We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.
~ Jawaharial Nehru
This year no further overseas travel is on the agenda. A small yacht, perfect for exploring the Derwent and the D’Entrecasteaux, has been nibbling at my wallet as yachts and ponies are known to do. But the boat is a partnered venture. There are weekends when I’m free to do other things.
One Sunday, with the boat on the hard, I suggested we go up the Derwent Valley, away from the coast, to see the leaves turning. At Plenty we kept on going. Soon we were passing the farm where we’d once holidayed with friends. A fine drizzle blurred the land but on we went into territory I’d all but forgotten. I could barely remember the Craigbourne Dam and it was a novelty to stop in Hamilton (a tiny sandstone town surrounded by hills) for a coffee.
This sense of disconnection had me thinking about local adventures – small adventures with more modest carbon footprints than jet planes. Deciding against googling the definition of ‘small adventures’ I decided that for my purposes a small adventure would be limited to the state, either planned or serendipitous. I believe you can have an adventure sitting mindfully in a garden if you are open to the world about you. It’s how birds land on your head and skinks climb over you. There does not need to be high drama or fear of loss of life or limb. An event or occasion can be an adventure, it simply depends on cultivating a particular state of mind, squeezing adventure from what’s already known and ordinary. An adventure can be minuscule but the pleasure can be immense. It could involve an epiphany. Conversely, there could be terror.
I had thought, when I took up sailing, that I would drift beneath a blue sky sipping gin and tonics. Instead I’ve got to know the wild wind and I’ve enjoyed countless exhilarating days on local waterways, getting to know these aspects of the island better but neglecting to stay in touch with others.
So I made a decision. My year of small adventures would be opportunistic and would focus largely on sailing and beaches, be that by foot, kayak or bicycle. And for that I needed a plan.