How to make your 5 to 9 more exciting?

The short answer: have an adventure. A small one. Because you might want to walk the Inca trail in Peru, swim with pigs in the Bahamas or ski in Alaska, but let’s face it: A) that’s pretty expensive and B) you can’t really do that in a day from the Algarve. So, how to squeeze more adventure into your daily life? Enjoy the Algarve has the solution. 

See the original article in Enjoy the Algarve – magazine October 2017

 

Well, actually it was the British adventurer and author Alastair Humphreys who came up with the term ‘micro adventure’. He promoted these short, local and accessible everyday trips in order to inspire others to have adventures anywhere. Or, as he told National Geographic: “In life it doesn’t matter what you do, just that you get off your backside and do something.” Part of his close-to-home adventures, the British author walked a lap of the M25 (the traffic-filled highway around London) and swam in the river Thames. And that’s where we’re very fortunate. Because the south of Portugal is way nicer than England’s capital. In the Algarve there’s less pollution and exhaust fumes, whereas the weather is sunnier and warmer. No excuses!

 

Still not convinced? Stepping out of your comfort zone and doing new things makes you happy. And no, this doesn’t have to be a complicated world record expedition. Even though on social media it might seem like nowadays everybody is walking marathons, discovering new tribes or hitchhiking in the desert on their days off. (They probably aren’t, they just go on holiday twice a year and take lots of pictures in different outfits). But fact is: there’s more to life than working. And also after your 9 to 5 is finished, there must be a better way to spend the next 16 hours than just grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning and watching TV, waiting for the next day to start. Break away from the mundane life and have an adventure. In fact, do it straight after reading this article: try something new and go explore!

Trust us, it’ll be great. Even if it turns out to be a total disaster, with your tent parked on an ant hole, mosquitos feasting on your legs, a €200 fine for wild camping in your pocket and sea water stuck in your nose because jumping off that rock seemed a great thing to do at the time. Seriously, if your adventure was shit, it’ll still be good because A) you’ve got a great story to tell on the next party and B) you’ll now appreciate your daily home life even more.

Don’t fear, we won’t tell you to buy a boat and sail off into the unknown like Vasco da Gama or sell your house and live in a van 24/7. Instead, here are some more accessible mini adventure options in the Algarve to help you on your way. Enjoy!

1. Slum it

For whom: The real hard-core adventurer. You know, the wannabe Indiana Jones who can make a washing machine out of two leaves and a rock. Also good for people who are on a budget and don’t mind going back to basic.

How: Walk until you get tired. When tired, catch your own dinner (read how to do this here), roll out your sleeping bag and watch the stars. Since we’re not 100% sure wild camping is technically allowed everywhere in the Algarve, you might want to check beforehand – or hide underneath a bush. Another option (for if you don’t want to walk a lot): just camp in your own garden. After all, adventure is a state of mind.

Preparation: Read up about bushcraft, the dangers of the Algarve and what to do if you encounter a wild boar. Don’t forget your sleeping bag.

2. Go with the flow

For whom: The wanderer. Can’t choose what to do because there’s just so much world to explore and so little time? Want to go hiking, but also swimming, and diving, plus city-hopping, and maybe visiting some museums, but never do anything as actually you also have 421 unread emails and a gazwillion other things on your to do list that have to be sorted before Monday? Don’t stress, you need a time out. Now.

How: Pack the essentials (tent, toothbrush, flipflops, swimsuit, clean pair of pants) in your car and drive. But: set yourself a limit. Until the petrol runs out is a possibility; other, perhaps more clever options include ‘right, left, right,’ or picking a place on the Algarve map with your eyes closed. When you get there, do whatever there is to do. Is there a folk dancing festival going on? Join in. End up in Amado? Rent a board and try surfing. Stuck at the foot of a mountain? Go for a hike. Make it to Tavira? Visit one of the over 30 churches. Arrive at a lake with no-one else in sight? Take off all your clothes and swim wild.

Preparation: None. This is spontaneous, no need for pre-adventure planning. Also, do NOT take your computer or camera. It’s not about doing your work in a different environment or looking good on social media, it’s about exploring.

 

3. Have a mini-holiday

For whom: The stylish adventurer with a bit of cash. If you’ve read this article and thought ‘Well Enjoy the Algarve, you can say all you want but there’s no way that I’ll be trading in my comfy orthopaedic box-spring for a leaking inflatable mattress,’ then this is the adventure for you.

How: Go someplace you’ve never been (like one of these places) and/or do something you’ve never done (like one of these activities) and plan a small holiday around it. Basically get off your arse and try something new (that’s the adventure-part), but make it more fun by treating it like a holiday. Book into a nice restaurant for dinner and spend the night in a cute B&B.

Preparation: Like you would for a vacation. Make an effort and read up a bit about good places to stay and eat so you won’t have to spend hours searching for accommodation and food during your trip.

 

See the original article in Enjoy the Algarve – magazine October 2017

Posted in Features.