I am all about living life today. Not in an irresponsible way. Rather, in a manner that recognizes tomorrow isn't promised. We all need some fun and recreation in our lives and what better way than to go on an adventure? In Alastair Humphrey's book Microadventures: Local Discoveries for Great Escapes released in 2014, Alastair reminds us there are tons of adventures waiting just outside the front door.
Alastair writes microadventures are simple, local adventures perfect for people's busy lives. This summer I had a couple of microadventures myself. My first one was to the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago with my four daughters and two grand babies. I've lived in the Chicago area since 2001 but unbelievably I've never been to the Lincoln Park Zoo. It’s a free zoo on the north side of the windy city. We had a great time seeing the animals and, most importantly, spending time together.
My second microadventure this summer was to the Warren Dunes State Park on the Lake Michigan shore in late August. One of my daughters began her freshman year at DePaul University this Fall. All summer she had tried to schedule a family outing to the dunes. I don't know about your family, but we struggle getting all of us together more than a couple of times a year. Finally, at the end of the summer, she gave up and just settled on me and her youngest sister to go with her. I had forgotten how much fun it is to be on a warm sandy beach. It took some convincing but my two girls got me out in the water. Feeling the sand under my feet and playing in the water was so much fun. It was like being a child again. We swam and played in the water and then made our way out to a sandbar. We turned back to look at the shoreline. It felt good to look around and see all of the other families having a great time.
After we played in the water for a while, my youngest daughter announced she wanted to climb the dune. This dune is a mountain of sand standing 240 feet tall. She made it all the way to the top and back down. Afterwards, we had ice cream to celebrate her great feat.
I regret that we didn't go earlier in the summer. If we had, I'm sure we would have gone several more times this year. You can bet we'll be back there next year as soon as the weather turns warm. Chicago's weather is fairly unpredictable. Some summers, we'll have sixty consecutive days over 90ºF and other summers, we won't have a day over 80ºF. Hopefully we’ll have another warm summer next year.
Alastair's Microadventures reminds us that we don't have to take a lot of time or spend a lot of money to enjoy life today. So what will you do for your next microadventure?
P.S. If you don't want to read the book but want to learn more about microadventures, you can hear Alastair Humphreys on a number of podcasts. Just search for him by name on your favorite podcast app.