One of the things I really wanted to provide when I set up the grown up gap year was a place for people to discover new ways to travel.
More often than not grown up gappers aren’t your typical gap year travellers. Some of us have children, some of us have jobs. You may also have elderly parents, pets, debts or a million other responsibilities which mean that it isn’t possible to just ditch everything to travel the world.
So if taking a sabbatical or a career break isn’t right for you and your annual leave dates are already stretched, how else can you fill your life with adventure?
This is where the microadventure comes in.
Coined by the adventurer Alastair Humphreys, the concept is very simple:
“A microadventure is an adventure that is short, simple, local, cheap – yet still wonderful.” Alastair Humphreys
So in a nutshell, a microadventure is basically just finding moments in your every day life to live adventurously.
I love this idea, as with a few small tweaks to your day and a tiny bit of planning you can have a brilliant adventure. You may not even need to leave your garden.
If you’re persuaded to give it a go, here’s what you need to know:
What is a microadventure?
A microadventure can be anything from sleeping under the stars to getting up early to watch the sunrise. When I first start reading about microadventures it made me laugh to think about all of the times I have dragged myself out of bed during my travels to watch the “must-see” sunrise from some national landmark or other, and yet I never do it at home. Ditto going for a wild swim, something I see lots of bloggers writing about at the moment, or heading out for a bike ride.
As is often the case, we tend to take where we live for granted and while I’ll spend ages exploring wildernesses around the world, I must admit that I rarely used to get out and about in my own area.
However since having my little adventurer I have explored my own backyard so much more and have found some fabulous places right on my doorstep. And with the increase in interest in ‘slow living’ and people becoming more aware of reducing their carbon footprint, it’s no wonder that microadventures, which are all about enjoying the moment and appreciating the scenery around you, are becoming more popular.
Who can take a microadventure?
Anyone! What I love about Alastair Humphreys is that even though he’s done huge, great big adventures, such as cycling around the world (which is where I first discovered him while reading Moods of Future Joys). He gets just as much joy from his microadventures and wants everyone else to be able to experience that feeling of adventure.
Because you plan the microadventure yourself you can start off with something you feel comfortable with. If you’d rather build up to spending the night outdoors, then you can start off with a walk in your local area or a bike ride on a well-known route. Kids also love microadventures. Imagine being able to sleep under the stars as a child – so exciting! We took our little adventurer camping twice last year and she loved it.
How do you take a microadventure?
It’s really very simple and needs minimal equipment and is often free to do. So there’s no excuse about needing to save up. If you’re looking for some ideas to get you started the best place to go is Alastair Humprey’s website or he also has an excellent book full of suggestions.
One of the main benefits of microadventures is that they are supposed to be local. So start making a list of places to visit in the surrounding area. You’ll probably be amazed at how many you’ve never been to. Follow local walking groups and outdoor societies on Twitter to get more ideas.
But my biggest tip is PUT IT IN YOUR DIARY. It is so easy to think “I’ll do that one day” and never get around to it. But if it’s written in your diary you are more likely to stick to it. And you never know, your biggest adventure might be right on your doorstep!
What do you think about the idea of the microadventure? Are you tempted to do one, and where would you head first?