How many of us long for a bit of adventure? How many of us secretly (or perhaps openly. . .) long to be doing something other than what we do every day? Adventurer, author and motivational speaker, Alastair Humphreys reckons that everything we need to “get Out There and Do Stuff” is right on our doorstep, in the form of a “microadventure”.
I heard Alastair speaking at a fantastic event last night at the Omni Centre, Edinburgh in support of the charity Hope and Homes for children. Eleven adventurers, including the BBC documentary maker, Mark Beaumont, treated a packed audience to a Night of Adventure. It was pretty moving stuff, which included Scottish mountaineer, Jamie Andrew’s account of the horrific accident in the French Alps, which ended in tragedy for his climbing partner and resulted in Jamie having his hands and feet amputated. Despite this set back, Jamie has carried on with his mountaineering career, and has raised thousands of pounds for charity in the process.
For most us, jetting off to the Sahara or the South Pole for a couple of months, or taking four years away from work and family just isn’t on the cards. I think that’s why Alastair’s project of making 2011 the year of the microadventure really meant something to me. Okay, for Alastair a microadventure might involve racing his bike non-stop for 24 hours around a frozen forest in the north of Scotland, or walking 118 miles around the M25! But I don’t think it has to be quite so extreme.
Last year, as a test run for a bigger trip, I took my wife cycle camping in the Pentlands. It was a very simple overnight trip, but felt surprisingly adventurous, particularly when we arrived at our friend’s barbecue the next day, knowing we’d spent the previous night sleeping in the hills!
I reckon there is huge scope for some microadventurers in and around Edinburgh, and I don’t think they even have to be that big. What about climbing Arthur’s seat at 3.30am to watch the sun rise? Or walking the entire length of the Water of Leith from source to sea?
I’m pretty excited about it! Suggestions on a postcard please. Better still – anyone fancy joining me on the top of Arthur’s seat?…