I love reading blogs, books, and articles about other people’s adventures in travel and the outdoors. So often in those readings I come across people stating that planning the adventure out and putting together all the pieces is a big portion of what makes the adventure so exciting for them.
I used to believe this to be true for myself. I believed it so much that when I wasn’t able to put in the time or energy to plan out an adventure, I wouldn’t even dare to go on it in the first place. I felt that I needed to have all the pieces together. But so often I found that I suddenly lacked the motivation for the details. I have learned that in order for me to take on any trip, I need to take the excitement of the moment and make the major reservations that will not allow me to back out. I need to invest into it financially and commit to it. And I need to act within a couple of days after an idea strikes me. If I let it sit for too long, I might change my mind and develop an extensive list of reasons, why it maybe would not be a good idea for me to undertake at this moment in time. And I have to confess, I am quite convincing in talking myself out of things.
I have been quite irritated with myself over this ability to sabotage my adventurous spirit. In my professional life, I have been pretty successful over the years to plan all kinds of adventures and trips and have had no problem in thinking through, visualizing and implementing them to the smallest details. Sure, there are moments of self-doubt, but over the years of planning I have found calmness in the knowledge that I will always pull it off in the end and that being able to visualize the events, makes me hardly ever forget anything.
Yet for the longest time, this has not deterred me from having great excitement over a potential personal adventure, only to lose the momentum of it and have it slowly creep out of sight.
Recently I started to realize that it isn’t planning the details that is stopping me from pursuing it, but that my worried mind has latched on to the planning portion as a sort of last resort to ensure that I don’t embark on anything that it isn’t willing to handle. Enforcing the rule that I have to be so enthusiastic about the trip that I would want to spend hours upon hours of planning it, and then taking away the motivation to do so, allowed my fearful mind to plant the seed that I must not be ready to embark on the adventure. And for a while there it totally got me. I did exactly what it had set out for me to do. I stay put and either pushed the idea off to another time or gave up on it altogether.
I wasn’t always this way. I used to be the teenager that would follow her spontanous instincts. I would come up with an idea, figure out how to make the basics happen and then go for it. Whatever wasn’t done prior to the undertaking, I would just figure out along the way. My parents were often horrified, but never tried to stop me. There were many times, I was horrified as well, but I just never gave myself the option to turn around.
I feel like after a long hiatus, in which I have let my fear get the best of me, I am ready to embrace the bolder side of myself again. I trust in the knowledge that I am not a reckless person, What I consider a “lack of planning” might be a fully planned event for someone else. I am realizing that I don’t need perfection to have enough. This is not only true to planning trips, but also for planning the journey of my life.
Waiting for perfection to accomplish anything is just fears way of holding us back from the unknown. Most of us have enough life skills to make it through and improvise the portions that we didn’t get to plan out.
And so here I am on my first solo night camping on the way to a transformational workshop.
Cheers to the adventurous spirit!