Our Everyday Adventures

We are not adventurers by choice but by fate – Van Gogh

How to Have an Adventure – 10 Tips on Planning Your Next Getaway

Post by: Jake
5/18/11

“We are plain quiet folk and have no use for adventures. Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner!” ~Bilbo Baggins

1.) Make Adventuring a Priority. The biggest reason people don’t go have adventures is because they don’t make it a priority in their life. We all have busy lives, and it’s nearly impossible to “all of a sudden” have a free week, and funds to go travel. That is of course, unless you’ve made that a priority in your life. My wife and I would much rather spend some of our hard earned extra money on traveling to have an adventure then say… on a new flat screen T.V. or a nicer car, ect… There’s very few extracurricular priorities in our life that come above adventuring. We will gladly sacrifice other creature comforts if it means we get to experience life passionately through traveling and adventuring. For as long as we’ve known each other we’ve understood what traveling does for our souls, and we’ve made it a priority.

2.) Plan Ahead. Over the past several years I’ve found that periods of my life that have been a bit sedative have been a result of simply not planning to have an adventure. I hear friends say all the time… “We’ll go when we can afford it.” or “We’ve just been so busy the past few months, we haven’t had time to have fun.” By planning ahead, you set a date and therefore a goal. If the trip will cost a lot of money, you can plan for that and start saving. If the trip will require a lot of time off, plan for that, and start cutting out the 1/2 days off work, or the days off to go golfing or fishing, skiing, ect… Making a plan will make your adventure happen.

3.) Set Goals. I’ve always hated the forced goal setting exercises we all do in the group classes that no one likes, but setting goals is extremely important. Don’t just set one goal, like “I want to visit New Zealand”, set your final goal, then several incremental goals along the way. I want to travel to New Zealand. It’ll take 2-weeks of vacation time, and I’d like to do it comfortably so I’ll budget $3,000. How long will it take me to save up 2-weeks of vacation time and $3,000? Let’s say 18 months… Now, break that into smaller more manageable parts. Over the next 6 months, I’ll need to have saved about 3 and 1/3 days off, and $1,000 which equates to about $166 per month that I need to save? Is that goal attainable? Re-adjust if necessary.

4.) Sacrifice. This is certainly the hardest part of planning for your next adventure. After you have your goals set, and you know what it will take to achieve those goals, you’ll probably need to make some sacrifices to make those goals happen. The hardest sacrifice for me is saving up time off from work. It’s tough to balance taking a 1/2 day or day off for a quick short adventure to nearby locations with adventures that require more time off; but, if I have a goal in mind I can try harder to adjust my work schedule to take advantage of some work flexibility like working 4-10′s or working over 1 weekend to get a longer weekend the next week.

5.) Save, Save, Save. One of the hardest things most people run into while planning out their next big adventure is how to afford it? Sure, it’s tough for most people to come up with an extra few thousand dollars to take a vacation at will, but if you make your trip a priority, set some attainable savings goals, and sacrifice to get there, you’d be surprised how far you can go. I’ve heard of many normal everyday people saving for several years to take a super expensive ($30,000+) once-in-a-lifetime trip like hunting big game in Alaska, or climbing a huge peak in a foreign country. A tip that helps us save for a vacation is to purposely save “vacation” money in a separate savings account, or a jar in your sock drawer or something similar. Be vigilant not to rob the fund when you need a little extra cash. I find if we just put the vacation money in our normal savings account, it blurs the lines and gets fizzled away. Make a goal to save a certain amount of money towards your trip each month, and if you come across some unexpected money, save it; don’t blow it.

6.) Go Big. Think outside the box, and dream big about your next adventure. Think of something on your bucket list, something that requires some planning, and most importantly, something that can get you excited. I’ve found the more I can plan and research an adventure, the more my excitement and anticipation builds up.

7.) Carpe’ Diem. Seize the Day. When you’re on your next adventure, take advantage of every single moment, every opportunity. When faced with choices of doing something or relaxing at camp, take the opportunity. There’s plenty of time to relax when you’re dead, but just think, “will you ever be back?” Maybe, maybe not. Either way, be spontaneous, you won’t regret that, but you might regret not taking the opportunity.

