Adventure & Thinking Small

Photography Credit: The Fancy

In 2001, and with no real experience, Alastair Humphreys decided he would cycle around the world. He set off from his Yorkshire home on an epic journey that took him four years to complete. He cycled 46,000 miles, through 60 countries and 5 continents.

Now, whilst reading that you might think “jeez that’s no small adventure!”, and you’d be right, the idea behind this article and the video below is an explanation of the importance of adventure, any adventure, no matter how big or how small. In this TEDx talk he speaks about his experiences, and why he feels starting small is much more important when trying to make changes.

Isn’t that just so incredibly inspiring? Hell, if he can make a walk around the M25 an adventure, I’m sure we can find our own joy and excitement with some mini-adventures.

“One thing that struck me from this experience”, he says, “was that what I really loved was having adventures in all sorts of different forms, living adventurously. It seemed to make sense to me that surely a good strategy for life is to find what you love and do a lot of it…”

“I think adventure is vital for everyone. They dont need to be big adventures, they can be tiny little adventures… adventure is just about doing something you’ve never done and doing it with enthusiasm and curiosity…”

So today I want you to think about doing something small – just for the sake of an adventure. Do something you’ve never done before – it can be talking to a stranger, taking a class, trying a new route to the office… anything that you’ve never done before. Think small and see where it leads. Thinking big is obvious but also harder, and scarier. Instead make little changes and start thinking about things differently. It will encourage you to look at yourself and your situation in a whole new light. And remember, even the biggest adventure and change has to start with that one first step.

Are you stuck in a rut? Well this is the ideal time to start thinking small.

The great thing about starting small is that these ideas and achievements will get your momentum going. Big projects can be scary and can seem unattainable. The smaller stuff is easier but is just as benificial. Achieving something and having a new experience will give you the confidence to do something bigger next time.

“The crucial thing is to just begin”, Alastair concludes, “just do something, anything. Have an idea and then begin it”.

So I ask you, what was the last small adventure you had and where did it lead? OR What small adventure do you plan to have after reading this?


  1. Great article 🙂 I think it’s true that sometimes you do just have to take the plunge and do something new – however small, I think it’s also worth noting the importance of not just focusing on the finish line but enjoying the journey too 🙂

  2. Love this post!

    Last week I made bread for the first time. Sounds really boring but i’ve never done it before and it went really well and was really yummy! It was also really therapeutic kneading the dough and waiting for it to rise. So now i’m going to try and bake a diferent kind of bread once a week!

  3. My new adventure…or more like, just doing something I’ve never done before: I’m going to paint a portrait of a dear loved one who recently passed on. I know it will be extremely emotional and difficult, but also very rewarding.

  4. Yay for small adventures! Since moving to LA a year ago, I have exponentially increased the amount of small adventures I go on. There are so many things to do here! I even started a Facebook group named Adventure Club, and I post stuff on there regularly for all of my LA buddies (most of us are transplants, so it’s a nice way to hang out and learn more about our new digs). Great post! Loved the video.

  5. I moved to the USA this year, and every day is a small adventure as there’s always something unexpected to overcome, so this could describe my expat life!

  6. Claudia

    Awesome article!
    Me & my boyfriend just came back home from a two-year long journey in Asia and Australia and we feel exactly the same. Thank God, we`ll never be able to go back to our old selves again!


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