Thanks to several friends for telling me about the inspirational Alastair Humphreys, and his microadventure ideas.

As you can see from his website, Alastair is an extreme explorer. He spent 4 years cycling around the world. He ran the London Marathon in less than 3 hours. He trekked the 1,000 mile Empty Quarter on the Arabian Peninsula.

But his concept of microadventures is for people who have full-time jobs, commute to work, have a mortgage and don’t have the luxury of being able to undertake such extreme challenges.

To quote Alastair:

Adventure is all around us, at all times. Adventure is accessible to normal people, in normal places, in short segments of time and without having to spend much money.

Adventure is only a state of mind.

That is why I came up with the idea of microadventures. Simple expeditions and challenges which are close to home, affordable and easy to organise. Ideas designed to encourage ordinary people to get Out There and Do Stuff for themselves, even in these tightened financial times.

He’s right. When I was working full-time and commuting to London, weekday evenings were invariably spent having a bite to eat, perhaps guzzling a mind-numbing glass of wine, and watching some inane TV.

You work 9 to 5…but what about your 5 to 9? 

What indeed?

I do remember something Gill and I did a few years ago, when our noses were still pressed very hard to the grindstone. At the time it was just a bit of fun, but with hindsight – and thanks to Alastair – I’ll call it a microadventure now.

We got up very early, went to the top of local beauty spot Hydon’s Ball, where we wassailed with the local Morris Men to celebrate the pagan first day of May, as the sun rose on the Surrey Hills. I got on the 7:45 to Waterloo with a little extra spring in my commuting step. And a whiff of alcohol on my breath.

But if only I’d done more. Much more.

Perhaps I’ll go back to work so that I can really embrace the concept, and think up our own microadventures before it’s too late…..

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