Why You Should Start Exploring Abandoned Places
Various sources would say that urban exploration is the exploration of man-made structures, usually abandoned ruins or not usually seen components of the man-made environment. This can be done anywhere that an abandoned building or space exists. You may not even necessarily need to leave the city you reside in order to find what you’re looking for.
It’s also great for those who are just curious about days gone by and how a building can go from a bustling hub of activity like NYC to witnessing the slow decay and takeover of nature in a once-pristine space. In short, this is a fun, cheap and often quite easy way to see some really cool stuff, but if you’re not quite convinced yet, then here are some more reasons to go on an adventure with a friend or two.
1. It’s Free
What’s more exciting than the feeling of danger and mystery? Not spending your hard earned cash on an over-priced, over-crowded and noisy tourist attraction. The most money you'll have to spend on your visit will be the snacks you bring and transportation costs, which likely will not end up being terribly expensive depending on how far you travel. If you’re dying to get off the well-beaten path, checking out a deserted theme park should be at the top of your list. For many people including myself, urban exploration is as much about personal exploration of your thoughts as well as the abandoned structures themselves. The silence of the abandoned places gives you time to reflect. Plus, who wouldn’t love having a nice afternoon lunch with friends in the middle of an abandoned Six Flags like the one in New Orleans? Pssst...it's still there.
2. Get An Impression From The Past
Whether you’re visiting a dilapidated hospital or an abandoned chapel, letting your imagination run wild to try and catch a glimpse of the past can be fun! Imagine the energy that used to reside in the walls that you are now exploring. Walking the halls of an eerie abandoned mental institution can stimulate your mind and interest in past events. While your imagination may not paint a completely accurate historical picture of the local haunt, it still can serve to spark your interest in some later research. The life that once occurred within those walls can start resemble some more current happenings.
3. Witness The Perseverance Of Nature
Humanity loves to leave its mark on the world in order to prove their existence and greatness. Seeing nature reclaim land from human civilization is a very powerful experience. While one may think that our massive architectural undertakings can last a lifetime, even the great architectural wonders of the world require regular maintenance in order for them to remain safe enough for public viewing. Sometimes you can start to see nature take over even after just a few short months of a place closing down. With this comes along weeds that grow in cracks, vines that find their way through open windows and even animals creating homes and nesting in walls. No space is safe from the perseverance of nature. It acts as a beautiful reminder that nature will always survive no matter how hard humans try to tame the world around us.
4. Let Out Your Inner Artist
These abandoned spaces tend to create the perfect atmosphere for people who want to let creativity and imagination run free. Many videographers and photographers alike start their own portfolios on various social media platforms and continue to build up a following. So whether you’re looking to stage the perfect fashion shoot, filming you’re next zombie apocalypse movie, or just want to try your hand at spray painting a wall for the first time, these spaces allow for such freedoms. Many artists, amateurs and professionals alike, grow into their own creating and practicing their craft. Why not join the rest of them?
How To Prepare Yourself
If you’re now feeling inspired to go out on an adventure, then it’s worthwhile to note that urban exploring can also be dangerous for various reasons. These areas have long been abandoned, and once they fall into disrepair, it can prove to be very dangerous to walk up those rotting wood steps or duck through the window with shards of broken glass poking out. If there is one thing that the Boy Scouts of America has taught, it's the buddy system. Always bring a friend or small group with you and be sure to have snacks, drinks and first aid supplies for your journey.
An added challenge is that many of these places are boarded up in an attempt to keep the general public out because of the harm that could be caused to potential adventurers. This means that depending on where you are exploring, police patrolling the area could come at any time and ask you to leave the premises. This happened only once before we traveled deep into an abandoned train station a few years back.
Lastly, it often happens that people who are experiencing homelessness, also known as squatters, will find refuge in these buildings and make a home there. It shouldn’t have to be said, but DO NOT move, damage, or disrespect them or their property. Be mindful if they ask you to leave them alone, respect their wishes and move on to a different space. During our travels in Northern New Jersey, we came across an abandoned factory where we came across the bedroom of one of these squatters. There wasn't anyone there, but again, ALWAYS be mindful of this.
If possible, check to see if there are any firsthand accounts from those who have recently visited the site that you plan on going to. The best place you can go to get most recent footage is from searching YouTube. Some cities even have communities that create websites dedicated to cataloging all urban exploration sights and updating any curious souls on the safety and condition of the place one might desire to visit. As a result, if you’re cautious and would like to get a glimpse of what you’re getting yourself into, try a quick google and see what you can find. Besides that, we wish you many happy and safe explorations!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 The Urbex Tapes