104 weekend days + 12 public holidays = 116 days of no work each year.
Just let that sink in for a while.
For the mathematicians out there, that means for 33% of our working lives we’re actually on holiday. If that’s not enough of a slap across the face, this figure doesn’t even include your entitled annual leave, evenings during the working week (perfect for 5-9 adventures) or unpaid holiday, but we’ll come to these later.
It’s quite a startling fact to swallow isn’t it? It’s up to us though to recognise this gaping holiday hole in our lives and fill it with as much experience as is humanly possible. Once we do this, the possibilities suddenly become endless.
It’s also been scientifically proven that having a holiday scribbled into your calendar makes you a happier human, so in order to spend your days chirpier than a seagull with a french fry, surely we all need to season our calendars with bucket loads of mini-holidays rather just one big overseas trip?
So what are some of the best ways to maximise your time off? Here are 4 golden tips…
1. Leverage your Public Holiday and Weekends
These are gifted to us every single week and on the odd occasion the government kindly tack on an extra day or two for us. Mini-holidays (like mini-retirements proposed by Tim Ferriss in the ‘4-hour working week’) are recurring escapes throughout the year that spread the fun out rather than concentrate it all into one big, bank-balance-hemorrhaging overseas trip.
During public holidays, hoards of other informed people (like yourself) will also be escaping the city, so play it smart and avoid peak hour traffic if you’re road tripping or even flying somewhere. Perhaps negotiate leaving the office a couple of hours early by being first in best dressed for the few days leading up to the trip? Flights and accommodation (including campsites) get booked early so plan ahead to avoid disappointment.
‘Travel’ doesn’t necessarily mean cross-planet expeditions with a 50kg badge-riddled backpack strapped to your shoulders. Short term trips – or microadventures – are far more cost effective options that compresses this spirit of a big adventure into an epic weekend away without having to take a nano-second of your actual holiday.
2. Five to Nine Adventures
On an average school night we have between 5pm–9am of pure, unadulterated freedom. In other words that’s 16 hours of adventurous opportunity that most of us neglect for an episode of dodgy, brain-melting television.
A mid-week microadventure is the perfect way to utilise this forgotten time and give yourself a nature reboot. All you need to do is pick a campsite within 2 hours of your workplace, invite some equally foolhardy friends and take a bus or train to your wild pocket of paradise. You’ll probably smell so bad when you roll into work the next day that you’ll need prescription strength tic-tacs, but my god, you will definitely have a more exciting story to tell than your colleagues.
3. Work Remotely
In an age where digital nomadicy is becoming increasingly seen as a positive step towards productivity and happiness for employees and employers alike, there’s actually never been a better time to propose this notion to your boss.
Remember though: working remotely should not be seen as a day off! Far from it in fact. The trick of course is to prove that your output is as great (if not greater) than when you’re working in the office. If you can nail this, you’ll be putting together a strong case to your boss for plenty more remote days.
Here’s an example – fancy an escape to the jungle but don’t want to take any time off? Fly to Cairns on Thursday night after work, spend a night there and drive up to Cape Tribulation first thing on Friday morning – you’ll be swinging in a hammock with a laptop open by 9am, working as productively as in the city only you’ll be entombed by nature. When you ‘clock off’ in the afternoon you’re immediately ready to embrace the weekend and make the most of your tropical paradise #livingthedream.
4. Schedule an Adventure Weekend per Month
The best way to actually fill your life with adventure is to plan ahead and get excited. So we’ve got a challenge for you:
Go and buy the most ludicrously sized map of your state or country and take over a wall in your house (Buy the biggest packet of blu-tak you can lay your hands on).
Stare at it.
Stare at it and dream and let that fuzzy feeling of wanderlust and adventurous possibility take over.
Stare at it for a bit longer.
Now pick up the phone and call your favourite people and tell them you’ve got a plan that’s as hot as your pants.
Set one weekend every month that you’ll do something out of the ordinary; a new experience outside of the norm that’ll challenge you in some way. Take it in turns each month for one of you to plan it. Do your absolute best to stick to one a month with no excuses – we promise that you’ll reflect on what was an incredible 12 months of microadventure when you finish.