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What’s Preventing you Having an Adventure?

#GrandAdventures
 

‘œLife should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!’
‘• Hunter S. Thompson

You want to have a big adventure.

You read blogs like this, and probably plenty of other similar ones as well (which ones, by the way? I’md love to know. Let me know in the comments).

You’ve already begun saving £1000 spread out over the course of the year. (If you haven’t, then here is how to begin saving £1000. Today.)

You really want to have a big adventure.

You know that when you are old and looking back on your life you’d rather remember that bike ride through Africa or that train journey across Mongolia rather than the extra month of work you did and the extra £1000 you’re going to have to pay death duty on.

So what’s stopping you?

You don’t need to leave today. It’s going to take a year for your £1000 (or $1000, €1000 or ¥1000) to accumulate. So you have a year to plan and prepare and make arrangements.

So what’s stopping you?

I’md love to know what might make getting away on an adventure difficult for you. Then, over the course of the #Adventure1000 campaign, I can try to address them (or find experts who can help). I want to try to establish what I need to do to make Adventure1000 successful and genuinely helpful for people.

Some of your reasons will be valid difficulties. I completely acknowledge that. But some of them will be difficulties that can be worked round.

And – harsh but vital to say – some of the things that stop people having adventures are nothing more than excuses. Excuses because it’s daunting to do something new and different and difficult. Excuses because adventures can be miserable and gruelling and frightening. Excuses because it’s easier just to skim through blogs like this and then click onto the next link (kittens? Kim Jong-il Looking at things? Terrible Estate Agents’ photos? Wasting time on social media sites?)

So, what’s stopping you? Please let me know in the comments below.

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 – http://goo.gl/rIyPHA. It honestly would help me far more than you realise.

Thank you so much!

Grand Adventures Cover

 

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Comments

  1. Children!

    Probably have to wait till their a bit older before I can dissappear off for a month or two. Still plenty time to plan and save.

    Reply
    • Ju Lewis Posted

      Inconvenient aren’t they! Quite portable early on (took our 3 month old to NZ for a month a few years ago) but suddenly they start needing STUFF.

      But they are the perfect excuse for adventuring at/near home. We’re making a big effort to go and have mini-UK based jollies, under canvas, spending the days on beaches that need walking to, and nights in campsites with no showers, just compost loos. They are the best times – and will be great prep for going further afield at some point, but not on any sort of touristy package trail. Yeeha!

      Reply
      • Kids – same here!
        We spend most of the year doing all sorts of things with the kids, and back to basics campsites are our favourite.
        As the kids get older though it’s gets even more difficult to schedule around their lives. They all love getting out and exploring, but when they are teenagers they don’t like to show that that they like the same things as Mum and Dad 😉
        Also, as they get older, it’s time to start setting some more challenging goals…problem is we’ve still got younger one too 😐

        Reply
    • Hi Steve, here some interesting link:www.groundtruthtrekking.org

      Reply
    • Chris Rock Posted

      Will second the children’s comment from Steve. I am waiting for our 12 month old to get a bit older so we can start going on micro-adventures….cant wait

      Reply
  2. There are some wonderful blogs for those thinking of lightweight, long term, off road / back road bike adventures, that have been slowly inspiring me over the past couple of years. Well written, beautifully photographed:

    Once you’ve started peeking at these there is no saving you; the office is just not going to cut it any more!

    Reply
  3. Damn – Cass’s link should be http://www.whileoutriding.com/ and Kurt’s is http://www.bikegreaseandcoffee.com/.

    Perhaps you could amend my original post? I also meant to have spacer lines between the details of each blog for clarity – its a bit messy to read as it is. Thanks.

    Reply
  4. My reasons (excuses) boil down to my house (mortgage) and my job, and how one relies on the other. I feel stuck because I can’t take a month or more off work and keep my job, and can’t quit my job because I wouldn’t be ale to pay the bills (and getting a new decent job after my adventure would be very difficult).

    I am still dreaming of the big adventures – one day.

    Reply
    • I have felt the same. The difference may be that I no longer enjoy my work – I want a change but don’t know what else I want to do, or could do. I’ve been lucky enough to save some money over the last year or two. So I’m going to rent out my flat, and go away for as long as I can afford, until I want to come back or until something else happens. And I’m not thinking about what I do when I’m back, despite that being scary. I hope that a long trip will bring all sorts of opportunities and inspiration that I might not get sat in the office. I suppose that I have some reasonable confidence that I could find a job in my existing career when I return, if I had no other options, and that obviously helps. But the reason I’m doing this now is that I have some money saved, I know I can rent out my flat, I have no other responsibilities (kids etc) and I have a huge fear that if I don’t do this now, then when will I ever?

