Life with Micro-Adventures

On at least two of my weekly runs I tune into the Art of Adventure podcast led by Derek Loudermilk. He’s living it up as a true adventurer in Ubud for the time being – which is fascinating in and of itself – but he interviews life adventurers every week! The episode always ends with this question: What does adventure mean to you?

Two answers have stuck with me:

Adventure is a roller coaster of {emotions} and transformation.
Ericka Dhawan

Adventure is indulging your sense of wonder.
Shane Snow

Last month’s Outside Magazine featured various Happiness Hypotheses, as part of a “Happy + Healthy 2015” spread. Christopher Keyes wrote one that straight up defines how we’re trying to live life here during our relatively short stint in California: “Microadventures amp up your mood.”

Chance of success? Slam Dunk.

Asilomar Beach Sunset Surfer

Two weekends ago we decided to take an overnight trip to San Luis Obispo (SLO), because why not? We had nothing stopping us (see: obligations, schoolwork, wedding work) and we keep saying “We should go to SLO”. So, we went. This was planned in a manner of minutes on Thursday evening, and by Saturday afternoon there we were driving along the most beautiful highway in the nation (imo) with the sun out, windows down and Taylor Swift blasting. We stopped at Big Sur Bakery for a treat, because that’s what you do, and we pulled over to stare at (uh, quite disgusting) elephant seals yelling at each other but barely bothering to move.

Bixby Bridge Highway 1_DOTR

Sunday morning we decided to run around SLO and then hike, because according to our “Central Coast Day Hikes” book, there were quite a few options and we have a long list to start checking off!  And apparently we also had “hike above the fog and literally be on top of the clouds” to check off, too.

Montana del oro hike_DOTR SLO hiking plank_DOTR


Micro-adventures: impromptu outings to take advantage of where you live and why you live. Seeking things that bring you joy. Wondering about your surroundings, and indulging that curiosity with experience. Not wasting any more time because there just isn’t enough of it; you do what you prioritize. Excursions that bring transformation.*

*as defined by yours truly.


These micro-adventures could/should be anything but overwhelming. It can be a quick weekend road trip, or an impulse flight purchase, OR simply running on a new-to-you trail, trying a new restaurant, or choosing to spend Tuesday night watching the sunset on the beach because life won’t always present you with this opportunity on any night of your choosing.

Asilomar Sunset_DOTR

The sunset we decided to catch after our usual run through the Farmer’s Market.

No matter what your micro-adventures list looks like, it should bring you joy and transformation. It should change the way you look at something.

It should just feel like the best thing to do in that moment.


What are some of your favorite ways to get in micro-adventures? I’m taking tips to add to our growing list.


  1. February 25, 2015

    Yay! What a great post! Thanks for the shoutout (and for listening!). I love following your adventures (micro OR macro!). xo

  2. February 25, 2015

    Hi Heather, Thanks for listening to the podcast! What a beautiful micro adventure you shared here! One of my favorites micro adventures is trying new restaurants and weird new food! I agree that curiosity is also part of and adventure. Keep up the good work!

  3. February 25, 2015

    I absolutely love these ideas! And we are moving soon to California, so I look forward to these exact types of adventures! It’s much harder in snowy Milwaukee if you aren’t a fan of Winter!

  4. February 25, 2015

    I love the idea of a micro-adventure. Mine would be trying a new winery. It’s so fun and exciting yet very relaxing!

  5. February 26, 2015

    I’m all about micro adventures. Just doing something different than your norm (for us would be yoga/coffee/groceries-me, news/chores around the house – him on a Saturday) can feel like a total adventure. I have enjoyed our little hikes lately and am hoping for a nice day trip to the Oregon Coast sometime soon before baby. Oh and trying new restaurants is another fav too. It looks like your trip to SLO was awesome!

  6. March 3, 2015

    NYC is great, but I do miss being able to throw some stuff in the trunk of my car and just GO. I did that all the time when I was in Pennsylvania and wanted to get out (which was any chance I got!) – it was so freeing to pick up and go without much plan or worry. I keep trying to convince Eric we should move to California – this certainly helps the cause!

    • March 3, 2015

      I’m happy to provide additional evidence/support for your cause if needed! 😉

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