By Kimberly Mikesh

Are 'microadventures' the answer to all of our escape fantasies?

Tags Living Happier

affordable vacations

Every day we're bombarded with carefully-curated Facebook posts and pristine filtered Instagram shots of friends and their over-the-top fabulous vacations. It's hard not to be jealous when your college roommate is surfing in Maui and your cousin is wining and dining in Italy. It's worse when you're reminded of this fact while killing time on your traffic-jammed commute which is taking forever... again.

But having the time to plan, the budget to foot the bill, and the stress of planning and packing just to chase a few days sun-soaked photo ops is not always in the cards. And guess what? That's good news according to National Geographic Adventurer of the year, Alastair Humphreys, who knows a thing or two about adventure.

Microadventures are the hottest vacation trend and based on The 5-9 principle: Many people feel locked in by their 9-5, but the 5-9 idea gives you 16 unabashed hours of freedom -- you just need to use them. Once known for his adrenalin-packed excursions in far-flung corners of the world, Alastair now preaches the gospel of short, perspective-changing bursts of travel that have you sticking close to home. Whether it's exploring a familiar route by moonlight rather than daylight or hosting a family slumber party in the backyard, these accessible vacations have the transformative power to actually make us happier. 

"I hear from quite a few people who pour out their hearts to me, dads and lads bonding, overworked city types sleeping on a hill. Sleeping on a hill won’t change your life, but it can be a tiny step toward making the changes." -- Alastair Humphreys

Alastair Humphreys

(photo via Alastair Humphreys)

(h/t The New York Times)