It’s 2:00 pm, and I’m sitting at my desk at my fancy post-college job unsure whether I should refresh my email, refill my water bottle, or just curl up in a ball on the floor to sleep.
Does anyone else face the routine battle against exhaustion right after lunch? It’s even more discouraging to look at my Instagram account and see all the awesome things travel bloggers are doing since they can roam the world and take photos of their brunches on Tuesday afternoons. I hate them, but I still double tap that damn photo of a coffee and perfectly arranged fruit.
Not all of us can drop our shit, create a passive income, and carelessly travel the world with thousands of social media followers. So stop telling me to do that, Jay Alvarrez, because I have a job I’m committed to and debt to pay off.
Photo of Jay Alvarrez from Morgan Oliver-Allen
However, this doesn’t mean that you should accept a week long vacation in the Bahamas as your only getaway for the year. As a matter of fact, you deserve a solid adventure once a week.
At this point, you’re thinking, “this guy gets to travel with his job” or “he’s got a lot of money” or maybe “my job is too busy for that. I also have a family.” To which I say, sit down, shut up, and listen.
I never get to travel with my job. I’m earning a very basic government salary working long hours, which can sometimes turn to 24-hour shifts or weekend projects. But I do not have a family, so you got me there. So how do I fit in time to adventure when my job requires me to take double shots of Red Bull just to stay alive?
Just follow 4 basic rules:
My schedule is insane. I have to balance all kinds of emails, a second 24-hour alert phone, media calls, training, compliance reports and plenty of other nonsense. I don’t have time to plan an adventure. Or do I?
Most of my adventure planning happens in between projects, during meetings, or while I’m driving. No one works 9-5 non-stop without breaks. If you do, you’re lying to yourself. I typically work in 60 minute shifts. I’ll focus hard for an hour, then dive into something completely different to take my mind somewhere else for 10 minutes (hint: adventure planning). Meetings are also boring and non-productive 99% of the time, so I tune out and open my schedule to find open times and plan travel logistics here. Driving is boring and routine, so I call up friends and we brainstorm what events are going on in the area. Which brings me to my next point:
2. Look In Your Backyard
There are plenty of events happening in your hometown. I live in Lompoc, CA. You’ve never heard of it, because it’s in the middle of nowhere. Sorry to put you on blast, Lompoc, but I dislike you intensely from the bottom of my heart. And I still find things to do here, so I know you can, too. Find connected people in your area with Instagram, and look for upcoming events or hikes and places you can explore with friends. Speaking of…
3. Split With Friends
Nothing makes a trip easier than doing it with a bunch of friends. This is how I was able to afford Thailand earlier this year. Initially, it will be a challenge to coordinate who can commit, but once the group chat locks in tickets, it gets easier. Splitting gas, hotels, and logistics planning becomes easy if you can hit the magic number of 3-8 people. If you don't believe me, check out our video on travel.
4. Forget What You Know
If you think you won’t like something, try it anyway. I wrote off surfing, skateboarding, craft beer tasting, hiking, and dancing all before I tried them. They are all popular activities in my current location, and when I finally gave them a shot I was pleasantly surprised at how much of my time is devoted to them now. Not to mention all of the above are cheap and close by.
An adventure doesn’t have to be far away, nor does it have to be expensive. You just need some creativity and friends to get involved, and work around your schedule to give it the time it deserves. Because let’s be real, sitting at your desk waiting on the weekend just so you can burn it away with Netflix and Facebook does not sound as awesome as a surf day with friends and glow stick dancing at night.
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