“How are you doing?”

Recently, this seemingly harmless and polite question has been paralyzing. An automatic, ‘I’m good how are you’ spills out like word vomit. Am I good? Am I – at this point in my life sitting in my office at 2 PM on a Wednesday – happy? I’m not alone; according to Forbes, over 50% of people are unhappy at work, which bubbles over into other aspects of life. So, what’s missing? Where does our thirst for life and adventure go the second we have to stay put?
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With the advent of Instagram, Snapchat and travel blogging, we are taken all over the world through the lens of an iPhone and given a glimpse of fairy tale adventures. As much as it is inspiring, it can also get exhausting as we begin to play the comparison game over and over in our heads. I am guilty for agonizing over the fact that I don’t have the current resources or time to go on these adventures myself. Then, I was turned on to Mr. Alastair Humphreys, the outdoorsman who rode around the world on a bike for 4 years, walked across India, was deemed the National Geographic Adventurer of the year, and along the journey created the concept of the ‘Microadventure’. This cheap, simple, short and small adventure is something one can experience on a work night.

Microadventures are cheap, simple, short adventures right outside your door step

You don’t have to limit yourself to dreaming about the weekend to wake up and feel alive. Everyone juggles the constraints of a 9-5 ‘real life’ but it’s no excuse to let your adventurous spirit fly out the window come 8 AM Monday morning. The mid-week microadventure lets you cram the exhilaration of escapism into the work week. Whether you take a late night dip in a river or pool, sleep under the stars in your backyard, or watch the sunrise on a Thursday morning before work, microadventures have this amazing effect of recalibrating the crazy.

If you’re thinking this is something you want to try, below are a few tips that helped me go on my very first one: 

Approach adventure as a state of mind, a part of your spirit

You don’t have to be ‘outdoorsy’ or think you’re adventurous to have adventures. You are human, and you’re probably bored with everyday monotony – so do something that scares you, and be prepared to hate it (at first).

Scout out an easily accessible location

Find somewhere that is reasonable to get to after work; you don’t really want to be driving 3 hours to explore on a work day. A public park, riverside, field, or even your own backyard will work!

Try camping in your backyard

The best part of this adventure is that it leads you right onto your own doorstep (if you live in an apartment complex, hit up a friend with a backyard), to explore your local environment anew. Choose your spot, pitch a tent, and get unplugged. It is amazing how you can be so close to something or somewhere that is so familiar, yet how foreign and new it will seem to sleep outside.


Breathe in sunrise ANYWHERE

It might be uncomfortable to wake up somewhere other than your comfortable bed – yes the first few minutes will suck. But seeing your city or town come alive through the lens of a mountain top, hill-top, or rooftop is spectacular, and something that will set the rest of your day on fire.

Walk a lap around your home at a few miles’ radius

It is truly amazing what you will find in your own neighborhood. I did this last week and found street art and beautiful graffiti; it gave me a chance to let the spinning wheels of my mind slow down. Listening to the birds, breathing in the air and taking in the overlooked world that is just under your nose is comforting and weirdly enlivening.

find happiness with microadventures

Pack up your essentials before work

This will depend on the type of adventure you are preparing. If you are sleeping outside or going overnight, pack food for a picnic: wine, cheese, simple granola and fruit, nut mixes, almonds, tacos, hummus, guacamole – or whatever you fancy.
Other may essentials include:
  • Sleeping bag, tent (if necessary) blankets (dependent on weather)
  • Head torch (or iPhone flashlight)
  • Face wipes, tooth brush, water, chapstick
  • Swimsuit, towel for any ocean, river, lake, stream, or possible sprinkler adventures
  • Bug spray
  • If you’re taking a mini-micro adventure into nature, go minimalistic – try taking NOTHING, and see how freeing it is

Lastly, just do it

find happiness with microadventures Photo via

We tend to over-examine, over-plan, over-analyze everything. A microadventure gives you the chance to simply grab the keys, your bike, skateboard, or own two feet, and just go. Just do it. It is a perfect tonic to your mid-week blues, and although you may wake up a little messy with dirt-caked hair, you will wake up feeling refreshed and rejuvenated to start the next work day.