The presumed opinion is that to enjoy a life of adventure, one must reject the 9-5, the fast pace of the city and the seemingly superficial lifestyle to then resort to the sticks, become a vegan and hike all day and night. This is fine to do if that’s what you want but it’s not the way I have created my expedition orientated life.
I’ll be honest, I know that I’m young and relatively responsibility free (I am fully aware that many people have more commitments) but I wasn’t born with it all mapped out for me. I had to create my own path and I made it how I wanted it to be. I’m fortunate enough to have a full-time job that I enjoy and that challenges me when I am not in the remote corners of the world but also a job that allows me to take the time out (within reason) to continue my exploration career.
I enjoy the glitz of the city just as much as the peace and beauty of the wilderness.
Having the expeditions and buzz of the city make me feel that my life is balanced and I really appreciate both extremes. I know not everyone can have a job that lets them take a few months off a year to extreme environments but use whatever you can to try and get out there. Once you’ve started, it’s amazing what can happen that then grant the ability to own your own time.
I grew up in the countryside and I’ve lived in London for almost 3 and a half years now. Prior to that, the only city I had worked in that wasn’t my university city, was New York City. I worked there for an extended summer in 2012 and really found my feet. I loved the vibe of NYC and didn’t think it existed here in London. I was wrong. London is a city that needs patience to get to know. The hidden gems are what make this city for me. The independent bars and cafes, the parties, the gyms, the societies and the diverse culture. These things make me want to return here after months of being in the brutal conditions and for adventurers it has so much to offer!
Here are a few ways to incorporate adventure into a busy city life.
Use the weekends to their full capacity
Friday 5pm until Monday 9am - the average time off. As a kid this was a real holiday where our minds could get lost in our own imagination. Don’t let that be in the past. Use these days to get out into the hills. Cities are connected to all parts of the country, so use them!
From 5pm is time to plan and create
Work stops and then it’s time for fun. Plan your adventures, big or small. All it takes is an internet connection and the world is your oyster. Head to Stanford’s in Covent Garden and look at the maps to get some ideas.
Use the wonderful societies that we have in the city
London has great adventure societies to help and support those both starting and in deep with adventure. Visit the Royal Geographical Society and the Scientific Explorers Society. Both do frequent talks and social events to help you get the energy needed to put that extra bit of effort into making your next endeavor happen.
Get your workplace involved and excited about your adventure
The more people feel apart of your trip, the more likely they are to help you and be all for what you are doing in the future.
Use the people you meet to make a difference
We meet a lot of people day to day when living in the city. Use these new acquaintances to discuss what you are doing. You never know where it might lead to. Networking is priceless.
So don’t let living in the city stop you from getting outside of your comfort zone. Embrace the both extremes!
Black and White featured photo by Tim Taylor Photography.