Could a microadventure boost your happiness?
If you asked a handful of people in the UK what they think of when they hear the word 'holiday', you can bet they'd say foreign beaches, warm and sunny climes, summertime fun or splashing out on time away from work. However, this mindset could be making us ill.
Juggling a busy personal life and the stress of work can be exhausting, sometimes causing us to feel run down multiple times a year. If we moved away from saving up for one big summer holiday each year and switched to having frequent mini breaks that give us new experiences closer to home, we could actually feel much less tired, achy and worn out overall.
I wanted to find out a bit more about this idea of shaking up holidaying for our health, so I asked Matt Fox, CEO of Snaptrip.com, for his thoughts on the importance of taking regular breaks for wellbeing.
“The concept of a microadventure is becoming increasingly popular," says Matt, whose company helps people find last-minute breaks throughout the country. "The idea was originally coined by British adventurer and author Alastair Humphreys, who describes microadventures as simple expeditions and challenges which are close to home, affordable and easy to organise."
“Making use of bank holidays and taking the occasional Friday or Monday off to go on a microadventure can help you feel rejuvenated and focused; you don’t need to jet off on an expensive city break when you can have fun enjoying what’s on your doorstep," Matt continues. "Start off small or with a goal in mind, like challenging yourself to visit at least two new places in the UK this year – whether that’s to visit friends who have moved away or to see somewhere you recognise from a recent TV drama."
Planning your break ahead of time is useful if you get nervous about travelling. It'll help you set things straight in your head, and you'll have everything sorted so that you can relax when you're out and about during your trip. That said, being spontaneous can create a feeling of euphoria and excitement. There's a real thrill in booking a last minute holiday to somewhere new.
Why not try turning an uneventful weekend to one filled with adventure – no matter how small, simple or nearby? It may be just what you need to shake off stress, boredom or impatience while waiting for the summer to arrive.
Where to look and book
Canopy and Stars
A website dedicated to finding you unusual accommodation in the UK and Europe that brings you closer to the great outdoors – treehouses, yurts, Gypsy caravans, shepherd's huts, cabins, glamping spots and more.
If you fancy a last-minute UK break in a cottage, lodge or self-catered apartment, this website can find you hefty discounts in a flash.
My microadventure location lust list
A multi-site rural escape in West Wales. Its main hub (Fforest Farm) is near the River Teifi gorge, a nature reserve and undiscovered beaches, plus it has an on-site pub (hooray!)
Anywhere with Brecon Cottages
Their website features an array of cute cottages in the heart of the Brecon Beacons, perfect for stargazing, mountain walks, exploring quaint towns or nature-spotting.
Bluestone in Pembrokeshire
I've been here once and I'd go back in a heartbeat, though this time I'd like to see it in summer rather than winter. You stay in lovely self-catering lodges on a village-like site surrounded by breathtaking forests, beaches and green expanses that call out for exploration.
Center Parcs in Longleat
Sure, it's a very middle class place to holiday, but I would love to have a reunion weekend here with my two best friends from uni. We could swim, cycle, walk and get all nostalgic while being enclosed in the great British countryside.
If you decide to give a microadventure a try, tag us in your photos on Twitter at @YayEveryDay_