The Scavenger Hunt

The more I examine the way I spend my time, the more I realize I spend it on the equivalent of junk food — cheap, unfulfilling things that occupy my minutes but don’t give me any meaning. Things like watching hours and hours of YouTube videos or Netflix. Things that, while allowing my brain to turn off, make me feel guilty in the long run. Granted, there are days that simply require vegging on the couch, but every single day after work? Not necessary.

So I want to find better ways to fill my time, things that will inspire me, enrich me, and make me feel good.

At the same time, I’m an introvert. I’m not exactly suited to chasing down adventures or seeking out new experiences. Sometimes I have to really push myself to get outside, see a friend, or make an exciting plan for the day.

With that in mind, I hatched a scheme, recruited a friend (and the co-author of this very blog, Emily), and towed her onto the streets for something a little unconventional: a scavenger hunt.


Unsurprisingly, when you search “scavenger hunt” online, most of the results are backyard checklists for children. But I managed to scrape a few good ideas from several different scavenger hunts and came up with this list:

  • Something shiny
  • A leaf
  • Something red
  • Your reflection in an unexpected place
  • Something round
  • Movement
  • A pinecone
  • A bridge

Emily gamely agreed to join me on the hunt despite the unseasonably warm weather. (80 degrees in December? Really?!) We set off aimlessly, stumbling upon something red within our first few steps.

As we walked on, I tried to take a photo of my reflection in a window, but Emily pointed out it wasn’t an unexpected place. So I was forced to get creative and found this reflective pink plastic ice cream cone. Can you see my jaunty thumbs up in the distorted reflection?

After spotting something shiny across the street, Emily and I made a detour and stumbled across a little flower shop with these beauties out front—and that took care of “something round.”

The “something shiny” that had caught my eye earlier was this festively wrapped telephone pole.


And before we could move on, I darted inside the See’s Candies shop to poke around and inhale the heady scent of chocolaty goodness.

This was not on the list…but it was a great addition.

Emily spotted our next item—a few pinecones scattered across the sidewalk. I tried to be artsy with this photo. I did not succeed.

It was at this point I realized I needed to capture “movement,” so I directed Emily to jump in front of the camera. Despite our best efforts, she turned out crystal clear in the photo. We swapped places and I tried to get a blurry photo—with marginal success.


Finally, the last item on our list: a bridge. I’ll admit, I cheated on this one—I knew there was a little footbridge in the neighborhood we were visiting. So off we went, and I repeated my weird jumping exercise from before. (I have a very strange way of jumping, I’ve noticed.)

And that was it! The scavenger hunt completed. I’d spent some time in the sun with a good friend and explored a little. If you’re feeling stuck in a rut or at a loss for things to do, why not try a scavenger hunt? You never know what you’ll find. 🙂

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