Inspired by Alistair Humphrey's book Micro Adventures I wanted to try his 5to9 adventure.
What is a 5to9 adventure? It's purely and simply having an adventure when you leave work at 5pm until you have to start work again at 9am. It's Alistair's answer to people saying "I can't be an adventurer, I have a job".
Below is a write up of my adventure and what I Learned.
January 22nd 2015, was the day I would try something new. It was also my 28th birthday. I left work about 4pm with a massive backpack filled with warm clothes in preparation of the -3 degree temperatures coming that night.
I headed out the door with a spring in my step. Rushing through the London Underground beating off the other commuters at London Waterloo. I was finally one of those people with the giant bags that everyone hates in London. I have a bit more sympathy for them now (for a week at least). I jumped on the train heading south out of the city.
Sitting on the train decaf cappuccino in hand I watched the commuters getting off the train zipping up their coats. I felt a wash of calm and excitement flow through me as I was transported back to memories of me only the day before getting off the London underground ready to brace the cold, and rush my way home through the gaggle of commuters facing the same fate. However, today I was going on an adventure. A true sense of liberation.
I arrived in Haslemere, Surrey for around 5.30pm. I met up with my friend Eliot, and headed off to Tescos to buy some supplies and food. As we purchased our supplies the guy serving us in Tescos said "Have a good night". Eliot and I looked at each other, laughed, and said "we will". Both realising the insanity of what we were about to do.
As we entered the wild, with no one around for what seemed like miles we put on our head-torches to light our way through the winter darkness. As we walked through the errie woods, it dawned on me that only 2 hours ago I was in a rush, in one of the biggest cities in the world and now here, in silence, beauty and fresh air.
After about 20 minutes of walking we found a great location. Hidden from sight, surrounded by an epic view of the wilderness and surrounding towns we cracked open a couple beers. We then collected some dead wood to start a fire as it was bloody cold. Throughout the night we cooked, chatted for hours about many great things and appreciated the clear sky that allowed us to see the heavens.
We woke at 5.30 am. Damn that was cold. It was still dark, so awaking to the stars was amazing. We had no tent, just sleeping and bivvy bags. So we had a unspoilt view of the vastness of the universe. There's something very special about that.
We headed back to his to grab a shower (not together), then headed to the train station. As Eliot and I said goodbye in front of the train guard and passengers, he enthusiastically said "thanks for last night, it was great" - awkward!!! But equally as funny.
On the train it became clear to me that there was a difference between me and my fellow commuters. I had a buzz about me, a glow. I felt alive.
Coming back into the office people thought I was weird, and yes I am. In the elevator, random workers from other floors overheard my conversation about Micro Adventures. As I stepped out of the lift, one lady shouted to me "Don't go I wanted to hear the end of that story". Funny situation, but also a sign that you don't need to be that adventurous to be interesting.
The biggest takeaway from this Micro Adventure is that just sitting by the fire, the stars and my good friend I was the most present and carefree I've been in a long time. I can't wait to do it again.
"When was the last time you did something for the first time?"
To your success,