Monday, 14 January 2019

Why You Should Consider A Microadventure for Valentine's Day.

It's a month until Valentine's Day, and as we're all aware, time seems to be racing past at an unprecedented rate so it'll be here before you know it. We all have different ways of celebrating the 'most romantic day of the year', but for me, there's one idea that sticks out above all others - a microadventure.

Full disclaimer: I don't really celebrate Valentine's Day. My husband isn't really that kind of guy, and while it would be lovely to receive a bunch of flowers (or preferably some expensive jewellery), I'm extremely grateful for the way he does show his love - through cooking for me, spending his time trying to make me happy, and erm... keeping a roof over my head.

That said, there's always room for a little romance in life, and last week when we headed out on the first of our twelve microadventures this year, I found it in a very unexpected way (don't be gross). A microadventure is a short, affordable, achievable overnight adventure - something that anyone can do. So here's why you should brave the cold, wrap up warm, and consider a microadventure as your Valentine's date night this year.

You have to work together

Now, I'm not the easiest person in the world to live with. I'm stubborn and argumentative, and I'm sure there are days when Blair wishes he could cram cotton wool in his ears just to stop listening to me witter on. But a microadventure is the perfect way to get you (back?) to working as a team. From packing to finding a camping spot, to collecting firewood to lighting the fire and cooking on it, microadventures require you to work together. There's nothing that will bond you together quicker than having a shared goal. And when you're sitting by the fire, basking in the heat (and your pride at a job well done), you can reflect on how well you support each other.

It gives you plenty of quality time 

When you're out in nature, not only will your battery inevitably die, you'll probably not have 4G. This might sound hellish but it's actually a Good Thing! How many times have you realised that your significant other has been speaking to you but you haven't been paying attention? Perhaps it's just me, but I suspect not. When you're away from distractions, you really focus all your attention on each other. I was surprised - even after ten years together, it felt very different for us to just spend an evening not diverted by other things - just sitting chatting and observing our surroundings. I'd always thought we were quite good at giving each other our undivided attention (on account of being a sort of long distance relationship) but when the Xbox and my phone were both removed from the equation I was shocked with how different it felt. It was a lovely way to reconnect, and I definitely felt closer to Blair after it. If that's not a perfect date night, I'm not sure what is.

The location beats a cinema or a restaurant

There's nothing wrong with a trip to the more predictable places on Valentine's Day, but let's be real - even the nicest restaurant has nothing on a night under a star-filled sky. We stayed in a forest on our microadventure but you can pick what suits you best - a mountain or hill, on the beach, in a field... the world is your oyster* (*wild camping rules apply). We wandered away from the cosy warmth of our fire at one point during the night and sat on a rock staring at the sky. I swear there's nothing more romantic in the world than stargazing, you feel minute and tiny and insignificant in the best way, and it really focuses your attention on what is important. Experiencing that while sitting with a person you love (or just like!) is the definition of romantic. 

You can dial up the romance 

You can tailor your evening into exactly the kind of date you'd like. Want to snuggle up? There's such a thing as double sleeping bags (who knew?!). Want to listen to your favourite tunes? Take a small speaker and make a playlist of 'your songs'. Just in it for the food? Get a huge bag of marshmallows to toast. We went for quite a basic approach - in fact, we didn't actually take a tent, we just used a weird nylon shelter, but this meant we got to look at the stars as we fell asleep. You can go as OTT as you'd like though - take fairy lights to hang in the trees, an Instax or Polaroid camera to capture the memories (we did this when we went camping with my brother and his boyfriend, and it's so nice to have the pictures), or some wine or champagne. You'll end up with a totally bespoke date that fits you and your partner perfectly - and the thought that has gone into it will speak volumes.

You don't actually even need a partner

The best part about going on a microadventure for Valentine's Day is that you don't actually need to be in a couple at all. Take a bunch of friends and have a sing-song round the fire, or if you're feeling extra brave, go alone. Yes, you're unlikely to be able to work in a team à la point one if you're alone, but taking yourself on a date and developing your relationship with yourself is arguably even more important than romancing someone else. Think of what you can achieve - you'll be even more impressed with that fire and campsite if you did it on your own. Just be sure to let someone know where you're going and when you'll be back!

It might not be for everyone, but I truly believe a microadventure is the perfect way to spend your Valentine's weekend. I'm already looking for the perfect spot for our next adventure and can't wait to have another date night under the starry skies!

Would you consider a microadventure for a date night?

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