Microadventures: Here’s the thing; most Americans that work full-time get two weeks of paid vacation per year plus 8-10 days of paid national holidays. Three and a half weeks of time off per year is hardly enough to satiate any remote thirst for adventure. While it’d be nice to get set away to the crystal-blue waters of the Maldives or sample every kind of cheese in France, the reality is that we can’t all travel all of the time.
This means weekends have become crucial components of appeasing the wanderlust dragon that lives inside of us all. We’ve found that micro adventures do a phenomenal job of breathing vitality into our weekends, keeping us active, getting inspired, and giving the same “good vibes” we get when we travel.
What is a Microadventure?
Microadventures can be thought of as mini travel excursions or camping trips with slightly different air. The New York Times described microadventures as “short, perspective-shifting bursts of travel closer to home, inspiring followers to pitch a tent in nearby woods, explore their city by moonlight, or hold a family slumber party in the backyard.”
Microadventures encourage us to see our stomping grounds differently and appreciate what we already have around us. You don’t need a ton of supplies to get started, and you certainly don’t need to spend a fortune to have one. All you need is an easygoing attitude, a sense of exploration, and one night.
The term got popularized by an enigmatic person named Alastair Humphreys, who believes that adventure is “accessible to normal people, in normal places, in short segments of time and without having to spend much money.” Microadventures are loosely defined, but generally, they are held outdoors and overnight. You can sleep in a bivvy bag (individual waterproof shelter), tent, or under the stars in blankets or a sleeping bag.
Humphreys also champions the idea of doing a “year of microadventures,” where he suggests different pursuits that can take place all year long, such as watching a celestial event, taking someone else on their first micro adventure, or swimming in wild water (which he is a big fan of).
The concept of microadventures is attainable and appealing to many people who are looking to challenge themselves and have more meaningful experiences with their weekends. It offers a way to break from the mundane routine of running errands, going from store to store, binge-watching TV series, and eating at overpriced restaurants. Despite living in the buzzing suburbs of Silicon Valley in California, full-time workers can still enjoy microadventures. There are many reasons why microadventures are worthwhile, making them a great way to enhance one’s life.
Are you sure anyone can do Microadventure?
Microadventures are simply about normal people with busy lives that work the 9-5 but want to make the most out of their 5-9. It’s about getting outside and reconnecting with yourself on a regular basis. Microadventures are for you and for anyone who wants to come along. The word adventure is defined as an experience that is exciting, unusual, or unknown. It can be anywhere, which means your very own backyard may be full of opportunities for exploration.
Microadventures are the sisters of travel
Microadventures and travel share many similarities, including a period of research to figure out where to go, preparing necessities such as gear and groceries, building community with friends and meeting new people, and taking a bold step into the unknown with new experiences. The entire experience of microadventures and travel, rather than just the destination, can be exhilarating.
One of the benefits of travel is the opportunity for deep self-reflection, creativity, and disconnecting from the need to constantly be online. Microadventures can also provide the same opportunity to disconnect and live in the moment, much like travel. When you say you are going on a microadventure, it’s understood that you will be offline and engaging in a new activity.
How a Microadventure can become so much more
If you find yourself constantly attached to technology and feeling overwhelmed by the need to constantly be online, microadventures could be the perfect solution for you. Initially, the idea of camping with friends and family was just for fun, but it quickly became a way to disconnect from technology and rediscover the joys of spending time outdoors.
Microadventures allow for a sense of purpose during weekends, whether it’s preparing for the next trip, going on adventures, sharing photos, or unpacking from the excursion. It’s an opportunity to spend quality time with loved ones and create unique memories.
How should I start?
If you are ready to get going, here are some microadventure ideas. You can try one first to see how you like it (you will, we promise), or you can dive into the deep end and create your own one-year challenge.
- Live in an apartment? Sleep outside your balcony.
- Pitch a tent or cozy den in your (or a friend’s) backyard.
- Camp during the workweek (we recommend Thursday night).
- Bring a friend who’s never gone camping before.
- Bring a new friend that you’ve just met.
- Watch a celestial event or a special moon.
- Sleep near a body of water.
- Sleep on a hill.
- Try a small backpacking trip.
- Bring a plant book and identify the things you see.
- Bring your parents, kids, and siblings.
- Have a board game bonanza.
- Host foil packet food competitions.
- Do nighttime photography.
- Invite friends to celebrate your birthday with camping.
- Create a glamping experience.
- Plan an all-girls or guy’s trip.
- Go solo.
- Surprise your partner with a romantic dinner.
- Camp in the rain (with proper waterproof gear).
- Bring your pets inside the tent.
What kind of rules should I set for the challenge?
The beauty is that there really are no rules; craft a plan (or no plan) that works well for you, and have a blast. If you do decide to create rules or guidelines for yourself, just remember that you are doing this for fun. No need to force yourself to do anything that will make you miserable.
As an example, our one-year microadventure challenge was:
- Sleep outside.
- Eat a meal.
- Create a unique experience or twist each time.
- Don’t travel any further than 4 hours (one way) by car.
- Go once per month.
- Go forth and be an adventurer.
Whatever you decide to do, don’t forget that adventure is for everyone. You might just surprise yourself by shaking up the norm and spending your weekend a little differently. Keep it simple, don’t overthink it, and don’t put too much pressure on yourself to plan out every detail. Embrace the unknown, and you will capture the essence of excitement that you’ve been looking for. Last, of all, don’t forget to tell us all about your microadventure plans in the comments below!