By Simon Reeve
THE greatest challenge with any adventure is actually getting started. Too often we can spend months planning and day-dreaming about going on an epic journey or climbing scattered peaks in the high Andes. We buy a book or two, look online at maps, and imagine ourselves returning home with a rush of achievement. But many of us never get round to actually doing it.
Life has a tendency to get in the way. The adventure is too far, would take too long, and cost too much. Meanwhile kids need picking-up from school, the kitchen needs renovating, and employers aren’t always thrilled by your desire to spend three months surviving on beetle juice in a remote desert.
An epic adventure can be a challenge, but there’s no excuse for not incorporating smaller but memorable experiences into weekly existence. Alastair Humphreys has the solution. The British explorer has pioneered the brilliant concept of the ‘microadventure’, a mini thrill that can be fitted into a working week, or even the end of the school day. I love his point that even those who feel stuck in a 9-5 existence can still pack a trip into the other 16 hours each day with a 5 to 9 overnight adventure.
Think about it. Adventure doesn’t have to be planned for years and experienced on the other side of the planet. It can be spontaneous, and much, much closer to home. You can have a microadventure in your own neighbourhood, even a back-garden. Three nights ago we took a last-minute decision to sleep in our tree-house, then woke early for a breakfast picnic followed by a drizzly walk and wildlife spotting. It was completely brilliant.
There are thousands of suggestions for a microadventure online, but all you really need is imagination, decent warm waterproof clothes, and a change of mindset. Remember: adventure can be local, not just on the other side of the planet.