Exotic adventures dominate social media feeds but you don't need to break the bank or burn through your annual leave to live more adventurously. These micro doses of outdoor adventure are enough to sustain your wanderlust between bigger trips to the great outdoors!
Social media has a lot to answer for but one of the most talked-about issues of the moment is comparison culture. Simply put, curated feeds from influencers and celebrities showcasing their exotic lifestyles make us feel disheartened about our everyday lives by comparison. If you're not trekking to Machu Picchu or water-skiing in Bali, the implication is that you're failing.
Which, of course, is absolute rubbish.
For those of us with responsibilities - kids, mortgages, careers, you name it - disappearing to a far-flung country may sound attractive but isn't realistic, at least not at the relentless frequency that social media algorithms would have you believe is normal or expected of you. But rather than feeling like a failure by comparison, the trick is to put your phone down and introduce adventure into your everyday.
It's easier than you think, too.
Listed below are five suggestions for living more adventurously in the everyday but this is far from exhaustive - we absolutely encourage you to go your own way, try new experiences and let us know how you get on.
And when you are ready to book that adventure holiday, you know where to find us.
One of the most endearing aspects of an adventure holiday is the opportunity to immerse yourself in nature, whether you're trekking to Everest Base Camp or kayaking in the Lofoten Islands. Those micro moments of watching the sunset over the waves or rising from behind a mountain are some of the most intoxicating.
While you might not consider where you live to be as exotic, the same sun rises over your local fields and woods - go and watch it. Set your alarm early, grab a brew on your way out of the door and breathe in the sunrise before the day truly begins. You'll go into the rest of the day with a real sense of connection with the natural world, which is what people travel across the globe in search of.
Clearly this one is going to involve some safety precautions but we'll assume that you're responsible enough to know where and when it's inappropriate to start lighting a fire. Specifically, we're talking about building a controlled fire, in a fire pit, on land that you own or have permission on. Got it?
We're as enthusiastic about binging a good TV show as anyone else but replacing the blue light of a screen with the natural glow of a campfire seems like a no-brainer. Sitting in front of a warm fire and under the stars is an experience that humans have shared for thousands of years, invoking a deep feeling of calm and relaxation that can be difficult to find in our frantic modern lives.
Ending your day by stoking a fire, maybe even cooking outdoors, is an easy win when it comes to introducing more adventure into your everyday.
Cold water therapy is all the rage (we've been writing about it ourselves) and while you might get sick of seeing people plunge into ice-filled wheelie bins on your social media feeds, there's no denying that a dose of cold water will wash away the cobwebs and leave you feeling invigorated.
The way to make that experience even better, though, is to go wild swimming.
You can find open water swimming spots across the UK and swapping your morning or evening workout for a quick dip in your local river is perfect for literally immersing yourself in the great outdoors. Adventure holidays often include canyoning or coasteering because the thrill of diving into open water is so intoxicating - while you may not have any local cliffs to dive off, plunging into cold water in the great outdoors will definitely refresh your mind and body after a day in the office.
Bear with us here.
The best adventures are a fusion of trying something new, getting your heart rate and endorphins pumping, and doing something out of the ordinary. Get that same thrill on a normal weekday without getting fired from work can seem difficult - but you just need to think outside the box.
However you get to work on a regular day, get there faster. If you normally catch the bus into a city centre, try cycling and beating that same bus; if you normally drive to the office, have a go at setting off earlier and running into work. The competitive edge will drive you to push yourself and you'll probably need to take some shortcuts, maybe cutting across a field or trying a new area of town. Sure, it sounds a bit daft - but aren't all the best adventures?
We've saved this until last as it's probably the best known example of an everyday adventure but it's also one of the most exciting and effective.
The basic concept, popularised mainly by Alastair Humphreys, is to focus on the 5-9 rather than the 9-5. You have 16 hours in which to head out of town and camp under the stars, returning to your desk in the morning rejuvenated from a night spent in the great outdoors. Adding in an open water swim, a fire and catching the sunrise would make perfect sense, too. All you need is a bit of preparation and planning to enjoy a pint-sized adventure in the middle of the week.
The common theme here is to be creative and try something beyond the constraints of everyday life. That's one of the biggest reasons that people aspire to a wild, exotic adventure on a far-flung continent but, while those experiences are incredible, you can enjoy an adventurous lifestyle every single day. You just need to make it happen.
Need some inspiration? Create a free profile on TimeOutdoors to join our growing community and connect with other outdoorsy people!