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Live The Life You Love

Preparation is Everything

Posted by kdadmin on May 15th, 2015.

Preparation is Everything

People make fun of me for the amount of preparation and planning I do. They think I waste too much time anticipating unlikely eventualities. They say I should just go “do what I want” and “deal with whatever happens.”

Well, that’s a nice idea. But, remember when the “Russians” invaded the Ukraine in March, 2014? Well, by the end of 2013, I had spent nearly three months planning a trip from Romania through Moldova, Belarus, the Ukraine and ending up in Russia. But, because of my extensive preparation, I realized there was no way that a solo traveler, who wasn’t from the area, could be safe traveling through those countries. The risks were too high. So, in mid December, 2013, I scrapped the whole trip. I took a lot of flack for this.

But then, on a warm morning in early March, 2014, I woke up in a French villa overlooking the Mediterranean Sea instead of the newly invaded war zone of Crimea, Ukraine. I’d call this a “win.”

However, this travel strategy didn’t come over night. I literally spent years taking little trips, noticing what worked, what didn’t, and fixed every broken problem along the way. Over the last nine years, trips went from days to a week to two weeks to three to a month to two and to three. I’ve managed to get progressively better at this process only because I pay attention to my successes and failures. Then, I systematically overcome my failures.

It’s not a sexy process. It’s boring. But I end up looking sexy. Which is how it should be …

Many of my blog readers have suggested that start adding specific details about HOW to Live the Life You Love instead of just telling people to do that abstract thing. In other words, I should teach you how to fish instead of just telling you to fish. Seems like a good idea. So, here goes.

Essential Tech: Be a Mule, Not an Ass.

Mules carry heavy loads without compliant. Asses complain constantly.

Truth be told, I like Rick Steves. But his idea of traveling with only a carryon makes him look like he did in his early videos (overly khaki’d and dopey). Plus, I want to shoot helicopter video and that requires a fair bit of gear. SO, in order to prepare for my trips, I use this weight vest in the off season. Now, I’m not a doctor, or a trainer, and I am NOT giving you medical advice. So, your mileage may vary. My expertise comes from traveling more than 50,000 miles each year (twice the distance around the globe).

Here’s how I use this vest to prepare for my future adventures:

  1. I wear it a couple of hours each day.
  2. I start at 10 pounds and steadily work my way up to 35 pounds until the day I leave town; but, I take at least three months.
  3. At least twice per week, I try to simulate a typical heavy trip day, while wearing the most weight I’ve done to that point. I then hoist my fully loaded gear backpack on top of that.
  4. I buy the lightest, most ergonomic, gear backpacks I can find.
  5. I notice where my pain points develop. I work with my doctor to develop remedies to the various issues. For example, if my feet hurt, I buy new shoes. If my knees and hips hurt, I ask my doctor about posture. Or, I hire a distance walking coach to help me with form.
  6. If I’m in pain, I back off the weight until I’m not. Then, I slowly build back up.
  7. I do yoga to stretch out the compressed parts of my body. Yoga can be boring, true, but being in a room with a bunch of bendy women certainly takes the edge off …

At the end of the day, you have to listen to your body, and grow only at the pace that you can successfully achieve, injury free. However, my results have been remarkable. Aside from avoiding fatigue across thousands of miles, I haven’t been to the emergency room in the last 11 months, and that’s saying a lot … As I’m the former king of vacation ER.


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