Spring is here after our bout of snowy and cold weather in April (!?!), and I am excited to share one of my favorite adventure hacks today! And it is as simple as laminating a map 🙂
Laminate that Map: The Origin Story
Alright, I’ll admit it, I stole this idea from my mom (thanks, mom!). Back when I was in middle school, we moved into a new house in our area. While we did not move far from our previous home, we moved far enough to be living in an unfamiliar network of country roads. Suddenly, we needed to figure out our routes to school, town, sports, and other local attractions. To add to the need for a good map, I was quite active as a cyclist and would go out for 15-50 mile rides on a regular basis.
As a result, my mom wanted to have a permanent map in our home for a quick consultation and route mapping (so she would know where to look if I didn’t arrive home from a cycling workout!). So, she found a local map (detailed enough to show most, if not all, local country roads) laminated it, and hung it near the mudroom.
Little did she know this little action would become an adventure launch board for her daughter, her son-in-law and grandson years later…
The Adventure Rich Laminated Map
When Mr. Adventure Rich and I moved to northern Michigan in 2016, we went through a period (well, we are arguably still in this period!) of adjustment as we learned the area, explored our new home and found our place. I grew up in this area, but living in an area as a kid and living in an area as an adult with a family are two very different scenarios. Plus, with some recent growth and “revival” in our area, there were many new and exciting community gems to discover!
Our first “home” in Michigan was my parents’ home, where we lived for a few months before we bought our home. The laminated map still hangs prominently near the mudroom door and quickly became a gathering spot for Mr. AR and I. We would consult the map prior to heading out the door or browse the map for a little inspiration on a free Sunday afternoon.
When Mr. Adventure Rich and I moved into our home, a laminated map (which just so happened to be the same map my parents have…) was one of the first pieces of decor on the wall. We added a little flair by asking the laminator to laminate in a piece of blank white paper somewhere in Lake Michigan so that we could jot down ideas for local adventures and places we wanted to see with a whiteboard marker. With our wall adorned with our map, we started dreaming, planning and executing our many local adventures!
Step 1: Laminate That Map
Step 1 is as simple as laminating that map! Mr. Adventure Rich took our map to the local copy shop for the laminating. Our map is quite large so it did cost us some $$ for the laminating (maybe $25-$35?), but it has been well worth the cost. Once we brought our freshly laminated map home, we found wall space in our first level room near our front door and secured the map to the wall with a few whiteboard markers close by.
Step 2: Pinpointing Adventure Locations
Step 2 starts the fun part… just hang out and look at the map for awhile! Follow the roads you know, but then take a look at that one road you always pass but never turn onto. Where does it go? Look for symbols on the maps like parks, trails or lakes. I am always amazed at how many local parks I drive past on a daily basis without registering that it is a park!
As you are looking at the map, grab the whiteboard markers and start circling places of interest, curious roads or the unexplored trail. These markings will come in handy for Step 3…
Step 3: Add Wanderlust Ideas
Clearly, we need to dream up some more adventures for this year!
Once you have ventured through your local map for a bit, start a list of the things you would like to do and see. It can be a simple as “Check out Rocky Road Drive” or as descriptive as “Bring a picnic to Lake Community Park on Vince Street and Grant Avenue”. This equips you with a list of local adventures to spark a little fun on a free afternoon or combat the “There’s nothing to do today” syndrome.
Step 4: Execute on the Plan!
Aaand when Sunday afternoon rolls around and you are thinking “what should I do with this beautiful spring day?”, you can mosey on over to your Adventure Map to browse the list of ideas. From there, it’s up to you!
Do you like the idea of a laminated “Adventure Map”? Or do you already have something like this? What local adventures are you looking forward to this year?
Always an Adventure,
Mrs. Adventure Rich