Personal Updates

Have Micro-Adventures For Better Weekends

Sunrise over Yerevan and Mount Ararat

I recently came across a new meme by way of Alastair Humphreys’ blog, which I’ve been reading regularly since I read his great travel books while preparing for Ride Earth.

The idea of a ‘micro-adventure’ strikes a very relevant chord in this post-ride phase. City life isn’t really my thing. Noise, pollution and a feeling of enclosure nag at me constantly. The countryside isn’t on my doorstep like it was back home. Over the last couple of months, I’ve come to the conclusion that these so-called ‘micro-adventures’ might be the tonic to keep me on track while I prepare for next year’s ride.

So what’s a micro-adventure? It’s a new name for something that people have always done — just take off, unannounced, and let go of the safety buffer for a while. It’s long been said you can have an adventure in your own backyard — it doesn’t have to take place on the other side of the world.

What is the value of a spontaneous, unpredictable trip into the unknown? For me, it’s the mind-sharpening effect. No matter what, where or for how long, dealing with a new set of circumstances requires new thought processes and energies, initiative, quick wits, and a positive attitude towards success. Leaving your comfort zone also helps to get the things inside it into perspective.

Alastair’s idea this week was to get on a train to somewhere he’d never been and then walk home. He set off on Wednesday armed with a bivvy-bag, a pan and a pair of sunglasses. It sounded compact, fun, and probably a little uncomfortable — which is the part that wakes us up. The valuable part.

So what are you doing this weekend? Why not walk, cycle, run, hitch-hike, row, swim or climb a bit further than usual? Or just get on a train or bus and see where you end up? Think of your own micro-adventure, then go and do it.

OK, I think I’ve got one. Hitch-hiking from Armenia to England and back. It’s a journey of about 10,000km and would involve a minimun of 8 border crossings each way — so maybe ‘micro’ is the wrong designation.

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To make things interesting, I could take no personal items except my toothbrush, and a maybe poncho. Yeah, why not? I’ll start tomorrow. Bye!

  • Please sponsor me to hitch-hike 10,000km by visiting my Justgiving page. Thank you.

4 replies on “Have Micro-Adventures For Better Weekends”

[…] coverage as possible and i will also be undertaking a 2 or 3 Micro Adventures (examples here and here) to try and sedate my […] 

Oh, it will be great for you to be on the road again, Tom!
“You can have an adventure in your own backyard”… Well, this post actually reminds me of this Frenchman who spent a month or two travelling in his own street without ever setting foot in his flat or meeting with his girlfriend. I do not remember his name and cannot find the link to his blog either, but his aim was to prove us that one can travel and experience a new whole world without having to spend a fortune or go far from home… He ended up getting to know all these people from the neighbourhood he had never talked to before, and discovered some awesome hang-outs he had failed to notice previously… He was wearing not a poncho, but a colourful Andean wool hat for people to recognize him on the street and come forward… 

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