At the very core of adventure is wanderlust, determination, and curiosity. It also comes with a hefty dose of FOMO (fear of missing out) and a willingness to buck the trend. Adventurous people don’t want to read about a place or look at photos of it; they want to go there, be there, experience there…and preferably be the first of their friends there.
Whether you’re an outdoor adventurer who has old habits of over working, or you’re someone who just wants to become more adventurous, this guide will help you get where you want to be – literally.
1. Act on FOMO, it’s science
Now-a-days humans are not battling sabretooth tigers or trying to hunt wooly mammoth, but we do still have the same acute stress responses as our prehistoric ancestors – just, today they’re triggered by different things.
What is FOMO? Fear of missing out is a relatively new concept that has been born as a result of increased interaction with social media. As defined by researchers at the University of Essex, FOMO is “where people are concerned that others may be having more fun and rewarding experiences than them”, and it can be a trigger of acute anxiety or stress in some people.
Your response to this stress can go one of two ways, fight or flight. It can lead you to withdraw and live by proxy through others on Instagram and Facebook; or it can be a powerful motivator to get out and get your slice of the adventure pie.
Next time you find yourself thinking “man, I wish I could go there”, replace that thought with “I can go there” and start planning. Use point 2 as a physical manifestation of all your wildest dreams.
2. Make an adventure vision board
Now, before you start shaking your head and accusing us of getting all “hippy dippy” on you (well we are a bit, but it’s good for you), vision boards seriously work. They keep your goals at the forefront of your mind and remind you day-after-day what you want to achieve. As the old saying goes they “keep your eye on the prize”.
The trick to making a vision board that works is to not limit yourself. Choose photos that draw you to them either by colour, theme, place, activity, or even just the emotion they conjure up. And don’t question what you choose, just roll with it.
We make our vision boards on magnetic noteboards from Ikea because, like our dreams, our vision boards continually shift and change as we grow. Using magnets also means you can pull down images as you achieve the goal they represent. As you tick off your goals, don’t throw the images away, keep them in a box to remind you how much you’ve achieved.
3. Use the “places” filter on Instagram to find awesome new spots around you
Instagram is great for inspiration, but it’s easy to get lost lusting over far away places on different continents. Reel in the inspiration and use the”places” search filter to discover local adventures close to home.
To get to “places”: open your Instagram account and tap the search icon. In the search tab tap the search bar as if you were going to type in a place. The window will change to show 4 search filters: Top, People, Tags, and Places. Tap “Places”, then ” Near Current Location”, and bingo. You’ve got a visual directory off all the awesome places around you. Now, add them to your vision board.
4. Say yes to spontaneous gatherings in outdoor places
Adventures don’t have to be arduous trips that you spend days, weeks, or months planning. Adventure is relative. According to the dictionary adventure is “an unusual and exciting, typically hazardous, experience or activity”. You don’t have to tick all the boxes but get at least one, put it outside, and you’ve got yourself an adventure.
This photo was taken up at Madeley Lake, in the Callaghan (after the campfire ban). We were sat around one evening trying to think of a bar that would fit enough people for an impromptu birthday celebration for a friend. Someone had the smart idea that the outdoors offers unlimited space, can hold as many friends as we like, the beer is cheaper, and we can actually hear each other speak – think that’s a sign we’re getting old.
With in 1 hour we’d packed up all our camping gear and were setting up camp at Madeley Lake.
5. Take advantage of the night
The night has the most magical wonders for those who are willing to make the time to see them. Aurora, galaxies, planets, and stars are around us all day, but can only be seen at night. If you want to give others FOMO, just take a few long-exposure photos of you standing under a blanket of stars in the rugged wilderness of the Pacific Northwest. Job done.
6. Learn to embrace all the seasons
There’s another little saying we love that strikes to the very heart of life, love, relationships, work, and adventures:
If you wait for the perfect conditions you’ll never get anything done
In the British Columbia we’re blessed with still having four full seasons with vastly different weather. Each season has its own distinct qualities, and those qualities comes with their own set of challenges to being outdoors – but the bigger the challenge the bigger the reward. And after all, you might get wet but you certainly won’t melt. Remember, there’s no such thing as the wrong weather, only the wrong clothing.
