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The Philosophy of Microadventures: What they are and how to get started

What is a Microadventure?  

Simply put: a microadventure is an experience that’s small, short, and accessible.  It’s a way to try something new, to experience human connection, or to push the limits of your comfort zone.  It’s something that doesn’t require extensive planning or a huge block of time; and not something that requires a lot of special gear or expensive equipment.        

Where did the idea come from?  

Ceci and I sat down one day to figure out exactly why we love travel, and we boiled it down to 3 things:
1. Human connection;
2. New experiences, and
3. The growth-from-discomfort you only get when you push the limits of your comfort zone.  

Then we asked ourselves — if human connection, new experiences, and dabbling our toes outside of our comfort zones are the three things we value most in our travel experiences, is travel the only activity that speaks to them? 

We wanted to invest in those activities because we wanted to sustain the meaningful impact that travel has on our lives.  We didn’t set out looking to “replace” travel; but we thought we could supplement it.  We wanted to live a life of adventure — a life that has meaning, and impact, and that we feel proud investing in.    

It was also important to us to have the activities be “accessible” — we needed to be able to do them on a tight schedule and with limited resources.  We’re busy in our lives, just like everyone else; and we strive to live simply, so we subscribe to the idea that a good return isn’t necessitated by a large investment.    

For us, the idea of microadventuring was born when we set out to find activities that spoke to one or more of the things we value, and that were accessible to us within the constraints of a tight schedule and limited resources.

Related Content: Quarantine Microadventures: Activities to try at home

But what about Alastair Humpherys?  

As Johann Wolfgang von Goethe once said, “All intelligent thoughts have already been thought; what is necessary is only to try to think them again.”

When we started down our path of self-discovery, we didn’t know about Alastair Humphreys or his incredible work with popularizing the term “microadventure.”  We were just two people trying to live a life of meaning and impact.    

It wasn’t until we decided to open up and share our thoughts with the world that we stumbled across Alastair Humphreys; but now that we know he popularized the concept, we want to give full credit and homage to Alastair Humphreys for his work.  It’s our hope that we can catch up to the movement and add to what’s come before us.  

Why write about microadventures?  

One thing that’s important to us at Lovicarious is that anything we decide to invest our time in sharing is something that adds value.  I’ve decided to write about our microadventures because I think there are a lot of ways people can find them useful — whether you’re someone looking for activities for the little ones, or you’re looking for creative date ideas for a significant other, or you’re just bored and want to try something different.  

We believe that every day is a new opportunity to learn, grow, change, explore, and experience; and we believe that living a life of adventure is attainable.  Microadventures are one way that we support those mantras.  There are a lot of ways these articles can add value beyond their initial purpose; and I hope that you find them useful, or that they inspire a little spark of creativity, or they in some way help you on your journey.  

What are some Microadventures I can try out?  

If you’re wanting to dip your toes into a few microadventures, here’s a few we’ve written about recently:  
Goat Yoga at Autumn Ridge
Discovering Poe at the Edgar Allen Poe Museum
Nido Soup: the Filipino Dish Made From a Bird’s Nest

Like what you see? Share it with your friends!

Scott Fix

Scott has a wife that loves him more than Pooh bear loves honey.

This Post Has 21 Comments

  1. Linda (LD Holland)

    I must say that I love the idea of micro adventures. A good thing to look for when we are doing day trips and want to limit our time out. Or a way to pack a lot into our precious time. It is especially meaningful if you invest all of your attention and senses into that micro adventure so you really enjoy it. Unfortunately that may mean focusing less on trying to capture the entire experience in photos!

    1. Lovicarious

      It is funny that you say that. I just finished writing an article on Quarantine Microadventures and I didn’t have a single photo to post on there. I tend to take quick videos during our microadventures, but you’re right, I dont take the time to take too many photos because I am more invested in the moment.

  2. Ami Bhat

    Interesting term – microadventures. Most of us do have these in our lives but don’t really talk of them. This post made me figure some of them and it was fun recollecting them. Guess, maybe I should take your post forward and write about them now.

