Adventure: The thing that passionately drives you and allows for enjoyment in life.
Work: The thing that you have to do, allowing you to go on your adventures.
Dilemma: How do you create a balance between these two activities in a way that puts a smile on your face?
Bags under the eyes, disheveled hair, and a monotone voice are all things that indicate a lack of the Work-Adventure (W/A) balance. While these may all be side effects of an epic night of St. Patrick’s Day-esque festivities, they’re more likely the result of slowly being destroyed by the daily repetition of mind-numbing work. People with a good W/A balance do not look like their soul has been slowly dying in front of a television; a person with a good WA balance is well-rested and prepared for work on the regular.
People with a good W/A balance find the time to crush out 30 miles on the road bike before the work day even begins. Perhaps they crush out 30 miles on a road bike on their way to work to build up the energy needed to knock out an incredibly productive day, so he/she can take a couple hours off on Friday to go on a multi-day climbing trip later in the week. People with a good W/A balance have a virtuous cycle where the work fuels their desire to hit the outdoors, but then the outdoors gets them ready again to crush it at work. In order to accomplish these types of awesome things, these folks choose work with particular characteristics.
Job Characteristics that are Conducive of W/A Balance
Flexible Hours: Jobs with flexible hours are the best. This way, you can head out in the morning before going into work without glancing at your watch every five min.
Early Hours: Jobs with early hours are also ideal for the W/A balance since you’ll have some sunlight after calling it quits for the day.
Contracting: Working from home is also very conducive to a W/A balance. The monotony of being at home often forces you to get outside. While lining up gigs isn’t always the easiest proposition, the limbo stage of hearing back is a great time to enjoy some adventure time.
Working for companies who encourage W/A balance: Outdoor companies often encourage their employees to get outside. This could mean mandatory snow days for when there’s feet of powder outside or early Fridays so you can enjoy your outdoorsy weekend trip.
Types of Jobs You Don’t Want
9–5’s: While it’s not impossible to have a W/A balance with a nine to five, it sure makes it harder. The trick here is to plan your adventures in advance. Go on a run directly after work (or even, run/bike to work if they have a shower). This way you utilize your daylight instead of going home and getting stuck in front of the TV.
On Call: On call jobs might be the worst. You’ll never have a piece of that sweet work-free freedom that is required for adventure. Avoid these occupations at all costs…I’m talking to you Dr. Whoever.