The major sticking point for most people planning an expedition is money. Right?
How they can fund it and who will sponsor them. Yet, I’ve never been on an expedition that had enough money or, for that matter, met anyone else that has.
Few are the groups who can afford the latest and greatest bits of kit they’ve been dreaming of and scarcer still the team who arrives in the Himalaya fresh from a pampered flight in First Class.
Expeditions are rarely flush with money and they’re all the better for it.
Who remembers the trip with the nice clean hotel that didn’t leave you feeling dirtier after you got out the shower? The pleasant coach ride that wasn’t at double capacity and largely due to the goats? Or the swanky bit of kit that never required mending with duck-tape and cable-ties?
Low budgets have their downsides but they can also test you in a way that the same trip with a fat wallet wouldn’t and force you into situations that you’d simply shy away from if you had the choice.
So this month, we live frugally.
Set yourself a budget and stick to it. Take £100 out at the start of the week – £50, £20, whatever – and give your credit card to a trust worthy friend because you are not going to need it.
Take the train to work? Heavens no – that costs as much as two days’ food! This week I’m cycling.
Popping into Pret for a sandwich and mochaccino? No, sir. Pack your lunch box, by a loaf from the supermarket or just go hungry. That little indulgence could be another night in the hostel.
And, why, I hear you cry, would I want to do that?
- For the things you’ll have to do and the situations in which you’ll find yourself
- For the reminder of how little you actually need
- For a test of your initiative in a world that so rarely requires it
- For the reminder of how lucky you are and how good things are
- For the effort required which brings reward of its own
- And for the opportunity to save some pennies for the next adventure
It is December and the last month in the Year of the Everyday Adventurer.
It is Christmas and I compel you to join the chorus: