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How to Make your Adventure Happen

What do you need to know?

Here’s how to make an adventure happen:

  1. Work out what adventure you want to have.
  2. Work out how much money you need to make it happen.
  3. Save up that amount of money (plus as much extra as you can manage – adventures always go over budget).
  4. Work out how to make time in your life for the adventure.
  5. Acquire any skills / fitness necessary to make your adventure happen.
  6. Sort out the equipment you need.
  7. Get your head round the logistics of the adventure (visas, permits, seasons, communication).
  8. Decide whether you want to share your adventure with the world or keep it to yourself (maybe read this post too).
  9. Begin.

I can help you with all of these phases.

I’mm calling it #GrandAdventures.

#GrandAdventures is my attempt to attract people who currently enjoy passively reading about adventures and convert them to someone who is actually out there in the world’s wild places doing something amazing.

I want to make exciting adventures such as these accessible to everyone who reads my website: cycling to Africa, crossing Iceland from coast to coast, riding a train across India, rafting or swimming the River Tagus or walking across Patagonia. A year from now you could be doing any of these…

So let’s get started.

  1. Let me know

    (in the comments section) what help you need to make your dream adventure happen. What’s the mental hurdle that’s holding you back? What do you need to learn? What do you need to do?

  2. Start saving.

    The plan for #GrandAdventures is to begin saving today. Saving £20 a week (or a sum suitable for you) will accumulate into £1000 in a year. That’s easily enough money to do something epic! Here is a simple guide to setting up a weekly Standing Order into a dedicated adventure fund. It takes 15 minutes to do and then you just forget about it as the money mounts up. Do it now.

  3. Make your adventure happen. Save money. Dream big. Have the Adventure of a lifetime for just £1000 (or $1000, €1000 or ¥1000).


    My new book, Grand Adventures, is out now.
    It’s designed to help you dream big, plan quick, then go explore.
    The book contains interviews and expertise from around 100 adventurers, plus masses of great photos to get you excited.

    I would be extremely grateful if you bought a copy here today!

    I would also be really thankful if you could share this link on social media with all your friends – It honestly would help me far more than you realise.

    Thank you so much!

    Grand Adventures Cover


Read Comments

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  1. A very big question is ‘How to get this one past the girlfriend’, when £1000 saved could be spent on a family holiday which she would obviously much rather prefer and secondly how to approach the question of a week or more away galavanting around the world having fun without them?

    May seem trivial questions on an adventure site but very valid for an everyday, everyman, wannabe adventurer. Any advice appreciated on this one. P.S. my #adventure100 account is set up but don’t tell her!

    • Got a similar problem too….got my finances together, got my plan sorted. The hard part is how to tell my girlfriend that I intend to quit my job and disappear for 3 months.
      Tomorrow is the big day, when I give her the news….dealing with a pissed off girlfriend is always going to be the hardest part of any adventure.

  2. I told my wife looooong ago, before we got serious, I’d be doing these sort of things. So when the day comes, and she’s not all that happy about it, I gently remind her that “I told you this was part of the deal and you happily agreed”. Now she even helps me plan for the next one. I think she likes knowing what she can do to make me happy. Hmm… I’ve found knowing of each other’s expectations and goals generally helps in relationships. I better stop writing here before I turn into Dr. Phil…
    Let us know how it worked out Alan, and what you’re up to.

  3. The part I really struggle with is fitness/motivation. I’m not an unfit person, but I’m nowhere near the level I should be to achieve the adventure I want, and my attempts at getting fit are pretty sporadic, at best.
    What would you recommend to get over those hurdles? I know there’s a certain amount of harden the * up, but do you have any other tips and ways to integrate fitness into everyday, hectic life? How to resist the lure of the couch, etc?

