We didn’t always live an adventurous life. In fact, we used to not even camp! For the first twelve years of our marriage, our vacations always revolved around a condo in Hawaii. It wasn’t until our fourth child was born that I got the itch to start living more adventurously.
Now, our days revolve around adventure and we’ve created a life filled with incredible memories and are raising kids who are passionate about the outdoors and love living a life centered around growth, fulfillment, and purpose. After all, isn’t that what living an adventurous life is all about?
If you are interested in living a more adventurous life, I have a free workshop here that you may like.
Living an Adventurous Life Leads to Crazy Things Like Happiness and Fulfillment
If you find yourself with a bad case of wanderlust but are scared to take the first step, here are 10 tips to help you add more adventure to your life and discover if the grass is greener for you on the WILD side.
Step 1: Desire, it’s a must
Do you have the desire to be adventurous?
Desire is definitely the first ingredient if you want to be living an adventurous life.'When you set out with the DESIRE to see new things, to meet new people, to experience more, the universe will conspire to make it happen.'Click To Tweet
For me, the desire started out as curiosity. I wondered what national parks looked like if my kids would like hiking, what it would be like to spend nights around the campfire. That same curiosity is still the driving force behind all our travels today.
Desire is the backbone for all accomplishments. If you don’t want it, you won’t work for it.
Conflicting desires (or lack of desire) can also become a major source of conflict in a relationship years down the road. Take it from me, figure out your desires now and talk to your significant other about them.
Step 2: Start Small
Before we started camping, road-tripping, and traveling abroad, we just had bonfires once a week at Fiesta Island in the summer. At the time, my kids were young and just the excitement of packing the van with firewood, a barbecue, chair, and food was adventurous. I honestly didn’t even have the desire at the time to be as adventurous as I am now.
One thing just led to another and six years later I’m in Barcelona complaining about being bored because there are no waves to surf, rock walls to climb, or trails to follow.
Getting to this point of adventure was only a matter of taking a lot of baby steps. It’s a journey of discovery and being willing to take detours and backtrack when needed.
Along our journey, we did a lot of weekend trips at local campgrounds and short weekend trips to the desert. I look at my life a series of ninety-degree turns.
One thing always leads to another and it wasn’t until many years later that my crazy obsession for road trips and waking up in a new location every day took root.
Step 3: Push Yourself
Small steps are important, but you have to build on that and take bigger steps if you want to progress.
Seriously, for our first road trip, I rented a 35-foot Class A, handed Victor the keys, and said “We’re going to the Sequoias!” He white-knuckled it the entire drive up and was positive a bear was going to crawl into the RV window while we were sleeping and maul our children. It was great for us though. We learned so much about ourselves on that trip and quickly realized that we needed more nature in our lives.
If we had stayed in our comfort zone of only camping locally, we would’ve missed out on this growth and so many adventures that have taken place since then.
Step 4: Find a WOW Factor
Our first few road trips weren’t easy. Mishaps happen. In fact, they still do. But having that WOW factor on your trip helps keep everything in perspective.
On one of our first long road trips, we blew a trailer tire at the top of a mountain. It took an hour to find how to access the spare, then we blew another trailer tire an hour later right before Phoenix (no spares now), and barely hobbled to drop the trailer at a tire center in Phoenix at midnight. It was exhausting, stressful, and a bit costly.
But on that same trip, we camped on the shores of Lake Powell having huge bonfires under what felt like a million stars (with bats zipping overhead), spent a day inner tubing and water skiing on Lake Powell, enjoyed our first trip to Zion (my favorite NP), and rock climbed at The Pit in Flagstaff.
If we had just camped locally at the nearby beach, we would’ve had fun, but it might not have been enough fun to offset the stress and cost of two tires.
Step 5: Get Off The Beaten Path
I’ve found the more off the beaten path I can get, the more I enjoy my adventures.
Take hiking for example. The further we go off-the-beaten-path or well-worn trail, the bigger the wow factor is. National Parks are a good place to test this. If you hike the easy footpaths, they tend to be very crowded. But as soon as you venture to the moderate to strenuous hikes, the crowds tend to thin and the rewards for your effort begin to rise exponentially.
