Mini Adventures 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.

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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A Cornish Mini Adventure

Cornish adventureIt has been a couple of weeks since our mini Cornish Challenge adventure- so how did it go? Well, we did it- we completed our objective of walking over 80 miles in four days (in fact, we completed 88 miles). Was it easy? No! Did we learn anything? You betch’ya- that’s the great thing about adventures, big or small…

Our first day was a quite ambitious one; from Carbis Bay to the Youth Hostel near St Just. We were faced with a 22 mile trek, and had underestimated the amount of time it would take us to negotiate the undulating, rock strewn path carrying our heavy packs.

Initially the South West Coast Path took us into St Ives on easy tracks, where we purchased a Cornish pasty each for lunch. However it soon became increasingly apparent why the guide books warn that this was the most challenging section of the whole of the Coast Path- it felt as though we were actually scrambling in places, and our progress was often tortoise-like, impeded by our packs.

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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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A Mini Adventure in Dublin

DublinSo in my last post I told you that I had booked myself a mini-adventure trip to Dublin for a couple of nights. This was definitely something that was right out of my comfort zone… so many times I could have so easily talked myself out of going… I haven’t done a huge amount of solo travel and it is still rather daunting. As I was dashing around buying Euros and delivering a key to my friend so she could feed my cats all I could think about were loads of reasons why I shouldn’t go.

But I got my arse on that plane and just over 45 minutes later we were landing at Dublin Airport, where I found myself waiting for a bus into the city which never turned up. Luckily the next one arrived and disgorged me just round the corner from my lodgings, the Sky Backers Hostel. I had chosen a female only dorm and, as it was 11:30pm, I tried to find an empty bed and undress as quietly and quickly as possible given that I could see sleeping bodies in at least two of the other beds. I cursed myself for forgetting my ear plugs when the occupants of the dorm on the floor above us returned at 3:30am and decided to dance a reel in clogs whilst dragging furniture around and shouting (well that’s what it sounded like!)

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