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So what is Exploring Around The Corner? Well…pretty much what it says. Pick up any book on adventure and it will have pages of people who have spent months if not years planning every minute detail of a trip that has taken months if not years of training to prepare for. Then we read on to discover that none of it would be possible without the masses of gear (mostly the high-end designer type), and specialist equipment they had to buy.

All of this used to leave me in a cold sweat, looking for the type of adventure I knew I was never very likely to achieve. How was I ever to experience the excitement and exhilaration described by these people if I couldn’t afford the time or the equipment to do it. This was even before I’d thought about getting there and the cost.

These were clearly “outdoorsy” people, and in a different league to anyone else. So, in a huff I take myself off for a wander in my own wilderness to contemplate how I can create my own adventure with what I have.

The first step in creating your own adventure is to forget about what you haven’t got and focus on what you have. With a little bit of forward planning around family commitments, I can make sure I have time to go somewhere and have an adventure.

Ok so where to go. What do I want to achieve (personally I always find it easier if I have a goal or objective)? What do I need to take with me to achieve that?

Most of the time wellies (or stout walking boots) and a waterproof coat will do, obviously depending on where you’re going and what you’re doing.

The next thing I realised is that any kit I felt I really needed but didn’t have could be bought without costing me the fortune that I had read about. Just as long as I didn’t care too much about how it looked or what brand it was, I could shop around and find some decent clothing, which although may not have been the high-end branded stuff did the same job.

Instead of following the crowd to the obvious outdoor shops, I headed for stores like, Regatta – I looked at Sports Direct, Amazon, Wish (if you don’t mind waiting a while). All of which offered the same stuff with a different label and a much cheaper price tag.

So now I had the right kit and an objective for a day of adventure. With just an idea of what I wanted to do and a rucksack full of kit that cost me less than £20, I was good to go.

When I first started out, I found the best way to begin was to start with a small-scale trip that didn’t cost anything and didn’t take up too much time. The trip was to be all about getting out and having fun, not about where I was going or how challenging it was.

I understand adventure is all things to all people, and the hardest part is making the effort to get up and go. Even something as simple as going for a walk in the dark can be just as exciting, as going somewhere new and unexplored.

Random jaunts are often the best form of adventure. Find a local wood or reach the highest point in your area. It doesn’t matter what you do or how you get there, the important thing is to go, try it and enjoy the experience along the way.

The single biggest issue I face, is to stop myself stalling and making excuses about what I haven’t got or can’t do. I get passed this by focussing on what I can do. I spend time finding and fixing a date in the calendar so that I have a whole day to do with what I want. The possibilities are endless. I must try to keep thinking positively about my free time.

The feeling of sitting in a warm bath, after a full day of adventure, doing what I love and successfully achieving a goal, is priceless. Especially when it didn’t cost you much.

Everyone and anyone can lead a nice easy life flitting from one planned event to another, doing the same thing because they know how much effort is involved and what the outcome is. Flicking the TV on means you can stay put and zone out without having to do anything. But will that leave you feeling exhilarated, pumped and with an energy that leaves you looking for more of the same. This is the hardest part of any adventure, be it running a marathon, climbing a mountain, or simply walking around the block of your house. Moving from the nice, normal, easy life to uncertainty and the great unknown is massively hard.

Some trips are obviously much more complicated and justify the effort time and cost involved. If you are intent on making it to Everest base camp or climbing alpine peaks, then that is definitely achievable, but you will need to put in the time and cost to achieve that. For those that are content with staying closer to home or have lives that can’t accommodate more than a few days a month for adventure, why not grab a bag, chuck in what you need and go find adventure unique to you, whether it’s a local hill, the highest point in your area or a stroll around the park. You will more than likely be going on more of these types of trips, and experience more each year than those who choose the more expensive options. Exploring around the corner can be as simple as that.

Where are you going on your adventure? Let me know how you arranged it what you took with you and how it went.

 

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