      Reply
  5. Fear! Have done a lot of interesting things in life so far, but I’m kinda tired/lost mojo. Fear That I’m not 20 anymore and I don’t want to start over.. Again. That I don’t know what it should be, or how it’s going to work and I’m not good at uncertainty or making decisions in the planning stage, easy to give up. (different once I’m out there, very good at making do) that I’m fed up of doing everything solo. That’s about it really.

    Reply
  6. It’s a question I’ve pondered many times. I am now in the final stages of planning my own big adventure (that will cost more than £1000 but what the hell!) and my friends look at me with either incredulity or awe, or a mixture of both, because that mad idea I had in my head has become something tangible. I think one of the biggest things stopping people from going out there and doing it is waiting for that perfect moment, that elusive time when all elements of the universe will align, so that you can have your Adventure. Because now you can’t really afford it, or you have the money but work/family commitments are stopping you, or maybe your sailing/mountaineering/(insert anything) skills are not quite up to scratch, but next year surely you’ll be able to do it. However the truth is, that ideal moment doesn’t exist and there are always going to be obstacles and less than perfect circumstances. So suck it up princess, make the commitment and straighten out the kinks as you go. Making the seemingly impossible possible is as much fun as the adventure itself!

    Reply
  7. Blogs I enjoy:
    Yours, of course
    Gypsy by Trade
    Tom’s Bike Blog

    What’s stopping me? I have no idea anymore. Every time I think about it, I remember the phrase “no one believes your excuses but you.” I just need to stop believing that nonsense.

    Reply
  8. I’m desperate to go. I have 3 months this summer, and have already saved the money. My main sticking point is the fact that I’m a 22 year old blonde female (draws attention outside the west!), so I’m concerned to go it alone – and my friends aren’t particularly like-minded. I’d LOVE to do something that really immerses me in nature – canoeing in the Yukon, riding through Mongolia, hiking across Iceland, cycling through Europe. But for those, I’m really not sure I have the skills to do it alone.
    Any suggestions would be much appreciated! I have two summers left between post-grad courses, and then a full time job, and I’m determined not to fritter them away.

    Reply
    • Hi Alex!
      You might want to set up a profile on Explorers Connect (http://www.explorersconnect.com/) to connect with like minded people, you have great ideas and should definitely go for it, especially now when you have the time! You can either post your own adventure there and look for team mates, or join somebody else’s adventure. Hell, I’d love to join you but this summer I’ll be somewhere on the road to Siberia 🙂 Hope this helps!

      Reply
      • Thanks Aga, it looks great!

        Reply
        • Hi Alex,

          I too am blonde and female. Yes sometimes you get attention in Middle Eastern Countries, India or Africa, but I have always found lovely elderly local gentlemen who come to the rescue and give the young men in question a good earful. You always end up meeting other people on these journeys. Some who you can tag along with for a while, and others who become life long friends. I always try not to plan too much, I arrive knowing where I will spend the first couple of nights and then carry on from there. Just have your wits about you and make sure you read up on the local customs, other than that you should be fine. Have an amazing time!

          Reply
    • Hi Alex!

      There are great groups in CouchSurfing where you can find adventurous travel companions, like this one: https://www.couchsurfing.org/group.html?gid=14

      All the best and may the sun always shine in your path! 🙂

      Reply
    • Overland travel might be interesting for you. Most popular in south America and Africa, you book a place on an overland truck (20 seats or so) and travel and camp and cook together with the other people on the truck…

      Reply
    • Don’t worry about the young, blonde female thing. It’s really not a big deal anymore. That was more of a concern 10 years ago. I travelled as a blonde female 19 year old for 3 months, then again at 22 and then 23! It has rarely drawn attention.

      Naturally red hair in SE Asia is the only things I have found to be traffic stopping. (My cousin.)

      Reply
    • Alex – if you ever want a female companion (25, also blonde) to ride across Mongolia with, give me a shout!

      Reply
    • Hi Alex,

      I too am blonde and female. Yes sometimes you get attention in Middle Eastern Countries, India or Africa, but I have always found lovely elderly local gentlemen who come to the rescue and give the young men in question a good earful. You always end up meeting other people on these journeys. Some who you can tag along with for a while, and others who become life long friends. I always try not to plan too much, I arrive knowing where I will spend the first couple of nights and then carry on from there. Just have your wits about you and make sure you read up on the local customs, other than that you should be fine. Have an amazing time!

