Sunday, 22 March 2015

Bibliophilia: Microadventures: Local Discoveries for Great Escapes – Alastair Humphreys

Microadventures: Local Discoveries for Great Escapes – Alastair Humphreys

I wish I had the time or the money to go on long trips to exotic destinations. Alas, I do not. I suspect many are in the same boat as me. Jobs, family, etc., keep us tied down to a somewhat inflexible schedule, and houses, cars, kids, etc. means that our budgets are also not as flexible as we’d like.

That doesn’t keep me from getting out. Sure, I get two weeks of vacation a year, there are statutory holidays, weekends, etc. So rather than bemoaning my inability to go to Quetico for a month of canoeing, I venture out close to home in the time I have.

As Alistair Humphreys points out, you can even squeeze adventures into overnight trips. Microadventures. The focus of this book is very much UK locales, but it’s more about the idea that he plants in your head, more so than going to the locales he features.

He’s an engaging writer, and with this visually appealing book, I hope you take away some inspiration from his own examples. While he has done some grandiose adventures of his own, he doesn’t lose sight of the fact that even modest treks can be a good re-set. 

Do you commute via train? Why not get off a stop (or a few) early and walk the rest of the way. Seen a wooded area along the way? Why not get off and explore it in the handful of hours of daylight you have. Is there a river near you? Why not swim out to that island in the middle and camp out overnight. Do you have a friend driving somewhere? Bring your bike, have them drop you off somewhere and make your way home from there. Are there bus routes in your city? Take one out to the end of a route, somewhere you’ve never been, and walk home.

Lots of fun things can be done near you, if you just keep that sense of adventure in perspective. I mentioned something I did as a child that really kindled that sense of exploration and adventure.

Do what you can, with what you have, near where you are.

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