2022 is well underway, but there’s still time to celebrate Lunar New Year. In Chinese culture, the personality of one of twelve different spirit animals defines each new year. 2020 was the Year of the Rat, which was all about survival. 2021 was the Year of the Ox, where we tethered ourselves to the new normal. On February 2nd, the Year of the Tiger begins and brings 365 days full of risk-taking and adventure synonymous with the third sign of the Chinese Zodiac.
To help you shake off the frustrations of the last two years and embrace your wild side with both paws, here are 15 Adventurous Ways to Celebrate the Year of the Tiger.
In the continental United States there are 51 National Parks, 10 National Seashores, 11 National Battlefields, 700 lighthouses, 30 major league baseball stadiums, 475 amusement parks, 17,000 caves, and one 8' tall ball of twine. On the east coast, you can pick up U.S. Route 1 in your choice of 15 states and follow it to the top of Maine or the southernmost point of the country in Key West. Meanwhile, in California, The Pacific Coast Highway offers 600 miles of iconic ocean views. There's so much to see and do here in America—and it's all accessible by car. As the old ads used to say, "put a tiger in your tank," hit the open road, and see what adventures await wherever you choose to roam.
If you don't have a big smile on your face when you tell people what you do or who you work for, there's never been a better time to do something about it. Whether your dream job is with your favorite professional sports team, fashion brand, or website, stop dreaming and start getting bold. Spend the money on a Premium LinkedIn subscription, find the people in the Vice President in the department of the organization you'd most like to work for, and send them an InMail detailing how you can make them more successful. Share samples of your most creative or effective work and express your sincere desire to elevate your efforts as a member of their team. Identify an emerging trend, a new technology, or an impending regulation change that could impact their work. You may not get the job (or a response), but the simple act of advocating for yourself will energize you in ways that are sure to awaken the tiger within.
When was the last time you had a good scare? The kind of fright that leaves you feeling breathless, tingly, and grateful to be alive? When your brain experiences fear, it triggers a physical response in your body that can be the perfect antidote to feelings of boredom, frustration, or apathy. Unless your medical doctor advises against it, a little organized terror could be just what you need to gain a new appreciation for life and gratitude for what you have. Sky diving and bungee jumping offer elite-level adrenaline rushes, but they can be pricey. Roller coasters are a close second but if proximity and seasonality aren't in your favor, consider rallying your friends for a game of laser tag or a trip to an arcade that offers virtual reality experiences. You can feel like you're riding a roller coaster, skiing down a mountain, or shooting rapids on a fast-flowing river for just a few dollars. However you choose to shake things up, you'll end the day feeling more alive than you began.
Are you ready to try an outdoor sport for the first time? Do you already have experience but want to take your skills to the next level? From climbing the sheer face of a rock wall to navigating the tides in a sea kayak, the right guide service will not only show you how it's done, they'll provide the expensive gear you need to make it happen. They'll also tailor their instruction to your ability level, so you get the right amount of instruction, coaching, and encouragement without going overboard. Think how good you feel after you send your first pitch, complete your first Eskimo roll, or hook your first trout in a remote river you'd never find on your own. An outdoor adventure is an unforgettable way to honor the Year of the Tiger.
If you love the idea of outdoor adventure but worry about the physical demands, there are plenty of accessible options all over the country. Boats, Jeeps, and ATV's piloted by qualified professionals can get you up close and personal with all kinds of wildlife. A sunset cruise on a sailboat is an exhilarating way to feel like you're part of the ocean. And if you prefer to experience the great outdoors from a distance, a hot air balloon ride is the only way to fly. Depending on where you live, where you're willing to travel, and how much excitement you're up for, you can follow a tour aboard your own 4-wheeler, jet ski, horse, Segway, or e-bike. When it comes to celebrating the Year of the Tiger in the great outdoors, the only thing stopping you is you.
