The Adventure Possible approach to life builds adventure into life’s trajectory, borrowing five years from retirement to give professionals a structure to make adventure possible over the course of a successful career. While we’ve made this life for ourselves, we’re breaking it down to share with others.
In summary, the life looks like this:
In our model, beginning with age 25 as the first year of income producing work, we structure five distinct opportunities for adventure.
We work hard for about seven years, and then we take a year off from work for adventure.
What’s your adventure?
Depending on your interests, capabilities, and situation, the adventure that you choose will be unique and suited for your life and circumstances at a given time.
When we were in our early 30s with two small children, we opted to spend our year of adventure RVing around America, an adventure better suited for a family of four with two toddlers than, say, thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT).
The RV adventure provides a greater level of comfortable living standards, easier access to medical services when needed, and varied entertainment activities for children, all of which would help us have a successful and mostly joyful adventure. Attempting to thru-hike the PCT while carrying all of our gear and two children on our backs would be horrible.
Fast forward about twenty years to when I’m fifty years old. Our kids will be off to college or working on their own, and our adventure at that time will need to suit our circumstances, physical fitness, interests, and mentality at that time, whatever they may be.
The point is that the adventure can be whatever you want it to be, but make sure that the adventure is suitable to both your interests and your situation at the time of the adventure.
Since your interests and situation will change over five to seven years, making an adventure suitable means being flexible in your concept of the ideal adventure.
Be willing to adapt your concept of the ideal adventure
While you’re working, saving, and investing over several years for the next year of adventure, you’ll need to focus on the adventure that gets you excited and keeps you motivated. Focus on an adventure that keeps you awake in your bed at night or constantly researching on your phone, motivating you to work, plan, save, and invest to make it hapen.
However, don’t become uncompromisingly fixed to the adventure idea you have.
Over years of working and living, your interests and situation will change. As a result, your concept of the ideal adventure will need to evolve as well.
Perhaps your adventure changes entirely or only evolves a bit to suit a different circumstance, such as budget constraint, children, or political unrest in some foreign land where you wanted to travel.
For years, we had planned to to travel Europe with our kids, exploring the countries by car, bike, and paddle. But the coronavirus pandemic starting in 2020 and the Russian invasion in 2022 disrupted our ability to cross in and out of countries throughout Europe and Northern Africa, and so we pivoted to South America, opting to move for a year to Chile to explore places like Patagonia and Antartica, limited our cross border travel and avoiding eastern Europe unrest.
For now, to get things started, pick for yourself the adventure most dear to your heart and strive to make it happen.
Use your passion for the adventure to power you through the highs and lows of professional and financial challenges that lay ahead, but be ready to adapt and reshape the concept to make it more enjoyable or feasible.
Need ideas for your adventure?
The adventure opportunities are limitless, which sometimes makes it hard to discover and decide on the right adventure. Here are a few adventures that we’ve had to get your ideas flowing.
Bike Across America – A great adventure for younger and older adventurers that can be as fast or slow as you want. Go alone or join a group.
Hike The Appalachian Trail – The famed footpath stretching from Maine to Georgia, thru-hiking the AT is about a five month backpacking adventure.
RV Around the Country – Roaming the countryside, hopping among the national parks and landmarks, a wonderful adventure for the whole family.
Want a bite-sized adventure? – We have macro respect for Alastair Humphrey’s microadventure concept, and we want to help people discover the microadventures in their own backyard. From our travels, we’ve catalogued microadventures in our Weekend Adventures section.
So What’s Your Adventure?
It’s likely you already have an idea of the adventure on which you want to embark.
Share your adventure idea in the comments with a link to your adventure travel blog or social account.
Perhaps you’ll inspire others who are considering what their next adventure will be.
What’s Next? Step 2.
With some idea of your adventure, you need to get finances in order so that you can start to make the adventure dream become reality.
Your next step is to Manage Debt Before The Adventure.