How To Live An Adventurous Lifestyle When You Are Broke!
If you are anything like us you want to get out there and BE the one posting those epic Instagram pics! To feel the freedom and exhilaration of doing something just a tiny bit crazy! Inspiring others to follow you and creating a community of like-minded bada##es.
Organising an adventure can sometimes feels like an uphill struggle. We want to pick up and go SO badly, however there is, for many of us, always one issue - money.
MONEY MONEY MONEY.
Earning money means we spend most of our lives working, feeling like we don't have the time, energy or finances to get out and do the things we really want to be doing. Throw up your hand if you'd prefer to be sitting at your office desk instead of walking, for example, under the towering cliff faces and pines of Yosemite Valley, perhaps with your bestie beside you. No one? Well I have something to say then -
Not planning an adventure because you are too broke is a load of baloney.
Erm...Excuse me? Isn't that what this article is about?? It is, but what I am challenging you to do is to re-evaluate your priorities. An adventure is what you make it! Think about that for a moment. It does not have to involve scuba diving in the Maldives or trekking to the Everest Base Camp with ten Sherpa’s carrying you. There are so many enormous adventures to be had on a budget if you are willing to rough it a little and take a few small risks. But then - what is an adventure without just a touch of wild!
‘AN ADVENTURE IS WHAT YOU MAKE IT’
So if it's not actually about money, what is going on? Your mindset. So much of what holds us back is our perception. In this busy day and age, it is so very easy to say no or to make what are often legitimate excuses; “I'm tired”, “I had an awful day”, “I need to wash the cat” - the list can be unending. Sometimes you just have to stop being afraid of the ‘what if’ and the ‘it’s too hard’ and go with the “f#ck it, YES sign me up for ADVENTURE!”
So here are some awesome tips that will actually help you on your journey:
- First thing first - COMMIT!
You have a dream? Make it a reality. Select an adventure that makes your heart beat a little faster every time you think about it. I want you to challenge yourself - take yourself just a bit outside of your comfort zone. Stop putting it on the back burner and put yourself out there. A great way to push yourself into committing is to write down your goals and publicly announce to your friends and family that you are undertaking this journey and need their support. This will motivate you to spend every waking moment making it happen. Obsess about it ‘till you’re dreaming your adventure plans!
Next set a date. Give yourself a deadline and don’t allow it to shift. It could be in a week or a month or two years. But hold fast to that date. Be prepared for others opinions about your adventure. They may say you can't do it or it is too dangerous - their worries are usually based on concern for your wellbeing - so appreciate it for what it is, then take their concerns and create contingency plans for them. This will show them that you have considered every aspect and as a result they, and you, will feel much more secure about your adventure.
Committing to an adventure is probably the hardest step. Once you have genuinely committed to an adventure you will find that things start falling into place. You will unconsciously start working all of your efforts towards this reality. Don't get me wrong though, it'll still take work to pull it off!
- SAVE, SAVE, SAVE!*
While you can have an incredible adventure on sheer willpower alone, I’m not gonna lie, it is a hell of a lot easier if you have just a little bit to of dosh to help pave the way. So this is an obvious one, but it has to be said - SAVE! If you are 100% honest with yourself, how many things do you buy that you don’t need? Could you commit to giving up just a few dollars each day to invest into your adventure? Did you know, that if you put aside just $3 a day for one year you’ll have amassed a crazy $1095! Huh, well that was easy! That’s the start of an epic adventure right there! Imagine what you could do with $5 a day! Not convinced that this is enough money for an adventure? Here is a great example of what you can do on a minimal budget: Crazy Guy On A Bike- Peter Webber These guys cycled over the Andes and throughout South America on bicycles for 9 months, averaging around $10 a day.
If your adventures take you to a more urban climate, there may be some creative options for keeping your accommodation expenses down, particularly on longer trips. We recommend doing some research on: • House sitting • Couch surfing • Au pair (babysitting) work
These can be excellent options if you are circumnavigating the globe and are prepared to spend several weeks or months exploring one area, however these arrangements should be made well in advance as you may be required to have experience in certain fields, or require police checks or other clearances.
