How to Adventure on a Budget

adventuring on a budget

We all know what it’s like when money is tighter than usual, but just because you’re counting pennies doesn’t mean you have to stop adventuring, you just have to get a little more creative. The past couple of weeks, Wolverine and I have been getting ready to move the first weekend in November. Those of you who have rented before know how this goes – deposit, first month’s rent, pet deposit, moving truck = so broke it isn’t even funny. We are on a strict budget until January, but we certainly don’t want to wait that long to get outside and explore again.

So, as we relish every last bit of Fall we can before our adventure tactics change to accommodate all those winter dangers, here are my top tips on how to adventure without spending a load of money.

1. Research free campsites.

Just because you live in an outdoorsy area doesn’t necessarily mean camping is always free. In fact, in Colorado, there are sites that charge upwards of $20 a night. That adds up really quickly, even on a simple weekend camping trip. BUT, never fear. This is the first and most important step to having an adventure on a budget lies in this. Those sites are much easier to find, sure, but if you do a little digging and ask friends for their favorite free spots, you can find a plethora of camping sites that won’t cost you a dime. Some might even be hidden gems in the perfect location with a beautiful view, and you might have missed them if you went for the tourist trap sites. Tap in a few quick google searches for free campsites around the area you want to get away to, and see what you find.

2.Find out when museums and national parks are having their “free” days.

One of the best parts about living in Colorado is that there are SO MANY national and state parks around to explore. Unfortunately, because of all the resources and effort it requires to preserve these parks and make sure they remain in their natural, beautiful condition, these parks often charge a daily fee. But they also often do a “free” day once a month or so. Be warned if you’re looking for a solitary adventure, this probably isn’t your best tip to follow because the days where the fees are waived tend to be some of the busiest at the parks, but if you don’t mind sharing the view with several hundred other people, then save yourself a few bucks and go on the free day. Even crowded, I promise the hikes will still be worth it.

3. Take a different route.

Maybe you always ride your bike down the same path every weekend. It’s pretty, sure, but doesn’t it get a little boring? If you’re looking for a really simple adventure, something that doesn’t require equipment or the use of gas in your car to get to a destination, hop on your bike and pick a new trail to explore. You might just find your new favorite tree to read under or climb up and read in. You could discover a hidden creek that makes just the right amount of relaxing flowing water sounds or spot a rock that is begging for you to crawl up on and sunbathe like a lizard. So often we get distracted by the need to go on really big adventures that we forget how many little beautiful adventures are right in our backyard. And taking the time to uncover the wonderful things that are already close to us helps us enjoy our world and lives just a little bit more.

4. Hayrides/Pumpkin Patches/Apple Orchards

Tis the season! So many of these are free to roam around, and even if you don’t buy that perfect pumpkin, or pick a bag of apples to make your grandma’s homemade applesauce with, it’s still a good, cheap way to get out and about and enjoy that crisp fall air. As an added bonus, oftentimes picking your own bag of apples at the orchard will be much cheaper than buying apples in bulk at the grocery store. So if you’re planning a lot of apple-based dishes this Fall, splurging a little on an orchard trip now might just save you some bucks on groceries for the next few weeks.

5. Take your hammock to a park for a day.

Chances are there are tons of open space parks around you if you just look for them. Sometimes the heart of a good adventure is just getting out for an afternoon and relaxing. What better way to feel like you’re in the wilderness even as rollerblades zoom by and dogs on leashes race their owners on the sidewalk than to string up a hammock in the middle of that one really good smattering of trees at your nearest open space park and escape into another world with that book you’ve been meaning to finish already? That’s what I thought.

See? There’s tons of ways to have an adventure without spending a fortune. So yeah, maybe you have to reschedule that trip to the Moab because otherwise you’d be behind on your electric bill, but there’s no reason that adventure-thirsting part of you has to suffer just because responsibility has to come first this month, or next. What are your favorite cheap ways to get out there and adventure? How do you still have new experiences on a budget? Have you ever tried any of these tactics? Tell me about your favorite hidden campsite!

Being Bold in Baby Steps

I know that as adventurers, baby steps can seem like SUCH a yawn sometimes. We want to dive in BIG and watch our lives change in BIG ways. That is seriously exciting and just the rush we need sometimes to revitalize. But there are some things that can’t be one big choice, things that can’t be a flash in the pan and then dissipate to something more reasonable. Being bold is one of those things. Sure, there are moments of big boldness, but to really master this boss babe thing, we have to make bold a daily choice, and that requires some baby steps of boldness.

How to Bring Boldness Into Your Everyday Life

 

I know you’re sitting there right now thinking to yourself, but Torie, BOLD BABY STEPS is a totally oxymoronic thing. You can’t be bold in LITTLE ways, that defeats the entire premise of being bold, doesn’t it?

