Why anticipation is so important

I feel more than a little silly admitting I actually lost sleep this morning thinking about an upcoming trip. In July.

Yeah, July is a few months off, and to be honest, this trip is hardly even taking shape yet. The dates are iffy, the crew is a maybe, and the logistics might be a bit of a challenge.

But back to the lost sleep part. I woke up early for no good reason, contemplating small trip details. Details I have absolutely no control over at the moment.

Seems kind of crazy, right? Is there any real value in losing sleep over an event so far off? Yes! Anticipation is the fuel to your adventure fire!

I’m a huge fan of anticipation. Without it, I’d probably get bored easily. I enjoy daydreaming about big things on the horizon. Approximately 9 times out of 10 it doesn’t go down anywhere near how I envisioned it. Regardless of my anticipation misconceptions, there is so much fun to be had in the pre-trip planning stage.

I think this is why it seems like it takes forever for an adventurous trip to get here, and when it does, it’s over in an instant. Your anticipation ramps the entire thing up times a thousand. Sometimes you reach a point when anticipation is the only thing on your mind. This is exactly when you can hardly get anything done with the rest of your life.

So why is anticipation so important? Because most of life is consumed with a different kind of stressful anticipation. Is my presentation at work going to be a hit? Will my commute today be longer than yesterday? How much will I owe the power company this winter? Will I be a good parent to my kids?

A million reasons not to ignore your non-stressful, pre-trip, awesome anticipation. Go ahead, lose an hour or two of sleep over it. Have no shame in your excitement. These moments come and go, and sometimes they are few and far between.

My wife and I taking on the San Juan River in Utah, a trip I had plenty of non-stressful, pre-trip, awesome anticipation for.

You might be curious about my trip in July. I’m putting together a bachelor party for my buddy who is getting married in August. At first I figured we’d float a lazy river over a long weekend.

Now I have bigger and better plans. Plans my buddies aren’t even aware of yet. Something tells me they’ll dig a whitewater trip down the South Fork of the Flambeau River in Wisconsin. A river I just started researching last night. I’m stoked just thinking about it.

Tell me all about your own non-stressful, pre-trip, awesome anticipation.




  1. In about 10 days we’ll leave for the Czech Republic. Apart from having booked the hotel, we haven’t planned anything yet… We’ll probably taste some beer though!

  2. I firmly believe I have twice the fun as my trip companions because the planning makes the anticipation magnified….and yes, you’re right…the actual experience is different.

    Right now I am having trip withdrawal…..since it was a college road trip I wake up from a dream visiting a campus with a building at the top of a high hill…something that did not actually exist…but I think I am still catching my breath LOL

    1. Coming from someone who specializes in custom trip planing, I would imagine your personal pre-trip anticipation levels go through the roof!

  3. It is kind of silly, but a while back, before I had a wheelchair ramp, I desperately wanted to get outside. I thought about a lot of different ways to do it, and finally I managed it, but I was scared to go back up for a few days. Anyway, here is the post when I made it into the garage, but yeah, the planning and anticipating the things I could do if I pulled it off was half the fun. http://wp.me/p1Cvgh-4u

      1. None so far, but summer’s still a couple months away. πŸ˜‰

        (I am climbing Half Dome this summer… *so* looking forward to that)

  4. Since anticipation is the drug of choice right now, I am glad to hear of these unknown and unpredicted plans on the horizon. As long as the date is set then my air travel can be arranged by my silent partners within the Serbo-Croatian heroin cartels.

    1. Oh, I already called our Serb buddies. They said they have a debilitating fear of water, but for you, they’ll do anything.

  5. I so understand your anticipation! I can’t sleep at night thinking of an adventure in June with a couple of the most amazing people in my life!

    1. Ugh, office life before a big outdoor trip kills me! Looks like you guys had a great time on your trip! Where to next?

      1. Well, we have Sedona in 9 days and after that is probably the Payson area somewhere. All in preparation for the big Yosemite trip!

  6. As I read, you can imagine the anticipation pangs I must be going through, waiting 6 more moths until we head off to Spain. That anticipation will generate a bunch of smaller trips between now and then to try and take the edge off, such as the one we are on right now. By the way, found a terrific whitewater place in Idaho, about 100 miles long with the greatest scenery ever. Clearwater River along the northwest passage scenic byway. Coincidental eh?

    1. A 6 month wait has to be brutal! Soon enough my friend.

      You know, Idaho is one of those places I regretfully have spent little time exploring. I would love to check out the Clearwater.

  7. I’m with you! Anticipation is fuel to the adventure fire!

    Since my first visit to Egypt last May, I have anticipated my return May 2012. Then the group leader I was going with passed away before she had a chance to plan her 2012 trip. This anticipation led to me starting my own yearly group journey to Egypt starting November 2012. The anticipation was so great, it led to me moving to Egypt for three months! I’m here now, until May 28th and go back in November for two weeks with my group! And yearly after that… πŸ™‚

  8. Heck ya, I’m all for anticipation!! I’m SO excited about my camping trips coming up. Hey, I got approval to go on the 9-day hiking trip so now I’m totally in crazy anticipation excitement delirium over it!

    Happy planning πŸ™‚

    1. 9 days! Go you! You’re going to have a blast. Will this be your longest hiking trip to date?

      1. Yup! Although technically this will be my only hiking trip to date. All of my other trips were always canoeing/portaging. So I think of only hiking as quite a challenge! keep those tips comin’ πŸ™‚

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