May 20, 2015

Semester over? Make time for a quick #microadventure

Posted by Laura Guertin

Does this situation sound familiar…. you’ve just finished your spring semester and have entered your grades.  But your victory celebration for surviving the semester is short-lived, as you have one week to prepare for your summer course or to head out for field work, or your summer student researchers will be showing up in your lab to begin their work (or all of the above!).  It can be a quick turnaround from the spring semester to the summer session, which doesn’t leave us much time to recover from the burnout that hit us during the post-spring break homestretch.  If your schedule is too packed to get that extended getaway to refresh and reconnect with the outdoors, why not make sure you can at least make time for a microadventure.

2012 National Geographic Adventurer Alastair Humphreys is credited with promoting the term “microadventure.”  Microadventures are affordable, local trips, what Alastair refers to as “short, perspective-shifting bursts of travel closer to home” (see NYT article).  These adventures might be a hike through a local state park you just never made the time to visit, or a stroll through a local city by moonlight, a canoe trip in a local river – however you want to define your adventure!

So be sure to kick off your summer with a microadventure!  And why not take another microadventure as an ice-breaking or team-building session for the students working in your lab or department this summer?

To see Alastair Humphreys speak about this concept of a “microadventure,” please view his TEDxOxbridge talk below (starting at 11:30), titled Think Small.  (You may also want to check out the section of his website on Microadventures)