Last week I made a journey round my home. This microadventure was extremely easy to do. What surprised me about it was how rewarding, refreshing and enjoyable it was.
I stuffed a sleeping bag, bivvy bag, Thermarest and raincoat into a small bag. I grabbed my camera and walked out of my front door at 5pm. I didn’t even take a map: I could make-do with the map on my phone for this short trip. My aim was to make a loop of my home – completing a lap at a sufficient distance from my home so that I would compete the circle in the morning in time to get back to my desk for 9am. I walked out in a straight line until I reached the ‘edge’ of my cirle. And then I followed the circumference of that circle as closely as I could along roads and footpaths and byways.
Where you live, how you travel, how hard you want to push yourself: these factors all determine the radius of the circle you need to make.
I wanted to do this trip for a few reasons. It is cheap, logistically simple and if it suddenly begins to pour with rain you can just scamper home. I also felt that it was an excellent way to explore the wild places close to my home, to discover new places, and to travel through familiar places much more slowly than I might normally do.
Another great aspect of this idea is that you can repeat it without it becoming repetitive – just increasing or decreasing the size of your circle a little bit will give you a completely new journey.
Here are a few photos from my journey. It was a journey whose reward came from paying attention to the small details you might ordinarily miss or ignore. I wish that I had decided in advance to take a photo every -say- 30 minutes along the way. It shows how easy it is to get away from ugly, built-up environments out into more beautiful places. It was an opportunity to seek out tiny pockets of wildness and beauty in a pretty mundane environment. And I enjoyed it a lot. I hope you might try this yourself.
In the morning I walk to complete my route. The sky darkens and a summer rainstorm busts suddenly down on me. I’m only about an hour away from home now so I make sure not to let the rain get me down. If you are able to persuade yourself to enjoy the rain then it can be a lovely feeling. The world feels raw and primordial as the rain plasters my hair and shirt. It is a warm morning. I feel calm and content. In an hour or so I’ll be showered, changed and back at my desk. What a peaceful, relaxing beginning to the day.
Perhaps you would like to give this a go yourself. School maths lessons may have been some time ago, so I’ll help you out with the formula:
2πr + 2r
where ‘r’ is the distance you must travel from home before beginning your circle.
|Length of your journey (any unit)||Distance from home (any unit)|
Not only do you not have to travel far from home in order to tackle a long journey, I think you will be surprised by how much that is new you will discover during your journey…