I Can't Adventure Because...
I Hate the Unknown
A lot of things can happen when you're adventuring that you don't plan on. For example, during our trip to India we found ourselves in Delhi at midnight with no place to stay - our hotel was rendered completely inaccessible by a police barricade and everyone else we called was full due to a festival. Stuff like that sucks, but there are a few things you can do ahead of time to reduce your stress level when something unpredictable happens. I think one of the most helpful things is to think through your biggest fears related to whatever adventure you're contemplating, in order to brainstorm ideas of what you'll do if your worst case scenario does come true. For example, if you want to travel internationally but you're terrified that you'll miss a flight that will lead to you missing the rest of your international connections, call your credit card company before you go so they know where you're going so you'll have access to your money immediately to sort things out should you get stranded. Getting sick is a common concern that prevents people from adventuring overseas. If that's holding you back, why not visit a travel clinic and ask an expert all those questions that are concerning you. Can't do that? Make sure your immunizations are up to date and check to see if the places you're traveling to require or recommend extra immunizations like yellow fever. If you're really worried, research your travel route to see if you'll have access to decent hospitals along the way and look into getting travel insurance that will cover medical expenses should you become ill or injured (we like World Nomads). For outdoorsy adventures we're all about considering worst case weather and injury scenarios, which helps us figure out what to pack. For other adventures like road trips or trying new activities, we think about whether we can afford it if it ends up being more expensive then we thought. We could go through more stuff, but you get it. Pre-adventure thinking and planning can really help make those unknowns less scary when they happen, and when they do happen, it doesn't mean your adventure is ruined, just that your stories will be more interesting. Stay calm and accept help from strangers. Its amazing how often people are willing to help you in a bind. After the earthquake in Nepal we were stuck in Pokhara for a number of days. When it didn't look like we'd ever make it to Kathmandu, a baggage worker in the airport pulled strings to get us on a flight without us even asking! Ready to start embracing the unknown? Start out with some adventures where the unknowns are fairly inconsequential. If you deviate from that same pizza you order every Sunday and try something new and it's disgusting, will your life be ruined? If you say yes... please don't say yes. Starting out small can help you get used to dealing with unknowns so that when you take that backpacking trip and get unexpectedly snowed in you'll be cool as a cucumber. Probably quite literally.
Adventure Can Be Dangerous. And What About My Family?
Adventure can be dangerous, but so can getting on the freeway to go to work. Just don't be an idiot and throw safety precautions to the wind when adventuring. Like don't plan a leisure trip to a country where visitors keep ending up kidnapped, or decide to try free styling it your first time rock climbing. Using your head and doing research before you travel or try new activities will go a long way in making sure you're still around for your family. But what if you are being smart about things, but your family is still too worried to let you get out and start adventuring. There are a couple of possible answers to this dilemma. First, communicate with your family during your adventure if at all possible. Is leaving your family for three months while you drive through Africa a scary prospect for all involved? Absolutely. But the fact that we live in the age of technology where you can jump on Skype in a million little internet cafes and reassure your mother that you have not been kidnapped by carjackers in South Africa makes all the difference. Second, brief them on your plan. It's just a straight up smart thing to do in the first place for your own safety, and it can help to ease their fears unless you really are doing something super sketchy (if that's the case then go back to point one, which is don't be an idiot). Let your family know the basic plan of where you are going to be, the kinds of activities you might be doing, and when you'll be leaving and returning. Third, give them a lot of details on whatever safety measures you've taken for your adventure, like letting them know you've registered with the State Department's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program before you head to Nepal, or that you've packed grizzly spray and extra food incase things go south during your Glacier backpacking trip.
I Don't Have Enough Money
You don't have to have a lot of money to adventure, you may just have to change your idea of what constitutes adventure. It doesn't take a lot of money to hike all the trails in your area, teach yourself to bake, or go camping. If you want to do stuff that does take a bit more money, like getting into backpacking (very affordable once you have all the gear though) or taking an international trip, consider having someone savvy help you sort out your finances, and do your research on how to do whatever it is cheaper. For example, when we travel internationally we wait until we find killer deals on flights and always fly economy class. In country we limit eating out, often stay in hostels, and avoid activities that cost money. Do some research and you'll find loads of great advice about how to save money so you can adventure (Nomad Matt is a good place to start). And if you want to message us we'd be happy to share our personal tips with you, like how we only heat a small part of our house in the winter, don't use cable TV, only buy used cars and so forth. The ability to save money often comes down to priorities.
I Have a Medical Disability
This can definitely limit what kinds of adventures you're able to tackle, but then again, maybe not as much as you think! There are folks out there that have proved you can travel the world in a wheelchair, go on The Amazing Race although you're deaf (or only have one arm - who else thought Bethany Hamilton was downright incredible?), take up white water kayaking as a paraplegic, and so many other things. There are some seriously inspiring people out there! Though obviously not near as big an issue as what a lot of you face, I (Betsy) have a genetic hip deformity that until a few months ago when I had a total hip replacement caused me nearly constant pain, especially when walking. Despite that, by knowing my limits, taking it slow, and modifying our adventures, we have been able to travel the world and engage in a wide variety of outdoor activities. So don't give up on adventure yet. Find support (like Adaptive Adventures, a company that specializes in helping people with physical disabilities engage in outdoor activities) and get creative. It may surprised you what you're capable of.
There's obviously many more reasons why you may not think you can go on adventures, but it's impossible to think up all the possibilities. If your reason isn't listed here and you really want to know what we think about it, send us a message!