A man sitting by the side of a lake in Vancouver, holding a disposable camera

Adventure Awaits: Four Questions to Ask Yourself Before Planning Your Next Trip

"Understanding the purpose of your adventure helps guide your choices and gives you a better understanding of what you hope to get from it."

Darius Haberstock is a member of our legendary Creator’s Crew, a small but epic group of roamers, adventurers and escapologists from all over the world who are committed to a life of outdoor escapism.

Chatting with us as we catch up, Darius reflects on lessons he’s learned along the way and his thoughts on what you should ask yourself before planning your next adventure. Let’s get into it…

Written by Darius Haberstock

Darius hiking through the French Pyrenees
French Pyrenees

The feeling of embarking on a new and exciting adventure is an exhilarating rush of emotions and sensations that can be both invigorating and nerve-wracking. It's like standing on the edge of the unknown, anticipation, curiosity, and excitement coursing through you.

But before every big adventure, you must first ask yourself some questions. Are you staying close to home for a quick weekend getaway? Do you have more time and hope to go on a road trip? Or have you finally decided to go on that long-awaited 8-month trip across the world that starts in Central America, but halfway through, you spontaneously book a plane ticket across the globe and find yourself in Europe?

A woman sits on a cliff edge overlooking the sea in Sagres, Portugal
Sagres, Portugal

Okay, it probably isn’t the last one, but whatever the adventure may be, it’s all about the prep.

Here are some of the questions I ask myself before planning any adventure. I decided to include some hypothetical examples that might not be so hypothetical... You could say I’m preparing for my next adventure as I write this…

1. What Are My Goals and Expectations for This Adventure?

While this could be as easy as saying, "I want to drive to the beach for the weekend and relax," I challenge you to dive deep into this question as the answers can often differ from what you may expect, giving you a more profound appreciation for your adventure. 

Clarify Your Purpose

First, I like to ask, "Why am I embarking on this adventure?" Is it for relaxation, self-discovery, a cultural experience, or to challenge myself? Understanding the purpose helps guide your choices during the adventure and gives you a better understanding of what you hope to get from it.    

p.s. I am a sucker for a good self-discovery adventure!

Darius walks looking upwards at the pine trees
Olympic National Park, Washington
Darius dives into a lake at Tatoosh Ridge in Washington
Tatoosh Ridge, Washington

Set Specific Goals

Once I have defined my purpose, I begin to think of the specific objectives I want to achieve. For example, if I am travelling for relaxation, my goal might be to unwind, de-stress, do some yoga and meditate. If I seek a more cultural experience, I focus on meeting local people and learning about their traditions and customs. 

Whatever the purpose, plan your adventure around your goals, and the outcome will be immeasurable.  

Manage Your Expectations

I like to dream big, but I also know I need to be realistic about what I can expect from the adventure. Not every moment will be perfect, and there may be challenges, but that is okay. 

Embrace the unpredictability and be open to unexpected experiences. This is one of my biggest takeaways from any adventure I've been on. Often, the most unforeseen moments can be the most memorable. 

A woman overlooking a mountain range in Washington
Tatoosh Ridge, Washington

2. Am I Looking to Step Out of My Comfort Zone?

Honestly, this is a very adventure-dependent question, and it is 110% okay if the answer is no. But if you are planning an adventure that challenges you and pushes you outside your comfort zone, I recommend understanding what you are getting into. 

Identify Your Comfort Zones

If I want to step outside my comfort zone, it makes sense to understand those comforts, right? Am I looking to challenge myself emotionally, physically, mentally or all of the above?

Whatever the answer is, once I know what to focus on, I can begin putting myself in those situations of accelerated growth. 

Embrace that Feeling of Discomfort

Let's say one day I wanted to challenge myself physically and mentally, so I booked a backcountry trip into the mountains with little to no knowledge of the outdoors with a mattress that wouldn't stay blown up... Maybe that happened; maybe it didn't (it definitely happened, it was awful, yet somehow the best time ever). 

But guess what? I fell in love with that discomfort and the challenge of putting myself in situations where I needed to adapt to my surroundings. It's through stepping out of your comfort zone that you often find the most rewarding experiences. 

A man swinging off a rope swing into a cave pool
Tulum, Mexico

Allow Gradual Discomfort

I love to add small amounts of discomfort into my everyday life. Whether going out and talking to a stranger or taking a cold shower. 

