“Slow down. Turn off the damn phone. Climb a hill and howl at the moon.” – Alastair Humphreys
From lying down on your couch during those laid-back Friday and Saturday nights to switching to a stressful “must-work-during-the-weekend” mantra, taking on an out-of-town adventure may not be an enticing experience especially once your responsibilities at home pile up as high as a mountain. So if you are one of those who have become a big proponent of ‘stay-cations’, don’t worry because you’re not alone. The only question is, do you always have to settle staying at home? This might be working quite well for you, but overcoming the boredom can become more challenging as years pass by.
Thanks to Alastair Humphreys, a new term has been introduced to travelers who want to take on new adventures, minus the expenses and the long travel hours. According to the British author, “adventure is only a state of mind”. This basically means that you don’t have to travel a hundred miles just to be able to explore new experiences that will make you feel rejuvenated. By taking on a microadventure, you can become more intertwined with nature as you regenerate during that week-end get-away.
The Basic Principle behind Microadventures
The best things in life may not always be free, but the great news is, they don’t have to be overly expensive. As the term implies, ‘microadventures’ are mini escapades that you can take on near or within your town. They are realistic and attainable adventures that you can plan a weekend or two from now. So if you think you have to plan an ambitious get-away just to seek exciting adventures, think again. You might want to explore on some of the adventures near your home first before travelling to the opposite part of the world because even if microadventures won’t require you to book a flight and ride a train that travels across the country, microadventures are still adventures. The only difference is that they are cheaper, simpler and more local.
The Microadventure Essentials You Must Pack
Your travel checklist will always be dependent on the nature of the adventure you are going to take on. While you might need to pack your trunks for that weekend trip at the beach, climbing at Mt. Everest would require climbing essentials, and yes, a highly durable winter suit.
Packing for a microadventure basically follows the same principles. Before turning on your car’s ignition, make sure that you have brought some of the important items on your checklist. And remember, always bring a first aid kit no matter where you go since accidents can happen every day.
To help you gain an insight on what you should bring on your upcoming microadventure, below is a sample checklist for people who are going overnight on a hilltop:
- Sleeping mat and bag
- Water and food
- Bivvy bag
- Important toiletries (toothpaste, toothbrush and soap)
Microadventure Ideas for Your Next Get-Away
Being an explorer doesn’t have to stop when responsibilities come knocking at your doorsteps. Microadventures make exploration closer to your heart by making it more achievable. If you think taking on a microadventure doesn’t suit your lifestyle, why not give it a try first and see where the wind takes you? Who knows? You might just find some self discovery, get some alternative experiences under your belt, or meet someone.
If you need help in finding the best microadventure for you, below are some ideas that can blow away your boredom:
Close Your Eyes and Pick a Spot on Your Map
Adventures are always about exploring the unknown. Going out of your comfort zone every once in a while is an exciting and an unforgettable experience. So when you feel like your life keeps on playing in black and white, add more hues and shades by traveling to a nearby unknown area. With the right mindset and enough money to help you get back home, nothing can ever stop you from having the best day of your life.
Watch the Sunset
We all have that favorite spot in our hometown—the place where we can see the most majestic sunsets. It doesn’t really matter if it’s on your rooftop or it’s at the highest building in your city as long as you can watch the sunset during that perfect Saturday. So if you are a fan of seeing the sun setting down the horizon, don’t hesitate to enjoy the view.
Plan for a Stargazing Get-Away
You can never go wrong with exploring the stars and the planets above, especially if the forecast is perfect for stargazing opportunities. So if the weather looks great, look for a private spot, pack your bivvy bag, sleeping bag and star chart and don’t forget to bring along someone.
Climb at the Nearest Summit
Even if your city isn’t really known for jaw-dropping mountains, climbing at the highest point nearby offers a sense of fulfillment whether you are a professional mountain climber or not. Tag along your friends and don’t forget to bring water, food and extra clothes so you can regain your energy for the rest of the day. If the weather looks great, you might also want to bring in a sleeping bag and take a good night’s sleep on the hilltop after that long chit-chat with your buds. And yes, a bonfire and a few bottles of beer or smoke won’t hurt either.
Sharpen Your Cycling Skills
Not interested in climbing summits? Well, you can always take your pedaling skills up a notch by finding the toughest bike trails near you. Not only is it good for your body, but it can also offer you a sense of independence. Make sure that you are already well-trained for this kind of adventure. Otherwise, you might end up with unwanted injuries.
Hop on a Train and Pedal Your Way to Amazing Cities
There is no thrill in visiting a city that you already know by heart. Make the most out of your weekend not by going to expensive shopping centers and nearby parks, but by buying a train ticket to somewhere unfamiliar. Bring your bike with you and cycle your way to unknown cities and localities. By doing so, you are not only saving from transportation fees, but you are also enabling yourself to explore on some of the most hidden gems of the places you are traveling. Plus, you get to know more people as you cycle along unknown roads.
Explore Wild Swimming
Many countries offer travelers a one-of-a-kind wild swimming experience. With a little bit of courage and the best spot nearby, you can definitely upgrade your weekend by swimming on some of your town’s wild shores. Check websites for information on the nearest landmarks that offer a wild swimming experience, and for sure, you will be coming back for more.
Plan for a Triathlon
Well, we’re not really talking about joining a contest where you need to pay an admission fee. If you live in proximity to mountains and seas and you are an athlete at heart, you might want to plan a triathlon with your friends. It could be in as simple as running, bicycling and climbing small mountains to something a little more complex like bicycling, swimming and climbing a mountain. Either way, what matters is that you are listening to your body all the time. As much as we want you to enjoy and get the most out of extreme microadventures like these, we don’t want you to compromise your overall health. So before you plan microadventures that are quite complex in nature, make sure that you are mentally and physically ready first.
Microadventures around Your Home
Exploring your neighborhood is never a waste of time, but if you think you already know its ins and outs, you can always plan a trip around your house. Whether by foot or on a bicycle, exploring some of the communities around your own neighborhood and looking for alternate routes can help you explore your city a little bit more. Not to mention, it will also lead you on your way to meeting new people, trying out new delicacies and experiencing something new.
Hitchhike and Explore
Not everybody is fond of hitchhiking, but if your community is quite easy on hitchhikers and you feel like going on a ride to a remote or unexpected area can feed your hunger for adventure, then hitchhiking to the driver’s destination is a great and cheap way to travel this weekend. Once you arrive at your destination, don’t be afraid to walk around the town and just explore the community before you hitchhike on your way home. Buy street food, go in and out their popular shops and smile more often. This way, you’d be able to explore the world one city at a time.
In Alastair Humphreys’ words, “I am free to turn left or right at the next fork in the road. It does not matter which I choose; only that the choice will change the whole of my life.” So if you are caught between climbing a mountain and stargazing during the night, always remember that every road will always lead you to experiences and lessons in life. With a positive attitude and the will to take on the world, you can always be sure that your adventures, no matter how small, will have a positive impact in your life.