‘YOUR IMAGINATION IS YOUR ONLY LIMITATION’
Looking for inspiration? Check out Alastair Humphreys - 1000 for some insanely cool adventure ideas that you could do for £1000. The less money you have to spend, the more your expedition will truly be an adventure!!
- 3.Beg, Borrow or… well don't steal…*
Don't have the equipment required for your adventure? While it is always nice to have your own equipment, there are many possible ways to circumnavigate the absence of gear and you will often find you can make do without many of the standard luxuries we’re often told we NEED for an adventure. Here are some tips that should get you the gear you need for next to nothing.
Borrow Often friends and family members are more than happy to lend you their gear if they know it'll come back in one piece. You could even incentivise them by inviting them along or you can resort to begging!! Learning to accept help from those who love us is a very important lesson in life and most friends will jump at the chance to give you a hand - especially if it means they may gain an adventure buddy!
Travel light Don't have a tent? Roll up in a tarpaulin for the night! While this is not always the best advice in cold climates, there are a myriad of ways to reduce the amount of equipment you are taking. For instance; if it is winter and the wind is down you can choose to cook on a fire instead of a camp stove. Again, this one is all about your imagination and Macgyver skills.
Join a club Clubs are great ways to find like-minded people, who will both motivate, and be motivated by you. There is a wealth of experience and knowledge within these communities and they often have equipment that is available to be borrowed by their members for little to no expense to you. You can usually get in touch with clubs on Facebook, Instagram or local community centres. It’s certainly worth checking out and you might just make some new friends and adventure buddies! In conjunction with joining a club it should be mentioned that the more people chipping in for an outdoor adventure certainly makes it more affordable.
Thrift Stores Goodwill, Gumtree, Vinnies or Army Disposal stores are fantastic places to get second hand equipment. You will still be paying some money, but nowhere near retail value. Having said that, we would advise not buying rope, harnesses or skydiving equipment second hand – when it comes to safety, some things are better bought brand new! *
- Choose destinations and adventures that fit into your budget
Needless to say if you live in Australia, a flight to Europe is going to be a significant drain on your finances. So look local - it is ok to start on small adventures in your area.
A really cool fella we mentioned earlier - Alastair Humphreys has popularised the concept of Microadventures. So we should probably start by explaining what a Microadventure is. A Micro Adventure is exactly what it sounds like - taking advantage of small periods of time into which we can pack a distilled adventure. Alastair realised that most of us spend our time focusing on the 9-5 - our work day. But what about the 5-9? The 16 hours between our works days? Adventures do not have to involved conquering grand summits or gruelling challenges! Our family regularly enjoy Micro Adventures after a long week at work! We can often be found jumping in the car on Friday afternoon and driving up to the mountains for a weekend of camping, rock-climbing and hiking before driving back on Sunday feeling refreshed, re-energised and ready for the working week ahead! Alastair has a beautiful video about Micro Adventures that you can check out on Youtube Alastair Humphreys - Mirco Adventures.
Still can't afford to have an adventure? If after reading this article you still think you just CANNOT possibly afford an adventure, is it possible that you are setting your sights and expectations higher than your actual desire for adventure? Personal determination is the most significant factor in the initiation of any adventure. When you have commitment, sound saving practices, the ability to borrow from friends or clubs and the selection of adventures and destinations that are within your means, you have the capacity partake in adventures even wilder than your dreams! As a dear friend said to me: ‘You can't get lost if you don't care where you are’. I hope you enjoyed reading this article as much as I enjoyed writing it! Now go have an epic adventure and write in at firstname.lastname@example.org to tell us all about it. We would love to feature some of your amazing experiences in future blogs!
With love and daring, Sarah X EMBER Active Wear email@example.com