Monday, March 30, 2015

The Why and How of Microadventures

I've got a working hypothesis that there are 4 different forms of travel, each deserving our time and attention. First off, you've got international travel, that one is fairly obvious. Then you've got national travel, where you see amazing sights yet can skip the custom lines and (most of the time) speak English. Then, you've got outdoor travel, which is all about appreciating nature with a healthy dose of self sufficiency. And then there's community travel, where you try to look at your local surroundings with a fresh eye.

It's this last form of travel that has me gleefully blogging when I find an interesting statue, fruit, park or whatever the heck this thing is. It's about noticing your environment and thinking like an explorer, even when you're just out on an afternoon walk.

Turns out, I'm not alone when it comes to appreciating these tiny but wonderful adventures. Exploriment has a nice review of Microadventures: Local Discoveries for Great Escapes. I love the suggestions that Exploriment highlights:

Do you commute via train? Why not get off a stop (or a few) early and walk the rest of the way. Seen a wooded area along the way? Why not get off and explore it in the handful of hours of daylight you have. Is there a river near you? Why not swim out to that island in the middle and camp out overnight. Do you have a friend driving somewhere? Bring your bike, have them drop you off somewhere and make your way home from there. Are there bus routes in your city? Take one out to the end of a route, somewhere you’ve never been, and walk home.

The author of Microadventures, Alastair Humphreys, has a number of excellent resources for creating your own microadventures. To pack in the most adventure, Humphreys suggests a recipe similar to the biking community's S24O. So, he's all about incorporating a overnight. You'll want to check out his planning tips, reading list, gear list (with all of 10 items on it) and a challenge to get you started. For some arm chair microadventure reading, check out Humphreys' walking lap of the M25, the adventure that started it all.

Man, all this talk of adventures. Doesn't it make you want to turn off your computer, walk out your front door and discover something amazing?

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