Adventure doesn't have to involve adrenaline. Just as young tigers delight in learning how to hunt, so too can you find joy in a new creative hobby. Learn how to play a musical instrument that will give you years of enjoyment and the potential to connect with others. Experience the satisfaction of transforming scrap pieces of wood into a beautiful cutting board a friend will cherish for decades. Acquire the confidence to prepare your partner's favorite appetizer, meal, or dessert to turn a typical Tuesday night into an act of love. Adventure is always in the air when you're willing to learn or try new things.
The only thing more empowering than learning a new language is speaking it in the country of its origin. Picture yourself confidently ordering Coq au Vin while admiring the Champs-Élysées. Imagine the power you'll feel as you compliment your Venetian gondolier on his smooth timone. When you master a new language, you not only improve yourself, you honor an entire culture. And now more than ever, the world can use all the honor it can get.
The last two years have seen a lot of public outcry over changing laws and longstanding inadequacies in our country. If you're feeling stressed about women's rights, frustrated by the persistence of racial inequality, or more scared than ever about climate change, heed the words of Ghandi and "be the change you wish to see in the world." Thanks to social media, chances are you won't have to look hard to find a group of people who share your concerns and are already working to alter the status quo.
Change starts with a conversation. Before you can have that conversation, you need a seat at the table. If you don't have the time or desire to run for public office, the next best thing you can do is help someone you believe in to win the election. Going public with your beliefs is a bold, exhilarating step. If your candidate wins, you'll experience the joy of shared victory and renewed hope for the future. If your candidate loses, you'll have the comfort of knowing you did more than you ever did to improve your community and gain new friends in the process.
Going out for dinner is a worthwhile adventure but imagine if you could surprise your partner or family with restaurant-quality meals whenever you choose? Immerse yourself in Asian, French, or Italian cooking techniques. Learn the science and art of barbecue. Discover the countless ways to combine fruits and vegetables into the meatless dishes you resolved to make more of in the new year. The process of acquiring new skills is always an adventure, and you'll gain the extra benefit of livening up your weekly routine.
"Fortune favors the bold." What better time to embrace this Latin proverb than the Year of the Tiger? That doesn't mean you quit your job tomorrow and follow your passion immediately (unless you've already saved up the financial resources to do so). Start dedicating two hours after every workday and one full day out of every weekend to create your business plan, take classes, or seek freelance work in your chosen profession. Every step you take toward being self-sufficient will be part of the biggest adventure of your life.
There’s nothing wrong with using your precious vacation days to escape reality in a luxurious place you’ve never been. Imagine how much more meaningful your travel adventure could be if you spend your time making life better for the locals? From re-building a school destroyed by an earthquake in Nepal to caring for neglected animals and shadowing a vet at a dog shelter in Argentina, there are countless ways to make your next vacation an act of compassion.
There’s no place for feeling powerless in the face of negativity in The Year of the Tiger. The next time something bad happens that causes you pain, strike back with kindness, positivity, and purpose. Organize a clothing drive for a community where people lost their homes in a fire, flood, or tornado. Start a GoFundMe for an injured friend who faces substantial medical bills. You’ll never be able to stop bad things from happening to good people, but there’s real power in fighting the good fight.
The only thing more gratifying than feeling good about yourself is helping someone else find their path. Taking someone under your wing is an altogether different kind of adventure where you get to relive old anxieties and fears with the wisdom of age. On the other side of the coin, if you’re having trouble making a change in your life because you’re worried about the repercussions, concerned about the risks, or lacking confidence, seek out advice from someone who’s been there. Whichever situation applies to you, satisfaction is sure to follow.
Have you ever pulled up to a drive-thru window or toll booth and paid for the person in the car behind you? If you haven’t, that’s a great place to start putting positive energy into The Year of the Tiger in the form of “little things that mean a lot.” Tell a complete stranger that their hair is beautiful. Give flowers to the owner of your favorite shop or restaurant to brighten their day. Pay for your next cup of coffee with a twenty-dollar bill and tell the person at the counter to keep the change. It doesn’t take a lot to make someone feel good, but there’s no telling how far the positive ripple effect will carry. Who knows? Your efforts to be boldly helpful and adventurously generous may come back to you full circle in the form of Fortune and Personality in 2023, The Year of the Goat. Happy Chinese New Year!
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