Balancing Life and Work: Making Time for Adventure
I love reading about others’ adventures: the bigger, the better, and it really inspires me to bring more adventure into my own life.
The one thing I always find difficult is the time required. A lot of the hiking or camping trips, adventure races or bike trips I want to participate in add up to more than the 25 days I can take off work each year, and I'm sure you know this feeling. When you work in a full time job, it can seem impossible to be an adventurer yourself. If you're anything like me, you enjoy your work and are good at it, so you don't want to have to give it up to travel and explore. So how do you fit adventure into your life?
Well, I've made it a mission to become a part-time adventurer around my full-time employment, and here are my top five tips for cramming the most amount of adventure into your life!
Use your time wisely during the week and get all those household chores done, leaving your weekends free. I also get up early each morning to fit in a gym session or a run before work. The fitter I am, the more I enjoy my weekend adventures!
If like me, you're limited to five weeks holiday a year, then you need to make it count! Start thinking about the bigger adventures you'd like to do and spend the time researching the best time of year to go. Get the time off work booked in advance and you’ll have something amazing to look forward to and be able to settle things at the office so you don’t have to think about work at all on the trail. I've already spoken to my boss about a three week holiday to hike the Cape Wrath Trail in September – and it gives me time to get in shape for it too!
You don't have to keep your friends and your adventures separate! Some of your friends may love to try something new in the outdoors and are just waiting for you to suggest an adrenaline fueled weekend away! A few months ago I went away with some friends for a girly catch up. We ended up spending the weekend trail running, something I've never done before! It was completely unplanned but we saw some amazing views and had a great time exploring – plus we got in a lot of girly gossiping too!
If you want an adventure but just can't find the time to look around for something to do then just shout! There's a lot of adventurous folk on Twitter and Facebook, most of whom would be delighted to offer up some suggestions on all sorts of activities in all sorts of places, probably a lot of which you'd never have even thought of! When you’re trying to find time for adventure, use social media to connect with other outdoor enthusiasts and get ideas to make planning your trip simpler.
A lot of people think big when it comes to adventure, and when balancing work and life, it can be difficult to see how adventure can fit in. Well, just like all good things, adventures can come in small packages too. You don't have to travel far or spend a lot of money to have an adventure.
My husband and I recently decided we wanted a weekend away mountain biking. We were both shattered after a busy week at work and didn't want to waste time driving a long way away. We ended up about 20 miles down the road, exploring some fabulous cheeky single track we'd never visited before! The weekend was amazing: we explored a new area, got in some great biking and all without leaving the county!
Likewise, if you don’t have as much time off or the flexibility to take a long trip away right now, plan a series of weekend getaways throughout the year. Whether you’re off to the Adirondacks for a three day camping trip, a long weekend of spring skiing in Colorado or loading up your bike for a trip to one of the top 50 bike-friendly cities, short trips can help quench your thirst for adventure while you plan for longer hiking trips and more.
So there's my tips on how to find time for extraordinary adventures in an ordinary life. Now get out there, and do it!