Let me start off this post by giving a huge, shiny, bright, pointy finger towards the webpage of Alastair Humphries, especially his section on MicroAdventures (you can also find him under the blogroll section over there to the right), he has some brilliant ideas and tells a fantastic story, I can’t plug his site enough, well I’ll try to just toe the line of stalker and that should be good enough.
I have read a few other posts out in the travel community on the same rift, but basically, a MicroAdventure is a short trip that is cheap, close to home, and ends with you doing something you’ve never done before.
For those of us with only our two weeks, what can be better than that?
The genius of the MicroAdventure is that for not that much time, energy and effort you feel like you’ve done something pretty cool. It can be as simple as camping out somewhere new, or hopping on the local bus without a direction in mind, or leaving the keys to your SUV at home and walking to a new place.
One of the keys to this is to throw in a bit of a challenge. Stimulate your mind, break out of the box, look at conventional things in new ways.
More often than not, if you just go a few blocks out of your normal routes, you can find some pretty cool places. What’s frustrating is that it’s so simple, but people rarely ever do it. And if you’re not ready to spend a night under the stars then just wander around where you live, take a different road
Easy example, a few weeks ago it was gorgeous out, so I thought rather than walk my normal route home from work, I’d go 3-4 streets over, enjoy the extra ten minutes outside and poke around. I found this kick ass Moroccan tea house, totally in the middle of a neighborhood, literally if anyone had ever tried to send me there, I’d never find it, but the place is fantastic, AND has free wi-fi, so rest assured, some upcoming posts will come from there.
The easiest thing to do is just go outside. Regardless of where we are in the world, there are beautiful little untouched areas of land not very far from where you live, a beach, a field, a riverbed, they are all there to be explored and celebrated.
And regardless of my love of all things REI, no one needs to go crazy buying stuff. Start simple.
Five years ago, when I was in my ‘I’m so cool working in finance and making money and need to spend it all on the coolest things’ phase, if you had asked me if I would own my own tent and sleeping bag, and know how to start a fire, I would have laughed in your face. But all it takes is an open mind, a bit of guts and a little sense of adventure to kick things off.
When you hit the vacation depression stage of your job, which I find to generally be roughly the exact middle point of when you took your last vacation, and when your next vacation is coming, spend a day one a MicroAdventure, then spend a night. It can be a weekend, or take a random Tuesday off from work.
It is one of the easiest and quickest ways to reinvigorate your life and get back to your roots a bit. Let’s face it man slept in pastures and on beaches for a damn long time and still managed to survive, I’m sure you’ll make it for a night.
Start planning, I’ve recently been thinking what kind of MicroAdventure I want to take, especially now with the weather getting nicer, the beaches of Rhode Island might be a good place to start.
So, grab a pack, toss in a sweatshirt, some power bars and a PB and J, and head out. I promise, you can grab some Starbucks on the way home, you made it!