Coming up next weekend I will have just this opportunity. My wife and daughter are headed to Washington state to visit friends and I have the whole week to myself. So my plan is simple, as soon as the whistle blows on Friday I am out the door on my motorcycle to a destination unknown - a weekend of discovery and adventure, however at this point the question arises - where will I go? What will I do... what do I hope to find?
In my opinion there the two best parts of and adventure are divided in two parts: The adventure its self and all the work that goes into planning it! The following information is part of what I use to plan my trips and is based off of what I learned about planning while in the military.
HOW TO PLAN FOR AN ADVENTURE - GULLIBLE STYLE
1. FIND YOUR DESIRE (OBJECTIVE) - THEN WRITE IT DOWN!
Make a list of your greatest desires in life - This can be a simple list or a long list, but the purpose is to find purpose for your adventure. It needs to be something with meaning to you so that you can wrap your desires in the satisfaction of accomplishment. Once you have made your list of desires, try to pick a few of them off you list that you think could be fulfilled via your travels. The driving force behind any good adventure is the satisfactory fulfillment of dreams and passions!
Examples: Face jump from a building or bridge, eat at the Eiffel tower, fall in love in Rome, discover ancient ruins, learn guitar from a Spaniard.
2. STUDY, STUDY, STUDY
Find destinations, activities and meaningfully unique or historicaly significant places that you can add to your destination list. The areas of study should have basis in allowing you to understand and complete your desires in a way that gives meaning and purpose to your adventurous soul.
3. MAKE A BUDGET
Although there are some people with unlimited funds for adventure, many of us have to limit our selves due to the constraints of the pocketbook or the reality of our lives. Set a budget for your adventure so that you can set realistic goals and expectations.
4. DEVELOP AN ITINERARY
In the beginning you simply need a map with destinations and way-points, but at some point you need to develop a realistic timeline to go along with your adventure. A timeline combined with destinations and goals is absolutely necessary for the successful implementation of an adventure. Although during your trip this time line is bound to change, be cut in half or all together dismissed its good to have a solid well though out plan based on where you plan to go an what you want to accomplish.Based on your studies you will know when and where to go for your adventures.
5. DECISIONS AND ARRANGEMENTS
There is a lot to be considered depending on how you want to fulfill your desires, you might choose to travel by Plane, Train or automobile but anyway you go you have to make a judgement call about how you will do it and why you chose to travel that way. Often I travel by motorcycle when I could go by car, but the adventure is totally different each way I do it. Part of what makes this part of the process fun is finding deals or researching the places you will stay. The one suggestion I have for this portion of your planning is to leave things open enough that a reservation can be canceled, or a flight missed without major financial loss. Often while adventuring I find that my plans change and its nice to be able to abort a specific moment of the trip to accomplish a new or changed plan. DON'T BE HELD CAPTIVE BY YOUR RESERVATIONS.
6. MAKE A PACKING LIST
This is one of my favorite steps simply because I love gear and equipment. Depending on your adventure you may need to bring roller skates or ice climbing spikes, but no matter what you do - you have to plan your equipment needs wisely. Properly planning a packing list includes being aware of what you can travel with, what you can get at your destination and understanding the real needs of your adventure. Many times I have made the mistake of over-packing and other times under-packing, but more often than not when I make and follow through with a packing list I travel with a well balanced pack and have what I need. I often find it necessary to contact someone who has been on a similar trip before to ask them what they wish they had taken and what they wish they had left behind. If you know a pro in your adventure genre its probably a good idea to take them out to dinner and ask them all about their trip and what they liked the most about it, its often very exciting to hear other peoples stories knowing you will soon be traveling on your own towards an adventure.