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Live a Life of Adventure (Even if it isn't Your Full Time Job)

Don't quit your day job! Live an adventurous life by adding outdoor excursions to the life you live now.

By: Kevin Abernethy + Save to a List

Let’s face it, the majority of us are looking at these online adventures and stories at our work desk while we are grinding away on a 40 hour work week. People are creatures of habit, and most of the time that habit involves clocking 40 hours and then lounging around at home. I encourage everyone that falls under that stereotype to break free! Most people think its impractical to live an adventurous life if you have day to day obligations, but I completely disagree with that assumption. So how do you start adding adventure to your daily grind?

1. Don't Dwell on the Details 

If this is your first rodeo I definitely encourage planning things out. I went overkill on the details my first couple of trips. Now? Most of the time I throw my gear in my trunk and I say if this trip falls apart I will just wing it. It is important to be prepared, but part of being adventurous is embracing the unexpected. I took a recent trip to Utah and I had one plan; spend one day in the Zion Narrows. Well I knocked that off my list, but I was also able to take a detour to the Grand Canyon, catch a sunset on Angels Landing, see Jacob Hamblin arch in the Coyote Gulch, stop by Horseshoe Bend, drive through Monument Valley, and hit a ridiculous hot spring on the way back home. My expectations are always high, but for me having a plan involves stressing out to ensure I knockout everything on that list. Be adventurous and just go! I think a common misconception is you have to have a detailed plan and know exactly what you are doing and when you are going to do it. Carve out one or two days and see where adventure takes you, even if it's something close to home. 

2. Make a Financial Plan

“If traveling was free, you would never see me.” If that statement doesn’t describe the vast majority of us I don’t know what does. I’m an advocate for financial planning in general, but start setting aside an adventure fund to pay for your trips. I like to have a short term and long term fund. Short term for the road trips and long term for the plane rides (hello, Thailand!). Honestly if you can manage to drive to some spots it shouldn’t be too expensive. Getting your initial gear eats up a good chunk of change, but after that if you take care of your equipment you are just paying for gas, food, camping/park fees, and then random expenses. Some friends and I budgeted 2 months for our recent road trip and we spent maybe $200 individually, and that included gas and $60 in park fees. Ultimately you are more likely to take a trip if you have money set aside for that.  

3. Be Resourceful 

Save money by borrowing gear, repair equipment that is fixable, take care of the gear you have now, watch for sales and discounts, and prepare your own food. I don’t think I have ever paid full price for my equipment, and I have found some incredible deals online. Regardless of your method spend some time determining how you can shave some costs from your trips. Don’t assume you need what everyone has on social media; the plaid blanket, new rugged boots, and designer jeans aren’t necessary. You can even rent cameras and lenses online (this is the only way I can afford to use the coveted Sony A7).

4. Rep Your Hometown

You don’t have to travel abroad or summit some infamous peak to be adventurous. Find hidden gems close to your hometown and recruit friends and family to tag along. I rep Oklahoma and bagging peaks around here is like speaking a foreign language, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t sites to see. The Outbound has opened up countless adventures all around the US and I am sure there are still some undiscovered gems in your neck of the woods. Save money by hitting the local spots and keep throwing money in the long term budget when you can. 

5. Define Your Adventure

My definition of adventure involves overnight backpacking trips, getting a little uncomfortable hiking to a mountain peak, or chilling at a scenic overlook. Figure out what adventure means to you and set out to do that! Maybe you just need a hike outside of city limits, hop in a canoe and paddle down a river, or maybe just hit your local campground and bring some marshmallows and sticks. I’m setting up a tent in my backyard this weekend for my daughter and niece and they are going to think they are miles away from home. You don’t have to do something incredible to be adventurous, just make an attempt to unplug from your normal routine. 

Being adventurous doesn’t require you to travel to iconic locations or mean you have to quit your job and just make it happen (no disrespect to those who have done that). We all have priorities in life, and I encourage you to make time for the outdoors while taking care of those priorities. Figure out what being adventurous means to you and start incorporating it in the life you have now! Remember, the actual definition of adventure is: an unusual and exciting experience or activity. 

Let us know how you live (or plan to live) an adventurous life in the comments below.

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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