Less than a month after I graduated, I traveled out of the country for the first time to meet my mom’s side of the family in the Philippines for two weeks. A week after I returned home, I took a road trip to the Southwest, soaking in a side of States I never saw before. I ate chicken and waffles, wandered through the Grand Canyon of Texas, barely avoided a foot of snow in Santa Fe, and rolled down the dunes at White Sands National Monument.
But once I came back to the reality of life after undergrad, I moved to one of the largest cities in the Southeast for a 9 to 5. I would come home, make dinner, watch Netflix, and sometimes that would bore me to the point of falling asleep around 8:30 PM.
HR’s time request system replaced my spontaneity, but only temporarily. While summer-long or even week-long travels are out of reach for now, day and weekend microadventures are just as good, if not better.
Coined by British author and adventurer Alastair Humphreys, microadventures are small-scale adventures that you can accomplish within a short timeframe and modest budget. You don’t need much and there’s no need to go far.
Searching for ways to alleviate stress and fatigue from work, many people travel to escape. Vacation days become numbered after weddings and family obligations, and you’re left with a handful of sick days and the occasional holiday – or so it seems.
Humphreys reminds us that, although you work from 9 to 5, you still have from 5 to 9. Perhaps you work from Monday to Friday, but what happens between 5 PM on Friday and 9 Monday morning? You’re left with time to escape.
Sure, there are obstacles, but we’ve already thought of them.
- “I have no time.”
Outside of work, you do have time. Even with just one hour, you can escape somewhere.
If you’re really pressed for time, instead of eating at your desk or going out for lunch, explore what’s around by foot. Get lost in the urban jungle around your workplace. Find a new road and follow it until it’s time to turn around.
- “I have no money.”
Great. You don’t need it. Leave it at home.
Turn frugality into an advantage. See what you can do with as little as possible – preferably with no money at all.
- “I don’t know where to go.”
Perfect. Nowhere is a great place to start.
Swap the GPS for a compass or wander with no destination. Join a meetup and let others plan your day. Think small-scale. What’s within a 5-block radius from your work? Do you really know what’s around your house? How well do you know the town next over?
- “I don’t know what to do.”
This is an opportunity to get creative and try new things. Challenge yourself each week. We can help you with this one.
Each week, we’ll present you with a new challenge that we’ve attempted ourselves. We’ll share the ways we became reacquainted with adventure and spontaneity on a penny or time crunch, without destinations or expectations.
Take the challenge and find ways to satisfy your travel bug – at least until you can take that cross-country road trip in an RV or finally put your high school Spanish into practice by heading to Mexico.
Want to turn the tables? Challenge us with your own idea in a comment below.