Dream Big Think small

The only limit is your imagination

Have you ever had that thought, “Oh I would love to try that but…?” I know I do a lot. Mostly that’s it, just a thought, but occasionally things fall in to place and I can find myself in the middle of a much bigger adventure.

My social media feeds generally include expedition agencies and organisations offering trips to far off destinations and “once in a lifetime” experiences. Often, I share these in case there are people out there who are genuinely interested, or by some magic act I may win something by sharing a post or tweet. So far, the only thing that I got was a free pair of socks!

But simply by following through on one post, an opportunity was offered that was actually possible for me to take up. Eventually after much stalling and wondering if any of this was feasible, I put wheels in motion for a longer much bigger adventure.

Focus on what you need to do to make it happen

As is the case with these things I immediately began to think of the reasons I couldn’t do this- it was too far (not really I could be there in a few hours), I couldn’t afford it (but looking at what I managed to save I could), ooh now the butterflies where starting to flutter (I don’t have the right experience), well I have more than most of the people that had already signed up.

Hang on I could actually do this!

Somebody somewhere said something about “daring to dream”, well they were right. The most exciting part of a dream is making it a reality, what needs to happen to make it a reality, what can you do to make sure it happens. The answers are often lots of very little things. When I realised that I had the means to make this trip a reality, the very first thing I did was to put a deposit down straight away, before I had time to think about why I couldn’t go. Next, I considered what level of training I needed to do to make sure I would be comfortable when I was on the mountain. Again, there was nothing major I had to change just bring a bit more focus to what I was already doing. Finally, I had to be realistic about kit, I couldn’t tackle this one on “make do and mend” boots, or a coat that was just about warm enough on a summer’s day.

Don’t buy, what you don’t need!

Taking a deep breath, I started to look around the stores and work out what sort of boot I might need to take with me. I went round the usual stores, selling top of the range branded “must haves” then came across Regatta. Now I always thought Regatta were clothing people, great for exploring around the corner because they were always relatively cheap and provided decent quality stuff, but I went in a tried my luck. Having talked through what I was doing with the friendly and to be honest very experienced store assistant, and after looking at the range of expensive 4 season alpine style footwear, discovered their own brand boot would be more than enough to see me through the trip. Well it was and it did, so much so I’m still using them today without any problem. The only difference is that these were roughly £100 cheaper than anything else I’d seen.

Don’t be swayed by what other people tell you. If your willing to test things out and not be to concerned if they fail occasionally, you can find a whole new wardrobe of outdoor wear at a budget to suit your means.

Are you looking to make a change to what you do, are you feeling that some things are way beyond what you could achieve? Dream big, find something impossible but with a little bit of saving and more effort entirely achievable. Find a way around the obstacles and barriers and push the envelope of what you think you can achieve, by making the small changes that will enable you to achieve the bigger goals.

Dream, Think, Act, Do – Live life before it passes

Adventure is all things to all people, you don’t need to climb alpine peaks or cross barren plains. Exploring a bit further, pushing the envelope of comfort just that little bit more, can be achievable, affordable and simple. Climb a hill that’s slightly higher than the last one you did, go for a walk slightly further than you did last time. We all get a short amount of time to live our life, and no one will remember the time spent doing a routine or working in the office.

  • What’s the biggest trip you can imagine doing that’s realistic and achievable?
  • What are the obstacles you need to overcome to achieve this?

It doesn’t matter how long it takes, or what you need to do to get there. Stay focused on the end goal and keep chipping away to reach it. When you do it will be a life long memory you can look back on with pride.

It can be daunting, I know this, I’ve been there myself several times. So, let me watch and share as your journey unfolds. Keep me in touch with the progress, ask me anything (shout and swear if it gets too much sometimes), use me to help you achieve whatever it is you’ve set yourself. I would love to hear from you. Join the explore around the corner community forum, and hear what everyone else is doing, or if thats not for you contact me directly by social media or email.

