Show/Hide Navigation

Driving Fast, Windows Down

4597772515 4027f63601 Driving Fast, Windows Down

One of the earliest driving forces in pushing me into expeditions was the urge to challenge myself. I wanted to discover what I was capable of enduring, to measure my strength by seeking my breaking point. To build my self-confidence through knowing how much I could tolerate.

Even before I went on my first big trips I began testing myself with, frankly, idiotic personal challenges. I have grown out of most of these (running as fast as I can until I vomit; sleeping on 3rd floor window ledges). But one remains as a perennial winter favourite for me. The challenge is simple: how long can I tolerate driving down the motorway, in winter, with all the windows down. It’s bitingly cold, bracingly stupid, but brilliantly life-affirming. The wild rumpus of a 70mph gale thrashes around the car, its thumping noise competing against the full-volume music. I whoop and grit my teeth and bear the cold for as long as I can. And, when I crack, winding all the windows back up again, I shiver and grin as stillness and warmth fill the car.

Perhaps this is a mini version of a microadventure? All the ingredients of a major challenge are there: it’s hard, it’s daft, the contest is only with oneself, and the reward at the end is small and trivial and yet satisfyingly sufficient.

Adventure is out there, everywhere. Even barrelling down the motorway, late at night, homeward bound after an evening speaking event.

Writing this post reminded me of this fantastic little video, about the games we play when nobody is watching:

Read Comments
 

You might also like

Microadventure: The London Series Well, this is blooming marvellous… From June – September 2014, a group of over 60 London dwellers took part in the London Series Microadventure challenge. Once a week we escaped our desk jobs to sleep out in one of the […]...
Extreme Sleeps and Cheap Adventures She may be editor of Wanderlust, the UK’s best global travel magazine, but Phoebe Smith knows that some of the best fun can be had in your own backyard which, if you play it right, will cost nothing at all…  Phoebe is […]...
So Much Has Happened, Adventure Has Really Changed Me When I set off on my first big adventure, I wanted it to be really long. I wanted it to be indefinitely long because I felt I needed that, and I wanted all the challenges, and I didn't really want to be able to see an end point. I wanted just to keep pushing myself and see what would happen. And I wanted it to be really cheap and miserable. I wanted not to be able to spend much money, and just to force myself into action in all sorts of senses....
 

Comments

There are currently no comments. Be the first to post a comment below.


 
 

Post a Comment

HTML tags you can use: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

 
© Copyright 2012 Alastair Humphreys. All rights reserved. Site design by JSummerton