All those picturesque Instagram photos, adventurous Youtube videos… Depending on who you are, how you are, they can be tremendously inspirational or terrifyingly demotivational.

Those great outdoors, they aren’t often that great where we are. Or at least, they don’t seem that way.

You don’t need the Cascades or the Grand Canyon, alpine meadows or tropical forest – or, for that matter, picturesque cities and perfect conditions – to be active and discover that, in fact, it’s great out there.

Disclaimer: This post is part of an Outdoor Blogger Network campaign, and I’m getting a (small) payment for it… This does not influence the article as I maintain full editorial control of the content published on this site*.
And it’s one of the best campaigns I’ve found so far and am happy to participate in, given my focus here: I write and speak about these things, anyways…

For me, this campaign is particularly interesting because it puts the spotlight on the great outdoors, but it also made me more aware again of the ordinary outdoors and what makes them great, anyways.

I used not to like where I have been living for most of my life, particularly its outdoors.

Sure, I was running around here as a kid, but it was just the normal thing to do and it wasn’t a place to venture far, discover wilderness, have great experiences.

In fact, it seemed awful.

In all the “nature,” it is such an industrialized landscape. It’s windy just about all the time, and uncomfortably so. It’s flat and boring. There are plants I’ve developed an allergy to.

And then, I go out.

I have been venturing farther and farther – and gone the same circles for years – and discovered more and more. I’ve been out in the heat of summer and the cold of winter, with the sunrise, into the sunset, and through the night.

I’ve come to like it.

Stormy Sunset

It’s still great out there also when the “there” is a different place.

The mountains offer very different challenges, with all the climbing making things harder, but the views and the diversity of the ups-and-downs also making things easier than the relentless flat roads one can find here.

The bamboo forest and beaches of “my” parts of China, let alone the Great Wall, make for exciting views and an easy sense of adventure.

Haikou Beach Running

There is still a satisfaction in coming back to a place that may not fulfill ordinary standards of greatness, but that has come to be more truly home – and another place to say #ItsGreatOutThere, here, as well as “there” far away.

I hope you’ll join me. #BeActive

*Read the Outdoor Blogger Codex for more information on blogger transparency.

The campaign It’s Great Out There doesn’t only run posts like this and its hashtag, there are also other parts of it you may be interested in – and profit from. Check out the It’s Great Out There website for more info.