Let’s be honest, we’d all rather be off trekking up a mountain somewhere, running halfway across some exotic country or just disappearing on a whim one weekend with a map and a vague idea of what to do. But, we’ve got small folk depending on us. So it’s hard to get out the door in under half an hour, let alone any of the above.
Plus kids are exhausting. Sometimes the thought of being extra active when you have children is just too much, and we’d admit that we’d rather be sat in front of the television watching a boxset and eating our bodyweight in biscuits. And that’s ok.
Yes, there will be occasions where some big adventures CAN happen, or you want them to, and we’ll be sure to feature them here. But this post is about challenging you to start having smaller adventures, microadventures, on their doorstep. It can be done.
What does adventure mean to you? Before children, it probably would have been something along the lines of exploring somewhere new, getting out of your comfort zone, challenging yourself mentally or physically. It can still mean the same thing after having children, it just means redefining where and what you do slightly, depending on your circumstances and feelings.
Adventure can be found everywhere. It doesn’t have to be found from trekking half way across the world. Last month, I wanted to do something different with my children, so I dipped into Jen and Ben Simpson’s book ‘Amazing Family Adventures‘, decided I wanted to circumnavigate a lake, found one half an hour away, and had a fab time with my smaller explorers. We pretended we were discovering ruins and bridges for the first time, making up stories about this new adventure.
Back in November, I took my littlest to Richmond Park, as it was deer rutting season. We took the backpack and a lunch and went ‘trekking’ into the park to see if we could get up close to the wildlife. It gave a bog standard trip to the park a different slant, and I talked about it for days afterwards.
Alastair Humphries neatly summed up slower walking microadventures by saying ‘In the time span you have available for an adventure, you will see the fewest places if you decide to walk, but the places that you do see, you will truly see.’ The same is true when exploring with children, and seeing the world through their eyes. Everything is done at a much slower pace. Sometimes, it’s frustrating, as those five miles you wanted to cover may only end up being one mile, but that one mile is explored in great detail. Kids, then, can open our eyes up to things that we might not have seen as adventures on our doorstep. Deep, right?
Try a night walk or run around your neighbourhood.
Visit a new National Trust and tick off some of their #50things
Wild camp in the garden
Wild camp elsewhere
Camp overnight in a bothy
Try a new activity you have never done before like canoeing or climbing
Take a boat trip somewhere
Book a cheap flight somewhere for the weekend
Leave the kids at home
If you are desperate for some adventure time on your own, it can also still be done. Al Humphries’ book ‘Microadventures’ has tons of good ideas, though most are only feasible if you have a willing other who will babysit overnight or for the weekend.
But, similar to the above philosophy, if you redefine what adventure means, there is lots that is achievable close by.
Tackle a long distance path section by section.
Take a bus somewhere random, then run home.
Do a mini triathlon, including a wild swim.
Cycle home from an unknown destination using just a compass.
Challenge yourself to something new, like rowing or kayaking.
As this blog grows, we’ll focus on individual activities in more detail to give you even more inspiration and tips, and don’t forget to let us know about your own doorstep microadventures.