How to Make 2019 More Fulfilling (Even if You’re Stuck at a Desk Job)

A new year is upon us, but you just can’t shake this feeling that life is passing you by. You go to work day after day, feeling under-stimulated, undervalued and underwhelmed. Is this just the harsh reality of life? Is this all there really is—sitting at a job all day?

Absolutely not. We’re only on this planet for a short time, and YOU deserve to feel fulfilled and happy. Yes, you. So it’s time to make some changes. Now, before you complain that you can’t really make any massive life changes right now because of X, Y, and Z reasons, listen up. You don’t have to sell all your belongings and move into a van to feel more fulfilled. In fact, you can even keep your boring, financially secure job. What’s the secret?


Man lying in grass on hiking trip in the mountains

Microadventuring isn’t a super new concept. It was recently pioneered by adventurer Alastair Humphreys, who was named a National Geographic Adventurer of the Year in 2012 for encouraging people to get outside, out of their comfort zones and go somewhere they’ve never been. According to Humphreys, “A microadventure is an adventure that is close to home, cheap, simple, short, and yet very effective.”

The point is, we can’t all quit our jobs to become polar explorers (nor do we all want to), but we can all experience our own forms of stimulating adventure. A microadventure is a fun, challenging and rewarding adventure that is small and achievable—you know, for normal people with real lives.

How to Have a Microadventure

Here’s the deal: walk out of your doorstep, do something mildly adventurous or unusual that is slightly beyond your comfort zone and come back home.

It sounds easy, right?

And the payoffs are powerful. Microadventures boost life satisfaction, happiness, creativity and general outlook—and they are accessible to anyone. All you have to do is take the first step by setting that early alarm—and just do it. You’ll be so happy you did.

Autumn mountain scene riding with a mountain bike equipped with travel bags

So how can you work microadventures into your life in 2019*? Here are some ideas…

  • Make a habit of jumping into lakes or streams before work. Bring a towel and your change of clothes. You’ll feel truly invigorated.
  • Go sleep under the stars on a nearby hilltop with nothing but a sleeping bag—on a weeknight. Head out after work, have an invigorating wild sleep, make a little coffee on a camp stove at sunrise, and return rejuvenated and ready for work the next morning.
  • Sleep on a hammock in your backyard for a night.
  • Hike up a mountain, up a hill, into a forest or field, to a local park or onto a beach before sunrise. (Just get out in nature.) Brew some coffee and watch the day unfold. If you can’t brew, simply take a thermos of the good stuff with you.
  • Go for a long walk in the rain. It’s not that bad once you’re out in it. In fact, it’s kind of nice.
  • Go camping nearby. There are probably loads of places to camp within an hour or so that you probably don’t even know about.
  • Paddle down a local river.
  • Ride a bike somewhere and have a picnic.
  • Do something locally that you’ve never done before. Try out that rock gym, go to an aerial yoga class or join a live poetry reading for the first time. Push the bounds of your comfort zone while staying close to home.

The perfect place for a coffee

While the point of microadventures is to reap the stimulating, life-affirming benefits of adventure while still maintaining a normal life, these mini expeditions don’t necessarily have to be solo. Bring your friends along, if they’re game! The more the merrier.

Try to fit in at least one microadventure each month in 2019. You’ll be amazed at how much more fulfilling your life will begin to feel—without majorly changing your lifestyle. Hopefully it will encourage both you and your friends to fully embrace and indulge in each day of your lives, no matter what. 2019 is your year.

*Obviously, be safe and be aware of any potential dangers. Do your research, use your instincts, and don’t do anything foolish.

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Images via Getty


Jeanette B
Jeanette B18 days ago

Good ideas, thanks for sharing!

Vincent T
William T3 months ago

Thank you

Jan S
Jacob S4 months ago

thank you

Hannah A
Hannah A5 months ago

Thank you

Kevin B
Kevin B5 months ago

Thanks for sharing

Val P
Val P5 months ago


Leo C
Leo C5 months ago

Thank you for posting!

David Thieke
David Thieke5 months ago

Thanks for sharing this !

Paula A
Past Member 6 months ago

Thank you

Janis K
Janis K6 months ago

Thanks for sharing.