When Alastair Humphreys aka 'Mr Microadventure' sent me an email last week asking if I wanted to sleep on top of a hill for the night, the answer was YES! Al is a seasoned adventurer with many great expeditions under his belt. More recently, he has been working hard to encourage people to have adventures they can fit within their normal lives and are easy to do. To try something new and escape the daily routine of a busy life, to make a small change that can have a big impact.
He's branded these as Microadventures. It's totally up to you what you want to do on your microadventure but here's the basic format we followed:
- Jump on a train after work and head out to the countryside
- Climb a hill
- Make campfire
- Drink beer
- Cook food on campfire
- Watch sunset
- Toast marshmellows
- Sleep under the stars (no tent required)
- Watch sunrise
- Cook breakfast and make tea on campfire
- Walk back to station
- Jump on train
- Back at your desk by 9am
How often do people talk about how quickly time goes past? How the days, weeks, months fade into one another; "Where has time gone? It feels like only yesterday we were talking about how we should do...."
But you didn't do it. Whatever 'it' was. Or maybe you did. At certain points in our lives we are filled with enthusiasm for new projects or goals. Sometimes we maintain our drive, sometimes it fades.
I am driven to get out and try new things, or to do more of the things I have already tried that I know I love. The main driving force is because these are the experiences that enhance my life, differentiate one week from the next, enable me to meet new people, develop new perspectives, break out of routine and live. You may get the same feelings and experiences from doing different things - going to the theatre, trying new restaurants or spectating at sports events. What matters is that we break out of routine and challenge ourselves to do things we don't normally do.
Wednesday night was superb!
I caught the train out of London and headed to the hills!
We walked through some fields and climbed the hill to Al and Paul's designated camping spot.
We made a delicious stew with vegetables and beef. We roasted corn, aubergine and jacket potatoes right in the embers of the fire.
We drank wine and beer and kept the bottles cool with a wet sock! (Army trick I am told)
We watched the sun go down and the night lights come up.
Gail arrived and we ate dinner.
After dinner we roasted marsh mellows on the fire courtesy of Mallow and Marsh and talked about all number of bizarre things like our favourite airports.
The weather was ideal, the views stunning, the food was delicious and we pretty much laughed all night until 11:30pm when someone sensibly suggested "I think we should get some sleep".
Worried about where to go to the loo? Don't be! Al has it all sorted with a luxurious toilet in the woods..
The next morning we woke up with the dawn chorus, cooked breakfast and headed to catch the train back to London at 7:15am.
I had a fantastic night, loved the experience and want to do it again! If you are tempted to do your own microadventures and don't know where to start or are looking for some inspiration, check out Al's websites that I've linked to above and infographic below. Find one friend who is up for it and give it a try - what's the worst that could happen?
Go for it!