The great cross-country trip is an iconic staple of the American dream. This wild journey is representative of the coveted sense of freedom that can often feel oppressed from our day to day lives. Whether it’s a break from the typical nine-to-five schedule or a chance to try something entirely new, a nice change of scenery can be deeply satisfying. We instinctively seek adventure, to find opportunities to learn and to grow. There are expeditions for every individual explorer out there from grand adventures coast to coast to the rustic experience of seeing the wild west and so much more.
But who has time to strategize these epic journeys? It’s difficult to plan a grand expedition while maintaining a comfortable lifestyle. Beyond that, there are other significant limitations such as finance, health, transportation and more. But you don’t have to allow those to inhibit your dreams. In fact, there are many ways to easily work around them in order to make your trip planning easier!
Some of us firmly detail every bit of the trip, while others simply crave the opportunity to get out on the road and see where it takes them. Regardless of how intently you plan, you are practically guaranteed to experience road bumps along the way, such as an abruptly blown tire or road construction detouring you through unknown territory. Fortunately, these unexpected circumstances can be looked at as positive opportunities with the right mindset. You may have the chance to meet someone new or stumble upon something interesting you wouldn’t have otherwise discovered. A personal favorite on my recent road trip was discovering the world’s largest hand-painted Czech egg in the middle-of-nowhere, Kansas on an unplanned highway detour to the self-proclaimed ‘Garden of Eden.’
Believe it or not, even the most spontaneous trip has at least one goal, whether that may seem completely obvious or be more subconscious. That goal could be to see the water, to get a good bite to eat, or even just to get as far from home as possible. Before you take off onto the road, attempt to determine the very needs that are propelling your burst of spontaneity.
If you’re interested in a more intensive mountaineering experience, regardless of the time of year who you travel with, be sure to bring emergency gear, know contact information for local authorities and make sure someone close to you is aware of your expected location and timeline. Relatively unplanned hikes have been amongst some of the most exciting experiences of my life, but genuine danger isn’t necessarily the kind of excitement you need to be looking for.
These ideas present just one of a million ways to embrace spontaneity while also maintaining a sense of structure on your next adventure. These techniques can be applied to just about any trip at any time in any place, on the road, on a boat or entirely on foot. I urge you to balance a little spontaneity as well as a bit of structure into your next big adventure.