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Why Adventure is at Your Fingertips Right Now

Author: Emma Higgins  //  March 3rd, 2016


Last week I was in London and the sun was shining, so I decided to take a walk. I set out from Islington, and went wherever my curiosity wanted to go. Over the space of two hours, I covered a loop around the borough and revelled in the late-winter warmth that poured down from the sky.



I walked through little parks that had spring’s first daffodils sprouting from their lawns. I passed rows of terraced houses with colourful front doors. I found a café called Pattern, which played Phil Collins on repeat and served up delicious lemon drizzle cake.

Down the road, I stumbled on Keystone Crescent, which happens to be the smallest crescent road in Europe. I rummaged through vintage stores and spotted a shop that sold discarded mannequins. Off Caledonian Road, I found parrots painted all over the walls.

Okay, so I wasn’t scaling mountains or crossing continents, but it was an adventure. How do I know it was an adventure?

Because it made me feel adventurous.


adventure inspiration, slow travel, london islington, london street art


In 2015, I travelled 5,000 miles around the British Isles. GKM’s print journal about the experience – A Year in the UK & Ireland – will be out in a few weeks. I think I hit a record number of envy emails last year; never before had I heard from so many people wishing they could be on a similar journey.

Don’t worry – I’m not about to crack out the ‘but everyone can travel the world!’ line, because, well, not everyone can. The reality is that long-term travel is expensive and difficult, and I am in a fortunate position to be able to spend my life on the road. That said, what I am here to argue is that adventure is just around the corner – every corner.

A Year in the UK & Ireland covers twenty locations across the two countries, from sailing historic yachts in Norfolk, to clifftop walks in Anglesey, hunting history in the Scottish Borders, and sleeping in gyspy caravans in Wicklow. It was a pretty epic trip tackled back-to-back, that’s for sure. But all of the articles in A Year in the UK & Ireland cover journeys that can be explored over the course of a weekend, in some cases even just a day.

Every single adventure can be replicated by someone in full-time work – we designed it that way.


adventure inspiration, slow travel, hiking forest


I wouldn’t discourage anyone from hopping on a plane to travel to distant lands. However, if (like most) that’s not on the cards today, this week, this month, or even this year, a travel experience is still within your reach.

If we start to think about travel not just as physically moving miles away from home, but also anything that involves the discovery of something new, every day offers opportunity. It could be as simple as learning about a world cuisine to cook (and, more importantly, eat) or taking a different route home from work.


// Related post: 6 Ways to be an Every-Day Explorer //


Consider each moment you broaden your view of the world as a travel experience. Know that anything that makes you feel that thrill of discovery is an adventure. What triggers that sensation is irrelevant and personal to each of us – it’s the feeling that counts.


adventure inspiration, slow travel


Our own cities or countries are only as boring as we package them up to be. If you don’t think there’s anything beautiful or interesting close to home, you won’t find it. Simple as that.

If we instead choose to see familiar places with new eyes – with a fresh, eager perspective – there’s enough adventure right on your doorstep to fill a lifetime.

Go and explore a neighbourhood you’ve never set foot in. Plan that weekend glamping break in the country. Decide to make this the year you start cycle touring around your home county – start by biking to work. Spend a weekend in summer walking a coastal path. Go and sleep in a forest overnight. Talk to someone new and listen to their story. Walk between subway stops and pay attention to what you find in the middle.

Or just go for a stroll on a sunny afternoon around Islington to find a really good piece of cake.


What is your personal definition of adventure?
What will you start doing to bring more adventure into your life?


3 responses to “Why Adventure is at Your Fingertips Right Now”

  1. Carina says:

    I really like your view of things and couldn’t agree more. Actually my aim for 2018 is to “have many first times” meaning that I want to broaden my mind and have new experiences. In March I will travel to Portugal for 3 weeks, the first time I will travel alone. I am very excited but I also agree with you that adventure is just around the corner. A few days ago I went to the cinema, the first time alone in my life. This was just a great experience. I try to live more mindfully. I am a clinical psychologist and talk about mindfulness to my patients all the time. After two years of doing so it starts to naturally sink in into my own life and I feel really good and more alive than ever. I am looking forward on being a mindful traveller soon 🙂

  2. LaMesha says:

    When I was a new mom and didn’t have and money, I would take my son on adventures to Asian grocery stores. We’d look at all the different vegetables, seafood, noodles and pickled things in jars. Not exactly a trip to South East Asia, but we definitely had big time fun.

    To bring more adventure into my life now that I am a mother of three, I want to do more local camping trips and train rides to nearby cities. We are currently based in Sicily, so I think this would be a good way to explore our new area.

  3. Ella says:

    What a great post and it’s so true, adventure can be found everywhere and is really more of a frame of mind than distance travelled. I love this sentence in particular, “If we start to think about travel not just as physically moving miles away from home, but also anything that involves the discovery of something new, every day offers opportunity.” It really captures the whole message. Great post! 🙂

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