It feels like all we get to talk about at the moment is lockdowns and restrictions. While we do need to keep an eye on them and abide by them, we can have fun! One of the ways I have been enjoying my time outdoors is by taking micro-adventures from my doorstep.
What exactly is a “microadventure”?
In the words of Alastair Humphreys, it’s “something exciting, but cheap, simple, short and on your doorstep”. This is perfect for times like these where we need to stick close to home for our adventure fill.
Microadventures are about packing your short time in a local area with the same amount of excitement, curiosity, and enjoyment that you would normally get from a longer adventure in far-flung lands. It is about discovering new things where you are and making the most of your ability to hunt out fun things no matter where you are. It is very similar to the way I spend my time when I head out on urban wanders, but with a little bit more direction.
There is no right or wrong way to plan or go on a microadventure. This makes it the perfect way to get outside as it is entirely of your choosing. Whether you poke your finger at a map while you tightly shut your eyes, then go to that place. Or you meticulously plan a route to take, so you can see all the places of interest on the map. Or you just simply step out of the door and get on your way, following your curiosity and seeing where it takes you. All of these are great and this doesn’t even touch on the other wild and amazing opportunities you might think up.
My microadventures from my doorstep
I love collecting ‘to go’ places on my google maps while I am out and about. Spot some greenspace while planning a journey – add a flag. See something from the car while on the motorway – add a flag. Every time I do this, I start amassing some fun adventures for the days when I don’t know what to do or where to go. Simply open my google maps, centre on my location and ‘ta-dah!’ there are some places to head to on my microadventures from my doorstep.
You will see that there are a few stars on there too. They are places I have visited. That doesn’t mean that they are off the microadventures from my doorstep list though. Far from it! It is simply a way for me to see where I can visit which is new. Or choose ones needing further investigation – the starred ones. Although I do have a personalised Ordnance Survey map with my house at the centre of it, I can quickly choose an adventure from my google map while I am out and about. Plus, nearly everyone can access a google map at some point to get planning.
Parks and districts
In case the name of the blog didn’t give it away, I live in a city. Well, two miles out of the city centre to be more precise. This means that my microadventures from my doorstep with have a more urban element that anyone walking from a country cottage or somewhere like that. I have a feeling that many of you will have a similar experience as I will as so many of us now live in urban and suburban areas of the world.
I really want to urge you to not let your location put you off from taking microadventures from your doorstep though. While it might not be the country hike and long-distance views you dream of, it is still rich with experience and places waiting to be discovered. Even in the most urban of areas, you will find something green to enjoy…when you look for it and go with an open mind and curious eyes.
If you think you know somewhere like the back of your hand, leave that thought on your doorstep. You don’t need that kind of baggage on a microadventure! I have discovered more than I can imagine by following my curiosity and keeping my eyes open. Finding churches, urban trig markers and more, just by remembering that you never truly know everything about everywhere – no matter how much you think you do.
I don’t need special kit for microadventures from my doorstep
At the moment, with the no picnic rules, my microadventure kit is pretty simple. I wear my usual clothes and take a rucksack with some essentials (which are my everyday essentials anyway). In my bag I prepare for all kinds of weather with my waterproof bag cover and brolly. I cater for cold by taking my flask of tea and reusable mug, and some snacks to go with it. I also have my reusable bottle of water and some spare hankies. And that’s about it really.
Because your adventure will be short and close to home, you can keep your kit simple and to the minimum. This is a bonus as you don’t have to carry heavy weight or massive pack, making nipping under branches and slipping into forgotten paths far easier.
Recording my microadventure
I love to collect some photographs of the things I discover on my microadventures from my doorstep. I think it is a nice way to remember them. Most of my photos aren’t particularly interesting for other people, because they are personal to me and include odd bits of fancy which caught my attention. Like a doorway, a sign, or a toadstool. Despite the randomness of my photographs, I do still share them on Instagram as I think it is a nice way to enjoy them. I also never know whether one might inspire someone else to head out too – I have found lots of people who also like dereliction and old buildings this way.
Remembering that a microadventure is a personal adventure
Just like planning a trip away, you will decide on your adventure based on the things you enjoy. I haven’t shared much detail about my adventures as they grow and evolve depending on what catches my eye that day. Be it wandering the back streets of East Piccadilly in central Manchester, or the neighbourhoods of nearby Moston. I will follow my feet and see what happens.
When you start going out on a microadventure, remember to leave your ‘compasrissonitis’ (comparing yourself and or your adventures with that of other people) at home, along with your idea about knowing it all. You will be grateful for the freedom which comes from just enjoying what you enjoy. Remember that we’re all different. We all enjoy things which others might find boring/weird/too urban/*fill in the blank*. What matters on a microadventure from your doorstep is that you enjoy it and it excites you.
Taking microadventures from my doorstep during lockdown has been an amazing way to enjoy short and swift local adventures which don’t cost the earth. It is a great way to enjoy some outdoor time with a mini purpose.
So if you feel inspired to take your own microadventures from your doorstep, remember to do them in your own unique way – whatever that might be to you! (She says with the cheesy grin from my own adventures!)