How do you know when it's time for an adventure? I think it depends on the purpose of adventure in your life. For me, adventure is a balance to the other things in my life - my work, my making, my learning, and my responsibilities. For me, adventure is about bumping into new energy - new places, new people, new challenges, and new ideas. It's about growing by experiencing new things and taking on new challenges. And it's about doing these things with Val and other traveling companions, adventuring together and creating deeper relationships. If I don't have enough adventure in my life I get out of balance. And so it's to adventure that I return when I need to rebalance myself.
"And so it's to adventure that I return when I need to rebalance myself."
To help maintain this balance in my life, I have a rough structure for the types and frequency of adventures. It's not a firm rule but rather a loose framework. Not only does it help me to have enough ready options to ensure that lack of planning doesn't get in my way but it also helps to make sure I don't have too many options or too many adventures. For me, balance goes in both directions - too little and too much. For me, I can have too much adventure.
Dream In Years
I find it helpful to think about adventures on a 1-year horizon. I currently think about the year ahead toward the end of the current year, brainstorming options and developing ready options for the year ahead. Ideally, I try to put as little effort into adventure planning as possible as I feel part of the adventure is a lack of expectations and structure. But that's a whole other topic that deserves its own post. Within that 1 year horizon, I think about adventure on quarterly horizons.
Plan in Quarters
Quarterly horizons are helpful for a few reasons. For starters, there's often a different level of planning required for each horizon depending on the type of adventure. For some adventures, that don't require reservations or commitments I might just need a loose set of ideas. For other adventures, I might need to make reservations, plans with guides, etc thus needed to make more commitments in advance. Quarters help focus on these needs based on the time between now and the adventure. For example, most campsites are booked 6 months in advance, so I don't need to worry about adventures that are 6-12 months away quite yet. But I do need to start planning campsites that require reservations when the adventure is about 7 months away.
Quarterly horizons are also helpful because I think about how many and what types of adventures I will have within each quarter. For example, I generally try to have the following balance of adventures within a quarter:
A Few Weeks
It takes me a few days to really get into an adventure. And getting into an adventure is where I really rebalance and recharge. Once per year, I love taking a 2+ week adventure if possible. These adventures often allow us to go farther from home, having space for 2 or 3 days of travel to explore an area. For us, they aren't just overlanding, but also going to the beach, visiting family, etc.
A Few Days
With jobs and the other things in our lives, most of our adventures realistically happen on the weekends or weekends with a few extra days added on. We generally have 2-3 of these types of adventures per quarter. These adventures often are within a few hours or 1 day of home.
A Few Hours
Adventure comes in many forms and can take place in many places. One-day adventures could be hiking a new trail, trying a new workout, or cooking something new. We generally have 5-10 of these types of adventures per quarter. These adventures often are within a few hours of home or at home. I think of these as Micro Adventures as coined by Alastair Humphreys.
What’s your cadence?
I don’t believe there’s one size fits all for adventure. Rather, each person’s version of adventure is about why you adventure and what works for you. How do you think about dreaming of and planning adventures? I’d love to learn more in the comments.
See you out there,