So you want to find a bit more time to squeeze in some outdoor adventures into your life. Well, before you read any further then we have to get down to the hard cold facts – you have to actively make time for adventure otherwise it won’t happen.
The fact you’re here is a good start though, because you already know that.
There are loads of roadblocks to getting outdoors more in life – and working full-time is one of them. In fact, it’s a really big roadblock.
Trust me, I know. I work full-time in tech, write freelance for publications AND write and run this blog. I feel like I don’t have time for anything and as a low-energy person, I’m always bloody exhausted.
People always say they don’t know how I do it because I always seem to be doing something epic somewhere. But the fact is I plan, be organised and make the most of my spare time to ensure I get away.
I don’t want work, stress and responsibility to consume my life. I want an active lifestyle packed with outdoor adventures, incredible memories, laughter and fun stories. And you can have that too. Even with a 9-5.
So if you work full-time, are lacking motivation, have too many commitments or just want to be inspired about how to pack more adventure into your life, then here are my tips about how you can make more time for adventure!
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15 Ways to make more time for adventure when you work:
1. Be a weekend warrior
Making the most of your weekends can give you a huge dose of adventure and make you feel as though you were away for much, much longer.
Getting active outdoors pumps you with endorphins and leaves you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. So even if you can’t be bothered, book or plan something, and commit to it. You’ll be glad you did it.
Make the most of Friday nights too – getting away after work always makes the weekend feel so much longer.
Or, if you work weekends, then lucky you – you get the tranquillity of mid-week crowd-free adventures! Make plans for your days off, even if you feel tired. Doing the laundry can wait!
2. Prepare your bags in advance
The above being said, as soon as 5pm on a Friday hits, I’m out of the office and in my van hitting the mountains, campground or coast.
I don’t waste a second of free time because I’ve prepared during the week and can zoom off as soon as I clock off.
Pack your bags and plan your meals during the week and leave everything in the car, so all you need to do is jump in and go.
3. Utilise public holidays
When booking time off or looking for when to find time for your next adventure, don’t underestimate the power of public holidays. Sometimes you can get a couple of weeks off by only taking a few days of annual leave!
Be organised and look at the calendar for the year. Plan how you can make the most of your annual leave, public holidays or even any free time you may have.
4. Prepare to go solo
If you wait around for someone to come on adventures with you, you could be waiting around forever. Fact.
Don’t let anyone stop you. You’ll have so many more adventures if you go alone (or perhaps with your pet!)
I know it’s a hard thing for many, especially for extroverts who need to be around people or for going hiking solo as a female, for example.
But once you do it once, a whole new attitude to life opens up: you realise you are in control of your own happiness and don’t need to rely on anyone else. Plus it can be sociable too!
Check out my solo travel articles or get in touch if you need a bit of a confidence boost to go adventuring solo!
5. Change how you catch up with friends
A big lifestyle change you can make to get outdoors and have more time for adventures is how and where you meet up with friends.
Instead of hitting the pub, going shopping or getting brunch at a cafe, rope your mates into an outdoor activity instead.
Wholesome quality time like walks or outdoor sports are way more memorable than any coffee will ever be, and will save you some cash too.
6. Make the most of early mornings
As a non-morning person who loves my bed, I know this is a hard one. But the feeling of having gone for a walk, swam in the sea, gone for a stand up paddle board or a bike ride before many people have even got out of bed, is very empowering.
It sets you up for the day and makes you feel like you have achieved something. You can fit in a lot in the mornings before you commence your normal routine. You just have to set that alarm!
7. Make the most of evenings
Not only can you have some cool micro-adventures in the mornings, you can have them after work too!
Whether it’s doing something inside like bouldering or skydiving tunnels, or outside like sunset walks or camping, evenings can provide sufficient time to do something fun as well.
As simple as it sounds, even a quick drive into the countryside to cook up a camp dinner and sit by a fire can make you feel as though you’ve had an adventure, even if you don’t camp the night.
8. Vocalise it to hold yourself accountable
This is something I do all the time – if not a little too much! I tell friends, family and colleagues of this epic hike or adventure I have in mind. Granted, I don’t do absolutely everything I say, but certainly most of them.