  4. Santhana Posted

    good morning
    i am from india.
    I don’t know how to get this money even this small amount .
    please tell For this
    * i am now doing post graduate. 3months only to go For completed. After this,
    what to do next ?
    I want to become an adventurer . my inspiration is you . and I feel I have no health power to ride a bicycle to around the India atleast.
    please give some words

  5. Glenn Phillips Posted

    Hello Alastair! I’ve been a follower of your site for a while now until today when I stumbled upon Adventure1000. I’m off to college in a few months, I’m only going for 2 years to gather up some useful knowledge on a few things, than I’m off to adventuring. I’ve never trekked anywhere before. I used to be in boyscouts so I know about the whole camping ordeal, but for the longest time I’ve been afraid to travel. I’ve never left my continent (United States), and I never get outdoors. I sit indoors all day and dream of being outdoors. Money isn’t an issue, because I’m saving a lot of money by not going to a big school, and I’m living at home, but I don’t have any equipment (I don’t know what equipment to get, I’ve checked Patagonia and other places) but I want to go on adventures like you do! I want to cross Iceland, taking my camera with me, taking beautiful shots. Another problem of mine is languages, I only speak english, and a little spanish, what languages did you need to know in order to get around all of the continents and how did you learn them? I’ll ask another question sometime soon, but I think learning languages, getting in shape, and getting equipment and a really nice pack that can follow me for months at a time is my priority. I’ve got 2 years to plan. Thanks a lot!

    • Alastair Posted

      Hi Glenn,
      Good luck!
      I think learning languages, getting in shape, and saving up is your priority. (And signing up for the Adventure1000 newsletter).

  6. Thanks to your motivation and my growing desire for adventuring (I’m quite happy to adventure locally for now, aka The UK), my boyfriend and I have just come back from a six day road trip to Eilean Donan Castle in Scotland. We live in Kent. The castle featured in a magazine and I wanted to see it in real life. So we did! Best decision I ever made and about £160 each for an amazing time (and we walked/visited part of the Cuillin range on Isle of Skye). Thanks for the inspiration to get up and GO!

  7. Clair Tonks Posted

    Hi Alistair, OK so started saving etc etc. my problem is what the adventure can be… I want epic, but (don’t laugh) with my family!!!! Crazy right, well Im determined! 2 sons will be aged 7 and 13 next summer holidays, 1 snug tent! We all walk MILES every day, hike, climb, camp etc etc but all so close to home. I want to see the world with them. any suggestions on a very memorable adventure with my two besties would be hugely helpful!

  8. anna maria sihombing Posted

    I like adventure
    But I dont have enough time.
    And I afraid to do it.but i want. Im from indonesia.
    What I can do for it?
    I need a friend.
    Thank u for your information

  9. Claire Roberts Posted

    Hi Alistair
    I’m planning to cycle from the UK to Australia. This will be the biggest challenge I have ever had. Family and friends are worried about me going alone. Do you think I will be safe as a lone female. I thought of advertising somewhere for a travel companion but don’t know where to, do you? Also, I intend to go next spring when the weather gets better in the UK and Europe, do you think this is a good time to set off? Any tips about kit, budget etc would be gratefully received. Many thanks 🙂

    • Alastair Posted

      You need to talk to Emily Chappell, Sarah Outen, Kate Harris and Shirine (a wandering nomad).

  10. Deborah Posted

    Saving is not the problem. Its finding an adventure that hits the spot for me and I’d really welcome some ideas. Its got to involve deserts – I love the desert. I’ve been travelling for years but none of it has felt like a true adventure. I watched Tracks a few months back and broke down and wept at the end as I felt such a huge sense of something lacking my life, that I hadn’t achieved anything Ii could be proud of so far, and the journey that woman did was kind of the thing my soul cried out for. So no pressure eh? Al Please please help me.

  11. Sat here feeling sorry for myself.. ‘no future, no family of my own.. and now jobless’. I just came across your website and now i have butterflies in my stomach, i have hope and nothing to lose. Thanks Alistair, i shall put my bike & panniers to good use and cycle as far as i can. Gotta make my dream a reality.

  12. Charlotte Posted

    Hi Alastair.

    Me and my partner have £1300 each. We are currently living in Bulgaria and I want to walk from Bulgaria to the Camino de Santiago. After that we will most likely head back to England to start saving again….

