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All great adventures start with a simple thought - a desire to explore or extend oneself beyond the confines of society. From Shackleton's Antarctic exploits to Jessica Watson’s circumnavigation, neither of these expeditions would have been possible without a simple dream. But how do early dreams morph into full-fledged ordeals? The answer is blatantly simple… Planning, planning, planning.
Behind every great adventure is months - often years - of meticulous planning, as teams are assembled, logistics calculated and skills acquired. If you can master the fine art of planning prior to your next adventure, you’ll have the upper hand when entering a foreign environment. Often times planning an adventure may seem overwhelming, but we’ve broken it down into four basic steps.
This is by far the funnest stage, as you essentially have a blank canvas waiting to be filled. Take the time to assess what exactly you would like your next adventure to be. Is it going to be a grand expedition or simply a short weekend trip? Find the source of your motivation and build from that experience.
Don’t let variables restrict your plan, as these will be discussed in later stages - simply get creative. Brainstorming can be very effective in this stage as it allows you to have everything in one, easy to view location. This is also the stage in which you are most likely to receive criticism or doubt, so be prepared to stand strong.
Once you have the dream, now it’s time to refine. The whole goal of refining is to define the motives and logistics of your adventure - taking a realist approach. This stage is not designed to strip your entire plan to pieces, but rather set you up for success.
Document the specifics of your adventure, outline the location, objective and timing. Another aspect to consider is skills you will need to acquire or build before the trip. You will find your plan evolves from a vague sketch into a clear-cut image through this process.
Once you feel you have narrowed your focus and outlined the specifics of your adventure, it's time to prepare. Preparation could possibly be the largest stage, as most adventures require funds, skills development and equipment. It's essential you have a clear understanding of the length and location of your trip prior to this stage, so you can account for all possible factors.
If your deadline is near and you (or your team) don’t feel 100% ready, simply extend the date to prioritise preparation. All adventures are set up for a ‘win’ in this critical stage - so take the time to consider the logistics of your adventure!
Whether it's been a few days or a couple of months, you’ve been waiting for this! You’ve planned and prepared your next adventure and now you're about to step into it. Remember ‘final checks’ are essential and never be afraid to uplink with experts. Now get out there!
And just like that you have taken a mere thought and transformed it into a living, breathing plan. These steps are scalable, so you can apply them no matter the size or difficulty of your adventure. Planning is the backbone of every expedition; allowing you to minimise risk and variables as you enter a grand adventure.