What is the Price of Fun?

Lately I’ve been asked how much I spent in 2016. I spent the entire year on a massive road trip where I visited all 50 States, the District of Columbia, 1 US Territory, and 3 Canadian Provinces. So I understand everyone’s knee jerk reaction to question my total spending. Not many people are able to dedicate a whole year to travel and adventure, but lots dream about it. When I get asked that question I want to believe that people are trying to formulate a plan to start saving to go on some awesome adventure of their own.What is the Price of Fun?

A grand adventure is sexy, fun. But it’s not always practical. Relationships, work, and health concerns are only a few things that hinder the possibility of going on a big adventure. A large scale adventure isn’t a be all end all kind of thing. In fact I’d argue that there are TONS of smaller adventures to go on that fit within a reasonable budget and the memories from all these experiences add up over time.

I’ve spent some time pondering this and have put together a list of various adventures with drastically different price points. When you start doing rather than dreaming of what could be is when you’ll realize that a ton of fun is right out your front door step.

$0-$500

  • Hiking all the trails within your city, county, and state
  • Ride your bike 100 miles
  • Run a number of distances (5K, 10K, Half Marathon, Marathon, Ultra Marathon)
  • Climb tons of boulders
  • Swim a mile
  • Surf more than 183 days in a year
  • Get scuba diving certified

$501-$2,500

  • Take a 2 week road trip
  • Climb a big wall
  • Ride your bike across the country
  • Thru hike 1 of the 11 National Scenic Trails (AT, PCT, CT, etc.)
  • Bike pack through Canyonlands National Park
  • Become a certified

$2,501+

  • Packrafting in Gates of the Arctic National Park
  • Hike/climb Mt. Kilimanjaro
  • Multi day rafting trip through the Grand Canyon
  • Take a guided hike to the base of Mt. Everest
  • Get certified in skydiving

The Price of Fun

 We loaded our packs on our backs and started the one-mile hike over the sand dunes to our campsite. Adam and I got to White Sands National Monument later in the day and had last choice of backcountry campsites. A mile hike isn’t bad, but the weather decided to make us work for our fun.The Price of Fun in White Sands National Monument New Mexico

The two of us hate wind, with a passion. It can be a beautiful day and our moods turn sour with a constant wind of even 10mph+. That’s what happened at White Sands National Monument; except the winds were 20mph with gusts of 30mph+. It was miserable. Still we walked out to our backcountry site hoping to get some awesome shots of a lit up tent with a starry night in the background.

In pictures, you could’ve seen smoke coming out of my ears, but the wind blew it away. The tent was blowing in the wind as we tried to get it staked down. Snot started flowing out of my nose from the cold wind. Finally, we had the tent secured down to the hard gypsum sand. The dunes were glowing with colors as we clicked off some photographs of the fading light.

For some reason I had a hope that the wind would die out as the night grew darker. That turned out to be a dream that would never come true. Gypsum sand swirled around all night and the wind only started blowing harder. I’m amazed my 3 person tent didn’t snap from the wind. By 8:00pm it was evident that we weren’t going to get any photos that night. Sand was bound to get into the nooks and crannies of our cameras, ruining them, and they’d topple over if we get up our tripods in hopes of getting some star trails.

One thing I’ve begun to pride myself with is being able to fall asleep anywhere. It started out warm, so I didn’t even bother to blow up my sleeping pad, but the ground got colder and somehow I slept like a baby when I wasn’t tossing and turning. Adam, on the other hand, got beat up all night by the tent pole near him that kept on getting lifted by the wind.

The morning light didn’t make things much better. It got colder over night and the wind was bitter cold without the sun’s rays beating down on me. I grabbed a couple pictures and walked back to the tent, fighting the wind and sand to get Adam up. Right when he was done grabbing pictures; we packed up and got the heck out of there. Accepting defeat, my head hung as we crossed the tall sand dunes back to the van.

For the longest time I’ve debated whether the monetary cost of a trip would be worth the reward of a great time. Countless times I turned down a good time because I wanted the money to get all moldy in my bank account.

Now there’s a new price of fun and that’s the weather. It’s like the weather’s saying Hey! I see you wanting to have a fun time. Respect. But I’m going to make you earn it. Now it’s you’re choice: will you earn it and enjoy yourself or will you accept defeat and hate everything about where you are and what you’re doing?

I think we all place a price on fun, whether it be monetary, how much we have to work for it, or even a specific suffer factor. Whatever our price is, it’s up to us to take advantage of our chance to have fun and not let a moment pass us by because of the cost. Whatever that cost might be.