Think about your life, particularly your routines. Yes, these can serve us – up to a point. They help us get on with life. In other ways however, they are harmful. They can prevent us from learning and growing. They can get us stuck. Our thought patterns are similar – psychologists and neuroscientists talk about something called the “default mode network” – our familiar thought patterns. It’s therefore good to disrupt our routines and patterns. Our latest guest is all about that.
Alastair Humphreys has cycled around the world, rowed across the Atlantic, walked the 1,000 km Empty Quarter and completed loads of other rugged, tough, and risky adventures. So, what does someone like this do for his next adventure? Well, with no musical training and a self-professed limited musical aptitude, he learns to play some basic notes and tunes on the violin – of course. And then spends a month busking in Spain as he walks from Vigo to Madrid, eating only from the money he earns busking.
That’s because adventure is not just about rugged men doing epic things. Adventure is about getting outside of your comfort zone. This is something Alastair has pioneered through the concept of “micro adventures” – shorter adventures that are designed to get us outside of our familiar routines. He was even named National Geographic’s Adventurer of the Year for his work on micro adventures.
Alastair writes about his violin busking adventure in his wonderful book My Midsummer Morning in which he follows the footsteps of another Englishman, Laurie Lee who in 1935 completed the same journey and wrote As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning, one of Alastair’s favourite travel books. We talk about all of that and much more including:
- Alastair’s background;
- The origins of My Midsummer Morning;
- Learning to play the violin;
- Fear and vulnerability, particularly the first time he played the violin in Spain;
- Observations from walking through rural Spain;
- Loneliness versus solitude;
- Balancing adventure with family;
- How to live more adventurously;
- Much more!
Laurie Lee’s As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning;
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