I don’t know about you but I can get rather carried away with thinking about all the amazing things I could do in this world if I quit my job. There’s so much to see and do. It’s understandable that adventure and travel are things many people crave.
You want to escape the 9-5 job?
That’s the dream, right? After reading Emma’s blog where she questioned earning a living from the adventure lifestyle, I started thinking.
What if I don’t want to quit my job? What if I want to keep on working? I like the routine of work – it keeps me grounded, makes me feel useful and gives me purpose. Sure, work has restraints but I definitely believe in the values and principles behind hard work, too.
I’m not saying that it wouldn’t be wonderful to be able to drop everything and go off adventuring for the rest of my life but the point I want to make is that you can do both; have your (cup)cake and eat it. By all means put pennies away for The Big Adventure but in the meantime it’s okay to make the most of what we have and not wallow in the fact we can’t follow in the footsteps of our adventure idols. Work on living life to the fullest on a day-to-day basis – otherwise you risk the days slipping speedily by as you wait for something to happen.
Make each day into your own adventure.
A fantastic example of a daily adventure would be Country Walking’s #walk1000miles campaign. I don’t know how to write about this without it seeming like a shameless plug but I’m so happy for the Country Walking team that this campaign has been such a success. Because of that I couldn’t not mention it.
Last year the #walk1000miles campaign genuinely changed lives. We have been gobsmacked by the outcome and response to it. It broke down the 1000 miles into achievable chunks. People lost weight, got outside, went exploring and generally felt a million times better just because they were walking about 3 miles a day. That is all you need to do – break it down into small pieces. The same goes for writing or starting a horrible task… Get a pen and paper, work backwards from your goal and divide it up into manageable chunks. Then it becomes 100% more achievable. Walking 1000 miles in a year seems impossible but then you divide 1000 by 365 and you get 2.74 miles. That’s not so scary is it?
Change your mindset.
I don’t know about you but if I think of my ride or run as training I simply do not enjoy it. But to go for a ride, or run, or walk just because I can is an entirely different kettle of fish.
Think of it as a creative challenge. By thinking of your life in this manner you can make the most of your time as a whole. Don’t think of cycling or running (or insert chosen activity here) as training or exercise. Make it fun for yourself by being creative and going exploring. Pour over the map, recruit some friends, choose a different path or decide to do something completely different to your usual routine – yoga perhaps? Do it because it gets you outside, active and away from the comfort and complacency of everyday life. It could be as simple as making the effort to cook something nice – a favourite holiday dish perhaps?
Plan bite sized holidays – book Friday and/or Monday off work – and then head out somewhere new. Go bike packing, hike in Snowdonia or the Lake District. Whether it’s climbing your first mountain, cycling longer than you’ve ever gone before or something as simple as sticking to your goal of walking 1000 miles, doing something new can be incredibly fulfilling.
This little challenge of making an adventure of your day certainly makes you thankful for what you do have. It makes you aware that you’re lucky to be able to get outside running or on your bike everyday, and immensely satisfied that you’ve made the opportunity to do so.
Here are just a few ideas of things to do everyday or over a long weekend:
- Download the Holiday Pirates site – there are loads of great short and cheap breaks on there. I’m sure there are many more similar ones, too.
- Find a base with two good walks from the front door.
- Bike packing. Get the train out from your local station and cycle home.
- Go camping for the weekend. Llyn Gwynant campsite in Snowdonia allows campfires and there’s something special about having a camp fire going to keep you warm.
- Wild camp.
- Plan a multi day walk. From home or explore a national park.
- Create a cycling club so you’ve likeminded friends to go out with all the time.
- Get out the map and see where local footpaths go.
- Find a local running club (although check whether they’re competitive as this may be a turn off).
- Buy a bike light for running and cycling in the dark. Night running/riding can be a lot of fun but make sure you can be seen!