How to make your adventure a reality
So you have an idea for an adventure you would really love to go on but you are not sure how you could possibly make it happen. In fact you aren't sure that it is even possible, and if it is you would have no idea where to start. It is just this situation that prevents so many people from getting out there and having amazing experiences. The aim of this post is to help you ensure that you are one of the ones out there doing it and loving every minute.
"The best adventure that you can have is the one that you take"
I love this quote as it really embodies the idea that the only way to have an adventure is just to go out there and have one. You don't have to trek to the South pole or achieve a world first to have an experience which will challenge you and change your life for ever. Whatever your adventure, even if it is trekking to the South Pole, the only way to achieve it is to start. Starting can seem pretty daunting and is the part at which may people give up and let their dreams slide away. In this post we will address the concerns associated with 'I don't know where to start' and show you the tried and tested steps to success. Just like any other project, accomplishing your dream adventure can be broken down into a series of steps. Work through each of these steps, gaining knowledge and acquiring skills as you go and suddenly realising your dream will be right there in front of you.
This is a great tale I remember being told, (it must be something to do with the chocolate), about taking on a challenge that seems to big to comprehend. Imagine that you have gone to the supermarket, since you were pretty hungry at the time, you bought one of those really big bars of chocolate. After lugging all of your bags to the car, you treated yourself to a couple of squares. When you got home you very sensibly popped it away out of sight in the cupboard. It is a massive bar after all, in fact you don't really know why you bought it as you are never going to get through it all. Later that evening you have a couple of squares after dinner. The following day a friend comes round for a coffee, a couple of squares each. Two days later, a little mid afternoon pick me up was required, three more squares down... The following Friday, just about to head out to the gym, you really fancy some chocolate, open the cupboard and, that's right, none left. The hugely insurmountable chocolate bar polished off not with any crazy acts of over indulgence, but just by slowly chipping away at the blocks a little at a time.
Enough about chocolate, let's look at the squares you need to chip off to make your adventure happen. I like to start with what I call the Reality Test. This is a really quick way to get a handle on the size of your undertaking. You are looking to get a ball park idea of the costs and logistics and find out if there are any potentially difficult visa or permit requirements. This stage can be really fun and inspirational, quite possibly uncovering loads of new ideas that you hadn’t thought of and kindling your enthusiasm even further. Work through the ‘Reality Test worksheet’ filling in the blanks.
Once you have completed it you will should have the piece of mind the whilst challenging, what you are planning to undertake is within the cost, risk, logistical and physical parameters that you are willing to undertake. Look at your completed worksheet, you have generated a list of the building blocks that you need to work through to make your plan a reality.
If you weren't so happy with the outcome of your reality check, you have the option to tweak your idea and transform it into a more achievable plan. It is often the case that the alterations required to make an unrealistic idea into an achievable plan are actually quite small tweaks. Here are some ideas:
Give yourself longer to prepare - Instead of trying for a 50 mile race this summer, why not do a 30 mile race this summer and the 50 miler the following year?
Get help with the technical stuff - The mountain that you had hoped to trek up requires some technical climbing. Could you think about hiring a guide?
Reduce the distance - Instead of trekking 200 miles to the North Pole, how about trekking just the last degree to the pole?
Don’t fancy taking on that adventure race solo - Sign up with a friend or even better as a pair.
- Break it down - So you want to run Land’s End to John O’Groats but can’t take time off work to take it on in one go. How about spending a week running one section, return to normal life, then come back to run the next section. Repeating until you complete it.
So now you have the building blocks of your plan, congratulations, you are well on the way to making your dream a reality. In the next post we will look at what many people find the biggest barrier to achieving their goal, we will look at taming the budget beast.
This is part of a new series of blog posts that I am trying out for 2018. They are all about sharing our expedition and adventure planning experience to help you achieve your own goals and dreams. The aim isn't just to talk advice but to give you tools that you can actually use to make success happen. Let me know if you like it, what you like best and what you want to hear more about. Are there any areas holding you back from achieving your goals? What aspects do you find challenging? The aim is to provide you with tools you need to overcome these. If you have found this helpful, please click on the share button below and spread the joy of adventuring :)
For loads more information about achieving you goals, check out Katherine's book How to have an Adventure.