Sometimes it’s so refreshing to get out of your usual environment and look at life from a new point of view.
It’s easy to get really comfortable in the perceived safety of day-to-day life, saving up much of your energy and fun for weekends or holidays.
But what if you could squeeze a little bit of adventure and exploration out of a seemingly ordinary work day? Imagine shaking things up a little and challenging yourself at the end of a long 10-hour stretch at your desk, staring at a computer.
Let’s face it, this sums up working life for many of us!
The beauty of a mini-adventure
If you want to ‘escape the city’ NOW but aren’t ready, or able, to quit your job to set off on a big global travel experience then you could consider undertaking a bite-sized adventure. Getting away from it all doesn’t have to mean a dramatic departure from normal life or a crazy shake up requiring months of planning.
Last night I had an amazing opportunity to get a totally new perspective on London and appreciate the beauty and diversity of the city I call home.
I was lucky to be given a last minute place on a kayaking trip on the River Thames. The trip was run by a really cool organisation Secret Adventures who arrange “special adventures in wild places” in and around the London area with the aim of “getting muddy, cold, wet and enjoying the sun, the stars and getting lost”.
At the start of 2014, Madoc Threipland created Secret Adventures using the vast online networking tool Meetup and now the group have rising 1,600 members all keen to escape the occasional mundanity of day-to-day life and try something fun and refreshingly different right here on their doorstep.
You can read Madoc’s full escape story here to find out more about how he set up the company.
These micro-expeditions offer a fantastic way to meet people and challenge yourself a bit without too much hassle. All whilst enjoying beautiful, hard to access places.
A more scenic view of the city
The awesome kayak trip on the Thames saw us travel roughly 3 miles through central London starting from Docklands (Canary Wharf) and finishing up at Bankside Pier and the Millennium Bridge.
Our floating adventure on London’s most famous stretch of water gave us a unique way to experience some of the capital’s incredible riverside landmarks, including; Tower Bridge, London Bridge, HMS Belfast and the Millennium Bridge. All essential kit was provided (kayaks, life-jackets, sexy waterproof trousers etc) and we were accompanied by lovely expert guide Alfie and his team at Moo Canoes.
Despite the fact that I’m pretty unfit and have never kayaked before I absolutely loved it!
The thrill of the new
I joined the excursion alone but found it brilliant to hang out with a welcoming group of like-minded people and get outside of my comfort zone a little by removing the usual safety net of a friend to ‘hide behind’.
There were some lovely moments along the way where tourists strolling along the river bank, as well as people watching us from their amazing riverside apartments, all stopped to pause and wave at us. I definitely managed to get back in touch with my inner child and access that sense of wonder you have when you’re young and everything feels new and exciting.
The highlight was seeing a huge cruise liner sail past literally right next to us on the water then watching Tower Bridge lift to allow the ship to pass through. Incredible! The sun was setting as we made our way along the river and the unique view of London and the river underneath a pink and orange sky is something I won’t forget in a hurry.
We finished the night in style with a much deserved meal plus a few cheeky drinks at the lovely Swan pub next to Shakespeare’s Globe theatre.
Feel good twice
An added bonus of joining a Secret Adventures trip is that 10% of all proceeds go towards organising similar adventures for the charity Kids Company who provide practical, emotional and educational support to vulnerable inner-city children. You can see a short inspirational film of one of the Kids Co adventures here.
If you want to book a place on the next Secret Adventures night kayak to South Bank click here.
Watch a video of Secret Adventures in action here.
POST WRITTEN BY CELIA
Follow Celia’s blog “Dared, Determined, Done!” about making big life and career changes.