Waking up with the sun burning on your tent. Ascending a mountain for hours, reaching the top, sunbathing in your underwear and allowing your sweat to dry in the warm wind. Taking a swim in a lake after a hike on a hot day. Enjoying the sunset while cooking pasta in your tiny pan on the gas burner. Making a fire, and feeling sleepier and sleepier until being so sleepy to lay down on your bed and start dreaming immediately.
Oh, I could continue summing up things like that for hours. These are the things that give me this strong feeling of adventure, freedom, happiness. A feeling I miss so much when intensively studying or working. Until about a year ago, before I signed contracts for renting a house and working for a boss, I’d just go travelling for a few months to feel alive again. These days, with the contracts, eventhough temporarily, I feel stuck sometimes. Stuck in this life of waking up, eating, driving, working, eating, sleeping. Day after day. Eat, sleep, work, repeat.
Working from 9 to 5, and going on an adventure between 5 and 9. That’s the microadventure spirit. This concept was invented by avonturer Alastair Humphrey. Not all microadventures have to last one evening, night and morning, you can make them as short or long as you please. You go on an adventure near your home, with the spirit of a real big adventure. Feeling the same excitement you would feel if you’d climb a mountain, go bungee jumping, or cycling to the top of Mont Ventoux. Even the most simple, everyday routes or activities can become adventurous with the right mindset.
- hike / cycle / hitchhike / drive to a campspace on a nice location and spend the night there
- sleep under the starry sky in your backyard or on the beach
- cycle or walk in a random direction for a few hours, taking paths that look nice, regardless of the direction. See where this leads you and spend the night there
- hitchhike to another city and find a place to stay with a local / in a hostel
- buy a dayticket for the train and set up a little game ‘at every station I change to take the train that departs from platform 2’ for example
- pitch up in the garden of a friend, make a camp fire and bake your own campfire-breads
- take a night walk in a nice nature area and listen to the sounds of the night
- dance in pouring rain and feel the sensation on your skin
- go skinnydipping in a lake or the sea
- be a tourist in your own city: book a city tour, visit the local tourist information and visit the local highlights
These adventures don’t have to be complicated and big, just doing something different than usually, with the adventurous mindset will give you new energy!
A microadventure, no matter how short, can offer you a nice break in the eat, sleep, work, repeat life you might be experiencing. I like having a certain amount of routine in life, but I don’t like feeling stuck in that routine. After a day of work, it’s so easy to come home and continue working in my photography business on my computer, or scroll through my Facebook/Instagram timeline. Just sitting down on my couch, not asking my muscles to do any more exercise. It feels right to ‘relax’ like that after work, but going for a walk/bike ride and adventure gives me sooo much more energy, even though it involves physical work. There is no need to take a plane or drive for days to experience the benefits of going on an adventure. Adventure is a state of mind and can be found anywhere.
Turn of your phone, turn on your senses. Smell the wet forest, the sea, the flowers. Feel the wind, rain or sun on your skin. Hear the birds sing, the leaves of the trees dance in the wind, the movements of the water. Be fully present in the moment and breath! Being present like that nourishes my creativity, and it makes me waaay more resistant to stress.
Go on an adventure!
Use your creativity when it comes to planning microadventures. What makes your heart beat speed up a bit? What gives you the ultimate feeling of freedom? What did you like to do when you were a kid? What have you always wanted to do, but never done?
Found something? Then turn on the adventure mindset and GO! Spending time outdoors or with friends, it so much more rewarding than binge watching other people’s lifes on Netflix. Enjoy your trip and please tell me about your experience in the comments.