I’m getting ready for a little girlfriend getaway next weekend. These trips can never happen enough. This trip is all about taking time just for us. So, game on!
We have rented a cottage in Asheville, NC. Our plans include; visiting the Biltmore House and winery, spending a day at the Grove Park Inn spa and enjoying countless glasses of bubbly in our hot tub and anywhere else we may choose.
When I’m getting ready for any trip, I find myself either mentally or physically starting a list. A list of things I want to see, things I want to do, things I need to pack, things I need to buy before I go.
For me, the list is part of the trip and knowing I’m preparing for the trip it makes the wait time go by a little faster. This is Phase 2 of the trip.
If you are going to truly take advantage of everything that travel and life has to offer that means you have to appreciate the journey as much as the destination. Here are what I see as the 4 Phases of any great adventure.
4 Phases of Adventure
Phase 1: The Decision
Phase 1 is where all the fun begins. It starts with some type of trigger, an idea, a thought or a suggestion. The seed is planted and it’s time to hit the road. Sometimes the destination was part of the trigger, other times it a decision to be made. For example, each year I go on a trip with a group of girlfriends. We go somewhere new every year. The group began with four girls, and sometimes we widen that circle to include others. So, planning the trip really begins with three decisions; where do we go, when do we go, and who should we invite? We have many fun conversations just around the possibilities.
If the destination is already determined – say it’s a Workation. Then the decisions might start with questions like “what are the attractions I need to see there?” and “how can I get the most out of this trip?” All to often business travelers lose sight of the opportunities that sit at their finger tips. I know it’s easy to let the new wear off of traveling for business and it can become a hassle or even a dread. And to those of you in that place right now, I challenge you to look at your next trip with a new perspective. Think of it as a chance to discover something new, to meet new people, to see a different city. Even if you’re going to a city you’ve been to a hundred times, go see something new, try out a new restaurant, take a tour, bring the explorer in you along.
Phase 2: The Planning
All the decisions have been made, now you get to plan. This is where you get to start making lists, buying tickets, shopping for the right stuff, looking at event schedules and discovering the possibilities.
Most cities have great visitors websites where you can get information on area attractions, events that will be in town when you’re there and also insider scoop on what the locals like to do.
Phase 2 of my Asheville weekend included checking out local music venues to see what bands are playing while we’re there. Booking dinner reservations on the Terrace at the Grove Park Inn, booking spa treatments, booking tickets to Biltmore House, creating a shopping list of things we might want to have on hand at the cottage. Although we’ll go out for most meals, we’ll want to have somethings on hand to accompany the Champagne.
And finally, the most important part of Phase 2 is setting an intention for the trip. Beginning your adventure with the right mind set makes all the difference in the world. Decide what you want to learn on this trip, how you want to feel during it, adventures you plan to have, and experiences you want to take away. Make conscious decisions about what you want to accomplish on the trip.
My intentions for my Asheville trip are very simple.
- I intend to clear my mind of my workload and all the projects I’m responsible for
- I intend to connect with my friends and have great conversations
- I intend to belly laugh at least twice a day
- I intend to discover something new in Asheville that I have never seen before
Phase 3: The Trip
Obviously the trip is the phase where it all goes down. Where we put it all together and head out on the adventure. Keys to making the most of The Trip:
- Keep your intentions in mind
- Be open to new plans – you never know when something better comes along
- Meet people. When I look back on favorite trips and adventures, the highlights nearly always center around meeting new people and discovering new cultures.
- Document the adventure. Whether you’re a writer or a photographer, pick your favorite medium and capture the memories. It’s so easy to be a journalist now. Just post your journey on Facebook, use mobile uploads, blog, or just take pictures for your own memories. Documenting your adventure is a great way to stay connected to it and to see the greatness is the things around you.
Phase 4: Reflection
After all the planning and the anticipation the return home from the trip can sometimes be a downer. You return to all the stresses of your everyday life. You go back to work and before you know it it feels like you never even went on your adventure.
Take time to reflect on the experience, on what you learned from it, how you have grown because of it and certainly the fun you had.
I like to start the reflection process while I’m still on the trip. The plane ride home is a great time to reflect on favorite moments, highlights and insights.
After returning home take time to go through your photos, reflect on each one, the feeling you had at the time and the intentions you set. You may even discover that there are moments from your trip that have changed you forever.
And now, start dreaming about the next trip – it’s time for Phase 1