Words by Women Who Explore Ambassador :: Brittany Donnelly
I am a hiker. I am a weekend warrior. I am an adventurer. I am a mother. These are all the fun ways I use to describe myself and my online identity. However, I have been reflecting that I keep omitting the facilitator to allow all these adventures.
I am a full time project manager in the IT field. I spend a portion of my week in a cubicle-type setting underneath fluorescent lighting. I often am plotting and thinking of what I am going to do on my next adventure and how I want to be outside with my kids climbing up some mountain somewhere. As much as I want it to be my reality everyday. It is not sustainable, right now.
Being immersed and surrounded by others in various communities like Women Who Explore that are geared towards adventure planning and leading group hikes help give me a piece of freedom that I need within the constraints that I have. Which for me is what I desire; right now. I love being able to connect with other women in my community that love the outdoors and hiking just like I do.
Don’t we all want that? To follow our dreams and passions to fully live life to the fullest.
There is so much content online about unplugging, recharging and getting outside to reduce stress and gain a clear perspective.
But, how do you really do it when you might be on a tight, fixed income?
As a parent, and a single-income household we rely heavily on financial planning and making sure we are prepared for things that might arise when having small kids. My spouse is a lot more conservative and is focused on reducing our debt foot print while I am more whimsical. I love randomly deciding to go here or go there… it can be stressful financially to find that happy balance and sweet spot for us both to make sure we are happy with the choices that are happening.
Your Adventures Goals into Action.
Here are some things that I have implemented into my life to make sure that I am not losing out on my big goals and desires in life while still being aware that I am the financial provider while my spouse is in school. (I am determined to have the best of both worlds.)
- Tighten up the budget to save for a big adventure. Can you sacrifice eating out at restaurants weekly for a couple months and put it towards that trip you want? (You will quickly notice how shifting the focus from passive spending to being very intentional with your funds so you can go on that trip.
- Get a side hustle to earn more cash to go on an adventure you have been wanting to take and not compromise any existing obligations you might have.
- Can you cancel any monthly auto subscriptions temporarily to assist with funding a weekend adventure? You may quickly notice that you have a lot of money going to things you aren’t even using.
- Do you have the ability to find a job with Flex schedule to allow you more time in your weeks to take the time to go somewhere. Many of my friends can’t go with me on adventures because of lack of paid-time-off or inability to leave with short notice.
- Cut yourself a break and realize that it is OKAY. Recognize that you are doing the best you can and maybe you can’t fly to the Dolomites in Italy to go hiking but, you CAN do something in a neighboring state and still knock something off your bucket list.
I will be the first to understand the social media and online pressure to constantly be out there exploring. There is an underlying expectation to be going from place to place but, is it really feasible?
Brittany Donnelly is a 29 year-old Arizona native, a mother to two boys, an Army wife and juggles working full time as a project manager. She manages her own blog brittanydonnelly.com where she highlights and shares her experience with hiking, the outdoors and baby-wearing while climbing. She finds it inspiring to see other mothers explore the outdoors and hopes to be a light for any moms that finds getting outdoors challenging + when you add kids to the mix – overcoming that component.