      Reply
  9. I’ve wanted to try long-term travel for awhile, but I have two things holding me back:

    (1) I’m afraid to try it alone. I’m not very assertive or street-smart, and the idea of trying to travel alone in countries where I don’t speak the language scares me a little. Also, as a mid-twentysomething, white, blonde, American female, I feel like I am a prime target to be ripped off, misled, etc. And I don’t know anyone who is interested in long-term traveling.

    (2) My second fear is that I’ll run out of money. I have about $8000 (or £5000), but what if I get into an accident or need to return home or miscalculate my budget? My family doesn’t have any money, so I don’t have a backup plan if I run out of money.

    Reply
    • MeghannMM Posted

      From Meghann to Megan,

      I traveled twice on my own to Europe while in college. I’m an American Latino and I can’t lie there was one moment of worry while abroad but I quickly got my wits about me and everything was okay. (Not quiet a scene out of “Taken” or “Hostel”.) Stay alert and just keep moving. I will never forget those moments and cherish them everyday. Stayed in hostels and met lots of great people! Now that I’m in my late 20s, I throughly enjoy traveling alone and panic slightly when others want to come with… haha.

      Reply
      • Thanks for the advice, Meghann! I think it’s just a matter of me getting past my fears. I know that, realistically, the likelihood of anything seriously bad happening is pretty slim. I’m slowly working up the courage.

        Reply
  10. I have a partner of 16 years who doesn’t like adventuring. Her idea of a good time is sitting on the couch reading a good book. We broke up for a few months in 2010 but we missed each other too much. I go on lots of microadventures and last year I went hiking on the Great North Walk (Sydney to Newcastle here in Australia) solo and unsupported for 11 days.

    This year I am using most of my annual leave on a joint holiday and next year we hope to go to Greece for 3 weeks (we live in Australia, so Greece is not just a cheap EasyJet flight away 😉 ).

    Having said that, I am going to Kenya in February and on a 6-day hiking trip in April. But the thing stopping me from pursuing my dream of cycling around Australia is having a partner.

    Reply
  11. I’m sure you’ve heard of both of these already, but in case you haven’t- I highly recommend them:
    http://www.adventure-journal.com
    http://www.semi-rad.com

    Reply
  12. In relation to my favourite travel / adventure blogs. I have two:
    (1) Cycling Dutch Girl ( http://cyclingdutchgirl.com/ )
    – A, yes you guessed it, Dutch girl who has been cycling the world for the past 10 years or so
    (2) Graham Adventures ( http://grahamadventures.wordpress.com/ ) – A man who lives near me who takes his family on microadventures (including taking his then 4 & 6 year old children on an overnight hike)

    Reply
  13. Putting it off till the next milestone is reached. “Oh yeah, I’ll start it when X is done.” But then there is another X and another. Need to just get up and do it, I guess.

    Reply
  14. Nothing! I try to have a mini adventure planned at all times, and several big ones a year. This may mean I haven’t got the usual things “expected” of someone in life (mortgage, 9-5 routine, blah blah) but actually I find the less responsibilities and ‘stuff’ you have, the easier it is to jump into the next trip! Money always works itself out and you inevitably meet new friends along the way. Great website by the way, and loads of inspiring reading 🙂

    Reply
  15. Writing about my discoveries (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Andy-Welch/e/B00HQG4JZS/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0), exploring the human condition and building a mountain bike guided tour business (http://www.georidersmtb.com).

    Reply
  16. Like Zoe, the main thing stopping me is work.

    There’s a lot of competition in my field and there’s absolutely no way my employer would hold my position while I galavanted around for a while – plus I’d be worried about how long it’d take to get the same kind of work again when I got back.

    That is LITERALLY the only thing stopping me. I’m not afraid of going alone or exploring places unaided.

    And that’s precisely why your genius concept of the Microadventure is so hugely appealing, because it can be done in 24 hours or even as a week-long mini adventure, without the risk of losing my job to someone else…

    Reply
  17. MeghannMM Posted

    About a $100,000 in student loan debt keeps me working in public service for 10 yrs. in hopes of loan forgiveness. But until then I’m planning for all my adventures, taking microadventures and saving up as much as I can so I can “retire” from traditional work at 40.

    Reply
  18. Out of Control Treadmill

    We had followed all the rules for so long we believed we had lost control of the treadmill. Education > Good Jobs > Cars & Stuff > Bills > Marriage > House > More Bills > More Stuff > > > >

    After an evening of imagining what we would do with lottery winnings (we never play the lottery) we woke up the next morning and realized we were not victims of the rules. We make our own rules. We realized that the things we would do with unlimited lottery money didn’t really require all that much money after all. If we were creative we could do it with very little.

