(Advertising) He has cycled around the world, rowed across the Atlantic Ocean, and walked down a British highway in winter. Alastair Humphreys has been inspiring me for years with his fresh ideas, his way of blogging and his understatement.
Alastair, how did you come up with the idea of Microadventures?
I was so excited when I finally reached the point of being able to live off my travels and expeditions. But I realized at the same time that I was also promoting a myth: that you have to be an adventurer to experience an adventure - and that adventurers must be young, white, middle-class men to do physically exhausting stuff. But I wanted to make the adventure accessible to more people and therefore tried to break down the barriers and barriers that are in the way: too little time, money, expertise or not to live in a log cabin in the mountains (and thus the excuses, the we all invent to legitimize our procrastination!).
What do you think is the "secret" of microadventures? Why do people love it?
I think the secret is that Microadventures respect the limitations of modern life, allowing small adventures to squeeze in between those limitations - little time and money. This is very well received, it is simply feasible adventure for real people with real life. A good indication is that my book about sleeping on a hill next door (Micro Adventures*) was sold much better than the one in which I was on a bike for four years around the world.
Why is it so important to sleep one night every now and then?
Because it's fun - that's a good reason! It helps us to scale our problems and take a different perspective on life. It reminds us how big and wild the universe is, and that is what calms us and helps us achieve more balance. It's easy and a little hard at the same time, and I think it's important to blend this into our busy, rushed yet comfortable lives from time to time. Getting water out of the river, lying on a mattress on a hill are important things to appreciate our normal lives.
In many countries, such as in Germany, wild camping is not allowed. Why do you think that's it?
I think it goes back to the days when a part of society began to levy control and ownership over land. I find the idea quite strange that someone can own a mountain or river. But if we are careful about wild camping - discrete, polite, calm, with a smile on our face and leaving no trace, there can not really be anything wrong with that. I also find it interesting that many people are worried because wild camping is forbidden, but then drive through the city with their cars at much too high speed - this is much more dangerous and potentially harmful to others.
The question of all questions: are you sometimes afraid, so all alone outside, especially at night?
I'm not scared during the day, but at night I'm still imagining ghosts and ax murderers. We all have a natural fear of the dark - and have seen too many horror movies! But the fear is a great opportunity to take a friend on the Microadventure, at least until you feel safer. Even a little rational thinking helps - with certainty there are no ghosts and ax murderers on this quiet, rural hill!
One last question: what was your best experience with a microadventure?
I love the annual Perseids meteor shower in August - it's always a great opportunity to go out and sleep on a hill!
Alastair, thank you for your openness, honesty and inspiration!
This post from the series "Microadventures with Alastair Humphreys" in cooperation with Wrangler - Born Ready.
- compliance: Beach Ready! To the beach with Alastair Humphreys
- The Microadventure backpack: Tips & Tricks for Microadventures by Alastair Humphreys
- Microadventures in autumn and rain protection: Autumn, a great time for microadventures
- Community, food and Campfire romance at Microadventures
- Interview with Mister Microadventure Alastair Humphreys
literature by Alastair Humphreys:
- Microadventures: Local Discoveries for Great Escapes*
- There Are Other Rivers: On Foot Across India by Alastair Humphreys*