My adventure is called Slow Trip to Nepal, but it might be better named Very Slowly towards a Slow Trip to Nepal. I will have been planning and preparing for three and a half years before I actually get going. Three and a half years of the Doorstep Mile.
For people in the same position as me – independent, working full time and more, in what seems like an ‘important job’ you love with a salary to match – the idea of stepping away or even building more adventure into your life can seem an impossible dream.
This is where you may need inspiration and supportive, but firm advice from Alastair Humphreys. The inspiration comes from his many books about adventures big and small and advice is provided through his Living Adventurously newsletters and The Doorstep Mile book. Alastair is not going to accept any ‘yes, buts’ if you try and tell him all the reasons why you can’t live more adventurously.
Look at www.alastairhumphreys.com for more information and useful tools, like these spider grams I created last year setting out HOW I could live more adventurously and WHAT I would do to live more adventurously. VERY useful..
If you reach out to others for inspiration and give yourself time to reflect you might reach the conclusion that yes, something in my life has to change. You can then start to work out what will be different, how you could have many small adventures or a big one (hopefully both), and how it could be possible not work for a while without certain destitution.
I can see that the things that were difficult for me are apparent barriers for so many people in my position. Namely, identity, status and money.
It’s taken me a long time to feel secure in an identity that isn’t primarily influenced by my work, but it’s been an absolute game-changer getting to that point. Liberation!
It’s taken me even longer to get the same pleasure from saving money as from spending it and to be completely in control of my finances. ‘Kate’s monthly expenditure’ spreadsheet detailing how I’m spending and saving gives me so much pleasure!
In comparison, it’s been quite straightforward and enjoyable to prove to myself that I’m physically and mentally competent enough for a year of travelling. I just keep putting the rucksack on and trundle off, learning something new each time. Usually around the theme of ‘don’t carry so much stuff if you don’t want your rucksack to be so heavy’!
Society wants us to identify ourselves through our paid-for work so we continue to earn money that we can spend on instant, disposable and short-term items and activity to keep our fragile economies afloat. It doesn’t want us to earn less, become frugal, save and basically stop buying things. Which is why we can feel bombarded with inviting opportunities to buy things. Even attempts at sustainability and being friendly to the environment seems to involve buying things we don’t really need.
So it’s taken a long time to be ready to move on and that’s with all the help, advice, inspiration and encouragement that has been generously given when I’ve looked for it. People have come into my life just when I needed them. I know I’ll need a lot more of this to actually get me through the Doorstep Mile, but none of this is rocket science, an impossibility or unique to me.
The point I’m trying to make is that if I can do this anyone can. The likelihood is, like me, you’ll have to work hard at becoming a person who changes their life and if you are turning away from what society tells us is ‘success’, i.e. the pursuit of a better job, more money, more things, some people around you will be confused and either think you’re having a mid-life crisis or being highly irresponsible. Hopefully, most people will be secretly jealous, get inspired and start to work out how they can live more adventurously.
A blow by blow account of my Doorstep Mile in a future post!