An Adventure Lifestyle: The Pros and Cons

written by Sabrina
published on May 4, 2020

I have been living and adventurous lifestyle for the past 10 years. Travelling, working remote, building a campervan and living in it for 2 years. But this lifestyle comes with a price. Not seeing your friends from back home, finding it hard to maintain relationships, not being settled anywhere. It’s not all glamour 🙂

Danny from wisehealthynwealthy.com wrote an excellent article about the pros and cons of an Adventure Lifestyle that he agreed to publish here. I hope you enjoy it and that it helps you to see if a lifestyle like this is for you 🙂

I think I’d always had my sights set on a life of adventure. As a kid, for example, I remember loving Indiana Jones movies. His exploits just seemed so dreamy: exploring ancient ruins, discovering long lost artefacts, getting to grips with alien experiences and exotic cultures…Everything apart from the bad guys and harrowing near-death experiences looked ideal!

Fast-forward a couple of decades and I’m definitely no Indiana Jones. But, as a digital nomad, I do have the luxury of being on the road full-time and having heaps of new experiences (and adventures) every step of the way. I’m finally living a lifestyle that isn’t too far off what I once dreamt about: one characterised by freedom, control, and new experiences. It imbues my life with a sense of adventure that I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world.

But I can’t lie- it isn’t all great. There are days full of challenges- not to mention the ongoing battles that seem part and parcel of being on the road a lot.

Are you looking to break away from the norm and live a life with more adventure in it? Well, it might help to know a bit about the pros and cons you might experience along the away. Sound good?

Morocco by Campervan - Merzouga Sahara with the van - Adventure Lifestyle

The Pros of an Adventure Lifestyle

Let’s start with the positives. It was hard to narrow them down, but here are 5 things I love most about living an adventurous lifestyle.

The Incredible New Places and Experiences

First and foremost, anybody who goes travelling ends up in some of the most beautiful places on Earth.

You step outside the bubble of home and realize just how much there is to see out there! Every new destination will blow you away with its natural and man-made beauty.

You’ll have the uncanny experience of seeing with your own eyes that which you’d only ever previously seen on a screen. You’ll walk the streets of off-the-beaten path Spanish villages, breathe fresh mountain air, and drink in the sensation of being somewhere totally different for the first time.

The Constant ‘Firsts’

Adventurous lifestyles are characterised by new experiences.

You’re almost constantly doing or seeing something for the first time. The result? You’re always making memories and coming away with stories to tell.

Life becomes one continuous chain of surprises and learning experiences. You’re pushing yourself, learning about yourself (and the world), and discovering things at every turn.

You do things you’d never dream of doing in places you’d never expect to visit. There’s constant change and novelty and stimulation. That can get tiring after a while, but there’s no denying how invigorating it is as well. 

The Distinction from the Norm

I love the fact I’m doing something different.

I like that I’ve taken a less common route through life. More importantly, though, I love the life that this alternative route provides me with.

I just see life as far too short to do anything you’re not passionate about (unless it’s short term pain for long term gain). Waking up every day and doing mind-numbing tasks over and over again, like a robot, for minimal reward, makes no sense to me.

Adventures are the height of experience. They’re what life is all about! You end up doing extraordinary things like building a campervan, go surfing or swim in waterfalls in ridiculous places. You step away from the ordinary and invigorate life.

The Freedom, Control and Independence

Adventurous lives can restore a sense of freedom and control as well.

As a self-employed digital nomad, I’m in charge of my time. I decide when I work and when I play. I have full say over how I spend my day. If I decide to spend 17 hours working, then that’s on me. It’s not on behalf of an overbearing boss breathing down my neck and pushing me to meet targets.

The agency and autonomy involved is empowering. I feel independent and capable of anything. My days are never the same- unless I want them to be.

The Opportunities and Personal Growth

All that freedom imbues an adventure lifestyle with opportunities.

Anything can happen when you don’t know what lies in front of you. Embracing adventure entails an acceptance of uncertainty. That might not suit someone who relies upon structure and routine. Get used to it, though, and it becomes liberating.

There’s never a time when you couldn’t be doing something unforgettable. That creates ample room for personal growth and discovery. You’re always winding up in crazy predicaments, working your way out of them, and learning more about yourself in the process.

You walk away from any adventure with a great sense of self, and a growing contentment with life.

