How do you know that you have learned enough? Are you sure that you didn’t miss that one vital piece of information that could make or break your adventure?
In today’s world, there is more information available to us than we could ever take in, much less remember and use. It is all too easy to become overloaded with information, paralyzed with the options before us. I am especially guilty of this. I love to learn, to explore a wide range of subjects. I researched off and on for months before starting this site. Finally I decided it was time to just go for it. I could continue reading forever, but no matter how much I knew, without jumping in and actually doing it, I would never get anywhere.
Fortunately for us, there is a simple way to learn what is most important, the truly necessary information, for any subject. Use other people’s knowledge (OPK). There are experts who have researched just about every topic available, and others who have done everything there is to be done. Often, they have published their findings in written form, either in books, on websites, or on blogs. Search out “Best of” titles. If they do not have such a post or chapter, contact them and ask.
An example: I had never been out of the country, and had no idea what/how to pack for my trip to Ireland. I looked up information from people who had traveled around the world.
* The Digital Backpacker
* Life Nomadic
I ended up carrying more than they did, but I used their suggestions as a starting point, as the very minimum that I needed to take. I didn’t have to research what luggage to use or what adapter to buy for my computer. Those two pieces of information alone saved me many hours of research. I was able to meet Tynan of lifenomadic at an event and he was more than happy to discuss gear for a few minutes.
Learn from others’ mistakes and research. Find someone that you trust, find out what they have to say on the topic, and go from there. You can save yourself much time if you just utilize their other people’s knowledge.