Whether we like it or not, we all can’t be world travelers; even if we manage to block off a weeks vacation, the office always has a way of invading our relaxation time.
In response to the pull of wanderlust, individuals young and old have taken on “urban exploring,” or “the examination of the normally unseen or off-limits parts of urban areas or industrial facilities” (as defined by Wikipedia). Urban exploring can be divided into two categories: hardcore, such as abandoned buildings, mental hospitals, drainage systems, etc., or casual, such as local museums, neighborhoods, or office buildings.
This may work for inhabitants of a city, but what about those who live in the suburbs? Where can local business owners or employees, who live quite a distance from a city, go when they want time away from the office?
The solution is simple: Suburban Exploring, also known as people watching. This can be done at your local supermarket, County Park, or even – yes - inside the office. If you want to learn about human interaction, there is no method greater than observation. At the supermarket, pause in the aisle and listen to the conversations around you. At the park, take the “road less traveled” in the park and rest at a park bench – and don’t be hesitant to start conversation. In the office, take a trip to your Client Relations department and man the phones for an hour; guaranteed you will encounter clients of all types and colors.
Another option is to watch virtual tours of inaccessible places - inside tombs, the sunken Titanic, or castles thousands of miles away - just look at what Google pulled off with their Art Project (if only they had audio!)
So instead of becoming frustrated at situations you cannot control, guide your observations – in a sense, “situational exploration.” The lessons learned will lead to a deeper understanding of your interactions with co-workers, customers, and even your friends and family. Transform this restlessness into a curiosity – for that is the beginning of passion.