Related Blog: Best Hikes in Idaho
Step 6: Rationalize Your Fears
We all are scared of something, myself included.
What if I get stung by a scorpion in Costa Rica? What if I fall while climbing? What if my kids get sick in Bali? What if I see a snake while hiking?
I have all these fears and more. But what keeps me from not giving in to them is rationality. I take calculated risks. I plan out scenarios. I play my odds. And for a lot of things I just tell myself that if it’s out of my control, it’s not worth wasting energy worrying about.
I know how hard it is though to do all that because I’m married to a worrier. He’s gotten a lot better, but he still gets nervous anytime we move–whether it’s halfway across the globe, from one state to another, or even one European village to another.
He no longer gets nervous at places we’ve already been to and now asks to go back to these familiar places.
Assessing the risk is very important. Obviously, you don’t want to start rock climbing on your own if you’ve never rock climbed before. But rock climbing on top rope with a guide is extremely safe. Some of my all-time favorite hikes have a great deal of exposure (meaning you are close to the edge) but it would be extremely hard to fall off of these hikes.
The mind can play crazy tricks and it’s up to us to slow down those racing thoughts and pounding heart rates to assess the actual risk.
Tip: If you are afraid of heights, practice overcoming that fear without your kids around at first. One, because you don’t want to project your fears on them. And two, the thought of something happening to our kids brings out our worst primal fears and it will be hard to work on overcoming your fear of heights when you are worried about your child falling off.
Related Blog: Overcoming Fear: How to master your adventure mindset
Step 7: Set Yourself Up For Success
When it comes to outdoor sports adventures like surfing or climbing, not only is repetition key but so is setting yourself up physically for success.
Make sure you have a little sugar and protein. When you get nervous, you burn through your sugars very fast. I recommend you have a cookie or bar in those situations, but make sure to follow it up with a fat or protein like nuts, jerky, or salami so you don’t get the follow-up low blood sugar either.
Also, make sure you’ve gotten a good night’s sleep before you tackle a new activity. Personally, I love ONNIT Total Human supplements. It boosts your recovery and helps me get a good night’s sleep.
If you find yourself getting low blood sugar or hangry very often, you might want to address your adrenal health and take some easy steps to feel better.
Related blog: ONNIT Total Human Review
Step 8: Get in Better Physical Shape
Also, get yourself in the best physical conditioning that you can. It’s important to build an appropriate amount of strength, flexibility, and endurance for your next adventure. Plus, living an adventurous life can take a toll on your joints and muscles. Learning to manage those aches and pains will make it so that you can go adventure often.
Step 9: Try Different Elements
If you still have trouble being adventurous, maybe you haven’t found your element. For me, I had no idea how happy being in the mountains was going to make me. I didn’t realize this about myself until I was almost 40! Maybe you’re a water person or maybe you need snow. Whatever it is, make an effort to be in the element that makes you happy.
Step 10: Hire a Guide
Taking baby steps, having the right mindset, creating a wow factor, and being physically fit are all great ways to live a more adventurous life. But sometimes it’s nice to take the worry and pressure off by just hiring a guide. That’s how I got hooked on climbing. I was lucky to have the perfect guide who set me up for success and nurtured my skills in a safe and progressive way.
I may seem extremely adventurous but I’m really not when I compare myself to most climbers and surfers. The thing is that I love the action of doing it more than the competitiveness of being the best or even really good. I’m not on strict training for my sports, but when I do them, I am giving it my all.
The cool part is that every year I do improve.
The most important part of living an adventurous life is to always be improving your skillset.
It’s never too late to start living an adventurous life. Last summer, in Maple Canyon, I met the camp host who was in her sixties and was shredded! She told us how she climbs 5.13 regularly and that she had only been climbing 24 years, which meant she was about the same age I was when I first started climbing (38).
I’m not sure if climbing that level will be my goal, but I sure was inspired to keep trying to improve my skillset and see where it takes me.It’s never too late to start living an adventurous life.Click To Tweet
Adventure has brought me so much happiness and fulfillment. It sounds cheesy, but it’s true. Putting myself in uncomfortable situations and having to figure shit out with all my greatest fears staring me back in the face is not easy. But the rewards are addicting. I love feeling like “Hell ya I just did that!”