Embrace the Spirit of #microadventure
1a: an undertaking usually involving danger and unknown risks
1b: the encountering of risks
2: an exciting or remarkable experience
- Merriam Webster Online Dictionary
noun mic·ro ad·ven·ture
“A microadventure is an adventure that is short, simple, local, cheap – yet still fun, exciting, challenging, refreshing and rewarding.” - Alastair Humphreys.
Most of us live fast paced lives, tied to our desks for much of the day, squeezed onto packed trains, stuck in traffic, and queuing at the supermarket. Yet we all love the idea of adventuring, living through something extraordinary, experiencing the majesty of the outdoors, and making beautiful memories.
The good news is that all this is available without having to cram it a holiday. If time is scarce, choose microadventure. It’s by no means a diluted version of a ‘proper’ adventure; on the contrary, it’s the very essence of it, delivering all the punch and flavor like a shot of the finest espresso.
We owe the concept to English traveller and writer, Alastair Humphreys. He cycled around the world, ran across the Sahara, and canoed the Yukon River, but it was popularizing microadventures that in 2011 won him the National Geographic’s Adventurer of the Year accolade.
A microadventure is one that can be packed into a weekend or even just overnight. If you’ve never slept under the stars, your first microadventure might be spreading a blanket in the garden, and staying out till morning. If you’re a more seasoned adventurer, it can be bivvying atop the nearest mountain, and running down just in time to catch that morning train. The idea is to set your adventurous spirit free and experience the extraordinary without having to travel to the North Pole.
Somewhat counter-intuitively, autumn and winter are a great time for microadventures. With longer nights and lower temperatures, even just spending a night under a tarp becomes a memorable, challenging experience. And if you wake up to see the first snow falling gently in a quiet forest, it’s guaranteed to be unforgettable.
There are only two rules to microadventuring: stay safe and get creative. Safety can be ensured by good planning, although with experience you can allow for more spontaneity. Creativity encompasses everything from the ability to seek out challenges close to home, to capturing your experiences on camera, or in writing.
#microadventure is a popular hashtag on social media. Type it in to get inspired, and find ordinary people doing extraordinary things around the world. In the words of Alastair Humphreys, the 9 to 5 is not the only thing that defines us. There are sixteen more hours left between 5 and 9. Make them count!
Not sure where to start? Stay tuned for more as we will soon list ideas for twelve microadventures for every month of 2017.