An idea can be a tricky thing, from a nagging idea in the back of your mind to a burning desire that has been eating you up. Making a plan is a long road to bring an idea into fruition.
It is a tough and windy road, potholed with doubts and backward steps but also with bursts of excitement and achievement as each piece falls into place. Here at Adventurefuel we want to keep you inspired and help you prepare for beginning that epic adventure. So here is our rough guide on coming up with your next adventure. Here is a few tips on bringing these ideas to the front of your mind so you can start making a plan. This is the mind mapping, early stage, no-idea-is-a-bad-idea stage. Grab a big piece of paper and a marker and get ready.
This is how I always like to start, a destination is the key. Find places that stand out to you personally. Whether you like the sound of the name or you throw a dart at a map. Having a few rogue maps hanging around the house is always useful. Destination is where it begins. Choose a country or a region down to a lake or a river. Think of places you have heard about or from films you have seen.No research at this point just write down places you would like to visit. Now at this early stage I wouldn’t focus even remotely on logistics this is purely an exercise in getting pen to paper. Write as many as you want or can in ten minutes.
What is the purpose of this trip? What is your personal interest in adventuring (you must have one if you are reading this blog!) Do you want to make a first summit? Break a world record? Are you going to explore temples and historic sights? Do you want to experience different cultures food or music? Are you going sport related? Do you want to traverse the country? Climb the highest mountain? What was it that drew you to this place? If you just through a dart at a map what is you initial impressions? What you would do in that place? Give this another 10-20 minutes and again not to much research here.
This is the part that I really enjoy. How would you like to see this country? Horseback? Stand Up Paddleboard? Bikepacking? Hitchhiking? What mode of travel inspires you most? If you are at this stage already (that you want to go on an adventure) I’m sure you will have had some inspiration on the way. From the books you have read or the movies you have seen, how did they travel? Would you do it that way or have you got a better idea. Is there a mode of transport you always do and want to take to the next level? Or something your not very good at and would like to learn. Here you can be as unusual as you like. Again jot all these ideas down.
This is a double conundrum, do you have a specific time-frame? Work only give you so much time off? Or do you have to start University at a certain date? Do you only have 6 months on your visa? Do you only have the weekend? Is there any dates you need to work around this year? I recommend keeping all your plans within the next year. As they say; ‘life is what happens when you’re making other plans’. I find making solid plans over a year in the future is a pretty large speculation. Keep the time frame close ideally within a 6 month period.
The second part of this conundrum, is your means of transport (your how) weather dependent? Going Nordic skiing through the Swedish Archipelago isn’t going to work in the summer holidays! This will require some research, check for rainy seasons in the tropics and remember if your on the other side of the equator the seasons are backward! If your looking into the high northern areas look out for high mosquito season and wild fires. Check average temperatures throughout the months of the place you intend to visit. Also a quick check of religious festivals and holidays in those months, this can stop your resupply points being closed for Ramadan or a bank holiday.
This one is a little deeper, a bit more soul searching is required. What do you want from this trip? Is it for charity? To learn new skills? Are you going to write a blog? A book ? A movie? Are you doing it just for the experience? ( I recommend this one!) If no one was going to find out about the trip would you still be doing it? What is the motivation behind the trip? This is a tricky one to put a finger on sometimes but finding that inner motivation is going to come in very handy later on when you start finding hiccups along the road. This one can be left blank for now if nothing obviously springs to mind.
For the lone traveller this section requires just two letters ME. However, to share an adventure can be a beautiful thing. Choose carefully though! This will be one of the greatest tests of a relationship! It’s going to be a high stress, high emotion time in a difficult new environment. Sometimes with quite physical pain added on top! I know of friends and partners who have been pulled apart by the stress of a trip but also acquaintances who have become best friends, bonded forever by the trials of hardship.
At this point now you will have a scribbled messy piece of paper. Covered in the absent ramblings of wanderlust incarnate. Now you have some ideas down on paper they can start to form into real plans. Add and remove ideas, start looking into some of these routes. Not all have to be done now or this summer or this year. Choose the easier ones to do sooner and leave the big ones for the future. I will go into more details on route planning in another blog. This is the very first step to your greatest adventure!
“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”