Before I made my own way to afford my international endeavors, I would rely on microadventures to peak my curiosity and keep me entertained! And since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, I started relying on microadventures to help with being stir crazy from the initial lockdown and spending more time at home.
So…what exactly is a “microadventure”?
The term was crafted by world traveler and adventurer, Alastair Humphreys, in which he defines a microadventure as “an adventure that is short, simple, local, cheap – yet still fun, exciting, challenging, refreshing and rewarding.”
Microadventures offer a realistic escape to wilderness, simplicity and the great outdoors, without the intense need to do something intense, for example hiking Mount Everest. The appeal of microadventures is that they make adventure accessible to everyone, regardless of outdoor experience. You also don’t need a lot of money to go on a microadventure, which can be as simple as camping in your backyard!
Microadventures can also be as long or as short as you like and can involve anything you find exciting and rewarding (preferably outdoors). It’s completely up to you! Adventure is a state of mind.
For us part-time nomads and travelers who still work a normal “9-5” job, microadventures can be a rewarding way to break up the weekday grind. I tend to follow the “5-9” for a microadventure, the time after clocking out of work for the day to explore closer to home. I’m very fortunate to live along a river and will spend many weekday evenings kayaking in my own “backyard” from May through October. I also recently bought a bicycle again, which has been a joy to ride on throughout the neighborhood.
So, how do you have a microadventure? Well that’s completely up to you! It can be planned or spontaneous, and works around your work or life schedule. It can be for an afternoon or evening, or an overnight escapade.
For a list of ideas, here are some of my favorite microadventures:
Exploring a local trail
This is my dog, Sophie’s favorite type of microadventure too! A lot of times, when we’re not quite feeling a long drive up to the mountains for an intense hike, we’ll browse through the app “Alltrails” and look for a trail close to home.
The app is so extensive, I even found a “hidden” pond when visiting my mom in my hometown last summer, which I had no idea existed! You can search for trails by filtering through the level of difficulty (matching your desire and fitness level).
Kayaking or Paddle Boarding
As mentioned previously, I live along our local river (the Lamprey River) and love to get out on the water whenever possible! Well not exactly the “challenging” part of a microadventure concept, nothing is more relaxing to me than gently kayaking out there with a beer in tow. For a more challenging adventure, I’ll go out on a paddle board, which is often just a challenge for me to balance and stand up on!
There are three different routes to take out on our river, with the most scenic one involving crossing under a bridge (just watch out for high schoolers jumping off from there in the summer). There’s also a small island at the “dead-end” of the route, which Sean and I have charmingly called “gin and tonic island” (there’s a pandemic microadventure story to that name as well!).
“Wild” Ice Skating on the River During the Winter
I grew up ice skating at both indoor and outdoor arenas, but they were well-maintained. But when the river froze over perfectly this past winter, I couldn’t help but lace up my skates and give “wild skating” a try! It’s a slightly more challenging experience with the rougher ice, but much more freeing (and free) experience! Nothing beats having the forest around you while gliding on the ice.
I also went snowshoeing for the first time this winter, which was an absolute blast. What better way to warm up in the winter than to burn some calories trudging through snow! It definitely made me feel less guilty having a hot chocolate afterwards!
Other “microadventure” ideas (that I’m also hoping to experience):
- Mountain biking
- Wild camping (a favorite among Alastair Humphreys)
Your microadventures might look very different than mine, but that’s the beauty of this concept! Adventure itself is a state of mind and is something that gets me excited to get out of bed every morning!