There’s nothing like a Brit for adventure, when he really gets going. I first noticed Alastair Humphreys when National Geographic nominated him as one of their Adventurers of the Year in 2012. Back then, he was fresh off rowing across the Atlantic with 3 other guys and I thought, well, that’s pretty damn ambitious. I didn’t grasp the half of it. This was a man who had already bicycled 46,000 miles around the world.
As we do more and more to build Xpedition.TV online, I would notice Alastair’s name popping up in more and more places. Walking across India. Cycling Hadrian’s wall in Britain. Canoeing the Yukon, swimming the Thames, instigating #microadventures on twitter (don’t laugh, he’s got something there). In fact, if you’re in the UK and happen to see a troupe of paste-white Brits plunging into an ice cold lake, mid February, and or hear the shrieks of 10 C water on bare skin – you can be pretty sure who is behind it.
One part Marco Polo, one part merry prankster, it’s pretty hard to get your arms around ALL of the adventurers Alastair Humphreys gets up to. Let alone the ones he inspires in others. Part of his charm is that he seems to be everywhere. Like fellow Brit Dave Cornthwaite – he seems to say yes more. Seems to eat life with a big spoon. Which for me, is the hallmark of a true adventurer. He’s able to do it anywhere. With an appetite that seems to grow with each bite.
But let’s talk about this idea of microadventurers. Throw a hashtag in front of it, and #microadventure is your password to a expansive online community of people who don’t have time to walk across India. But who – nevertheless – head out for all kinds of short, highly creative battery-charges in the outdoors. Weekend adventures, mid week adventures, overnight odysseys – what’s new about that? Nothing much, you could argue. But you’d be missing the point. And you’d be missing the challenge and the community.
What I love about twitter (a platform I used to shun) is that seemingly overnight, a term can be coined for a thing we love but had no way of finding out about who was doing it with us. And yet… one little # symbol and here we all are, pushing our passion forward like the oarsmen of a great boat. The HMS Microadventure, if you will. With rowers on every continent.
- A wood in Hertfordshire (Martin Black)
- A winter bike ride in Finland (Hendrik Morkel)
- Skateboarding across Colorado (Lauren Rains)
- Building wild huts, almost anywhere (Kevin Langan)
- Exploring beaver habitats in Norway (Mikkel Bolstad)
- Paddle boarding in Nicaragua, pack rafting, bike & pack rafting…
… you get the idea. Real people busting out of their boxes, doing some pretty awesome stuff in short bursts of time. And you shouldn’t be surprised to find this trending its way into your corner of the world. Because this simple hashtag becomes your invitation and your challenge.
What have you done lately to break your routine? To surprise yourself? To bring yourself alive? To “push the refresh button” as Alastair likes to call it.
Don’t get me wrong, here at Xpedition.TV, we are all about the big adventures. But we also get pretty damned excited when people find creative ways to span the distance and pull the tribe together for a little support and inspiration.
Bravo, Alastair Humphreys. Thank you for being such a brazen big soul on the planet. And such an outstanding catalyst for the rest of us.
Be sure to check out Alastair’s blog. It’s spectacular.