Written By Nick Uthe | @nickuthe
In a short amount of time I'll be setting out on an incredible 10,000 mile journey across North America in a photographic project called Explore the North. With any great adventure there is an unavoidable amount of planning that is necessary to have a good outcome. At the same time I suggest you limit your planning and truly live out the integrity of the word, "adventure". Use your common sense, be excited for the unknown and find the unusual.
From a background of successful travel I'll discuss how I go about getting ready for a long distance trek like the one I have in front of me. At the end I hope some of my unconventional travel tactics aren't too far fetch and can resonate with you.
When it comes to travel planning and organization I feel it is important to be in the moment rather than being on schedule. So to make this a reality and not just a concept this means you have to limit your time scheduling things in advance. Your soul will thank you later when you release yourself to becoming an open book.
I've come to find that picking a location to explore is simple and fascinating because this is where the mystery begins. The way I've chosen to go about this step is to pick a broad location and simply decide your goals or activities when you get there. It's almost like playing the "where are you going to live" game when you were a youngster, where you spin the globe and randomly put your finger down. Where ever the globe stops, this is where you go. No I haven't done this exactly but It would be one heck of real game to play.
This free flowing method has never let me down and I always find myself having more fun than I ever could have imagined. With that being said I call sleeping in the bed of a truck in pouring rain a good night. Some of my best nights have been spent cramped in a vehicle while under thunderstorms and I cannot wait for the next one.
On Explore the North we have some goals set, one of them is to drive from coast to coast and capture and document the beautiful sites along the way. We also have approximately 50 days to do it but other than that, no, we did not schedule out every single location. We broke the US and Canada down to small sectors and we are going to find the best locations in each one of those areas.
Hopefully we will have some help from locals along the way!
I understand it is not second nature for people to be able to hop in their car and just go, but the more you work towards freeing yourself of your mental barriers the fresher your mind will feel and the more you will accomplish. It does become a little more work to plan on the road but we all know anything worthwhile takes a little extra hard work.
So my advice to you is to leave your options open. Come into each adventure with a positive mind. Leave your worries at the door and drive on into the unknown, with of course your common sense riding shotgun.
Be sure to follow Explore the North below and hopefully I can inspire adventure within you and bring out your inner zenmaster chi to conquer this life we all have in front of us. Maybe I'll even see you out there!
Pictured above (left) Nick Uthe and (right) Sam Axness in Carson Park Eau Claire, WI