By: Eli Shostak

It’s happening! We’ve spent our daylight savings, the holiday season is upon us, and we’re sliding into winter like Michelle Kwan. Even though this happens every year, and so many of us are thrilled to get out and play in snowy places, gather with friends and family, and take things down a notch, at some point we’ll be staring at our Chacos, reminiscing about warm weather rambles and getting ready for planning the next adventure.

Abbey, Amanda, Michele, Hallie standing on boatAlthough we might feel like river floats, canyon hikes and camp chairs on the beach are a far-off fantasy, the shifting of seasons provides inspiration to start identifying the actions we should take now to align our visions of future adventures with our current course of action.

  • It’s Time to Begin Planning the Next Adventure: Now is absolutely the right time to start planning your next trip! Nothing motivates like a deadline, and dialing in a date will inspire action. Knowing you have a trip coming up not only provides some stoke during winter’s dark days, but it also encourages you to fix the holes in your rain gear, wash the sleeping bag, and maybe read a book about your destination. And, as a bonus, getting after it early means plenty of choices of dates and places for your trip!
  • Talk it Up at Holiday Parties: Making goals for ourselves is certainly an important part of staying engaged in new pursuits, and sharing those goals with others really motivates. We’ve all felt apprehensive about chatting up our schemes because once we tell others, they’ll expect us to follow through (“How’s that diet going?”). In this case, that’s exactly perfect! Choose a trip and start talking about it with your community. Maybe someone will want to join you! Which leads to…Bachelorette wheelbarrow racing
  • Involve Others Immediately: Instead of just discussing your trip with others, get them to join you! It turns out working with others and being accountable to people besides the voices in our head encourages adherence to our plans. The success of programs like Weight Watchers and Alcoholics Anonymous is partly due to the responsibility people feel to others in the group. Get some friends onboard, book a trip with the family, and rope others into your vision. By doing so, there’s a better chance you (and everyone) will make the trip happen.
  • Take Care of Yourself Starting Now: Winter’s challenging conditions and holiday excesses can lead to less-than-ideal self-care. Before eddying out and over indulging in cheese logs, mulled wine and cookie platters, make a plan to support mental and physical wellbeing. Have a vision to arrive at the put-in or trailhead feeling fit and frisky!
  • Just Do Something: Bottom line, it’s never too early to get going on getting going. 

If you need more inspiration or direction, give the fine folks at Holiday River Expeditions a call (801-266-2087) or explore the website; surely you’ll find the stoke you need to book the adventure you want!


Eli Shostak is a Senior Lecturer of Adventure Education at Fort Lewis College. A former river guide, NOLS Course Leader, and sea kayaking instructor, he is a firm believer in the power of shared experiences in wild places. Eli is dedicated to using his expertise in mindfulness, leadership, and expedition planning to facilitate journeys for finding the personal and interpersonal benefits of exploring diverse landscapes. His favorite game to play on trips is called “Knuck Tats,” something you’ll have to ask him about.