How to add adventure to your life

By Dr. James M. DahleWCI Founder

Over the past few years, we’ve made a conscious effort here at The White Coat Investor to make the blog less about me and more about you, the reader. However, some of the long-term readers seem to miss me a bit. In our latest poll, we had many people asking if I could write more about my adventures and vacations. Now, I love to write about this stuff, and I really do write about it. It’s just not published here on this finance blog. Staff tell me it reads too much like a humblebrag. So, I’m not going to tell you about all the great adventures I had last year, but I a m will teach you how to add a little adventure to your life.

Before getting to the heart of the matter, a short preamble seems appropriate. Having adventure in your life requires some things that not everyone has:

  1. Silver
  2. Time
  3. Health
  4. No liability (or at least good people to cover your liabilities)

Without at least a few of these four ideas, you’ll be hard pressed to have many adventures. There were long periods of my life when I didn’t have a lot of money or time. There were also times when my responsibilities did not allow me the kinds of things you are about to read. I was also blessed with excellent health, and frankly, I put a lot of time and effort into maintaining it.

Now, with that acknowledgment of privilege out of the way, let’s get into it.

Several people have made comments to me over the past few years,

“Are you still going on vacation?”

I must then explain to them that

“It’s not a vacation, it’s a lifestyle. I organized my life this way on purpose.

I discovered in medical school that I had a wide variety of interests. Medicine was just one of them. And no way am I sacrificing others on the altar of medicine. I hope my obituary indicates that I have lived a life of service and adventure. I enjoy serving others, through medicine, my work here at WCI, coaching, and volunteering. But I also agree with the quote from Hunter Thompson:

“Life shouldn’t be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safe and sound in a pretty, well-preserved body, but rather of skidding sideways in a cloud of smoke, completely worn out, totally worn out, and screaming loud and clear ‘Wow! What a ride!'”

How to add adventure to your life

Whether you want to embrace a similar lifestyle or just want to add a little more adventure to your life, here are 10 tips to help you do just that.

#1 Get Money

Some of these things can be surprisingly cheap, but most of them cost a good amount of money. Our way of life, however, is not beyond the reach of most physicians. We spent just over $200,000 in 2021, and that was without trying to be frugal at all. This is mainly the result of taking care of business early in my career. When you have no payments and have already saved for retirement, you can skyrocket your income by heli-skiing, scuba diving, and $500 rowing. Follow the rest of the tips on this blog and make money.

More information here:

How much this family of FI doctors actually spends in a year

#2 Take time

You know what people who find how to make money really struggle with? Win time. It is apparently very difficult to let go of some of this money and exchange it for more time. But this can be done. How? By saying “No”.

“No, I’m not going to work shifts anymore. »

“No, I won’t take any more calls. »

“No, I’m not going to go another year without using my PTO.”

Just do it. Find the time when you find yourself sitting on a pile of cash in your 60s and 60s wishing you had some and no longer have the physical ability to do so. In my case, I regularly reduced ER shifts while hiring help at WCI. In about five years, I went from two full-time jobs to more than 18 weeks under the stars or abroad.

More information here:

What is the value of our time, anyway?

#3 Buy disability insurance and life insurance

Although it is more common to have exclusions for your disability insurance or be refused life insurance due to medical issues, dangerous hobbies cause similar problems. If you rock climb, mountaineer, scuba dive, skydive, or fly private aircraft within 6-12 months of applying for insurance or plan to do so within 6 12 months later, you risk being excluded from your disability insurance. Politics. You’re also likely to pay a lot more for life insurance (if the companies issue it to you). Take out insurance before embarking on your adventures.

I also always find fascinating what they don’t ask for. Apparently everything is fine:

  • big wave surfing
  • Rodeo
  • Backcountry skiing
  • cliff jumping
  • Road biking (by far my most dangerous hobby)
  • mountain biking (I have three friends who broke their necks doing this)

#4 Get Skills

Most adventures require a certain set of skills. You can often get around many of them by hiring a guide, but that also means you usually get a watered down version of reality. So go get skills. Get PADI certification for scuba diving. Take an avalanche or canyoning course. Have knowledgeable friends take you out and teach you the ropes (although remember that the most dangerous thing outdoors is being a newbie led by a newbie).

#5 Get Materials

Most outdoor adventures require gear. Purchasing equipment represents a commitment that you will actually use the equipment and do the activity. Without the equipment, you surely won’t make it. You don’t necessarily need everything to start, but how are you going to take a climbing course or go out with friends without at least a harness, shoes and a helmet? Buying gear signals you’re serious about it, and it’ll get you invited a lot more often.

More information here:

Loosen the purse strings

#6 Make friends

Speaking of friends, most outdoor activities aren’t done alone. If you like doing this stuff, try to find other people who like doing it too. Be the person who is easy to invite over and hard to leave behind. Offer your help in any way possible. Respond quickly to texts and emails. Pay your place quickly. Offer to drive. Bring food and a six pack. Do all you can to say yes and not bail out at the last minute. Do more than your share of the cutting work inherent in any adventure.

#7 Plan trips

I’m going to let you in on a little secret. There are a ton of people who will go wild if they are invited to something that is already semi-planned but never plan it and invite others. I guess the ratio is at least 10:1 and could be closer to 20:1. So be the one. Be the one who understands the permit system and asks for a permit. Be the one who understands the logistics behind the trip. You don’t have to be the expert. There are a lot of people who don’t have the drive or skills to organize a trip. I guess I have to plan about half of the adventures I do. It would be a much higher ratio without Katie. Of the trips I took this year, I was the lead planner or a major sub-planner for all but three of them, and Katie did two of the other three.

More information here:

Find a purpose in retirement

#8 Say yes

I am sometimes amazed at the number of people who say no to me when I invite them on the trip of a lifetime. As I write this, I am planning a canyoning trip. We will have 10-13 people there. But I probably invited about 25. If you want to go, it’s never going to be practical. You actually have to prioritize it in your life. There will always be times when you can’t go. But if you usually say you can’t go, people will stop inviting you.

Don’t be afraid to have a new experience and learn new skills. The more you try, the more skills you already know can be applied to the new situation. Take abseiling, for example. It’s a skill common to rock climbing, mountaineering, canyoning, caving, and even ski touring. Might as well learn to do it. How about we swim? Hard to do much scuba diving, canyoning, rafting or kayaking without this skill.

#9 Learn to tolerate suffering

Almost all fun outdoor activities involve a bit of suffering at some point. In canyoning, we are always either too hot or too cold. You load up a boat every morning, sleep on the floor, eat dehydrated food, poop in a bag, deal with muscle aches, or walk for hours with a heavy bag. All of this is often the price of admission to an incredible adventure.

#10 Find balance

Adventure trips can be done alone, with friends who also like the activity, with your partner and with your children. Find a balance between these trips. They’re all enjoyable for different reasons, and after a while you realize that it’s the people you’re with who often make the trip.

You only have one life. You can do whatever you want with your money and your time. If you can understand John Muir’s statement:

“The mountains are calling me and I must go”

Next, I suggest you create space in your life for adventure.

What do you think? What is your idea of ​​adventure? Do you love finding outdoor adventure in your life? How do you find the time, energy and money to do it? Comments below!

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