The Surprisingly Simple 12-Step Full-Time Adventure Travel Cycle

Tressa Sanders @ Travel Star Magazine

Picture it… You’re sitting at your ugly old desk at work wishing you’d called in sick. You’d wracked your brain before you got out of bed this morning trying to figure out a way to take yet another day off without getting fired. You’re out of vacation days. You’re out of holidays; even those floating bastards. You have no more sick leave but you are surely sick of going to work.

You want out.

You want freedom.

You want to see the world whenever you want.

You don't want to travel just to lay by the pool with your feet kicked up (ok, you can totally still do this) but what you really want is to go on hikes, climb things, ride the waves, float rivers, experience unique cultures, eat new food you’d never try in a million years at home, experience the beauty of nature on your own terms and at your own pace…

You want to travel.

You want adventure.

And you want both for more than 4 months out of the year. That, my friends, is full-time adventure travel!

Does full-time adventure travel really mean non-stop travel?

No, silly? Does a full-time job really mean you’ll be working non-stop? … I take that back. A full-time job has become that these days. However, this is not what full-time adventure travel is about. It’s more about finding a balance between traveling, exploring and resting. It’s also about being able to do it whenever you like, being able to take extensive trips and being able to fund it by independent means that won’t result in you being fired for spending 8 months in an Amazonian jungle eating fried green tomatoes you had muled in from Borneo.

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So, what does the Full-Time Adventure Travel Cycle really look like?

Full-time adventure travel doesn’t have to be complicated and it definitely doesn’t include non-stop traveling which will surely cause travel burnout. Below are 12 simple steps to make adventure travel your new lifestyle for years to come.

STEP 1: Brainstorm Adventure Ideas

Come up with a list of adventures you can do outside of your city or ideally outside of your country. Be sure to accept “idea donations” from family, friends and hey, maybe even some nutty strangers. 

STEP 2: Select Your Adventure(s)

Go over your list and decide which ones would be ideal for your budget and fitness level. Don’t linger here too long. Pick the one you are most excited about. You can always work your way down the list and complete them all in cycles so go for it!

STEP 3: Research Your Idea

With your adventure chosen, get your research on! Find out exactly what you need to make it happen. Be sure to make a list of notes, contacts, dates, times, bookings, events, etc. that you will need. Bounce Plan is the perfect tool for helping you do this.

STEP 4: Develop Your Budget

Come up with a realistic budget for your adventure. Don’t leave out essentials or go overboard. It is important that you carry all health and hygiene (I will glare at you from afar if you leave this out) essentials and anything you might need to be safe in most weather conditions. 

STEP 5: Build Your Team

Sure, you can trek the world alone but it’s nice to share the experience. Not everyone uses a team for adventures but if you do, put together a team you can trust with your life! You need people who can think on their feet in a crisis and not turn into “Game over man! Game over!” (If you don’t know what movie this is from, again, I’m glaring at you from afar). 

STEP 6: Prep Your Shit (or “Stuff” if you like milder, gentler speak)

Gather all paperwork, identification, first-aid kit, survival gear, emergency stuffs and all essentials for your trip. Usually, this means getting everything you need for a visa. You did research visa requirements in Step 3 didn’t you? Do I need to glare? This step involves using your Bounce Plan to make a list of things you need to do, what you need to pack, who you need to contact,etc. 

STEP 7: Pack Your Shit (or “Stuff” if you like rainbows and ponies)

It’s on! You have your list of things to take, now get it packed. Be careful! Pack light but be sure to pack survival essentials. Make sure you can carry your load (even if you’re not hiking, etc.) You must always take care of yourself and your body. If you were neglecting yourself when you were on the daily grind before, this new lifestyle doesn’t allow it. Don’t burden your body with “stuff” you don’t need.

STEP 8: Do The Damn Thing

Rock it! Or Rocket! Either one gets it done. Get out there and have your adventure! Live in the moment and don’t feel you have to take photos and video of every second of your fun. Save some for your organic memory bank; your brain. 

STEP 9: Rest & Recovery

Pamper your body with rest and relaxation after your big adventure (yes, even you tough ass menfolk). Take care of it so you can do it all again. Travel should not be continuous. There is a very important need for down time.

STEP 10: Process Memorabilia

Once you’ve completed the rest and recovery step, process photos, video and journal entries, etc. Do something noble with the thousands of photos you took and the hours of video you captured. Inspire others!

STEP 11: Rest & Refresh

You need another round of rest. Sleep well. Eat more. Love a lot. Refresh yourself for your next journey.

STEP 12: Rinse & Repeat

Life is meant to be lived. Let’s do it all again. Welcome to your new full-time, adventure travel lifestyle!

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Making Adjustments:

Make sure you take your fitness level and financial health into consideration during your full-time adventure travel cycle. These are not “Go big or go home” tips. Do what is best for you even if your adventure is small scale. It will be just as rewarding as the bigger ones!

That’s it! Of course you can adjust the cycle as desired for your own needs. However, these are the basic steps you can take to live a life of full-time adventure travel. It’s all about balance. You can do one big trip or several mini trips with rests in-between. It’s up to you. 

Now, go out there and do something memorable!

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