To that I say- NAHHHH. Absolutely not. Just like sometimes your greatest strength is going to bed determined to try again tomorrow, being bold in the small moments will help you get comfortable with the strange moments of uncertainty that follow a bold decision. Baby steps of boldness will also acquaint you with the feeling of elation and pride that comes with having done the thing, made the choice, taken the risk. It’s important to understand both sides of that bold coin so that you can balance them out and tone them down when they threaten to overtake.

Because honestly, getting sucked into the elation of making a bold decision for more than a brief moment can inhibit your forward movement. And succumbing to the uncertainty can leave you backtracking into your comfort zone, where we both know nothing magnificent happens.

Feeling overwhelmed with the idea of incorporating boldness into your every day? Try these ideas on for starters: 

The Bold Baby Steps Starter Kit

  1. Wear that bright piece of clothing you love, but always shy away from. That, my dear, is bold.
  2. Talk to that person you always want to talk to on the morning train, or in the office, or at your yoga class, or in your entrepreneur group. You know, the one who you always stop justshort of saying something to? Say something to them!
  3. Set an ambitious intention for yourself in the morning – and then DON’T follow through. Let yourself feel like a rebel for a minute.
  4. Set an ambitious intention for yourself in the morning – and DO follow through. Revel in the victory.
  5. Try a new recipe. Something totally out of left field for your skills and your tastebuds. Maybe make sure you’re not going to set the house on fire, but go wild. Push your own boundaries.
  6. Write out the craziest, boldest thing you can think of doing right now. This doesn’t mean you have to DO the thing, but sometimes just putting yourself in a place where you can imagine the thing is enough to jolt your system with a little bit of boldness, enough to feel a bit of that elation we’re trying to get used to.
  7. Do something for someone else that actually requires you to step outside of your comfort zone. It can actually be a bit selfish when we do something nice for someone else that’s easy for us. Yes, it helps them, but really, it boosts our ego, too. And we hardly had to lift a finger. But when it requires you to put in extra effort, to actually push yourself, that’s bold. And really freakin awesome.
  8. Admit a secret to someone you wouldn’t normally. Hell, admit a secret PUBLICLY. It’s rough holding things back sometimes. Wishing you could tell someone something, wishing you could tell the world something. Want to know something? You can tell anyone you want. Seriously. The only one not letting you is, well, you. And it’s hard to take a bolder baby step than standing up to yourself.
  9. Apply for a job you think you’d like but normally wouldn’t apply for because of “how it might look.” A big part of being bold is being true to who you are without worrying about what it looks like to other people. Maybe you get the job, maybe you don’t even get an interview. But dang, is it a rush to at least put it out there into the universe like that.
  10. Try a new form of moving. Haven’t done spin before? Go get your sweat on! That dance studio downtown offers drop-in classes and you’ve always kind of wanted to learn more about dance? GO! Get your body moving in new ways, ignore the initial feeling of awkward and just let yourself melt into it. You might find your new favorite sweat session.

Those are just some to get you started. Once you’ve taken a few bold baby steps, you’ll start to get a feel for what makes you feel extra bold and what leaves you feeling entirely unchanged (and who wants that?).

What bold baby steps are you going to take this week, adventurer? Have I converted you to believing in bold baby steps? Do you still think bold should just be BIG? Sound off in the comments, I would love to hear from you!

The Ultimate Batman Super Ninja Unicorn Self-Confidence Toolkit, Part One

the ultimate guide to self confidence

Have you ever had a solid streak of days where you feel really good about yourself, how you look, what you’re doing, who you are? Everything is looking up, you feel like you could literally conquer any obstacle put in front of you and then – all of a sudden – you wake up one morning and just feel…off. Maybe it’s not outright bad, but maybe you feel like your hair won’t cooperate or you can’t put together an outfit to save your life. Maybe your breakfast sits funny in your stomach and you find yourself spacing out with your work, not able to focus, concentrate, feel productive. Just like that, your confidence plummets and you feel a little lost, spinning around wondering what on earth happened to you? You were on a freakin ROLL – why this, why now?

Adventurers, all hope is not lost – you just need to make sure you’re armed with the right tools to help you along the way.

 

Part One:  Self-Love & Gratitude Journaling

I’ve talk about this before. Seriously, a lot. But that’s because it works. Journaling for any number of purposes has a lot of crazy benefits that can lift your mood, provide insight, and help you get stunningly clear on things that made no sense whirling around in your head. The reason this particular type of journaling is what I recommend for your Batman Super Ninja Unicorn Self-Confidence Toolkit is two-fold. It’s about identifying things that trigger you to a) feel confident AND b) suddenly feel very NOT confident, and it’s about starting to look at the world around you in a different way.

The self-love part of the journal comes in like this. When you feel particularly sparkly or badass, write down what it is that made you feel that way. For example, when I go rock climbing I am on a high for at least a couple hours. So that triggers me to feel confident. But then, here’s the really important part – you have to jot down WHY you feel more confident. This requires sitting down and thinking about it a little more, so if it helps to write down the WHAT right when you feel it and later come back to the WHY, that’s cool. Don’t force a why out before you have time to give it legitimate thought.

