Microadventures: add some travel excitement to your everyday life
At 24-years-old, Alastair Humphreys was a normal guy who had just finished college and was longing for an adventure. He decided to embark on a world tour by bicycle. Upon his return, he gave interviews and some public talks, wrote a book and began planning his next trip. In 2012, National Geographic officially named him their ‘Adventurer of the Year’.
Today, the Brit is busy encouraging others to create their own adventures and showing them how to easily break through the daily grind without having to disappear for four years with a bike.
This is the idea behind the microadventure.
“If you try to think of a trip that’s too big and too complicated it often just doesn’t happen. So, I came up with the idea of leaving work at 5, having a microadventure and then going back to the office the next day,” Humphreys explains in an interview with Rough Guides.
He is convinced that this approach lowers inhibitions. If you see that your mini trip works, maybe next time you’ll plan a whole weekend, and before you know it, you’ve taken a year off to wander through India.
Here’s how you can follow in the footsteps of Alastair Humphreys:
This idea came to Humphreys as he walked alongside a piece of motorway in England with a friend. He found that the trip had a surprising amount of similarity with his bigger adventures; finding new places, new people, doing something challenging, searching for nice spots to sleep. “I was trying to show that you can find adventure and wilderness anywhere, even in the most unlikely of spots.”
Humphreys is a big fan of bivouacs, or bivvy bags. A waterproof and windproof bivouac sack around your sleeping bag will keep you warm at night and won’t obstruct your view of the sky. “When you wake in the night you see the stars overhead,” he says. But make sure to check the conditions beforehand. If it rains or there are a lot of insects in the area, you’ll be longing for shelter.
One of Humphrey’s best adventures wasn’t a solo one. Many of his friends are now living in various places around the UK. One fine summer’s day, they all agreed to meet at sunset on a hill in the Cotswolds.
“People finished work, we climbed the hill, rendezvoused for sunset, had food and a couple of drinks, slept on the hill in a bivvy bag and disappeared the next morning back to work.”
Humphreys suggests that you write a specific date for your adventure in the calendar. If this is not enough, arrange to meet up with a friend. First, make a plan that is easy enough to realise without much effort.
And if that’s too much? Lie down for the night in the garden with your sleeping bag, “just to remind yourself what it’s like to see the stars and hear the birdsong.”