    That’s why Adventure1000 is so brilliant! The moment we realized we could buy our lives back for a pittance is the moment we stepped off that out of control treadmill and once again felt alive.

    Reply
  19. Two phrases that inspired me lots to realise the importance of chasing one’s dreams:

    “If you don’t build your dream someone will hire you to help build theirs.” Tony Gaskins

    “Enjoy today. It’s later than you think…” Chinese proverb

    All the best, and remember we have only one life and the clock is ticking! 🙂

    Reply
  20. I mistakenly proposed before riding around the world – but I finally had enough of work and left bike packing for 2 weeks in Queensland – loved it and convinced the mrs we are now riding around the world for our honeymoon.. well we’ll start with patagonia…

    Reply
  21. My excuse is fear and confusion. Fear that once I leave I will be unable to find work to support myself upon my return. Confusion surrounding how much money will be enough for a life spent touring continuously. Whilst desperately saving, mid life has happened around me.

    Reply
  22. Tamara W Posted

    I have saved up over two years and I’m ready to go travelling. What’s holding me back? Not having any friends to go with, I’m scared of going places on my own. :/

    Reply
    • Tamara… I understand this and have felt the same, especially about a big trip. I often think that I’ve been subconsciously waiting for the right ‘someone’ to appear in my life to do this stuff with, at which point it will be all very motivating, easy to organise, and feel less risky, both in terms of absolute risk and in terms of the rest of not enjoying myself, or being lonely.

      But as the majority of my mates settle down with kids I realise that I need to stop waiting for other people to come along and just go do this stuff on my own. I’ve also realised that you’re more likely to meet people wanting to do similar things when you’re doing them, than when you are sat at home reading about them!

      Having said that, as someone mentioned above, you could set up a profile on Explorer’s Connect (http://www.explorersconnect.com/), and post an ad detailing the kind of things you might be looking to do. Its not all epic expeditions on there: I responded to a random ad from a girl wanting to ride the South Downs Way but who didn’t want to do it on here own, and in the end four of us went off for a great weekend of biking and bivvying (http://www.uninspiredramblings.com/2013/08/21/gravel-grain-and-gurkhas/).

      Reply
    • Tamara… I understand this and have felt the same, especially about a big trip. I often think that I’ve been subconsciously waiting for the right ‘someone’ to appear in my life to do this stuff with, at which point it will be all very motivating, easy to organise, and feel less risky, both in terms of absolute risk and in terms of the rest of not enjoying myself, or being lonely.

      But as the majority of my mates settle down with kids I realise that I need to stop waiting for other people to come along and just go do this stuff on my own. I’ve also realised that you’re more likely to meet people wanting to do similar things when you’re doing them, than when you are sat at home reading about other people doing them!

      Having said that, as someone mentioned above, you could set up a profile on Explorer’s Connect (http://www.explorersconnect.com/), and post an ad detailing the kind of things you might be looking to do. Its not all epic expeditions on there: I responded to a random ad from a girl looking for some people to ride the South Downs Way with her and in the end four of us went off for a great weekend of biking and bivvying (http://www.uninspiredramblings.com/2013/08/21/gravel-grain-and-gurkhas/).

      Reply
  23. Nothing at all! Me and my wife are currently having an awesome year long adventure… We’ve been living and working in Ecuador for the past 6 months and are now traveling through Central America!!! I’d love to hear whether, within your readership, it’s possible to find someone who has taken time off to do something different and regretted it… I think you’d struggle… I’d also point out re. kids being an excuse for not doing adventures, that we’ve met a number of people on our trip who have kids and embark on crazy adventures anyway… Not only do the kids seem to be absolutely fine, but quite often they seem to be far more open, worldly, multilingual and interesting than other kids back in the UK of the same age. Having said that I’m not naive enough to think that kids don’t make adventures somewhat harder in most cases. They don’t make them impossible though!

    Reply
  24. Tom Fisher Posted

    Mental illness, mostly. Paranoia, depression, low blood sugar, dizziness. All of which currently keep me off work and in the clouds, and make my options for making money *quite* limited, but not entirely – I acknowledge that much.

    I want to live a life of adventure, but I want to earn it. Make sense?

