Alastair Humphreys is well known for his concept of microadventures. This accessible form of adventure has captured the imagination of many, with the term passing into common usage (just Google “microadventure”).
Al explains “A microadventure is an adventure that is short, simple, local, cheap, yet still fun, exciting, challenging, refreshing and rewarding.” He cemented the concept with his own Year of Microadventure, which was first documented on his blog then, later becoming the basis of a book.
While Humphreys may now be best known for his microadventure idea, he has also undertaken a varied range of challenging macro adventures.
Al’s first large adventure was cycling around the world, which took him four years. Since then he has raced a yacht across the Atlantic Ocean, walked the length of the holy Kaveri river in India, rowed the English Channel with a paralyzed military veteran, completed an unsupported crossing of Iceland by foot and packraft, and rowed the Atlantic as part of a four man team. Al has also expeditioned on the Yukon River as well as in Greenland.
Al’s latest book is titled “Grand Adventures”. In it, he asks the question why do so many have dreams of grand adventures but so few actually do them? Humphreys argues that “real life” often gets in the way, that we have work commitments, family commitments, time constraints, financial constraints, fears of the unknown and lack of knowledge of how to undertake a big adventure. In his new book, he seeks to address these constraints and parameters, starting with the simple premise of saving £20 per week in order to build up an adventure fund of £1,000. He then goes on to show how grand adventures can be undertaken, including scores of interviews with people who have made adventures happen, showing how they did it.
I caught up with Al to talk about adventures great and small, what motivates him, how he chooses his adventures, the challenges of making a living being an adventurer and lessons learned from when things go wrong. This conversaion forms the basis of Episode 17 of the Paul Kirtley Podcast…
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