2020 has not been the year to take a Grand Tour of Europe, hit a multi-day music festival, or go on a tropical cruise. But that doesn’t mean adventure isn’t out there! You just have to learn how to find it a little differently. Creating safe, mini-adventures can help you stay sane in the coming months.
What is a Microadventure
People are used to thinking of adventures as being far-flung, complicated, and maybe even a little risky. An adventure might involve deciding to sail across the ocean or climb a mountain. But the idea of microadventures turns that concept on its head to make adventures accessible to everyone in their everyday life.
According to Alastair Humphreys, whose blog popularized the idea of microadventures, they’re “short, simple, local, cheap – yet still fun, exciting, challenging, refreshing, and rewarding.” The point is to break away from your often-mundane quotidian existence.
Benefits of Microadventures
The amazing thing about taking small adventures is that you can trick your brain into thinking you’ve taken a bigger one. It really doesn’t take much more than a little change of scenery to make you feel like you’ve “gotten away”.
Your brain loves adventure and doesn’t know the difference between those that are big and those that are small. It will release dopamine when you make unfamiliar choices. And dopamine makes you happier!
Examples of Microadventures
If you need a little spark of inspiration to help you get excited about the microadventure concept, here are some day trip ideas that are local and allow for social distancing:
· Farm Visits: Typically, farms are a Fall favorite for cider and corn mazes, but lots of them also offer tours, volunteer opportunities, or U-pick fruits and vegetables all year round.
· Get Out on the Water: The open sea is a great place to social-distance, but so are lakes and rivers! You can try out kayaking, paddle boarding, or fishing for something to do.
· Nature Reserves: Take up birdwatching, bring a wildflower field guide, or spend some time sketching and identifying different plants you come across while you walk through a natural landscape.
· State Parks: You’ll find many recreational opportunities at state parks, and may even be able to try a new skill like snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, outdoor rock-climbing, or hiking.
· Camping: There’s no better way to get back to basics and connect with the outdoors and sleeping under the stars and cooking around the campfire.
· Walking Tour: Microadventures are typically meant to involve going into the outdoors, but if you’re stuck in an urban area you can try downloading a walking tour podcast and learn interesting historical facts about the buildings and streets of your city.
· Do What You Normally Do, But Differently: A microadventure can even mean finding ways to switch up your normal routes and routines, like driving a new way to work, turning your lunch break into a picnic, or taking your daily run at sunset to enjoy the light.
Break Away from Your Everyday
When it’s safe to travel again, big adventures like Mount Kilimanjaro and the Great Wall of China will still be there for you to explore. Until then, there are plenty of local ways to fulfill your wanderlust cravings. Make this the year of the microadventure. You won’t regret it!