Scrolling through my Instagram feed my head is filled with ideas and inspiration. From epic expeditions to far away mountains I dream of one day exploring, it can sometimes feel like there isn’t enough time, money and days off to fit it all in. This used to (and still occasionally does) frustrate me. However, I’ve come to realise that there’s plenty of adventures to be had right on my doorstep.
Not always an incredible feat of endurance or a major undertaking, these are microadventures. If adventure was like food – microadventures aren’t the full three-course meal, they’re a tasty snack which fills you up enough to keep going. In a similar way, they don’t stop me pushing for bigger and harder challenges but do scratch that permanent itch of never wanting to waste a day.
A perfect example of such an occasion was earlier this month where I had the pleasure of joining ViewRanger for a midweek overnight adventure. It was without a doubt one of the best Thursday evenings I’ve had in a long time. After a short hike up to our base for the night, the seven of us (Oli, Sophie, Rob, Kris, Jon, Al and I) optimistically perched on one of the smaller ‘summits’ of the Peak District to eat dinner and watch a particularly stunning sunset. Combined with excellent company and a lot of laughs I went to bed very content before getting thoroughly soaked and rained on all night – I guess you can’t have everything!
Amongst our gang was Alastair Humphreys, Al is an adventurer, author, motivational speaker and pioneered the concept of microadventures – so someone I was pretty excited to meet! He’s also written a few words on our evening that sum it up pretty fantastically (you can read this here). Rather than repeat his words I wanted to tell you a few things I pondered while failing to ignore the rain slowly drench me the other night:
Not all adventures start miles from home
Just because you haven’t spent hours planning or travelling it doesn’t mean you can’t do something original or exciting. Likewise, in the same way, you’re allowed to be comfortable! Fancy camping but worry you’ll miss your bed too much – take a pillow. Not very fit and don’t want to walk miles – pick somewhere close to home. Making it enjoyable does not make it any less of an adventure!
There is always time for adventure
Life’s busy; that’s not something that is going to change. If you’re waiting for a time when things will be quieter, the chances are you’ll be waiting a while! You have to make time and steal moments as and when you can – whether that’s a midweek evening or early morning, work with what you’ve got and commit to getting out there.
Don’t be put off by the forecast
Mainly applicable to those living in the UK… The chances are it might rain and although, as I discovered the other day – bivvying in the rain is not fun, there are lots of things that are, swimming for example! Simply choose your activity and clothing/shelter wisely. After all, there is no such thing as bad weather just inappropriate clothing. I should’ve pitched a tent/tarp!
Appreciate the little things
Tied up in the social media/mobile world it’s easy to miss the little things. Take a step back sometimes and just enjoy your surroundings – whether it’s embracing your inner kid dreaming up cloud animals or spending a moment looking at the stars, we all need to reset our minds every now are and again.
Rotisserie chicken trumps pasta
No moral or deep thought here and potentially only relevant to the other Thursday – I have to admit I was pretty jealous of Al’s chicken dinner compared to my slightly dull pasta (he did offer to share)! That aside ‘alfresco dining’ is brilliant and something everyone should do.
As with all of the above, always remember to take your rubbish home and leave no trace.