Microadventures: Bite-Sized Adventures for Busy People

Microadventures: Bite-Sized Adventures for Busy People

Just because you don’t have all the free time in the world, it doesn’t mean you can’t have tons of fun. Change your mindset with a microadventure.

On more than one occasion I’ve questioned the idea or concept of adventure. Mostly what it has become to mean in media.

If you asked a 10-year-old what an adventure is, it might not extend beyond camping out in the tree fort in the woods behind their house. But to those with an internet connection, at least 20 years worth of rotating around the sun and a motorcycle license – well, it seems like we’ve got a larger yardstick to measure adventure against. And you know? That kinda stinks.

Like many people in the Northeast, this winter has been rough for me. I haven’t been able to find my footing and make the best of it. Instead, I’ve wallowed in self-pity and have wrestled with a nasty case of the sads 🙁 . I feel like I haven’t done anything or gone anywhere or had any damn fun ever, ever, ever, never in my whole life. Ever. I’m on the emotional rollercoaster careening down a hill at warp speed.

fuzzygalore riding in california

Microadventures: Improve your life a little at a time

This weekend I felt especially fuck it all. As I was contemplating why I am such a loser and scrolling through all the smiling faces and fun times in my Facebook feed, I saw a post from Outside Magazine: Improve Your Life with Microadventures – You need to upend your boring routine, but it doesn’t take much.

I quickly glanced around to see if someone was looking over my shoulder. Clearly, they wrote that headline for me. Yes, I need to improve my life! I need to upend my boring routine! And I sure as hell don’t want it to take much! A sign. That’s what that was, right there, a sign.

So, I read on. That’s when I saw a link to Alastair Humphreys. After many epic undertakings, he is pushing the microadventure agenda.

Microadventures are about squeezing all the curiosity and interestingness out of those hours when you aren’t dealing with “real life.”

Do you have a day job and only weekends off? Are you paying for a kid or two in college? Maybe you can’t wrap your head around going around the country for four months – but maybe you can wrap your head around doing something for 4 or 12 or 24 hours.

When you have the right mindset, you can find yourself having a great time without being mired down by some grand expectation of what an adventure is.

Bite-sized adventure. I like it! Maybe it’ll be a ride to a state park for a hike or a trip to a lookout at the top of a mountain. Who knows?

Let’s do this!

12 Replies to “Microadventures: Bite-Sized Adventures for Busy People”

  1. Your clearly-a-sign-for-you discovery echoes something I hear from time to time, most recently last summer:

    “The pleasure of a vacation comes from three sources — anticipation, experience, and reminiscence — and the most pleasure comes from anticipation. A 2010 study of nearly 1,500 Dutch citizens, for instance, found that subjects actually enjoyed planning the vacation more than taking it, suggesting that several short trips would bring more pleasure than one long one. And when you’ve just had a big, paid-time-off, bank-busting vacation, it will be a good long while before you can start looking forward to the next. But you can start planning your next weekend getaway as soon as the glow from the last one begins to fade.”

    June 11, 2014 Robin Abrahams, Boston Globe

    Don’t be too hard on yourself, Fuzzy: You are a force for good in this world, and here you’ve attracted a tremendous number of wonderful, like-minded folks… Thank you.

    1. Well, that makes sense to me. I definitely get pleasure from the planning and the excitement of the possibility of doing something. But I never really thought of it like that before – seeking small doses of that high to keep the feeling going.

      On the flip side of this: there is a corresponding low that you can feel after returning from a trip. I had a major hangover after our last vacation that seemed to linger for weeks and weeks. A real funk. The waiting and wishing and doing were so “WOW” that i had nowhere else to go but down. That part? That part sucks.

      Looks like i need to keep microadventuring so that doesn’t happen 😉

  2. I love the micro adventure concept. Especially the idea that, “Even a small adventure is better than no adventure at all.”

    I’ve often thought of little trips as “adventures, ” not because I was doing anything fantastic, but because I was doing something different. Even little stuff like driving an hour or two south to carry a rescued dog north as part of a transport chain. I make it an adventure by trying a different route, seeing some big stuff along the way, maybe eating at a restaurant I enjoy, but don’t often get to.

    The link you shared on Facebook is a good one: http://www.alastairhumphreys.com/microadventures-3/year-microadventure-2/

    I have no desire to sleep outdoors — not even use a tent?!? — but love the idea of putting a monthly micro adventure on the calendar and committing to it. It’s something to plan for, which in itself is huge.

    Maybe you should start a FuzzyMicroAdventure challenge. You inspire people unintentionally anyway, whether you realize it or not. Perhaps it could be a Motoblogger Microadventure Challenge? So many possibilities…

  3. This is called my weekends!
    We do lots of little adventures year round with things like Conserve the Ride, Pine Barren 500, March Moto Madness, weekend or day trips riding on our own to fun destinations, motorcycle camping, rock climbing, hiking, etc. etc. My wife and I are hardly ever “doing nothing”. 😀

  4. Didn’t know it had a name, but I guess I engage in micro-adventures (and pico-): ditching work for long day-rides on the motorcycle, short hikes with the family to find cool stuff like state boundary stones and Mason-Dixon markers, the time we located and planted a Delaware flag on a small unmarked bit of Delaware soil within New Jersey that almost nobody realizes exists…

    1. Yes, i guess you could say that. I guess it all depends on how we perceive things. I know i sometimes fail to see the greatness in some of my own undertakings. “labeling” them as something – like a microadventure – seems to highlight their awesomeness.

  5. fuzzy just catching up on your blog, life has been a hurticane of busyness! I love the idea of microadventures! I had thought I would have been on a giant road trip adventure by having ridden for 4 years, but it hasnt happened yet. Still though i manage to put between 15,000 and 20,000km on my bike a year. I did do a 3 day road trip and in my mind it was epic and I savoured every moment. I have realized all my adventures are micro sized and I actually get some pretty nice riding in. awesome post!

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