Spring and fall are two of the best seasons to experience the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia because this region is part of one of the most endangered forests on the planet, the pacific coastal temperate rainforest. Our magnificent ecosystem gets between 98 inches and 177 inches of rain every year and you know what gets bigger and better in the rain? Waterfalls, and Whistler has lots of them. Just check out this post: Top 5 Must-Visit Waterfalls On Your Next Trip To Whistler
7. Try driving adventures for last-minute escapes
FSR’s, aka Fire Service Roads, weave their way all over our beautiful province leading to lakes, lookouts, hidden valleys, and abandoned forestry towns. We highly recommend getting a copy of the Backroad Mapbook for Vancouver and the BC coast mountains (they’re also available for other provinces) for times when you feel a spontaneous the call from the wild.
8. Make lakes an activity not just a destination
While hiking to a lake is fun, next time why not pack an inflatable paddleboard, $30 dingy, or rubber ring and spend the day floating around the lake? Other options include looking online to see if the lake you’re visiting has any rope swings or hidden docks, or buying a fishing license and teaching yourself to fish. Many of BC’s lakes are stocked with fish, just make sure you visit fishing.gov.bc.ca to buy your freshwater fishing license first.
9. Take your dog with you…#adventuredog, it’s a thing
It’s perfectly acceptable to take dogs hiking, biking, ski touring, splitboarding, paddleboarding, and even kayaking. They’re as versatile as you are, and get real happiness out of joining the pack on adventures.
If you own a dog, but feel like you have to leave it at home to have fun, come to Whistler, now. Whistler is dog-friendly. And if there’s one thing people in BC love more than skiing, mountain biking, and Arc’teryx, it’s dogs. They come everywhere with us and the phrase “but what I am going to do with my dog” is rarely uttered.
Don’t believe it’s possible adventure with you pooch in tow check out Whistler locals, twotwofourexplore on Instagram and read our post: 8 Ways To Give Your Dog An Unforgettable Vacation in Whistler.
10. Make a seasonal bucket-list & give yourself deadlines
Point #2 will help you flesh out what’s important and what you really want to do. Now, to stay on track you need to break it down in to manageable chucks. Do this by making a seasonal (or some people do monthly) bucket list inspired by your vision board. We like to make our list in a Moleskine travel journal, but you can do it in notes on your iPhone, or even put a paper list on your vision board.
We like to break down our goals into:
+ must do asap
+ like to do soon
+ one day, eventually
Try whatever works best for you, the important part is to just make the list and start ticking it off.
11. Assign an adventure accountability buddy
If you’re someone who is prone to thinking “oh I’ll just do it next week” or “but I really need to get this work done” you need to get yourself an accountability buddy. This is a technique used in mentoring classes to hold you to the promises you make to the group, but it can be applied here very successfully.
Your accountability buddy doesn’t have to be someone who even comes on your adventures, it’s better if it is but, it can be your mother, your cousin, even your boss. Just make sure it’s someone who you respect and who you’d feel terrible telling that you keep putting off your adventures for other things. When you set your monthly goals tell your accountability partner to check-in on you every other week to make sure you’re staying on top of getting out there.
12. Organize/attend an Instameet to meet other outdoor adventurers
Don’t have anyone who understands your lust for the wilderness? Don’t worry, Instagram is one of the best places to meet other outdoor folk. An Instameet is a gathering of people who usually have never met before, but who follow each other on Instagram. Little communities form on Instagram around themes and the outdoor adventure community is huge.
Learn more about hosting and finding Instameets here: community.instagram.com
13. Reprioritize, you have more time than you think
When we ask people what holds them back from going on more adventures, not having enough time is always up there at the top. After work, friends, eating, sleeping, keeping fit, and watching Netflix there just isn’t enough time in the day. But to those people we say:
It’s not about having time, it’s about making time
Be honest with yourself about what’s important. Watching the latest episode of Game of Thrones as soon as it’s released is awesome, but is it helping or hindering your adventure progress? If it’s a beautiful evening outside can GoT wait until tomorrow? Make the most of the windows of time you have, pack up your gear and go camping with friends.
14. Don’t wait to be invited, just go
There’s a lot to be said for being invited on trips. It says those people like your company, they want to experience something with you, and they trust you to work as a team out in the wild. Really, being invited on a trip is quite the compliment. But just as receiving compliments makes you feel good, so does giving them. Don’t wait to be invited on someone else’s epic adventure, plan a trip and invite them along on your journey.
Believe us, it feels even better when they say yes.
We hope this tried and tested list has helps you make time for adventure in your busy life. If you have any tips that you find helpful, please share them in the comments section and help inspire a fellow adventurer.
And remember to tag your trip photos with #MakeTimeForAdventure to be featured in future blog posts and on our social media:
Happy travel, folks!