The Easiest Guide to Planning Adventures in Steps —Nail The Why And Go | Part 1

The Easiest Guide to Planning Adventures in Steps —Nail The Why And Go | Part 1

Even if you have just an idea but no experience.

This year has been very different.

In 2023, I’ve yet to climb a single hill or swim across an open lake. I’ve not even walked 500 metres on a wooded trail.

An Ironman 70.3 event I did last December spiraled into a sore lower back and now a full-blown herniated disc. It has grounded me and confined my activities to physiotherapy.

This recovery downtime means outdoor activities are out of bounds for some time.

I decided to switch tracks to make this the year of helping others plan and execute their own outdoor experiences. I get a lot of questions about planning adventures and for adventure travel ideas. These include types of activities, places, cost, time, safety, and other considerations.

And my first question back to them is — why?

Are you doing it for friends to say, “You did WHAT?!”.

Or do you want to spend time in nature for self-reflection? Or do you want to finally fulfill your dream to summit that peak? Row that river? Walk that trail?

Why Are You Doing It?

Adventure travel might mean learning new skills and personal growth, which can be a great reason to give it a go.

It can be one or a combination of these reasons.

Adventure is a relative concept. We all have different risk and discomfort tolerances. Our perspectives on what’s novel and normal are unique.

The logical next question in this thread is, what is your motivation for your adventure travel ideas?

You might have come into some unexpected money, or you want to avoid putting off your travel anymore. A book you read inspired you to start your adventure plan. A film you saw goaded you into action.

Answering your why is by no means a show-stopper.

Spend your time answering it, though. You can make it as complicated as you like it. Or just say that you love spending time in the water, or in the mountains or are keen to get a head rush.

Whatever works for you, but spend time on it.

If you can reflect on your motivations, it will really help shape the kind of trip and itinerary for an amazing adventure experience.

You could also think of it the other way around!

How would you feel at the end of your adventure trip — proud, rejuvenated, content? The answer might decide the type of trip you should go on.

Let’s Make This Relatable

I’m not a super athlete. I’ve never been a fast runner or even a fast hiker. I am always towards the end of the pack and last to reach camp.

That has not stopped me from circumnavigating the Mont Blanc Massif, crossing 1000 km of the Gobi desert on foot with bactrian camels for company, kayaking for five days down a river or even cycling from Manali to Khardung La to reach the world’s highest motorable road.

Every time there was a different answer to the question why.

When I started my trek around Mont Blanc, it was because my original plan to go on a 40-day long Snowman Trek in Bhutan fell through. Due to geopolitical events, my visa was rejected. I was activity-ready with nowhere to go. Tour Du Mont Blanc (TMB) filled the void.

For the Gobi, the dream of doing something audacious in an extremely remote part of the earth made me sign up.

The 540km Manali to Khardung La cycle ride included several persons with disabilities. Some of them were blind, and some had lost a limb. The route included 7 high passes and bad roads. The society said they couldn’t do it.

On top of the pass, holding our cycles aloft, we proved everyone wrong and sent a powerful message to the world. You can achieve things despite your abilities or lack of them.

A lot of people whom I go trekking with now did their first hike only in their 30s. They had never been up a mountain except in a car or a gondola. None of them had spent time in the wilderness or in tents roughing it out. I did my first kayak tour around the same age.

It could be the same for you. Your ‘why’ carries you through.

Expertise and Experience

When I began, I was no expert at any of these things. It was tough; there were few women in adventure travel, and training resources were non-existent.

But I always wanted to be a skilled outdoors person and prepared myself for adventures in whatever way I could.

I want to do different activities all my life. I want to do them at my pace and in my zone. That is what all the preparation enables.

If you have one idea, and get a taste of the outdoor life on your first adventure, trust me, you will not stop. Ever. It is never too late.

The Scale is Irrelevant

I don’t think you have to go on a year-long, round-the-world trip to have an adventure! You can find something to do right where you live, in your own backyard. It need not involve a long flight, new gear or too much preparation. It could be something as easy as a ride and a hike.

That is the beauty of taking your first step — you decide why, where, and how.

Like everything else, it is more about your journey than the destination.

Imagine climbing up a mountain. You are at the peak for far less time. The bulk of the duration is spent ascending or descending it.

How hard or easy it is for you and whether you enjoy the experience or suffer through it is as much an approach to life as it is to this climb.

Define adventure travel in your terms, and it doesn’t matter what you’re doing or where you’re doing it. It will mean discomfort in different ways, but these are all a part of the process, but once you’re out in the wild, it’s time to focus on being there. Get lost in the spirit of it all.

Whatever it is that you choose, it should be EPIC for you. Nothing else matters.

So, what adventure are your curious about? What would you like to attempt?

Tell me in the comments, I’d love to hear your ideas and point you to some great resources.

Hi, I am Nalanda. I write about Adventure Travel, Personal Effectiveness and stories from the rich tapestry of LIFE as seen on the trails!

If you liked this article, you’ll love my Newsletter — Get, Set, Adventure. It’ll drop twice a month.

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