Inspired by Alastair Humphreys, I wanted to do things I hadn't done before, have fun, explore and enjoy wherever I happened to be. These adventures couldn’t be expensive, because I wasn’t making much money. They also had to be doable wherever I ended up living, because back in January 2015 I was still waiting for my hard-fought-for visa to stay in the UK, uncertain I’d be in the same country at the end of the month, let alone the end of the year. I wanted to discover things close to home, wherever that was.
The year began with a list of challenges and fun things to try (some too expensive or time-consuming . . . at least for now!) and I continued to add to the list until at last count I'd collected over 120 ideas. I'll have to keep going if I want to try them all!
Here is a selection (in no particular order) of 52 things I did this year, usually accompanied by my lovely partner, who was very kind to indulge me in my plots and schemes! If you'd like to add them to your own list of microadventure challenges, feel free. Perhaps you could also go on . . .
A microadventure every week for a year!
This was a very enjoyable challenge! If you’re inspired, perhaps you could do the same thing in 2016. I’d love to read about your adventures - please do leave a link in the comments.
This time last year, I set myself the challenge of having an adventure every week in 2015. Most of them would be very small adventures. Mini adventures. Microadventures.
"Whether the weather be fine or whether the weather be not; whether the weather be cold or whether the weather be hot; we'll weather the weather whatever the weather, whether we like it or not!" Here's how people took up the November microadventure challenge.
November was a busy month with travel between 3 continents. I thought that this would provide me with an opportunity to incorporate the November microadventure challenge of 'weather the weather'. Perhaps more of a macro than micro adventure in this case!
Nepal has 8 out of 10 of the highest mountains in the world, courtesy of the Himalayan range. A bit of useful knowledge gained from visiting the country many times is which side of the plane to sit on to gain an amazing view of the mountain range when flying into or out of Nepal.
Jonathan and Dan
It snowed in November! But it only snowed for about ten minutes. I just had time to go outside and try to catch a few fluffy, drifting flakes on my tongue before it turned to rain. That was the day that winter properly arrived, so you would think we’d have plenty of opportunity to weather the weather whatever the weather. But alas, we mostly failed at microadventuring in November. We had plans for a sleep out with a friend, but they fell through. Then we were going to sleep in the woods, but the gale-force winds put us off: we didn’t fancy getting squished by falling branches or trees. Even some true wild camping stalwarts gave it a miss that weekend, so I didn’t feel too bad. (Though braver people than us have ventured out in the wind since then!)
We did manage to camp out, in the end. It was the kind of camping where you drag all your duvets (doonas) and pillows down the stairs, blow up your camping mats and snuggle down in front of a crackling wood fire. Where you make instant noodles for dinner just because you can, just because it reminds you of walking across Wales in summer. Where you sit on the floor wrapped in a blanket, drink smoky lapsang souchong tea and listen to the wind flinging itself down the chimney. It might not be a hardcore outdoorsy microadventure, but it has a certain cosy, charming appeal!
This month's theme for microadventures was "weather the weather." This is easy for a cyclist. This month I raced the train on a beautiful day, battled uphill on a day so windy that trees were losing branches, and cycled along the beach in the rain. So I decided that my microadventure couldn't take place on my bike.
The sky was looming, but it was low tide and everything was in place, so threatened by occasional heavy drops of rain I ventured out for my very first exploration of a rock pool.
Rickett’s Point Marine Sanctuary is down Port Phillip Bay, and I grew up in Perth so it was a totally new area for me. I forgot my gum boots but I always wear my swamp boots, so my feet stayed dry.
Things I saw:
Two hours later, I looked out to where I'd been from under my umbrella, and there was nothing but water. I didn't realise that even in a bay the tide can rise fast.
I went geocaching (of course!) in Storm Abigail with my friend Abi - battle of the Abigails! Horizontal rain, much wind. The usual big skies were big grey skies.
There was a brief appearance from the sun when we stopped to explore St Mary's church in Great Eversden. And finally, just as we were about to head home, a rainbow over the last cache - surely there's a cheesy treasure/pot of gold gag in that!
December microadventure theme: revisit!
As the (Gregorian calendar) year draws to a close, it's time to wrap up our year of microadventure. I've chosen the theme "revisit" for December. This might mean revisiting a special place (perhaps somewhere you often go for the holidays?) or revisiting an activity you've only done once or twice before. You could also revisit one of the themes from our year of microadventure - whether or not you've taken part! It could be one you missed at the time, one you loved so much you want to do it again, or one you're inspired to do after seeing someone else's adventure. To jog your memory/give you some inspiration, here are the themes from the year:
Thanks as always to everyone who took part in November's challenge. I'm excited to see what everyone chooses for their revisit in December. Remember to leave me a message here, email me or tweet me with your words/images/blog posts for the round up!
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