kasteel Bouvigne breda
Europe,  The Netherlands

Micro-adventures – Travel during the pandemic


Hello, almost 2022. You’ve been a hell of a ride so far. (Semi-)lockdowns, social distancing, failing economies and closed borders have been on top of our mind since February 2020. While it’s been, and still is, a very scary time, there are a few bright spots I find during these distressing months.

Usually, I’m one to jump right into the social rat race: going out with friends, exploring new places, go to parties and festivals… The ‘FOMO-effect’ was always luring. It reached its peak during my London years, but has significantly slowed down since I’ve lived back in the Netherlands. More so even during lockdown. I guess you can call that a silver lining to the pandemic.

Traveling locally

However, curiosity wins. At least for me. Curiosity will forever be my motivation in life. I’m always eager to learn more about the world. This encompasses learning new things, getting to know people from all over the world, and exploring new places. During lockdown, the latter seemed impossible. At first. But something for me changed. Because you know what, it’s okay to keep it small. To keep it local. Micro-adventures are on the up – and for good reason.

Neighborhood explorations

When we were in a semi-lockdown here in the Netherlands, the micro-adventures started in my own neighborhood. I live in a working-class neighborhood. An area that has not always been making headlines for its safe and sound environment.

But taking lunch break walks here has showed me so much – in a positive way! The amazing street art – part of Blind Walls Gallery – the blossom on the trees in April and the overall liveness in this part of town. It’s here that people actually still greet each other on the street. A phenomenon not to be seen in one of the ‘posher’ parts of the city I live in. These few months have given me so much more appreciation of the smaller things we can explore.

Local travel – widen the radius

Once certain restrictions were lifted, it became easier to venture further out. However, ‘further out’ doesn’t equal ‘hopping on a plane to the other end of the world.’ For me, it meant scraping the surface of my city and somewhat of the region around it.

Ommetjes Breda

In Breda, I hiked five walks (so-called Ommetjes) on the outer edges of town. Although I was born here and raised in a village only a few KMs away, these walks showed me new and exciting places. 18th Century fortifications hidden in the woods, a protected bird reserve, and a farm that used to be owned by the Royal Family, are just a few examples.

I’ve a very outgoing personality, but at the same time, I’ve always loved taking solo walks. These walks really allow me time to reflect. This might sound weird, but it’s so beneficial to confront yourself sometimes. Welcome the positive thoughts and let the negative thoughts pass. We always tend to rely on others, but it’s ourselves we need to live with 24/7! 🙂

More micro-adventures

The Ommetjes slowly but surely alternated with nature walks in the region. The Oisterwijkse Bossen & Vennen, National Park de Biesbosch and National Park Loonse en Drunense Duinen are just a few places we’ve hiked and biked in over the last few months. ‘We’ yes! Solo trips also alternated with non-solo-trips later on in the process.

Last month, a camping trip was finally in the cards too. A trip to the sparsely populated province of Drenthe to be exact. The region is predominantly covered by woods and meadows, making it ideal for a socially-distanced visit.

Hello social life!

Cities came more into play too, although less frequent as before. Visits to Rotterdam, Amersfoort and Amsterdam have taken place over the past few months. It was great to see friends again who live there. Traveling on public transport still makes me feel a bit uncomfortable, but the need for the hustle and bustle called!

Amsterdam rooftop view local travel

A great moment it was too when our dance team and the Live with Flow yoga and pilates classes started back up again ‘in person.’ The Zoom and Youtube workout classes I faithfully took each day were okay for the time being, but being around people again made life so much better!

Live with Flow yoga en pilates Breda

If there’s one thing I’ve learned…

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from this period is that it’s okay to not always be ‘switched on.’ Staying home reading a book all day or taking a solo walk can be worth so much! However, this doesn’t mean that I’ve mastered these skills fully yet. It’s still very much a work in progress!

Over to you. Have you been on any micro-adventures? Let me know in the comments below.

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14 Thoughts on Micro-adventures – Travel during the pandemic
    4 Dec 2021

    These are some great recommendations! 🙂 I miss traveling overseas so much but I also enjoy exploring my neighborhood and discover things I’ve never really seen before.

      Maaike van Kuijk
      4 Dec 2021

      That’s great Lina! What’s the most surprising thing you find in your neighbourhood?

    4 Dec 2021

    It is always a great reminder to explore your own backyard.

      Maaike van Kuijk
      4 Dec 2021

      It is. We sometimes forget how beautiful it can be.

    4 Dec 2021

    I love street art and write about it when I visit other cities. Blind Wall looks amazing.

      Maaike van Kuijk
      4 Dec 2021

      What is your favourite street art piece you’ve come across so far?

    4 Dec 2021

    The pandemic really revealed how many places that I had never explored in my own hometown. See your own city like a tourist!

      Maaike van Kuijk
      4 Dec 2021

      It does! What did you enjoy most about your town that you didn’t notice yet before?

    5 Dec 2021

    You have a lot of really beautiful places to visit around where you live – which is great! It’s good that you were able to explore the town more and go on some walks that you may not have chosen to go on had you been able to travel more widely.

      Maaike van Kuijk
      5 Dec 2021

      Yes, I guess we are really lucky to have all of that at hand. Although in our usual ‘rat race’ it’s easy to miss it, so I’m glad in a way I some time to explore it

    5 Dec 2021

    I have also travelled locally since the pandemic started. I went back to my home country to see family, but overall I have mostly visited the area where I live. I think it’s great to explore nearby areas I had never considered.

      Maaike van Kuijk
      10 Dec 2021

      It really is!

    Nina Clapperton
    6 Dec 2021

    Love this term! I’ve been doing a lot of pandemic micro adventures without realizing what to call them

      Maaike van Kuijk
      10 Dec 2021

      What was your favourite one?

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