“Is it possible to live adventurously in real life?” This question is the starting point for ‘The Doorstep Mile – Live More Adventurously Every Day’, the latest book from British adventurer and motivational speaker Alastair Humphreys.
Unsurprisingly, the answer provided early on, is an unequivocal “yes”: “Living adventurously is something we can all do, whether we are young and carefree, busy with bills and babies, an empty-nester, or someone looking to shake up a weary rut by learning something new,” Humphreys writes. “Living adventurously is not about being lucky enough to have an adventure of a lifetime one day. Instead, it is a choice to live a more adventurous life every day.”
More vexed, perhaps, are the subsequent questions about how such a life might be lived, and it is these more nuanced matters that preoccupy Humphreys over the proceeding 240 or so pages. Amid the competing pressures of daily existence, how can one carve out time for a bit more adventure and in the process step out of a tired furrow? What are the psychological hang-ups and bad habits that prevent many of us from just getting out and doing what we want, whether it’s scaling a mountain or even just climbing a nearby tree?
Each section deals with an individual aspect of the psychological and practical dynamics of living (or trying unsuccessfully to live) a more adventurous life: the tendency to say “no, but...” when thinking of all the reasons why not to have more adventure; the difficulties of focusing on doing just one thing in a social media-saturated age, in which anything can seem possible; the importance of dreaming, but also recognising that dreams cannot become reality overnight. The ‘Perspectives’ at the end of each chapter provide an engaging window into the lives of the Humphreys’ many correspondents, whose shared experiences help underline the author’s own advice and insights.
The self-help formula of this book may not be to all tastes, and if you’re looking for tales of swashbuckling derring-do in the mould of some of Humphreys’ earlier adventures, then this book will certainly not be for you.
But that isn’t what it’s meant to be about; if you’re frustrated by your daily rituals and feel like something is missing, then you will undoubtedly find plenty of nuggets of good advice in this book on how to inject a bit more adventure and excitement into the well-worn routines.
In Humphreys’ own words: “All I will try to do is help you notice the noise, feel the fear and then decide to do stuff anyway.”
You can purchase the book on Al's website here.