OK, I appreciate that most of us, myself included, cannot drop everything and embrace the kind of adventures we dreamed about as kids — but this doesn’t mean that adventure is out of reach.
We might never climb Mount Everest, launch ourselves into outer space, or discover some hidden desert island that has somehow eluded Google Earth but we can still tackle the occasional mini-adventure.
A mini-adventure is something that takes you out of your comfort zone, something that most people will never do, something you will feel proud about as opposed to boasting about. A mini-adventure cannot be bought like a five-star holiday or a shiny new car. It’s something you will potentially dine out on and bore your friends for months or even years to come. Who knows, you might even get a book out of it.
There are many things that motivate people to embark on mini-adventures. Some people want to test themselves, others may want to raise money for charity, then there are those who just want to shake the cobwebs from their weary minds and somehow re-connect with the dreams of their youth. While I would never call my mini-adventures mid-life crises, it’s certainly true that I have more grey hairs on my head than the stereotypical image of an adventurer. It’s also true that most of the people I meet along the way on my mini-adventures are nearly all the wrong-side of forty.
It doesn’t matter what motivation takes you towards your mini-adventure or at what age you arrive at it, the most important thing is you do it. You might not live to regret it.
John W. Hayes is the author of Follow the Blue Line: Cycling the Algarve, a book about how everyday people can fit extraordinary adventures into a long weekend on a bike.