Let me ask you a question: “Are you earning money for the sake of it?”
It’s quite a provocative question, but it’s a useful question. It helps us reframe where earning money sits in our lives, and what our real priorities and dreams are.
When I was asked by first direct bank to talk about how money and living an adventurous life fit together, that was the question I kept coming back to. I was brought up in a very financially sensible family. I’m certainly grateful for being taught to save hard and work hard. But a linear lifestyle has become really hard – we don’t have the jobs-for-life culture or the affordable housing which made our parents’ lives feel more assured than our own. I wanted to do things differently. I dreamed of a more unconventional life, to live more adventurously, but without being financially reckless.
Finding a way to make that happen is more about your attitude than your wealth. I prefer to have cheap, regular adventures rather than saving endlessly for that one massive trip of a lifetime that sadly often doesn’t ever happen.
So, I set off on a series of microadventures, short, local, cheap journeys, to bust the myth that people are too busy or broke for adventure. I began swimming down rivers, cycling to the coast at the weekend, and sleeping under the stars. You can do things like this whoever you are, wherever you live. Microadventures are just small step changes in your life, a metaphor for making stuff happen. There’s literally no excuse not to make such tiny changes. And it’s these tiny first steps that put big journeys in motion.
Microadventures demonstrate that you don’t have to be a reckless vagabond. They’re about finding ways to make what you want happen, and waking up a bit to what you really want to do with your money. You don’t need to sleepwalk through life, saving for months for a holiday just because that’s what everyone else does.
Do we really need to be saving for that big trip, bigger TV, newer phone? Or do we actually need more sunsets, more time doing what we love with the people that we love, and more memories?
I have learned that living adventurously is about your mindset more than your location. You can find wilderness and adventure everywhere. The difficult part is only making it happen. This holds true whether you like the sort of adventures I am talking about, or if your adventure is being bold enough to change your job, start a business, learn the piano, whatever. It is possible to be optimistic, curious, innovative, adventurous and financially responsible.
For the confidence to live a life less ordinary, we often just need a little nudge. If you want to make things happen, you can make them happen. Think big, start small, but do start. In other words; stop waiting. The time to start is right now.
Find out more at first direct, here.