Why? I’m excited! Is it safe? Should I really do this? There are so many elements involved in getting an adventure off the ground.
From narrowing down gear choices to deciding how to pay for it all, getting over the inevitable rejection from potential sponsors and also ensuring that you do a good job for those who have chosen to support you.
Of course, there's also the small matter of overcoming your own fears and doubts, and placating those friends and family who might not be the biggest fans of your impending adventure.
Although the very concept of embarking on a voyage of discovery is at heart very simple, you can make the preparation phase as complicated as you like. So many adventure projects fall by the wayside, either with passion replaced by over-thinking or budgets piled way too high for a journey that could have been done on peanuts.
The key moment of any adventure starts with the answer to one question:
Why am I doing this?
There might be a few reasons but there's only one that counts.
Because I really, really want to.
That's it. Nothing else matters. If you've got will as your foundation and choose not to compromise it with all of the other add-ons that can corrupt the wonder of travelling with a purpose - things like worry and fundraising targets and empty promises to sponsors that you know you can't deliver - then you're going to be ok.
As romantic as heading off down the long road can be, now and then you're going to get into a fix. When the going gets tough you have to want to get going again. And if you want to, you will.
Ultimately, a good old-fashioned adventure is a right of passage and a microcosm of life as a whole. In a short space of time you have to sort out your dreams and values. You realise who your friends are and get your finances in order.
You learn how to climb any obstacle that gets in the way, even if you're the wall.
Some days will be fast and others slow, dry or wet with sand or snow.
Doubts and questions fired your way, but it's ok. This journey of yours is not theirs to taint, it's yours to paint.
And there is no better way to offer proof and reminder that humans are good. The kindness of strangers will pepper every turn of your adventure as a reassurance that you're not along when you fling yourself into the unknown.
Set yourself a goal and strive towards it gaining inertia as you go, ensuring that when you hit the hard bits you're not knocked off course.
And eventually you'll realise that the only thing you need to go on an adventure is your mind.
This is your time, only you can know why, and only you can start and finish this thing.
And you're going to have to trust me on this...
...it's worth it. Every little bit.
But, is it safe?
It's only a matter of time before someone asks, those pesky parrots are always trying to burst your bubble. After all, it's the norm to be scared of differences.
Just remember, the unknown is exactly why you want to go in the first place. You're done with the comfort and you need more than just life as it's laid out for everyone. That will always be there and you can come back when you please.
Your bubble is steel, don't let anyone burst it, not from the outside or within.
In all the miles I've travelled on road, rivers and ocean I always feel most at risk in a car on a familiar road.
When you're on an adventure and all around is new your senses are heightened and instinct honed. You're ready to deal with anything that appears a threat but actually, it's so rare to face a challenge to your safety or the success of your quest.
Before you go imagine the bad stuff that can happen so you can work out how to deal with it. And that's the only bit of planning you actually have to do. Know the dangers and understand how to avoid and/or cope with them.
The world is not a dangerous place. People do not deserve to have labels of fear forced upon them.
It's hard to block out the noise but remember that you want to do this because you suspect that the world is better than you've been told.
And you are right, but don't take my word for it. You have to find this out for yourself.
Life is simple
Go and have fun. Get fit. Enjoy the sun and wind and rain on your face. Revel in those nights under canvas because adventure teaches you just how incredible it is to be aware of the world we're in, all the while carrying barely anything on our backs.
It makes department stores and those tens of thousands of people shopping for idiotic products which mean nothing at all...it makes them ridiculous.
And while there's a little outlay before a trip, going slow and understanding your pace helps you save money in the long run because you understand what true value is. You spend your money on food because you've earned it out there on the road, not plastic ornaments or gadgets that tell you how fast your heart is beating.
You know it's beating, because you're alive.
So, should I stay or should I go?
Comfort kills ambition like nothing else in our lives.
Are you content just breathing in, and out or do you want to add the occasional gasp of joy to your respiration?
You'll be looking everywhere for answers and it'll feel like everyone wants their say.
Just remember, the choice is yours.
And yours alone.
Now, enjoy the ride.
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