3 weeks in Myanmar - Favourite things about Myanmar - Adventure Lifestyle!
The stunning nam hu hnwe waterfall near Hsipaw!

The Cons of an Adventure Lifestyle

Onto the cons! Here are 5 of the downsides of living a life full of adventures.

The Instability

I can’t lie. Sometimes I miss the stability of a 9 to 5 job, or an ‘ordinary’ lifestyle.

Stability and structure make life easier. You know what you’re doing and when. You have a set time and established priorities. There’s less to think or worry about. You get on with your day, do your duties, and it’s over before you know it.

Then you’ve got the evenings and weekends to relax, unwind, and do something fun.

You sacrifice that when you’re on the road all the time and living a more adventurous lifestyle. Establishing structure into your day can be a challenge when you’re on the move a lot.

Everything is changing all of the time. That can make it harder to be productive, or to feel settled. It can, on occasion, get tiring and frustrating to the point where you yearn for a sense of normalcy.

The Lack of Routine

This point relates to the last.

I mean it when I say that being on the road can mean that every day is different. I could be in a totally different place, with new sights to see, streets to navigate, and customs to wrap my head around.

Establishing a routine becomes a challenge when you’re never in one place for long. You do get accustomed to moving around a lot- that in itself becomes something of a routine. But it’s hard when you’re trying to earn a living at the same time.

You’re constantly having to start from scratch- finding a reliable internet connection, somewhere to sleep, good (aka cheap) places to eat, and so on. You’re waking up in new beds, meeting new faces, and have a million and one distractions that make working a challenge.

Once again, if you’re anything like me, it can get tiring and leave you longing for less change and more structure in your day.

The Self-Doubt

There might be a part of you that wonders if you’re doing the right thing too. Going against the grain isn’t easy.

Taking the path less trodden requires a contravention of the status quo. You look at what everyone else is doing and say, ‘no, I’d rather be doing that instead’.

The decision to live an adventurous lifestyle of any description can raise eyebrows from friends and family. They might wonder what you’re doing and question you decision. They might be openly derisive and challenge the path you’ve chosen.

All that can linger in your mind- especially on bad days, or when money is tight. You look at friends around you climbing the corporate ladder, buying houses, and settling down.

Deep inside you might know it isn’t what you want. However, it might still raise niggling doubts in the back of your mind. 

The Cash Flow Problems

Money can be a problem too.

I’m lucky that I have a remote job that allows me to travel and work at the same time. If there’s an internet connection, then I can earn some cash, which keeps me on the road.

Even with that job, though, money gets tight. An Adventure Lifestyle can be affordable, but travelling by itself sn’t cheap – especially if you want to pay for tours and expensive once-in-a-lifetime tourist experiences and so on. You can quickly eat into your bank balance and see your savings start to dwindle.

Again, the comparisons can start creeping in. Should you get an ‘ordinary job’, settle down somewhere, and so on?

It adds another level of financial uncertainty that can be stress at times. Of course, you realize that money isn’t everything and that you can easily/happily survive on very little. In fact, you might even prefer the simplicity involved of budget adventure travel- I do.

All the same, there’s no denying that money (or the lack of it) can become problematic and stress-inducing sometimes.

The Distance from Home

Adventures often take you far from friends and family as well.

You spent months away from your closest loved ones, which is never easy. I just got back to the UK from a recent trip. But, while I was away, I missed two Christmases, my dad’s 60th birthday, my brother’s 30th, family holidays, endless friends’ get-togethers, and so on.

Life at home goes on with your while you’re away. You can feel disconnected, lonely, and cut off from the most important people in your life. It can take some getting used to!

An Adventure Lifestyle - Backpacking in Indonesia - Mt Bromo
My Adventure Lifestyle bringing me to Indonesia

Time to Try the Adventure Lifestyle

I’ve always wanted to live an adventure lifestyle, exploring the world in the search of unforgettable experiences and personal growth.

However, there’s no doubt about it: among the immense positives involved, there’s a number of significant challenges to face as well. Hopefully, the pros and cons of an adventurous lifestyle that I’ve described in this post will help you decide if it’s right for you or not.

This article was contributed by Danny. Danny’s a travel enthusiast who’s determined to make the most of his life. He’s just set up a new blog to help others do the same! Check it out at wisehealthynwealthy.com

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