Talking about ideas out loud helps engrain the idea in your mind and sharing it with others makes you accountable and commit to it. I’m sure a social psychologist could tell you why!
With a little encouragement from those around you, an adventure soon goes from an idea to a concrete plan before you know it.
9. Take a workcation
So you work full-time. How about taking your work somewhere else to mix up your surroundings with a workcation?
Of course not everyone has a job that would allow them to work remotely. Or if you do, bosses may not exactly be warm to the idea, but you never know until you ask.
Although my Australia-based employer prefers people to be in the office to collaborate, they are kind enough to be flexible every now and again and allow me to remote work a few times a year. Right now I’m in Europe working for them. Although I am still working full-time, it means I can make the most of mornings, evenings and weekends in a totally new place.
Check out this super useful list of countries with digital nomad visas, so you can begin researching how to work overseas.
10. Change your work hours
My partner has permanently changed his 9am-5pm working hours to 6am-2pm. That means he now has all afternoon to do his many hobbies – bike riding, bouldering, skiing and more! If you can, then it’s worth considering doing something similar.
Especially if you’re in the UK/Europe and winter can be dark, starting earlier in the morning and getting out of work earlier to make the most of the daylight, can be really beneficial for your mental health.
11. Don’t let bad weather put you off
You know the famous saying – there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing. So wrap up with layers, good waterproof boots and outer layers and head outside, even in the rain.
In the UK, if you wait for good weather to head out adventuring.. Well, you could be waiting a while.
The fresh smell of the forest during or after a rain shower just can’t be beaten.
12. Ditch the scrolling and TV bingeing
The hours we spend as humans every day endlessly scrolling or staring at screens is unbelievable. We become utterly absorbed into another world and time flies without us even realising. Especially when we find a good series on Netflix!
Disconnect and get outside instead, it’s a much better use of your time.
And, if you’re not sure of exactly how much time you’re spending glued to your phone, activate or download a time tracking app for a reality check (and think about all the ways you could have better used that time!)
13. Volunteer for an environmental cause
No matter where you live, there will no doubt be opportunities for volunteering doing something outdoorsy.
Just like vocalising a plan for an adventure, committing to a set day per week or month to volunteer for a local environmental cause can ensure it happens and can inject a bit of feel-good fun into your life. That could be litter picking along footpaths or trails, nature rehabilitation or tree planting.
Or, if you can’t find what you want or at a time you’re free, why not start doing it yourself? Even better, set up a Facebook or Whatsapp group to get other people (strangers or friends) to join you.
14. Move to the countryside
Although adventure can be found anywhere, even cities, the countryside simply offers endless opportunities for outdoor adventures.
If city or town life isn’t doing it for you, or chasing outdoor adventures are just too far away for you to manage, then how about biting the bullet and moving away so you can have more time for them?
In a post COVID world, many people are reprioritising and moving out of highly populated areas for a better quality of live in the countryside. You won’t be alone, there’s likely a whole like-minded community nearby.
15. Make adventure your job!
Hate your job and always dream of getting outdoors? Then perhaps it’s time to make that dream come true – life is too damn short!
It’s easier said than done of course, but it’s never too late to retrain or get a job that allows you to do what you love. Whether that’s tour guiding or gardening, there are loads of jobs that can combine your love of the outdoors with getting paid.
Of course lets not forget that being more adventurous is a mindset too. You have to want to change to make the change.
I hope this list of ideas about how to find more time for adventure when you work has made you realise a more adventurous life is actually possible, even if you don’t think so.
If you feel inspired or if you have any more ideas to add, feel free to let me know in the comments! Happy adventuring!
Going travelling Soon? Don’t forget these essentials!
Flights: compare and search for the cheapest flights using Skyscanner
Accommodation: hotels to hostels, glamping to apartments, I always use Booking.com
Tours: to find the best group tours and activities worldwide (with up to 20% off), use Viator
Visa: don’t forget to check the entry requirements for the passport you are travelling with
Inspiration: to kick-start your next adventure, how about Lonely Planet’s Guide to the World?