Hopefully, following on from my last blog How to find inspiration for your next adventure, you have in front of you a list of different adventure ideas. Most likely, some of them will naturally appeal to you more than others. So take those and run through the next questions to help you work out what is the right adventure to focus on and what you can realistically achieve.
Most likely you are going to have to adapt your adventures to fit around various constraints – usually time and money. Although it could also be logistics.
It is better to go on an adventure that is 70% right than to sit around waiting for the perfect plan to form! I don’t think any of my expeditions ended up being the same as my original idea. But they were still all great.
#1 Why do you want to do this adventure?
I can’t reiterate how important it is to start with the ‘why’. This will play the biggest factor when deciding what adventure you should choose.
Here are some different reasons ‘why’ you might be doing an adventure…
- explore a country you really want to see
- get some alone time in nature
- fundraise for charity
- learn or practise a skill
- raise your profile as an adventurer
- gain a world record or world first
- raise awareness on an issue or topic
- collect scientific data
You need to understand your motivations for better decision making.
For example, if you want to raise money for charity then you will want your adventure to be different and to attract attention. The harder it is, the more likely people are to donate. Crossing a country on a Unicycle will be better suited to fundraising than walking a well-known trail.
If you want to use your adventure to raise awareness on a topic – think logically about the best way you can have this impact. It doesn’t make sense campaigning about carbon footprint and then taking a transatlantic flight. But it does make sense being near a water source and passing through big towns and cities if you want to highlight the issues of plastic pollution.
If your drive is being in wild spaces, a road cycle route is going to give that to you a lot less than if you follow an off-road track in a National Park.
Raising your profile as an adventurer is also a big consideration. Most adventures I do now are well thought out in terms of my following and how it can help me grow professionally. I mostly look for original and accessible adventures that anyone can do with no prior experience needed.
Let your motive drive decision making if you get stuck.
#2 What mode of transport do you want to use?
Work out early on how you want to travel. Really the options are endless…walking, running, cycling, kick scooting, driving, hitchhiking, trains, swimming….
You can also combine different modes of transport like Laura Kennington’s Channel Island Triathlon.
#3 What is your comfort line?
Do you want an adventure that pushes you to your absolute limit physically? Or do you want to not be rushed and to enjoy exploring at your own pace? Most people like somewhere in the middle….I do, although I always prefer to lean slightly more towards relaxed over hardcore.
Try work out what the line is that you are aiming for and just how hard you want this expedition to be.
#4 How much money do you have to spend?
Just because your adventure idea is too expensive for you, it doesn’t mean you have to throw it out the window. You just need to get creative!
There are usually always things you can cut down on costs (like camping over hotels or getting buses rather than flying). If you don’t want to compromise on your comfort level you could also just reduce the amount of time the expedition takes.
Changing countries is often an easy way to reduce costs. As my report on how much my expeditions cost shows, 2 months hiking in Israel cost far less than 2 weeks hiking in Jordan! This was mostly down to the flights and the water caching being much more expensive.
#5 What time restrictions do you have?
If you are very limited with time but don’t want to reduce the length of your expedition, consider cutting it into chunks. Chaz Powell completed his Zambezi walk in 2 halves.
Or you could look at just completing the most interesting part. When I put together the Hike Jordan expedition I only had 2 weeks to spare. So I just did the desert section of the Jordan Trail which is the most beautiful and challenging part.
#6 Where in the world do you want to go?
I’ve put this as one of the last questions but actually, the location plays a more important role for me than the length of the expedition or mode of transport. Usually, if I get a country in my head, I don’t care what the expedition ends up being….I just have an urge to go explore there!
#7 Does this feel good?
These questions should help you hone down your options and to decipher what is realistic with the restraints you have. Your adventure might not be perfect but you should feel excited about going.
If you aren’t sure….just try listening to your gut!
Ready to start planning?
If you’ve got your sights on a huge expedition, check out this guide on how to plan an adventure.