College means a lot of things. Parties, lecture halls that operate as giant nap-houses, sorority girls named Brittany- there are universal truths around. And one of those truths is you’re going to want a summer adventure. That’s good, and I like it. But it’s not good enough to just want it. Everyone says they want an adventure; do you know how many people think they’re going cross-country this summer? But if you want it to happen, follow this advice.

1: Assemble the Team

You’ll notice I say “team” because that’s ultimately what this is. Road-trip, big concert, or saving the family farm, whatever your big adventure is going to be, you need the right team for this. This does *not* mean “pick your five best friends.” Think about your friend group and there are dynamics at play. Sam and Alden get along great, and so do Will and Russell, but then it’ll be an “ultimate frisbee” thing. Me and Sam are a great team unless girls are involved, because then I’ll be so jealous of his sultry looks that I’ll try to fight him on the streets of Montreal…again. And  everyone loves Jacob but no one wants to be responsible for him in public.

See what I’m saying? You’ve got to plan as to who fits best with who. Try to find a capable group for the task at hand. Speaking of which…


2: Agree on the Plan

We’re all going to Canada, for the sake of this article. I recommend you do it. Agreeing on the plan is pretty basic, but it needs to be said.


3: Agree on the Theme

After you decide what you do, decide how you do. You’ve all got to agree as to what the hope is. Are you going on a booze-filled exploration of Canada? Is it more a relaxed, cultured enjoyment of a new country with more reasonable booze-policies? Or are you trying to seduce girls with your freestyle rapping skills up and down the Canadian coast while in a penguin suit? These all sound like great ideas, and a good trip can incorporate all of those ideas. But you have to make sure that everyone agrees on the vibe. You don’t want two guys wanting to see the city, two guys with hangovers, one guy with a girl, and one guy missing in a penguin suit. That’s not going to work out well.


4: Hammer Out Details

Find the hostel. Find a backup. Have plans. Have lots of cool places you could go. Have some emergency numbers.

Now I’m all for exploration. And feel free to drop all these plans instantly; it would be cool to find a new hostel or a new plan while you’re on the trip. Spontaneity is awesome and you should be ready to greet it. But you can’t expect it to happen or you might be bored.


5: Blood Oaths

Lastly, if you want this to happen, you need to make this happen. Get commitments. Not “who else is coming” commitments. Send them the link to this article right now. Tell your friends that you guys are planning this. And set up the blood oath.

The blood oath is the key to adventures. It’s a deposit- twenty bucks, forty bucks, a promise to eat half a stick of butter- that is returned if you make the trip. If you don’t, it’s forfeited. This means that if anyone cancels on you they have to pay for it…and pay for everyone else on the trip getting pizza one night, or two rounds of drinks. That means your less likely to get cancelations. It changes the mentality if instead of “maybe I’ll come” they have to say “I won’t, and here’s twenty bucks, and I have to eat a bug.”

Summer adventures are great, guys. Make them happen.


[Image courtesy of Flickr user Moresheth. Licensed under CC by 2.0]