If you’ve never heard of the word ‘microadventure’ then get used to the term, as the craze is sweeping the UK. The phrase was coined by Alistair Humphrey in his book Microadventures, which has since gone on to become a best-seller and even spawned its very own hashtag.
What are microadventures?
The term microadventure means a mini adventure, but the actual spirit of the term is to get outside of your comfort zone and try something new, just on a smaller scale. Adventures can be pretty expensive experiences reserved for the lucky few, but microadventures bring the spirit of adventure to everyone. As Alistair himself writes, ‘Adventure is accessible to normal people, in normal places, in short segments of time and without having to spend much money.’
The aim is to get ordinary people – with ordinary bank balances – out in the local wilderness, enjoying new experiences and creating fantastic memories. You don’t have to go far, and a microadventure can cost as much or as little as you want to spend on them, which is perhaps the best thing about it! Nor does it need to take long; in fact, just one evening is perfect for a memorable microadventure.
Microadventures you could try
There’s a long list of microadventures you could go on that can start at your very own front door. No matter what you’re in the mood for, or how much you can spend, there’s bound to be something that’s achievable for you. Pick from this list of adventures that differ in difficulty for some good examples of how to go about the challenge:
1. Sleep in your garden
This is the first of the microadventures you should undertake as it gets you breathing fresh air, is completely free and is close enough to your home comforts that you can retreat if you need to! It also means you can do it any night of the week and either on your own or with the family.
2. Go wild swimming
All you’ll need for this is the perfect location, a towel and a few spare hours. Wild swimming is exciting and refreshing and really will be a memory you’ll keep forever. Take a group of friends for an even bigger splash and follow it up with a BBQ.
3. Spend the night by the sea
You’ll obviously have to make sure you bed down a safe distance from the sea for this one but the sea is a calming environment and it’s likely that you’ve only ever slept by the sea when sunbathing. Treat this moment as one where you live in nature and let the sound of the waves soothe you to sleep.
4. Spot a shooting star
They don’t come around often, but when they do, they make such an impression that you can’t help but be lost in wonder for a moment. Any worries will feel particularly small under a shooting star. Check to see whether there are any meteor showers forecast and make the most of the event with an outdoor picnic and some snuggly blankets.
5. Learn to identify plants and animals
This is a great thing to do if you don’t have much time or money. Take a book on British wildlife and plants out of your local library and start teaching yourself the names of the plants, trees, animals and birds that you see when walking. Set a target for the end of the year, and soon you’ll be a wildlife wizard.
6. Commute differently
The commute to work is rarely enjoyable, but could you find a way to make it a little easier to bear? It’s something you have to do nearly every day of the year so you might as well make sure it’s as exciting as possible. Start cycling or walking instead of using public transport or switch up your route so that you meander past something beautiful each day. You may spend more time getting to work but you’ll have made the most of the time you have by doing so.
7. Climb a mountain
It doesn’t have to be a big one but completing this challenge is bound to make you want to try something a little more difficult! We’re surrounded by mountains in the UK so take your pick and plan to tackle it. Just make sure you prepare yourself and only go when the weather is good.
8. Take a (long) walk
There are lots of trails in the UK that you can follow so set yourself a target and head out. Perhaps you think you can only walk 10k, in which case give yourself a few hours to do so. If you’re feeling really adventurous you could set yourself a much bigger target and give a whole weekend over to the task.
9. Go camping
This is quite an obvious one but you don’t have to head somewhere far away to go camping and nor do you have to wait for the sunnier months. You could have a memorable experience camping in the winter so long as you prepare and take plenty of thermal clothes and sleeping bags. In fact, a campsite fire will be an even more exciting prospect when there’s snow around!
What you should get from a microadventure
A microadventure is a chance to experience life out of your usual plan. It’s a chance to challenge yourself, but also a time to reflect outside the framework of our modern lives. For more ideas of things to do Alistair Humphrey’s blog has some fantastic ideas, including location-based adventures. So what are you waiting for?