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My Midsummer Morning by Alastair Humphreys


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This not only covers Al’s amazing busking trek across Spain but also a biography with a brutally honest account of balancing family life with undertaking adventures.

I’ve recently been listening to the audiobook version of ‘My Midsummer Morning’ by Alastair Humphreys.

Al Humphreys is an adventurer: he cycled around the world after leaving university, rowed the Atlantic, trekked across the Empty Quarter desert, trekked across India, and a bunch of other adventures.

So, apart from perhaps inspiring our own small adventures and fueling wanderlust, why is this of interest to the parents trying to spend more time outside with their kids?


Well, a big thing Al is known for is his Microadventures. These are small adventures that can be fit in around everyday life, including when you are a parent.

This has always struck a chord with us, and very much part of our own philosophy of trying to get outside, even when we all have ‘normal’ lives and are not full-time adventurers.

However, My Midsummer Morning is not about Microadventures.

Trekking unsupported…and with next to money

Instead, it is about when Al trekked across Spain with just a sleeping bag and violin, and no money, trying to busk to earn enough for food. The twist: he only just learnt to play some basic tunes before setting off.

So again, why is this relevant to parents?

Well, Alastair has a family. Through his newsletter, website, and books, his family doesn’t feature. It’s been very much a solo venture. I know I’ve asked him in the past how on earth does he make the time to do these trips with a family?

Family vs. Adventure

My Midsummer Morning is not just about his busking across Spain, but also part biography, with some brutally honest revelations of just how his desire for adventure put a strain on his marriage and also made him feel torn between staying at home and loving his kids and doing adventures – something he eventually broke down with and ended up having therapy. Yes, it is brutally honest.

Although I often look on the expeditions professional adventurers like Alastair do with a bit of awe and envy, I like to think that we’ve tried to create a better balance of doing things with our kids, and bringing up a new generation of people who like and appreciate the outdoors. So it’s a relief (if not unexpected) to see that professional adventurers have similar pressures as the rest of us, and it’s not all roses.

We’ve met a few other professional adventurers while being Ordnance Survey #GetOutside champions, including people most people know, like Ben Fogle. We can confirm: they’re all human!

So, if you know of Alastair, or want to be inspired by travel and hear about the tensions it can create with your family (and perhaps how to resolve them), then get My Midsummer Morning.

Photos: My Midsummer Morning by Alastair Humphreys

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  Review Author

Gav Grayston
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Gav Grayston Contributor

Father to 3 kids, who loves getting out and about (hiking, running, camping, cycling, canoeing...) Co-founded Get Out With The Kids to help other parents enjoy the outdoors with their family.

My Midsummer Morning by Alastair Humphreys
My Midsummer Morning by Alastair Humphreys
Get Out With The Kids
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