1. Planning is like marmite. Even if you loathe it, be clear on what you do and don’t want from your adventure. A deep understanding of why you’re going will make the trip more meaningful to you.
2. Safety first – going solo, whilst rewarding, carries more risk. Keep your family and friends happy by taking proper kit and supplies, and either agree when you’ll be in touch or take gadgets that keep you contactable. Never head into rural areas without telling someone your plan, especially in far-flung foreign lands.
3. Nailed navigation in Girl Guides but forgotten how to connect the gas and stove? Make a list of skills you’ll need, then get practising.
4. Perhaps think small first – if you’ve never spent time in the wilds on your own, jetting off for an exotic encounter with the jungle creepy crawlies on day one might leave you feeling like a rabbit in headlights. Whisking yourself away for a magical weekend hiking or biking is a good way to test the solo waters.
5. You might not need to throw your quick-drying towel at corporate life to take an adventure break – ask your company about unpaid leave, career or charity sponsorship breaks, especially if you’re planning a fundraising challenge. Any benefit to your employer could sweeten the deal. It depends what your line of work is, but if you don’t ask, you’ll never know.
6. Worried you’ll run out of money? Temporary Working Holiday visas in countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Japan are a lifesaver for those with age on their side.
7. Go light – pack, re-pack, cull, and then do it all again. Wherever you can save weight, do it. And remember to factor in the essentials over your favourite jumper – nibbles and water.
8. If you’re heading somewhere without a clean water supply, take a fine muslin cloth to filter water before treating it.
9. Take a little entertainment – lightweight e-readers, a journal or some music might just give you a little light relief after a tough day of making all the decisions.
10. Finally, be kind to yourself. After all, you’re the glue holding this adventure together.
And remember, if you want someone to keep nudging you towards that start line, reach out to your fellow Adventure Queens for support. Or even ask if someone could be your adventure accountability buddy (making sure there are no excuses for not getting to that start line.
Bristol-based AQ, Ciara loves to travel, hike and fuel up on ice cream. She works as a copywriter, balancing getting outside with some solid couch time, writing about wild adventures and personal growth.