Inspiration Archives

Finding adventure in the present moment

Sometimes we don’t need to experience a big trip or go to some far-flung destination to find that sense of discovery and adventure. Sometimes you can even find it in your back yard.

After a day of near continual rain I was feeling stir-crazy and had to get out for a walk even though it was still showering intermittently. I picked a short route from my house; up a country lane to the next village and back along the canal.

Because I wasn’t going far I decided to take the time to be present and to really savour my walk. I smelt the rich, earthy smell of the fields after the rain, felt the rain drops cool against my skin, saw little fluffy grey cygnets on the canal and heard the drone of the aircraft flying over head from the small nearby airfield. As I walked, my senses felt full and I finished with a sense of wonder and a deep appreciation for nature.

Where can you walk to if you step out of your door right now? It might be a country park or a city street. Just stay in the present moment- if you find yourself wondering what’s for tea later or worrying about that phone call you forgot to make earlier just stop, absorb some nature and feel where you are right now. You have no worries in the present moment. Just be, and engage your senses… what can you see, hear, smell, touch, feel?

I guarantee you will come away with a sense of appreciation for your environment discovering things you never noticed.

Think You Can’t Afford an Adventurous Life?

We had long ago passed the point of enjoyment. The canal tow path had disintegrated into a slippery muddy morass which saw our feet sliding treacherously towards the murky green water with every other step. Darkness had fallen some time before and we struggled to spot firmer ground on which to plant our feet in the wobbly light cast by our head torches. We were weary, uncommunicative and depleted after hours of walking, but in the part of my mind still capable of coherent thought I was still excited about our adventure.

I have always had an adventurous streak and yearned to explore as much of the world as possible, preferably on foot. More interested in the wild and mountainous parts of the world and willing to push my body to its limits, I have been fortunate enough to enjoy some great hikes. However I have felt a sense of frustration that my lack of surplus money has excluded me from many of the trips I wanted to take. I thought that a hike only counted as a proper adventure if it took place somewhere remote and preferably unpronounceable.

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What does adventure mean for you?

Adventure.

The very word stirs the soul and makes us long to get out there and do something epic and amazing.

But what does adventure mean to you? People are wonderfully diverse so what adventure may mean to one person may be entirely different to what means for somebody else.

For example, for one person the word adventure may mean walking the length of the Nile, or thrashing their way across a remote country for weeks on end, whereas for another person it may mean taking a solo trip to the next town. For some people having an adventure may mean overcoming or working with an illness or disability and a short trip would be as epic and meaningful to them as the most extreme trek to a hardened explorer.

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A Mini Adventure in Berlin

BerlinIt was high time for a new adventure, but funds were somewhat limited, so when an email from Ryanair pinged its way into my email inbox announcing £9.99 flight deals within minutes I had booked myself flights to Berlin for a couple of days… why Berlin you may wonder?

Well I had never been to Germany and it seemed as good a place as any to explore!

I booked myself a couple of nights in a cheap hotel- yes I could have gone even cheaper by using a hostel but to be honest I am at the stage in my life when I just want my own room rather that fight for a bunk bed in a room full of strangers, some of whom are almost certainly bound to snore.

There was a slight hitch the week before I went- I received an email stating that my hotel could no longer accommodate me as it would be closed, and so they had booked me alternative accommodation at the airport… trouble is it was not the airport I was flying into! I emailed back to say that this was not acceptable and luckily they booked me into the Mercure which seemed to be a bit of an upgrade, but hey, who’s complaining!!

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Time to ‘Tri’ Something New!

east-leake-tri-sept-2016-167-zf-3393-42864-1-001Is there anything you’ve always been fascinated by and wanted to have a go at? For me it was triathlon… you know, those crazy sounding events that involve a swim, followed by a cycle ride, followed by a run. The thought of doing a triathlon had intrigued me for a good few years- the sheer endurance involved with doing not one, not two but three different sports- one after the other. I wondered what it would be like to try a ‘Tri’… and, more importantly, if I could ever do it.

At the time I had no bike and had only swum doggy paddle for years, so the triathlon idea got put firmly on the back boiler. Fast forward a few years and my sister and brother-in-law kindly bought me a straight handlebar road bike, plus I recently started swimming lessons, mainly to keep my friend company as we usually walk together but she hurt her knee earlier this year.

