This last weekend, we were smack in the middle of the adventure lifestyle and an experiment in lifestyle design- camped out in the desert 20 miles north of the Mexican border with a group of bonafide explorers – we were at the Overland Expo. If you’re not familiar with overlanding, and we weren’t, Overlanding is a vehicle supported expedition with the goals of exploration, adventure and often contribution. It’s about travel and experiencing the world. It’s a lot more about the journey than the destination and can be local or global. It was a fun and very interesting group of travelers and adventurers ranging from newbies to the highly accomplished. The Expo had created this amazing fairground like atmosphere around the oasis of the Amado Inn and Kristofer’s Café outside the tiny town of Amado, AZ (pop 600) and included all kinds of overlanding vehicles, equipment and gear including rigs that ran well into the 100’s of thousands of dollars. There were also people there who have been overlanding for years on a shoestring budget. No matter how you do it, Overlanding may be one of the best ways to travel and adventure.
Over the course of the weekend, we were fortunate enough to attend several round table discussions about the adventure lifestyle by some of the most experienced overlanders on a series of topics. It was fantastic to hear them espousing many of the ideals we strive to live by on a daily basis like living with purpose and living with passion and adventure as a way of being. At its core, overlanding is just a tool, a figurative and literal vehicle for exploration and creating an adventurous life. These people have chosen to take a step, for some a very large step, and transform their lives, live more adventurously and become the explorers they have always wanted to be. Many people attended these discussions in hopes of finding the answer that they needed in order to figure out how to fill their life with adventure too. Throughout the weekend and all the seminars, the most popular question was, “How did you get started?” And the answer from the most successful overlanders was as simple as it was widespread: with a single step, with pulling out of the driveway of life.
The Timing is NEVER Right for Lifestyle Design
If you think about it, for most events in life that significantly change your focus and time commitments – getting a pet, getting married, having children – the timing is never perfect. This makes total sense because we are busy with our lives; all of us. We fill our days with something no matter how consequential or inconsequential but we do fill our days. It’s kind of like the nature abhors a vacuum thing; if we have 24 hours in a day, we are going to fill them all. If we had 28 hours, we’d fill that too. That’s why time management is a misnomer. We can’t manage time … but that’s another post altogether. So if our life is already full, where in the world are we going to find the significant time needed for a pet, children, a wife, etc? The answer is that you don’t find the time because all of yours is already taken; you make something happen by putting it in there and letting it work itself out. It’s kind of like “time management” by natural selection. Only the strong, or in this case the most important survives.
If we wait in life for everything to be perfect, it never will be. If we wait to have more time, we’ll never do the things we really want to do because our life will always be full. Our tactic is to fill our lives with the most important things first. Carin and I use a boulder and gravel analogy. The boulders are the most important things and they go in first. Then we fill in with gravel. But if we dump in gravel first, and we all do this sometimes, there isn’t any room for the big boulders in life. And that’s why we can end up with gravel a lot of the time because by thinking Timing is NEVER Right, we don’t place our boulders first. And all we’re left with is the gravel of life.
Now, the way I really like to look at it is that if I’m always busy and that situation is never going to change then the Timing is ALWAYS Right for Lifestyle Design. Here’s another way to think about it: if the timing is never going to be perfect, why not start now because now is as good as any other time. I can change whenever I really want to; I can decide to do the most important things whenever I really want to, I can do the things in life that I really want to and I can begin all of those ANY time I really want to because the Timing is ALWAYS Right for Lifestyle Design.
At the Overland Expo, there were a lot of people trying to find what it was going to take for them to make the first step. They wanted to be living their definition of a life of adventure, fun and purpose, but they had yet to take the first step. Over and over again from the board of “experts,” meaning the people that were actively overlanding we heard the same refrain – you can do it and all you need to do is just start. And why not today?
Life isn’t going to magically change for any of us. We’re all always going to be busy and our days full. It is important for all of us to understand that the timing is ALWAYS right for the most important things in our life – the big boulders. And choose those, today.
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