    The main problem is, we are not exactly sure if £1300 each will be enough for us to walk through Europe and to be able to see and go to a few key places.

    Were hoping to use the E-Routes as much as possible and I would like to camp most of the time with only going to budget hostels if needed. I think that it could be possible for us to do, especially after reading so many inspirational articles such as Andy and Paddy’s walk through Europe and your Adventure1000 articles.

    My partner isn’t as convinced, he hasn’t done any long distance walks before and I admit I am only a beginner with a little bit of experience, but he feels like we will run out of money my the time we get to Italy, we will not be able to camp as much as I think we would, and that we will find it really difficult finding a good route to follow on foot.

    He would rather get a flight to France to do the Camino Frances/Santiago first, then to walk back on ourselves to Bulgaria, through Italy etc… if we have the money and the desire.

    So the main reason I am contacting you is to ask for any advice or contacts you know who could shed light on these choices we have…

    Also, what choice do you feel would better fit beginner adventurers to start with? Taking the risk and starting from Bulgaria across Europe? Or Starting smaller doing the Camino de Santiago as a practice hike then seeing how we feel from there? Or any other suggestions?! 🙂

    I would really appreciate your opinion on this as I Iove reading through your blogs and think your a great role model for a lot of people.

    Thanks, Charlotte.

    • Alastair Posted

      Hi Charlotte,
      A few points, please forgive the bullet points…
      – Great idea! Any of these plans will be fun!
      – What can you live on each day? Do you need a pub lunch and a bottle of wine? Or can you live on food you cook yourself – bread, jam, pasta, tuna, bananas? Answer honestly. This will help you work your budget out so as to be happy. For example, I could very happily live on £5 a day across Europe: eating simple, sleeping rough. Other people would hate that and would need £20 a day.
      – The route is about 2000 miles. How far will you walk a day? If you do 100 miles a week (pretty fast) then it will take you 5 months. Call it 6 months. That will help you budget too.
      – I think your idea is more exciting, pure, succinct and simple than his. I would only choose his option if you desperately want to walk the Camino.
      – Personally I think walking out from your front door is a magical thing to do. It makes the route you’ve walked, the line on the map, so much more meaningful and exciting.
      – It also saves you £200 each on a flight – that’s 40 days walking for me, 10 days walking for my hedonist friends. Which would you prefer to have as a memory?
      – I actually think walking from Bulgaria will be more interesting than the crowded, unoriginal Camino route.
      – In conclusion. Start saving ruthlessly, from today. Cheap food, no beer etc. Sell stuff on eBay. Borrow a couple of hundred pounds from a good friend. By the time you leave you can have £2000 each somehow. And then money is no longer what will limit your journey!

      Also read these interviews

      Good luck!

  13. Jake Bardwell Posted

    I have to thank you Alastair after putting me in contact with Dick Phillips, and purchasing some maps I’m off to Iceland on May 21st for 6 weeks walking 347 miles.

  14. Hi Al, cheers from me Mati, argentinian travelling around the world, now living in Poland.
    I ve left home 2 years ago and even if i love what im doing and travelling, i have the feelling that im missing something (i will use you as my therapist). Now i want to make an adventure, but my problem is that i cant decide. One day my heart and my head is focused on hikking Iceland, the other in walking India, the other to buy a van and travel ushuaia alaska. So basicly my main problem is that i cant decide wich adventure i will take next. Do you have any advice about this? how do you choose your next adventure?
    Thanks for your time and for all what you do. I hope one day we will cross paths!


  15. Alastair, I’m loving your blog, books and the comments from other readers.

    My biggest mental hurdle: How do I separate out trivial fear (e.g. fear of coming last in a trail running event, fear of not enjoying it, fear of looking stupid) from the kind of fear which is there to genuinely protect me (e.g. fear of drowning during a river crossing due to not yet having the right back country skills)? How have you and other commenters been able to do genuine risk assessment without letting trivial fears cloud your judgement?



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