Let’s look back at my example for a minute. The WHAT that makes me feel uber-unicorn like is rock climbing, or conquering a particularly difficult hike. My WHY for that is this: I feel so capable. It’s amazing to me that my body can propel itself up a mountain, that I can meander off the paved trail and find my own way up that involves hauling my body up – with my own body. It makes me feel physically capable and physically risky – like when I know that gap between the rock slabs is a liittttllleee bit bigger than I’m really comfortable with but I propel myself to the other side with momentum and land it just fine. I did that. With my own body. I made it happen. Oh man, I’m getting a little bit of a rush just typing this out. It makes me feel so CAPABLE. So that’s my why. Your why might be because you feel extra sassy when you wear those heels or you just feel more at home in your body when your hair is bright blue. Your what in those instances would be wearing the heels or having the bright blue hair, but your why would be feeling sassy, which makes you feel like you can accomplish X or that Y can’t bother you, or that you feel more at home in your body, which is a priceless why in and of itself.

By journaling the whats and whys of things that make you feel like the version of yourself you most want to be, you are coming up with a list of actionable items you can take when you’re feeling down in the dumps. You’re basically giving yourself a self-proven to-do list. That’s something a million self-help books and e-courses can’t do for you.

 

 

The gratitude journaling portion of this multi-faceted tool (think the Swiss army knife of your Boss Babe kit here) is to help you reframe the way you think about things. For the first week, do something like this. On day one, challenge yourself to come up with just ONE thing you are GENUINELY grateful for that day. Don’t just list something you feel rather meh about, think back over the day and list the one thing that made you feel like life was good, even if it was just a moment. Even if it was just the freakin’ phenomenal pasta salad you had for lunch.

Be THANKFUL for that pasta salad, it was delicious and it deserves its due diligence. Don’t you dare sit there and think it’s sad that you got most excited about pasta salad that day. Dude, did you even TASTE that pasta salad?! It was out of this world, you should be surprised MORE PEOPLE weren’t excited about your pasta salad. See? The point is, if you can start to be thankful for the little things, you start to realize that there’s a lot of ninja unicorns hiding out in your life already – you just missed them because they are so dang good at the ninja part. So on day one, you just write one thing. On day two, you write two, and on day three? You guessed it. Find THREE things to be grateful for. Keep on going until you work your way up to 10. But here’s the trick. To really find out how much is already around you waiting for you to get excited about and thus feel confident (because who doesn’t feel good about themselves when they are excited about what’s going on around them?!) you can’t write the same thing down twice through this exercise. You can’t cop out and say you’re thankful for the pasta salad every day for the first 10 days of your gratitude practice. How would that make the whole wheat crust veggie pizza you had on Thursday feel?

 

Of course, your gratitude can – and should – go beyond food. Write things like that sweet note your significant other left you or the encouraging text you got from your best friend. Literally anything you feel good about. As the days go on, start to list things that you forget to think about being grateful for. Maybe it didn’t make you feel directly happy that day, but having a roof over your head is pretty neat. Being able to write the rent check and still have some money in your bank account every month is a big freakin deal. Not having to support yourself on food stamps is a serious blessing. Having the wiggle room in your busy schedule to have a sweatfest 3-5 times a week is really cool, even if it doesn’t feel like it when your arms are screaming at you toward the end of your kickboxing class.

See, with gratitude journaling, you learn to repaint the picture of your life in a rosier shade. It’s not fooling yourself, it’s just realizing what you already have, and what you were so excited about when you first got it. See, humans, especially adventurous ones, tend to want to move upward and onward and progress is really, REALLY important to us. That’s good, but it tends to make things go from shiny, new and exciting to dull, old, and lame really fast. Even when the thing is still worth being excited about. Think about how far you’ve come, and write about the things you can’t believe you’ve done, things you never thought you’d do. Write about how amazing that is, and how even if it didn’t turn out how you wanted it to, the lessons is taught you are invaluable. Write about what you’re learning now, even if your situation isn’t ideal. It’s all about how you perceive your life. So why not perceive it as really freakin badass? All that can do is make you feel like the Batman Super Ninja Unicorn of Self-Confidence that you are.

This journaling practice is the first, and most foundational piece of artillery in your utility belt, babes. Get comfortable with this one first, because not only does it cause massive amounts of damage to self-confidence destroyers on its own, it is a power-up add-on to a lot of the other tools we’ll be talking about in this series. Tell me if you have a gratitude journaling or self-love journaling practice already, and how you go about documenting those things. Do you keep it all in one notebook? Separate it out into a couple smaller notebooks? Do you do it all digitally? How do you remind yourself to do it regularly? If you don’t have a practice yet, will you start one? (hint: you should!) How do you want to start self-love and gratitude journaling?