Fear of the unknown is the biggest fear of all

In amongst the various concerns of everyday life, money, time, family commitments, and all the other distractions that call on you, you may be feeling like you know you want to do something but you’re not quite sure what it is. It’s not easy to take a chance or even worse a risk when you’re not sure how it will all turn out. However, only by doing this can we really discover where our curiosity can take us, and what experiences we can encounter.

The smallest step is very often the hardest to take. But sum up the courage, make the move and live the life you dream of. It will leave you feeling that anything is possible if only we dream big enough.

I love adventure. I love reading about it, I love watching it. I love my own fuss free adventures. I dream of far away trips and wonder how I could get to places like them.

There is a problem here (well more than one). These are places other people go to. Those whose numbers came up on the lottery, or celebrities who want to challenge themselves (usually on TV). These places are not for the likes of me. But determination and ambition can be a strong tool for realising a goal.

So, what stops me turning a local adventure into something a little bit bigger? Honestly? – Fear of failure. What if I didn’t make it how disappointing would that be? Truth is I would never really know anything unless I at least gave it a try, so I didn’t really have anything to lose.

Look outside your window, where does your road lead – is it just to the end of the street, or somewhere much more exciting. Unless you walk there, you’ll never know.

Someone once said “Adventurers are not special people. They are just ordinary people who have chosen to do extra-ordinary things.”

Everyone has to start somewhere, and small changes to what you do can make a huge difference. If you dream of a trip to some far-off land, you may decide it’s too big, too difficult and just too much hassle. That’s right but then you’ll never know just how much hassle it is. Start by doing something smaller, something that makes you feel alive, and is a small step to a bigger goal.

Take for example, my Moroccan adventure. In the cold light of day what I was about to embark on was crazy. I was going to fly to Africa, meet a group of people I never seen before, climb at altitude and leave myself at the mercy of people who were leading us in to the unknown. Which bit of that makes any sort of sense?

As it turned out it was a truly amazing experience. I hit issues along the way not least, when we started out on the 2nd day and I felt the effects of the altitude hit me. My very first thought was, oh no! after all the months of training and work this is it. But I did the only thing I could do, put my head down and got on with it. I noticed there were people around me suffering more, so perversely this gave me some hope.

Grab an opportunity – Then do it before you decide you can’t

I could have said that’s it, turned around and wasted the entire trip. But I set my sights on the next rock, and then the next slope, and eventually it wore off and I was able to enjoy the surroundings as we continued to the summit.

Right at the beginning I could have said this will wipe out all the money I’ve saved. But then what’s the point of keeping money in a box if you’re not going to let yourself use it.

I could have said what if I don’t like the food. I would never know unless I made it over there to try it.

I could have said what if I don’t get on with anyone. Unless I went there and found out what it was like I wouldn’t have known that I could quite easily spend the day by myself if I felt like it.

There where lots of unknowns that I got caught up with, but the biggest risk of all is doing nothing and letting the opportunity pass by.

When you undertake something like this of course there will be lots of things to work out, consider the risks, of course. Make sensible contingency plans, of course. But, by and large, just get on with things, and only fret about problems when they actually arise.

One of the most effective tools we all have is momentum – the struggle to get yourself going is hard, but once you’ve made the leap it gets easier and more exciting along the way.

Clearly the first step in any adventure is the most important. But unless you take it, nothing will change. If you’re anything like me you will immediately focus on all the reasons not to do anything, don’t focus on the things that may (or may not) happen, don’t worry about how long something will take, just make the leap.

Have big dreams, or at least ideas. Decide what steps you need to take to get there and go!

Some great tips from a supporter of local fuss free adventures;

  • Setting an outrageous goal is a great start point. You are capable of more than you realise.
  • Just do it. The very first step is the hardest of all. Beginning is the only hard thing.
  • Refuse to quit, but accept that you might fail. Don’t fear regret, fear not giving it your all.
  • A bad day is a good day. Embrace the bad times, grin in their face, and know that these are what makes success all the sweeter in the end.
  • What do you really want? Time is ticking, life is what happens while you’re making other plans.
  • Healthy mind in a healthy body. Whatever you’re aspiring to do in life, you’ll do it better if you carve out a little time to make yourself fitter and healthier.
  • The world is a good place.

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