As I started to master the correct swimming strokes, the triathlon idea started to raise its head again… well okay what actually happened was that I have entered the Outlaw Half Triathlon next May. This is half Iron Man distance- 1.2 mile open water swim and a 56 mile bike ride, all topped off with a half marathon (13.1mile) run… for someone who can manage several lengths of a very slow front crawl and doesn’t feel confident cycling in traffic- or stopping and starting…

Gulp!

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How to find adventure on a cruise…

BritanniaFor adventurous minded independent souls, the idea of going on a cruise may be anathema; let’s face it, a cruise kind of conjures up images of folks loading up piling plates of food at the 24 hour buffet before collapsing on a deck chair by the pool for hours to top up that tan. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course, if that’s the type of holiday you enjoy- it’s just that you know what you’re getting with a cruise- if you choose, you can be cosseted and completely looked after for the duration of your holiday. It’s nice and safe, but the opportunities for adventure are not there…

… or are they? I recently went on a cruise for my Mum’s 70th birthday; okay we were going to the Norwegian Fjords, which was still an adventure as it was somewhere new, but I still wondered how much opportunity I would get to explore. Quite a lot as it turned out!

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Keep those adventure muscles flexed!

CornwallIf you are anything like me (and I imagine you are or else you probably wouldn’t be reading this blog!) then you will have a yearning to inject some adventure into your life. When people think of adventure though, they have a tendency to conjure up images of epic trips slashing their way through jungle and climbing gigantic mountains.

Whilst many of us would love to be able to take off and complete a long and exciting trip somewhere far flung, realistically we don’t always have the time and funds at our disposal- so we too often make the mistake of doing nothing!

I have been guilty of this too. I love the idea of completing long treks, climbing mountains or completing ultra races abroad, and would dearly love to have another crack at the Marathon des Sables. However I just can’t afford it at the moment, and have a very elderly cat that I don’t want to leave for weeks on end.

So I thought that I could either mope around and do very little or plan a mini expedition to satisfy those adventure cravings.

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2015- An Adventure Review

Writing a listShocking to think that 20 days of the New Year have zipped by already! At the start of each new year I like to look back over all the adventures I had the year before and list them out. Writing them down lets me see just how many adventures I achieved, and without this visual reminder chances are that I wouldn’t remember them all.

Seeing how much I achieved last year always fires me up with inspiration to achieve even more this year. So without further ado and better late then never, here is my list of adventures I achieved in 2015…

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Barriers to Adventure Number One- TIME

AdventureSo what’s stopping you from putting more adventure into your life? If you are getting out there having adventure after crazy adventure then you don‘t need to read this post, but chances are you are not. Don’t you find that the weeks and months just fly by (I’m convinced the years are actually getting shorter!) and before you know it another precious, irreplaceable year of your life has gone forever, leaving you wondering just where it went and realising that you actually did very few of the things you intended to achieve.

Depressing isn’t it?

Look, I’m not judging anyone- this happens to me as well- I am not just writing these posts for you, you know!! We would all like to have lots more adventures and to experience far more than we do- but somehow we never seem to get around to it and end up doing the same old stuff day in and day out… whole days and weeks get lost in the minutiae of every day living and working.

Asking around people I know, it appears that one of the main blocks to a truly adventurous life is time- or rather the lack of it. I fully understand this- we are so very busy nowadays and there are so many pressures on our time. A lot of us work full time jobs and often put in extra hours or have long commutes, which leave us with little energy to do more than flop down in front of the television until it’s time to heave our weary bodies to bed. Others have a family to care for, and their days are taken up with school runs and playing catch up trying to get chores done before it’s time to pick the kids up again.

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Someday Soon…

I was reading this thread on Reddit about a 46 year old man who feels he has wasted his life and never pursued his dreams… his post and the many replies inspired me to write this;

‘Someday Soon…

When I was in my teens I thought, someday I’m just gonna take off and back-pack around South America or New Zealand or Thailand… yeah that will be amazing! I’m going to disappear for several months, see something of the world… someday soon, right after I finish college- I’m going to do it! Luke and Martin are going to Thailand this summer, in fact they’ve asked me to go with them, so I think I will!

But there are some qualifications I still need to get, so I should spend my evenings and weekends studying, I could do with taking some extra classes this summer so I get the best grades. I don’t really think I have the time to travel this year, plus I am skint- I can’t afford to travel right now. I should get a summer job, try to pay down my student loan and overdraft. Never mind, I’ll go back packing someday… when I have finished my studies and have some money behind me. There’s plenty of time… I’ve got my whole life ahead of me.

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