3 Ways to Have an Adventure Indoors

Emily Woodhouse Comment and Opinion, Living Adventurously

Adventure indoors? Seriously? Well, yes actually. This post has been inspired by the social isolation, stay in your house measures coming into force at the moment. However, it completely still stands any time of the year. Event got cancelled? Weather too disgusting to go outside (a la my trip to Scotland with 80-100mph wind forecast and lightning)? There are times when you want to experience an adventure from the comfort of your own home.

A Quick Word on Current Events

I recently heard a guy teaching awareness talk about reframing situations so you can move forwards with them. It’s a very simple switch: from “this thing is happening to us” to “this thing is happening for us”. That sounds very self-centred, but hear me out.

My work trip to climb Toubkal in Morocco got postponed and then cancelled. I was gutted. Then all future events for the next two months of my life got cancelled too. Every club and social interaction, everything to look forward to, got axed. Even Mountain Rescue training has been postponed so we can provide more effective call out support. At first this was very frustrating. All those plans going to nothing. All the dreams and fun being squashed out. An empty void of uncertainty in its place. But ultimately, the situation is out of my and your hands. It’s happening and we have to step back from the driving seat and roll with it.

Rather than get annoyed at it happening to us, consider for a moment what it would mean if it was happening for us. Yes, my trips are cancelled, but I cannot remember the last time I had an empty calendar for two months. What does that space enable me to do or work on that had previously been pushed aside for lack of time? Yes I can’t meet up with my friends, but I can still communicate with them and use the time in other ways. Like spend an evening wrapped in a duvet doing absolutely nothing useful. Play the guitar, paint, knit or learn a new skill.

I’m not saying that bad things aren’t happening. Of course they are. I’m not saying we should ignore that. This is about making the best of a bad situation. At the end of the day we kind of have to accept the situation and move with it. You can fight what’s happening or you can adapt and make some good of it. I am, after all, writing this from bed in my pyjamas.

Indoor Adventure Ideas

Philosophical discussion aside, here are some suggestions for adventurous things you can do stuck at home. This won’t help with exercise or any of that, but it might help feed the part of your soul that insists on running through the high and remote places of the world.

1. Adventure in Your Future

A huge amount of doing a big adventure is the planning phase. Sometimes to the extent that it’s a relief to finally run away on the adventure itself. Of course, it doesn’t have to be like that, but you’ve been this time to plan and dream. That trip you’ve always said you’d like to do one day? Go get lost in a guidebook or spend hours staring at a map, hypothesising. You have the time.

Don’t go ahead and pin it down to logistics and details. Sure, you can’t book any dates yet, but you can poise yourself to jump as soon as you can. And you can still enjoy exploring the potential for adventure from the comfort of your home. Make lists of things you’ll do when you’re able to again. I have a big trip in the works for August and I’m still playing with routes and maps, reading blogs about the area etc. So what if I have to move it to next year or indefinitely? I’m enjoying the dreaming process.

2. Adventure in Your Past

A younger me in the Dolomites for the first time.

Remembering is the opposite side of the coin to dreaming. You could just spend some time going through pictures or diaries of an adventure you did in years gone by. That in itself can be enough to relive the experience. Particularly ones that happened so long ago you’ve forgotten the details. I have a set of diaries I wrote for every family holiday we did from the age of 12 or 13 onwards. It is so interesting listening to my voice and opinions as a teenager cycling across a country or climbing mountains for the first time. You might even find it a springboard to put you back into option number 1: places you meant to go back to or see more of.

Or, you could create something new from these memories. Write that book or blog post from your travel journals. (Yes I still owe you the other half of the Rhine Source to Sea Cycle!) Edit your footage into a film. (No comment…) Creating is much more satisfying than absorbing snippets of information, if you can just find the frame of mind to start.

3. Adventure in Other People’s Adventures

Something I participate in all of the time. So many people have done wonderful adventures since the dawn of time. There have been more adventures written about and spoke about and recorded than you could have time to explore in a lifetime. There are books, there are films, blogs, articles, podcasts. They’re only a few clicks away.

As an example of the sheer volume, here are 10 adventure podcasts for starters. Here are 10 mountaineering documentaries. Have a look at Intrepid Magazine for loads of free articles or literally thousands of pages of adventure stories from women if you sign up. Even this blog has got almost five years of my writing and adventures for you to rummage through. There are something like 200 posts!

Look at Facebook Groups (if you can bear social media at the moment) or just search for people who’ve done the things you’re interested in. Vimeo and YouTube are full of adventures. And of course there are enough books to cover the walls of a palace. Even more if you include fiction: I spent years of my life exploring the worlds of Middle Earth and Narnia and Victorian London – and everywhere in between. They were the first adventures I had without parents or teachers. I’ve recently read Touching the Void (devoured it, definitely recommend) and am currently reading No Picnic on Mount Kenya.


Well, I hope that’s given you enough ideas to fill your next few days of self-isolation at least! If you want specific recommendations or ideas, reach out in the comments. I’ll do my best to point you in the right direction, there are simply too many brilliant people to list.

Speak soon,