I love my work. And I work a lot. But I also love outdoor adventures of various sorts. As summer approaches, I’ve been thinking about how much I manage to fit in on weekends and weeknights, and how to fit in more.
This week I came across the idea of micro-adventures. The term comes from Alistair Humphreys who defines it this way: “A microadventure is an adventure that is short, simple, local, cheap – yet still fun, exciting, challenging, refreshing and rewarding.” It should be achievable by ordinary people leading regular lives.
Humphreys writes, “How can you fit adventure into the realities of a nine-to-five career? Simple—fit it into the five-to-nine. That’s the 16 hours of theoretical daily freedom we all tend to undervalue and fritter. When somebody asks me, “What is a microadventure?” I say, “Leave work at 5 P.M. Head out of town. Sleep on a hill. Wake up at sunrise. Get back to your desk for 9 A.M.” Simple, but you will remember it a year from now.”
So the night my daughter Mallory hiked to the top of a mountain to be there when the sun rose, and then hitchhiked to her 9 am class, that was a micro-adventure. I only heard about the hitchhiking part after but it was the south island of New Zealand where hitchhiking seems relatively safe and common. She was with other University of Otago students and they emerged sleepy but fine.
I’m too old for working the next day after that and never was much of a stay up late kind of person, but I do get lots of vacation-like adventures in on my weekends.
In my post about the best length for vacation I wrote, “My best bang for buck vacation time wise are my canoe camping trips. Even my four day back country canoe camping trips feel like real vacation. There are no phones, no email , lots of natural beauty, and lots of movement. I sleep very well! I come back rested and sometimes feel like I’ve been off for weeks.”
But there are all only so many weekends during the summer.
Maybe I could do more in the evenings?
Weeknight bike rides to new locations feel pretty good. There’s also summer evening dinghy races.
We’ve been exploring lots of new places in Ontario during the pandemic and I’ve been making a list of places to go swimming.
I loved our Alpaca yoga experience.
What do you recommend for local, inexpensive micro-adventures?
Oh, here’s Humphrey’s 8 tips for leading a more adventurous life.
3 thoughts on “Looking forward to a summer of micro-adventures”
Oh wow this is fun to hear about. Teaching college on contract the past 4 years, I’ve had to get creative with how I can vacation with no actual time off. One of my tricks has been to camp in Pinery Provincial Park and and drive back to London to teach (before Covid). Now that I’m reaching online the struggle is to find sufficient bandwidth and a suitable background to teach.
It’s not terribly refreshing, but way better than nothing. Last summer I also drove from my campsite to the hospital for a pre-op appointment. That was fun and gave me a real sense of agency.
The other important way I’ve found rejuvenation has been solo camping. The break from busy family life is kind of amazing.
I look forward to hearing about more ideas!
A great way to get in lots of little adventures is to always be prepared. I have a friend who used to keep skis and snowshoes in his car, since the snow is so unpredictable, so he was always ready. I know other people who keep a bathing suit and towel nearby in the summer so that when you drive by a perfect place to swim you can. Ditto running shoes. Be ready to take an hour off, and have the gear close by.
This post is right on time for me! This week I have figured out how to have a micro adventure, while also creating content for social media for work! On Wednesday, a few of us will be mountain biking on a dirt road, further and steeper than I have gone before, and also riding some single track trails off of this road. Making video. Getting up before dawn for micro adventure because: Arizona! micro at only 3 hours but am REALLY looking forward to it.
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