old writer's fear of running out of ideas.
What if I've seen and done everything there is to do in Freehold? How will I figure out what to write about next week?
Taking the fresh perspective angle I could write about anything, anywhere. Plus it would give me an excuse to do new stuff. I'd like to think I'm a fun spontaneous person but the truth of the matter is I'm pretty prone to falling into a predictable routine.
The other more minor factor is my interest in taking a Zen-like approach to life. Practicing the beginner's attitude which means seeing things as if for the first time, even when you've seen it before. It's this attitude that keeps life fresh, even when you're stuck in the same predictable routine.
Combining both ideas spawned the series and in part, this article. Writing these little snapshots of my experiences around town have been great fun and can turn an evening out into an adventure or a trip to the park into a life or death matter. More than just inspiring others to go to the places I've written about, really I'd love it if people took on that spirit and sought out their own adventures.
Besides, I could always use some ideas for next week.
What follows are a list of jumping off points for discovering new adventures in Freehold.
I’ve been playing a game where I just start punching things into my GPS and let the car take me to places unknown. Sometimes I'll randomly pick a street that I've never heard of and take a drive. This works well if you just want to drive around because you'll usually wind up in a residential area. Freehold is home to several pocket parks tucked into residential developments that you might happen upon. These include , and , to name a few.
The other thing I've been doing is to use my Places of Interest function on my GPS with my eyes closed before going off on an adventure. I press the screen blindly and have no idea where I'll wind up. It beats watching TV.
2. Call A Friend
Call someone up with the sole purpose of having them recommend someplace you've never been. Or have your significant other make plans to surprise you with a new place of her choice one week, and then you return the favor the next week. You can do this on lazy Sunday afternoons or Friday night dinners. Mix it up and take turns. (One great day date surprise for your significant other: take him or her to when spring comes. The butterfly meadow will set the bar high for their turn the next week.)
3. Roll The Dice
You need dice for this one. Make a numbered list of six random places you've never been. Then roll the dice and whatever number it lands on you HAVE to go to that numbered place on the list. The only and most important rule is you have to obey the dice!
Here are six places to get your dice roll started: , , , , and .
4. Use Patch Listings
There are over 700 listings for businesses in the Freehold Patch Directory. I bet you haven't been to all of them. Pick one at random or browse through to find something that looks interesting. Try combining this with #3 and you'll have new places to visit for a long time.
5. The Last Letter Game
You know that game where you have to name a movie that starts with the last letter of the last movie named? Try it with places to visit in Freehold. If you go out to dinner one night at then you have to figure out a place that starts with a Y ( sounds like fun!) to visit the next weekend. And so on.
6. Brute Force Method
Drive. Stop. Visit.
Make yourself do this once a month. Eat somewhere new. Find a different place to get a cup of coffee, like or or . Just force yourself to go someplace new. Then explore.
7. Keep A Journal
I’ve always found having a written log of activities kind of subconsciously forces me to do new things.
You don’t have to have a column on Patch to get the same effect. Start a journal or log of your activities. You don’t even have to write in it every day but you do have to write something for each day. So you could update it every other night or even at the end of the week if you’re pressed for time.
If you’re like me, this will subtly guide you towards doing new stuff.