I recently wrote a post about how I became an adventurer. In it, I touch on the fact that I think opportunities are key to making changes in your life and pursuing a passion. Not just grabbing them when they come your way, but also actively seeking out new ones.
We all want more adventure in our lives, but sometimes it can be hard to know how to implement that.
So I put together this list of adventure opportunities. For anyone that is ready to get out more and start chasing new things….just to see where it takes you. Find something you like, commit and then be proactive about making it happen!
#1 Get a qualification
Working towards an adventure related qualification will increase your skills, boost your confidence and gets you meeting like-minded people. It could also open up paid opportunities in outdoors.
There are lots of courses available in various disciplines. To give you an idea, take a look at one of the UK’s leading providers Plas Y Brenin and the courses they offer.
If you fancy a complete change, Plas Y Brenin even has a fast track internship where you can get all your outdoor qualifications in one go!
As a good all-round qualification, I can recommend the Mountain Leader Summer Award (check out my top tips for this qualification). It was getting this qualification that completely opened up the adventure world for me.
#2 Work on an expedition
With Mountain Leader or a similar qualification under your belt, you will be able to get work as an expedition leader – probably one of the coolest jobs you can do! There are lots of companies that take groups of children on expeditions around the world – check out British Exploring, World Challenge and Outlook Expeditions.
There are also adult expedition companies looking for leaders like Secret Compass and Biosphere Expeditions.
Some of these companies also look for people who can bring other skills to the expeditions. British Exploring, for example, needs scientists, photographers and counsellors.
Or you can just start running your own adventures. I was getting an ML qualification that enabled me to start putting together my own all-female expeditions.
#3 Enter an adventure festival
You could attend an outdoor festival for inspiration. But why not take that a step further and actually have a go at entering!
There are lots of outdoor festivals out there celebrating all mediums from art, podcasts, books, photography and blogs. But the most popular one is film.
Fancy equipment isn’t needed – I’ve seen winners who have filmed on nothing more than smartphones. You can easily pick up free filming and editing skills online on YouTube.
Banff Film Festival and BMC have a category for female adventurers which usually has very few entries. Also, check out Adventure Travel Film London and Sheffield Film Festival.
#4 Volunteer on an adult expedition overseas
This could be a great option if you feel like trying something completely new and for a longer period of time but are limited with funds.
Raleigh International is always on the lookout for expedition adventure volunteers or you can lead a group of volunteers on a project. It is free to join although they do sometimes ask you to fundraise a set amount.
ICS is government-run and offers free 3-month team-leading opportunities abroad.
4 Deserts look for volunteers to assist on their overseas long-distance challenges.
#5 Volunteer with children in the outdoors
Find a charity providing adventure opportunities for children. As well as helping shape young minds, you will be able to join them on outdoor expeditions and activities.
Have a look at Youth Adventure Trust, Scouts, Superweeks and Outward Bound Trust.
#6 Join an expedition as a teammate
Explorers Connect have a ‘find teammates’ page where adventure opportunities are regularly posted. It’s a great resource! I also recommend signing up to their newsletter so you don’t miss any new requests that come in.
RGS also have an expedition section and you can submit a short form putting yourself in a database to say you are looking to join an expedition.
If you can’t find an expedition you like but want to do a team adventure, initiate your own. Put an advert out to find teammates. I tried this in 2017 with the Everest Adventure and got over 100 people wanting to join me and in the process accidentally launched the UK’s biggest female adventure community, Love Her Wild!!
#7 Join an adventure group
Adventure groups are a great way to meet like-minded people and to find out about adventure opportunities.
Budding female adventurers should (of course!) join the Love Her Wild Facebook group and also check out the adventures page on the website. Other groups worth checking out include Explorers connect and The Yes Tribe.
There are loads of groups that are focused on local areas or specific adventure activities (if you like wild swimming, for example, you could join the Outdoor Swimming Society or BlueTits). Just do a search on Facebook for groups in the area you are looking in.
#8 Give a hand with conservation
There are lots of conservation opportunities that will also get you outside.
Path maintenance in the mountains is just one example. TCV, the Wildlife Trust and the National Trust are just some organisations worth checking out.
RSPB also look for volunteers annually, including on remote islands!
#9 Apply for a grant or funding
Grants and scholarships are available to help people go on adventures. Surprisingly, a lot of these don’t get many applications….I suspect mostly because people think they wouldn’t get it so don’t even bother trying.
Most grants will have criteria. Use google to see what’s out there and if you fit the bill…..even if you don’t think they will pick you…..give it a go and send in an application form.
Check out my guide to adventure funding for more information on the grants available.
You could also consider getting sponsorship in-kind to help fund a new adventure idea.
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*Any women reading this?* I founded a women’s adventure community called Love Her Wild . Check out our private Facebook page and see what adventures we have coming up.