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.
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.
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.
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?