When you add micro amounts of discomfort into your routine, you train yourself to adapt and handle situations that arise more calmly. Start with small adventures or experiences that push your boundaries before tackling more significant challenges. 

3. How Can I Uniquely Document My Adventure?

I love capturing moments when I adventure and encourage anyone and everyone to document their life. 

But how can you do this in a way that is natural to you? Will you keep a travel journal, create a blog, or share your experiences on social media? 

Documenting your adventure not only helps you relive the moments but also allows you to inspire and connect with others. 

Darius writing in his journal during a hike on Vancouver Island
Vancouver Island

Put Pen to Paper

One of my favourite ways to document anything in life is through journaling. There is just something so nostalgic about looking back through old notebooks with detailed stories of the past. 

Whenever I journal during an adventure, I try to be extremely detailed, exploring the emotions I felt, the people I met and the experiences I had. The goal of journaling is to have a more profound appreciation for my adventure so that one day, I can return with fond memories of my experience.  

Relive the Experience with Video

Video is amazing. If I am being honest, I debated just leaving it at that because what else needs to be said? When you capture video, whether on your cellphone, camcorder, or professional camera, you are capturing so much more than a moving image; you are capturing a scene in the movie that you call your life. 

Too far? Maybe, but I don't think so. One of my favourite simple ways to take videos while on an adventure is to point my camera at something wonderful and let it roll for a few seconds or even minutes. Although simple, this trick helps me appreciate the beauty of an area and brings me back to that moment.

Darius holds the camera up to his face to capture video
Jasper, Alberta

Click That Shutter

As a photographer, I have an indescribable appreciation for what a single image can convey. You have the ability to freeze a moment in time every time you snap that shutter, so use every click wisely. 

Here are three quick tips for taking more memorable images. Don't worry, I'll make it short.

  1. Focus on your environment
  2. Don't shy away from the small details
  3. And lastly, capture emotion.

Without a doubt, these three tips will leave you with images you can't wait to show your friends and family and fill your heart with a deep appreciation for your adventure.

Darius sitting on a log on a beach in Vancouver
Whytecliff Park, West Vancouver

4. What Impact Will My Adventure Have on Others and the Environment?

In an era of increasing environmental awareness, it's essential to consider the impact of your adventure. One of my biggest priorities is minimizing my environmental footprint and supporting ethical travel practices. 

"When you practice sustainable adventuring, you set an example for others and protect our beautiful planet so you and many others can experience similar adventures."

A beautiful vista of Tatoosh Ridge
Tatoosh Ridge, Washington

Leave No Trace (LNT)

Leaving no trace while travelling and adventuring means minimizing your impact on the environment and respecting the natural beauty of the places you visit. 

Put simply, leave Mother Earth the way you found it. By doing this, you help preserve the natural world for future generations to enjoy and ensure that these beautiful places remain intact for years to come.

Shop and Eat Locally

My favourite way of doing this? Grabbing a beer and a burger at a local restaurant after a good, strenuous hike. I love trying new food, shopping at local boutiques and doing whatever I can to support the local communities I explore. This can often go overlooked, but it makes a massive impact.

A group of friends hang by the lake and drink coffee
Tatoosh Ridge, Washington

Bonus Tip

Often, the people working are locals who know the area better than anyone. They know the hidden gems, the best places to eat, and where to see the most breathtaking views. So strike up a conversation, and you'll be surprised at how willing people are to share their favourite spots with you. 

Putting It All Together

When I ask these questions in detail, I enhance my preparedness for the adventure and ensure my journey aligns with the values and objectives I have set in place. 

This thoughtful approach contributes to a more enriching, fulfilling and memorable adventure experience, leaving me more grateful and excited for the next epic trip!  

Hand touching water
Jasper, Alberta

About Darius Haberstock

With an ever-growing passion for adventure and the great outdoors, Darius focuses on capturing moments of freedom and bliss through his work. Raw emotion, storytelling and mindfulness are the core building blocks of his creativity, and he carries these traits into his everyday life.  

As a resident of the Canadian Pacific Northwest, Darius has a deep love for hiking, backcountry camping and finding new off-the-beaten-path adventures that stoke his soul. 

Follow Darius on Instagram where he shares more of his travels and adventures: @deeehabs

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