8.) Solo or Team Travel? Doesn’t matter, just go. I prefer to travel with company. My wife, my family, my friends, co-workers, ect… I’m a social traveler and like to travel with someone to talk to and someone to share adventures with, but that’s not saying there’s not a place for solo travel. I have several friends that prefer to travel alone, and they end up meeting some terrifically fascinating people along the way. If you have friends to travel with, cool, if not, don’t let that hold you back, go meet some people.

9.) Get Inspired. Want to have an adventure, but not sure where to go or what to do? Lonely Planet  makes some of the best travel books available. Go down to your local gear shop and start browsing through the travel section. Let your imagination run wild, and keep in mind, any adventure is possible with the right amount of planning. Not comfortable taking the leap and going without a guide service? No problem, it’s not quite as budget friendly but adventure travel companies are everywhere these days and their entire business is thinking up and planning “adventures”. Get a couple trips under your belt and pretty soon, you’ll be ready to plan and execute your own adventures.

10.) Just Do It. Don’t stress out about planning an epic adventure. The most important thing you can get from this list of advise is to just do something. Great adventures rarely come to someone who isn’t proactive enough to get off the couch. Start small, start local, and pretty soon your adventures will get bigger, grander, more elaborate, complex. And they will never cease to be a great time.

“It’s a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no telling where you might be swept off to.” Tolkien.

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Need a fitness kick in pants? 5 tips to get started

Post By: Veronica
3/08/11

For about two months, Jake and I have been regularly exercising.  On average hitting the gym 3-4 days each week for about an hour each time.  Yes, compared to the 2+ hours, 6-7 days a week I was used to in college, it seems like it should be a walk in the park.  But add full time jobs, family commitments, house projects and the occasional social gathering and 4 hours a week quickly becomes difficult to obtain.

Needless to say, our efforts have paid off.  Both of us have started to shed the extra “winter layer” we’d put on over the past few years, but more importantly, we each feel better, more energized and are all around healthier people.

For those of you who, like me, have taken so much time off from working out that you’re not sure how or where to begin, I thought I’d share a few tips that have helped us stay focused:

1.  Have a partner–one who will actually hold you accountable.  Motivation is something that comes and goes–and when it’s gone, it’s extra important to have someone there to say, “Hey, it’s Wednesday and we haven’t worked out yet this week.  Let’s go right after work instead of waiting until after dinner.”  Honestly, sometimes the hardest part is getting yourself out of the house and to the gym.

2.  Set a goal.  I know this is almost cliche and growing up in sports, goal setting didn’t make sense to me.  I played to win, not to improve my endurance or work on my technique.  But as an adult, when it’s not about winning or losing, but about being fit and healthy, goals become more important than ever.  Perhaps it’s to lose 5 pounds or to try something new–goals are not only the motivation for getting to the gym, but they also set the pace for your workout.  Just remember:  realistic and obtainable.

3.  Listen to your body.  This has been one of the hardest things for me.  In my mind, my body is capable of doing what it did 5 years ago when I was working out 20 hours each week in college.  In reality,… let’s just say things are a little rusty.  And yes, sometimes it is OK to take the night off.  Just make sure you and your workout buddy are committed to giving a serious effort the next day.  Whether training seriously or exercising leisurely, full rest and recovery are an important, and often forgotten, part of the formula.

4.  Make sure your iPod or other personal music device has been updated with great up-tempo songs.  I guess music choice while working out is a personal preference, but find something that will keep your mind off the exhaustion.  Personally, I find it really helpful to use the up-beat chorus sections of a song to increase my running tempo.  I’m then adding some intervals to my workout and I don’t have to think about when to push myself.  Just follow the beat.

5.  Mix it up.  One of the things I love about the Tri-training that Jake and I are doing is that in one given week, we bike, run, swim and do strength training.  So everyday is something different.  Hitting the treadmill five days a week may be great if you have a serious passion for running.  But if you’re looking to simply “work out” chances are you will get really bored, really fast.  Plus, mixing up your activities will work different muscle groups–making for a much more complete fitness program.  This also means doing something FUN and active.  Have a racquetball day, hit a Zumba class or shoot some hoops.  Just because you’re “working out” doesn’t mean it all has to be “work.”

If you are just thinking about starting a new workout plan and want to stay on track, check out this article from the Mayo Clinic to get started.  Happy running!

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