    Reply
  25. Its so good to see that there are many like minded people who want to do similar things to me! I am only being stopped by money and the small issue of waiting for my ex partner to buy me out of my house. I have just bought a Thorn Sherpa touring bike and have all the kit to go, I consider myself a reasonably experienced cyclist and have done much shorter tours in the last year, but am now planning a few moths going through southern Europe, it worries me a bit going alone and would love to find someone who would wanna do the same thing! But essentially with no mortgage, kids, dog or serious girlfriend my only excuse is money but with strategic saving and not getting side tracked I’am aiming for august or September this year!

    Reply
  26. Calvin H Posted

    Here are a couple of my favorite adventure sites/blogs:

    http://www.rayjardine.com/index.shtml

    Ray Jardine has been living a life of adventure for nearly 50 years. Ray and his wife Jenny also sell DIY kits on their site, for people who want to sew their own lightweight outdoor gear at home. Their list of accomplishments is long and wide ranging. Check it out.

    http://www.thehikinglife.com/

    This is my favorite hiking site. Cam Honan has worked up an incredible hiking resume, and here he shares his experience and expertise with us mere mortals.

    Thanks Al, for the time and effort you put into this site and blog. I read your book “Moods of Future Joys” last year and enjoyed it very much. I plan to read “Thunder and Sunshine” in the near future.

    Reply
  27. Chris Davis Posted

    Fear and procrastination are my cohorts in ensuring I don’t have and adventure. I want to get out there and do worldly things, but the excuses based on fear, which feeds the procrastination bug keep stifling me.

    It doesn’t help having a spouse who isn’t into “roughing” it. My kids would be interested, but going out of the country is a no-go, as my spouse is concerned with all the “dangers” in the world. That cuts out a lot of locations.

    I’m less concerned about work, yet I’m the breadwinner in the family and taking off unpaid time from work (with no guarantee of coming back to a job) could prove disastrous, unless there was a substantial amount of savings built up for them to live on. Mortgages and bills bite.

    Though, they all seem like logical “reasons” (excuses), I’m sure there is a way to have my cake and eat it, too. During the planning/saving phase, one could work in ways to develop residual income to bolster your finances while away. I don’t like having my eggs all in one basket.

    With that said, I’m going to do this challenge. Turning 40, recently, has really made me realize that it’s now or never, put up or shut up, and just do it.

    For an extra boost, I suggest an app out there called Everest. You create a dream, set your mini-goals to complete those dreams, and have reminders, so you don’t forget. It’s helped me so far and it’s fun being able to see your progression.

    Thanks for a great site, Alastair. I’m not sure what adventure just yet, but this is the year to do it.

    Reply
  28. Great post again Al! I really appreciate your efforts to sort of unmask “adventure” and make it more accessible and approachable for people. Not in a way like telling people what they should do but rather helping them to discover the answers to some of their questions… Fantastic quote as well!! 🙂
    In terms of the “Why”, for me it’s rather the available time window. Whenever I travel or adventure, I’m keen to “burn my bridges behind me”, meaning to leave all potential ties behind and not only make it an escape, but rather a stage, intending to move without feeling that I need to return. The longer you leave a place behind the more it changes and the the more you yourself change as well. Returning to the place after a long venture may feel like seeing an older self in the mirror, one which may have become a stranger in the meantime…
    Change is crucial and wee escapes every now and then certainly are some sort of “soul food” which keeps you on your path for another while.
    Best of luck for you next step in uncovering the adventure in the mundane and the adventurer in the ordinary people and thanks for your inspiration!

    Reply
  29. Amanda Posted

    Just found your website and love it…all those people saying ‘work’ gets in the way…find another job…if you really want to ‘do it’ and live a life of adventure you will ‘make it happen’ … You only have one life make it good….one year I decided to visit a new country each month…I am not rich or time loaded but I decided to do it and made it happen…. You can if your hungry for it. I don’t have children but friends with children and family have done the same my niece is 18 months old she has been to 7 countries again my family are not loaded but we have decided the sacrifices you make to adventure and life a full life are worth the saving and sacrifices. We can all live a life of excuses but those that REALLY want to live a life that’s amazing will make it happen. Micro adventures really add value to a work week,., this morning I got up at 2 am…climbed a mountain and was back home by 11am…cost nothing I am not even that fit…but if you decide today You will do something different you will realise you can do amazing things that cost often very little…you just need to open your eyes see what is around you…and make the first step. Thanks for an inspirational website….and for making people realise that they can too have their own amazing adventures however big or small they may be …

    Reply
  30. Dale Jackson Posted

    I’m new here!

    In truth, myself included, the only thing that stops any of us is ourselves!

    I’m so glad I came to this website…I’ll certainly be forwarding a few questions soon. Just thought I’d mention how relative the way you write sits within.

    Keep up the good work!

    Reply

 
 

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