Is Money an Obstacle to your Adventures?

Money is cited by most people as one of their biggest worries in life and the largest obstacle to adventure. When I hear people saying “I’d love to do a big adventure, if only…” it is usually money that they feel is stopping them.

When people daydream about winning the lottery, they often say “I’d go see the world. I’d have an adventure!” But you won’t win the lottery. That’s not the way the world works, alas! (Especially if you’re not wasting your money on something so stupid and instead are saving it up for your adventure.)

So will you just accept that you won’t get to have that adventure you’ve dreamed of, or that you’ll maybe do it when you are retired (gambling of course that by then you are not dead or decrepit)? You shouldn’t give up like this!

Grand adventures can be much cheaper than you might imagine them to be.

Not only that, it’s also pretty simple (not easy, but simple) to get hold of the money you’ll need for that adventure – without ever buying a lottery ticket.

If I can demonstrate that the biggest hurdle really is quite easily to get over, hopefully it will convince you that any other conundrums that are getting between you and your adventures can be fixed too…

When it first dawned on me, this simple little sum stopped me in my tracks – for its simplicity, and for its implications.

If you put aside £20 a week, within a year you will have saved £1000.

One thousand pounds.
In all it’s glory, a thousand quid…

£20 is not a particularly large amount of money for me and probably is not for many of us who are in the fortunate position in life of even being able to dream of adventures. I spend that much in the pub, on a meal to cook for a few friends, on a couple of new books. £20 is within my financial comfort zone.

And yet at the same time, £1000 does feel like a large amount of money to me. A grand don’t come for free. For much of the world it’s an impossibly vast sum. For some of the world it’s mere loose change. But I imagine that most people who read this blog are, approximately, at a similar financial level to me: £1000 sounds like a lot of money, but it’s more or less achievable if we set our minds to saving that much.

I know from experience that £1000 is enough money to do a truly phenomenal adventure. I once flew to India, walked from one coast of the country to the other, and flew back home for far less than £1000. I have cycled thousands of miles for less than £1000.

If you can’t afford £20 a week in this way, then save £10 instead: you’ll still get there in two years. Just put aside what you can when you can. You should try to never think “I can’t do that”. Instead, think of a way round that difficulty that still fits within your particular circumstances.

More often than not, replacing the words “I can’t do that” with “I choose not to do that” will give you an honest insight into how much you truly want to make something happen.

If I gave you £1000 today to spend on an adventure, what would you go and do? Grab a pen and write a list of ideas. Physically write them, don’t just think it – you’re more likely to make stuff actually happen if it’s down in black and white:

Why don’t you begin saving today?

Thanks Аlastair Humphreys for the advice.

Alastair’s new book, Grand Adventures, answers many questions such as this. It’s designed to help you dream big, plan quick, then go explore. There are also interviews and expertise from around 100 adventurers, plus masses of great photos to get you excited.