Some luxury accommodation due to extreme weather conditions. Lovely, right? Be flexible!
I came across this question a couple of times already. From articles online to keyword search to personal experiences, it seems that allocating the time for adventure (Or hobby I would say) is scarce but also it seems to be working better for some people who “somehow” manage to do a lot. So how to solve this issue? How to find time for adventures?
The first thing is to remember we all have the same 24 hours. What we do with them is what matters. That doesn’t mean I’m constantly moving and squeezing each second. I also get in the conveyor and sit down to watch a movie or just be lazy. I have a girlfriend, and I like doing other things as well (other than being in the mountains or on the road, that is).
Although I don’t believe there’s a precise formula to get it right, I guess organization and will power are the two main components for success and flexibility is the key to combine these factors.
I know quite a few people that, even when they work in the outdoor industry, the do not get to spend as much time (or any) outside as they wish or would have imagined when they chose to work for this branch. In any case, let’s go through these points.
The organization part: Let’s face it, Most of us procrastinate a lot. This means that you’re already wasting quite a bit of time you could use for adventures.
Being organized is a struggle. I know very few individuals who naturally come to the “being organized thing” and that leaves me with a sense of inflexibility which you need for any adventure. However, we should learn a few things from people who are capable of being organized and understand how to better stream our activities to allow bigger adventure time.
I cannot really influence how your organize your time and everyone has too many different things going on for me to even give a concrete advice, so...
Here is a good talk to help you get on track of your organization method.
The "will" part: You have to want it. Like, really want it.
It is amazing how, when I have to wake up to do my taxes, 7am seems like a total inferno and when I have to wake up to go to the mountains (Ski, Bike, Climb, etc.) 4:30 am is still an inferno (lol) but, I have no problem doing it. Many people from outside of the sports and activities we love so much often ask why we do this kind of thing and there’s a plethora of saucy phrases to describe that (most related to passion) but, in the end, you just have to really like it and want it.
This means; don’t waste time trying to find the space for things which are not at the very top of your beloved things to do. Instead, pick those things “you can wait to do again” and find (or define) objectives for them. When you do this, the goal itself will drive you to allocate the time.
Catching up with work, no matter where. If you're still delivering, then no one can tell you how to use your time.
For example, I have a ton of office-work to do. Luckily, I do have some permissions when it comes to whether I have to sit at the office or not but, considering that mountaineering activities are intimately related with the weather, I find myself working on a Sunday -because it’s rainy- and using a Monday to go ice climbing, when conditions are perfect. The job gets done, and I can pursuit my climbing objectives. Then again, this goes mostly in the direction of flexibility but still, is a matter of wanting it and sacrificing that Sunday feeling for getting the time some other day.
The flexibility: Embrace the unexpected
Ok, let’s face it. Not all jobs are flexible and, if you believe you don’t have enough time for adventure and, adventure is something that matters to you, then you need to make a change in your life. I hate to tell you but you need a different job or you need to accept the fact that you won’t have all the time you want to be on the road. That being said, if you have a boss, communicate with him and ask about the possibility of changing your schedule a bit, taking more work for the weekend or setup a frame where you work towards goals and not time on the office. Why it matters? One of the reasons is because we need to play along with weather, which is a major game changer. For example, I just got a trip to climb in Scotland cancelled because of weather conditions and I was training for 6 months only to find out I wasn’t going to happen the very morning of the flight. The whole point is: work on being as flexible as possible and you’ll be able to find more time for whatever you want to do.
Another great thing about trying to be as flexible as possible is the chance of catching great deals. Most of the good travelling offers are time-window constrained. Meaning you can only travel on “this date and that date”. If you’re capable of having a bit of control over your work time, it will be easier to get the best out of those deals.
No shower for days and sleeping uncomfortable. This is what flexibility means
How to implement it
In my case, I try to see things the following way:
I Classify my adventure objectives in three different types: Epic trip, small expedition, weekend or daily mission. You can put whatever name you prefer but assigning a “code” to them allows you to give them different levels of predominance and understanding the kind of commitment each one of them requires, therefore, the time needed and how to get it.
Another important thing is to get a grasp for what it means and adventure. Is not only the travel time but it is also all the prepping work (and time) involved into getting towards that particular objective. While some would say this is stretching it too much, for me is really key to incorporate the “say”: extra training time into the schedule and visualizing this as part of the hours I will have to factor into it.
A critical ingredient to all of this, also, is to wrap your head around that people do not travel all the time. That’s just an Instagram dream that fills our head with the image that some individuals just wander the world getting tons of money just for travelling. Even when some influencers and photographers do travel full time, they put a ton of effort into it and it becomes their work. Which is not always well-paid. It just covers for the travelling and so.
Plan shorter trips
This one is really important. I do a ton of one-day-travelling and use every possibility to just get out of the city and go do something in the mountains, etc.
Build a list of short distance places you would like to visit, go climbing, etc. And you’ll find yourself travelling a lot. A ski day here, a day trek there will start adding up and you’ll soon have more memories than you can share.
The only thing I will say about this point is: you know how much you can spend and money will buy you time in many senses. If you’Re looking to make the very best deal, you will have to invest time into looking for it. If you want quick access, well, think about spending more. The rest is up to you.
Other than that, the key is to just go out there and stop making excuses. The time is on your hands, all you have to do is use it!
If you have anything to add, make sure you leave a comment :)