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Caveman skills: The Lost Art of Exploring

Movie killed the radio star and Instagram killed exploring. It’s bit of frustration of mine that everything has pictures taken of it nowadays. Real exploring is getting more and more difficult. Let’s see why that is, what the implications are and how we can quench our thirst for exploring.

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Why would you want to explore?

What’s the big deal? Exploring the world is a dangerous business anyways. Why would you miss that?

There is something very primal about going to a new place and discovering something nobody or very few people have discovered before.

By exploring something, you are taking a risk in the hopes of discovering something valuable. Whatever that is. Its something that feels very fulfilling to do. Like you’re doing something that has value even if you don’t find anything.

Why is it a caveman skill? They had to do it. A caveman was most likely a hunter/gatherer. At some point the food supply might dry up and you have to move to a different location.

As a caveman, you had to keep exploring to find new opportunities for your family/tribe. That’s probably why many men like to explore although it might take different shapes. The ones that didn’t like to do this, died a long time ago. They stayed in one place and that doesn’t end well when your food runs out.

Most people don’t want to take the risk

Many people don’t actually want to take the risk associated with exploring new areas. They want to see beautiful things, experience some local culture and at the end of the day go back to their comfortable hotel with WiFi and English speaking staff.

There is nothing wrong with that per se, except this is going on everywhere in the world now. That means that the people who at least want to feel like they are exploring something just see Mcdonalds and KFC everywhere.

That’s what most people actually want. Feeling like they’re being adventurous without actually having to be adventurous.

There is a good reason for that. Exploring is dangerous. You don’t know what to expect where you’re going. You might find lots of great food or you just find tigers and snakes. By taking most of the danger out of going to a new place is a good thing for most people.

I can certainly appreciate that, it also means that my thirst for exploration isn’t fully quenched however.

It’s over

To a certain extent, the time of exploring is over. Technology and especially the internet has made this earth a very small place. Combine that with relatively cheap air travel and you can see why the golden era of exploring is over.

In the first place because everyone is going to the same places. The pictures might display a beautiful, peaceful landscape. In reality, there are people everywhere, it’s noisy and savvy locals are trying to sell you everything you don’t want.

Of course there are places that are still quiet and peaceful. Of most places on this earth you can find pictures online however. It’s just not the same when you see the pictures of a place before you actually see it with your own eyes.

There are some things you can do however.

What can you do?

So obviously I’m not going to tell you where to go. That would defeat the whole purpose of this article. There is some advice I can give you though since I have a reasonable amount of experience with this.

1.     Leave the internet

Don’t go on the internet to research your next destination. Or at least don’t use visual social media. It will be more exciting to go somewhere without having images already in your head. Images are almost always photo shopped or at least have had their colors intensified a little bit.

While doing no/less research might result in some underwhelming experiences, you might also discover some great things you wouldn’t have otherwise.

2.     Be curious

Also, stop going online on location to find out where to go next. Just walk around and see what you find. Getting an old fashioned map to find your way back should be plenty.

If you go on tripadvisor, you only find things plenty of other people have done before. That’s pretty much the opposite of exploring.

Start walking around. Go into any tiny alley you find interesting and see what you find.

3.     Enjoy the journey

If you go off of social media posts for your destinations, you go there for the picture you saw. The end destination.

Plenty of times the end destination is only part of the fun. The journey there is also a big part of any trip. It provides opportunities to take side roads and end up in different destinations. Also, a difficult journey will make whatever comes after more enjoyable.

4.     Further away is not always better

You don’t have to necessarily go to the other side of the world to find something to explore. As said, with cheap air travel, there aren’t many places left to explore in this world.

Why don’t you explore some things that are close to home and you’ve never seen before. I’m sure if you’d look at a map, you’d find some spots in your area where you’ve never been before.

Sure, you might not find another wonder of the world, but going someplace new and slightly off the beaten path will give you a small sense of exploration.

5.     Take a risk

There are some places in this world that haven’t been fully explored. The bottom of the oceans, jungles, mountains. There are places where not many people have gone before.

There is a reason for that. It’s dangerous and difficult.

If you’re willing to take some risks and to be miserable, there are some opportunities for real exploration.

6.     Don’t put it on social media

If you decide to take some risks, and you find a nice place, don’t post it all over the internet.

Seriously, don’t ruin a nice spot for everyone by putting it on social media. That’s what largely caused this whole problem in the first place.

Or go to outer space….