“Imagine there is a bank account that credits your account each morning with $86,400. It carries over no balance from day to day. Every evening the bank deletes whatever part of the balance you failed to used during the day. What would you do? Draw out every cent, of course?
Each of us has such a bank, it’s name is time.
Every morning, it credits you 86,400 seconds. Every night it writes off at a lost, whatever of this you failed to invest to a good purpose. It carries over no balance. It allows no overdraft. Each day it opens a new account for you. Each night it burns the remains of the day. If you fail to use the day’s deposits, the loss is yours. There is no drawing against “tomorrow”. You must live in the present on today’s deposits. Invest it so as to get from it the utmost in health, happiness, and success.
The clock is running. Make the most of today.”
Marc Levy, If Only It Were True
I have previously written about my need for balance in life. Too much of anything is bad. If I sit on my arse all day, staring at a computer screen in the office I will become tired, jaded and fed up. Equally, if I spent 3 months living out of a rucksack and wild camping every night I will also become tired, jaded and fed up.
It is much easier to fall into a trap of the first example – the sitting on your arse and not doing anything fun and exciting. Finding time for adventures can be tough. Life can get in the way. For many people, time is taken up doing things they don’t really want to do.
I often sit and read through social media feeds that appear to show people spending all of their time on adventures and doing cool and interesting stuff. There may be a very small minority that actually do this, but most adventure types have boring and normal stuff to do as well. The difference between them and the rest of the suckers who are sat at home watching reality TV is that the adventure types work hard to fit the adventures into the white space. To prioritise and plan.
The last 12 months of finding time for adventures
In the last 12 months, I have spent a total of about 12 weeks away on adventures. This includes some weekends but doesn’t include a week away on holiday with the wife to Croatia. Some of the adventures I have written about on this blog:
- 1 week in Ethiopia trekking
- 1 week cycling and busking through the North of England and Northern Ireland
- 2 weeks skiing in the Alps
- 3 weeks in the Himalayan Mountains
- 10 days walking 220 miles through England
- A weekend at a stag do in the Brecon Beacons
- A couple of weekends wild camping with my dog Cleo
I’m pretty lucky that I’ve been able to spend about 5 of these weeks away as a member of organised expeditions with work. However, that leaves 7 of these weeks spent away during my own time – either on weekends or during my holiday entitlement. Again, I am lucky to have a generous holiday entitlement of 38 days (works out to just over 7 weeks as only Mon-Fri counts). This gives me space and time to be able to plan adventures but rarely for more than a week or so at a time.
The planning in advance is key. If you know when your time off is, protect this and let your intentions be known to your friends and family. This will give you time to research and save up some money for the adventure (or you could spend no money, like my busking adventure in Northern Ireland).
Talk to your friends and family
I’m also lucky to have an understanding wife that supports my desire to go away on adventures. She understands that it makes me happy and I usually come home in a good mood. She also gets some peace and quiet which is also a bonus.
If you have a partner, try planning a joint adventure. Even if it’s just for a night. My wife does not share my love for sleeping in farmers fields and washing in ice-cold rivers but she has come on a one night adventure with me this year. For her, this was a big deal.
Make it fun. Have a campfire (or in my case fail to light one and forever face the humiliation and shame of being a terrible fire-starter). Bring some nice food and even a bottle of wine. Just remember to take all your rubbish with you and leave no trace.
Make the most of your weekends
Weekends are a precious piece of time that I protect as much as I can. Don’t waste your time off doing boring and useless things such as sitting in front of the TV on a Sunday, nursing a hangover. You will regret the time you have wasted. I’ve been there and done it. I regret it and aim to make up for these lost hangover days.
Instead of spending the weekend getting drunk in the same old pub with the same old people, get out and have a weekend of adventure. Go and find the highest point within an hour of where you live and walk to the top. Make your way to the coast and have a wild camp on the beach (make sure you check the tide times). Get a group of your friends together and learn to stand up paddle board. The list is endless. Don’t waste your life going to a non-descript Weatherspoons and drinking overpriced flat lager every weekend. Don’t get me wrong. Every once in a while is fine but like I said at the beginning, too much of anything is bad.
“Our time is running out”
Time is our only finite commodity. If you have read up to this point you are now a couple of minutes closer to the end than when you were when you started reading. This thought is eye opening. There are plenty of calculators on the internet that will predict how many seconds you have left to live. Make the most of this coming weekend. And the next one. Find the time for the things you love. For me, that is to head out on adventures and spend time with friends and family.
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