    1. Lovicarious

      It is a beautiful concept that adventure is everywhere and for everyone. It is accessible, affordable, and attainable. It is a fun term to introduce to others and see their perspectives change.

  3. blair villanueva

    I like the idea of microadventures. Not everyone is game for a big travel adventures especially if they just want a quick moment to unwind. Afterall, with microadventures we can always find amazing stories.

    1. Lovicarious

      Definitely agree. My mom would not be up for big travel adventures like scubadiving in the Philippines or climbing Kilimanjaro, but that does not mean adventure is not accessible to her. It just means she might be more attracted to microadventures like goat yoga, playing in a corn field maze, or sleeping in a yurt!

  4. Agnes

    A fascinating article. I have not heard of this term microadventure before. I like it very much; it is very intriguing. I agree that every day is a new opportunity to learn, grow, change, explore, and experience.

    1. Lovicarious

      Yes, you put it perfectly. Every day is an opportunity to learn, grow, change, explore, and experience. Don’t live passively. Live purposefully with tons of microadventures thrown in!

  5. emma

    I have never heard this term before, but what a fabulous idea! I guess there are many of these we do but don’t really see them as adventures or talk about them as much as we would a holiday, This puts an awesome new perspective on them! Also I really want to try out goat yoga.. Thats been on my to do list forever!

    1. Lovicarious

      It was so much fun! The goats are adorable, but they do poop right there on your mat. I guess that’s the part about getting out of your comfort zone! haha

  6. Adele Gee

    I completely subscribe to the idea of microadventures. For full-time working people looking to unwind during the weekends off , would find this to be useful. I do use this concept but rather unconsciously up to now.

    1. Lovicarious

      You’re exactly right. Microadventures are the ideal way to experience adventure when you have a full-time job and only have a few free days on the weekend. Flying to Tanzania to climb Kilimanjaro, or driving to Breckenridge to ski might not be in the cards, however there are other forms of adventure (microadventure) which are completely attainable in a small period of time.

  7. Clarice

    I love the idea of a microadventure. Well, actually we have been doing this but had no idea that there’s a name for it. Anyway, would love to read more about your microadventures. Thank you for the inspiration.

    1. Lovicarious

      Of course! So glad you enjoyed our post. We plan to post more about our own microadventures here around the Washington DC area. Now that we are social distancing, it is a perfect time to discover local microadventures.

  8. Manjulika Pramod

    Loved the term microadventures. We have all done them but never bothered to talk about them but they are so useful. On some days, you don’t need elaborate itineraries or big plans but small experiences. All day reading a book by a lovely beach or spending a day in a museum or yoga in a beautiful location make my kind of microadventures.

    1. Lovicarious

      I love it. I think being able to call them microadventures just puts a different spin on something that might otherwise be mundane. Like spending a day in a museum for example. Some might view that as just an activity to pass the day. You and I might look at it as a portal to another place and time. A way to connect with a foreign culture and history. There is adventure everywhere but sometimes it just takes a change in persepective to see it.

  9. Medha Verma

    I didn’t know there was a term for it but yeah, I’m totally in for micro adventures too, especially because I have a full time job and can manage very little vacation time and because I like to break my vacation time into 4 times in the year, every vacation is short. This means, packing a lot into those days! It’s a good suggestion to jot down what matters to you when you travel, I’d highly agree with similar points that you jotted- I love going to places that make me feel out of my comfort zone, and I love human interactions & connections too, and then there’s authentic local cuisines and foods!

    1. Lovicarious

      We decided to give microadventure its own term because so many people view Adventure as limited to something hard to obtain, scary, and adrenaline-inducing. We believe adventures are accessible to everyone and that same feeling of excitement and adrenaline can be found in smaller moments too. Love that you enjoy getting out of your comfort zone and experiencing human connection…and yes, trying authentic local cuisine is the best! We just had our own little microadventure in the Philippines where we tried Bird’s Nest Soup!

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