Family Adventure Capital Stagepath555 Talking Point

Where do you start an adventure?

555 bus in Cumbria
Written by Stuart Wickes

Talking Point 14: Where do you start an adventure?

The front door slams shut and the house is still. School’s back, Kirstie’s gone out and I have the place to myself.

Outside I hear the now familiar chug of the 555, idling at the bus stop in the Square. I can just see it through the window from where I’m sitting. And for a moment I’m transfixed; me looking in at the passengers looking out through the steamy windows of the bus.

That was us last week

It’s slightly strange to think that was us all of last week. And what’s stranger is I miss it. Not the kids, but the bus, and the pensioners heading off shopping in Milnthorpe, the nurse on her way to the hospital in Kendal, the Japanese tourists who will snap their way to Windermere. Even the guy on the top deck who will selfishly hog two front seats and sleep his way to Keswick.

At first I was snobbish about spending a week on such a simple, local mission; catching the bus and walking a little each day. And now I miss it. Because it was simple. And envigorating. And revealing; I learnt a lot in a week about a place I’ve lived in for over ten years yet now realise I still barely know.

Adventures can start at home

As I sit and wait for the bus to leave I realise adventures really can start at my front door, everyday, on the hour. The local bus IS travel. For a few pounds fare it takes me somewhere else, somewhere different to where I am now.  It doesn’t matter whether it’s for the first time or if I’ve been there a thousand times before; if I get on that bus I am on a journey. And it is always different, even when it is the same. As Heraclitus said, “no man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.”

The people, the place, the weather, the seasons, my self; these things are not static but dynamic. So the art of adventuring at home is to be able to see and experience that, to notice not what is the same but what is new and different this time. When there are so many places in the world I have not been it’s easy to think that only a new place can offer something new, but that is to overlook the beautiful unfamiliarity of the familiar.

The bus moves off . All those people on their way somewhere else. And I wonder ‘Are they just people on a bus? Or are they off on an adventure?’

555 Lake District Bus

A bus or an adventure mobile?

Talking Point

Have you adventured close to home? If not, where does adventure start for you?

Join the Conversation

Talking Point is our series of short Photo Friday posts. Each week we pick a photo and post a talking point and invite you to join the conversation. Do leave a comment with your thoughts.

 For more photo inspired fun why not check out Travel Photo Thursday from Budget Travelers Sandbox, Photo Friday at Delicious Baby or Friday Dreaming at RWeThereYetMom.



About the author

Stuart Wickes

Stuart's the adventure addict half of the team, always trying to persuade the family to get out, do more, go further. As co-founder and co-director he handles the business, creative, design, technical and publishing aspects of the project. He is our chief photographer and videographer. With training as a professional learning and development consultant. an engineer and musician, his contribution is eclectic and unpredictable!


  • Yes! We love to adventure through our hometown and make new discoveries. I wasn’t always that way though. I had to travel other places to realize that the places I was amazed with in someone else’s hometown were just like the things someone was amazed with in my hometown.

    This year I have a goal to uncover even more of the small town that I live in. Visit a new park, photograph a new statue, eat at a new restaurant. I can’t wait to get started!

    • Hey Tonya, it’s so true – others who visit often ‘see’ much more than we do at home – I guess they come with fresh ‘visitors eyes’! I know when I return home after being away I am much more alert to noticing stuff, at least at first! Your goal for the year sounds fun. Thanks for commenting.

  • Over the past year, I have worked hard to see life and history around me – I want to learn about the amazing place we call home and though we did a lot, there is still so much more to uncover. Last week, we traveled to Dallas and Fort Worth. I lived there for 10 YEARS and never took advantage of all those cities had to offer in terms of culture and art and history. I was overwhelmed at how awesome of a place it was to visit.

    Thanks so much for linking up – I hope you continue to do so – I always love you talking points.

    Have a great weekend!

    • Hey Becca. I think the more you look, the more you find. It’s like looking through a microscope, you start to see things you didn’t see before! Like you we found that when we visited London lately (10 years after living there for ever) that there was so much to see we didn’t when we were there. Doh!

  • I have only lived in Calgary for 16 months so I do lots of exploring close to home and try to visit areas most people never visit. It can be great fun and very revealing – just not very exotic.

    • Exotic – yeah. I’m a bit of a sucker for that! Yet to some others who visit our home places must seem exotic, Oh to experience it as they do. I guess there are advantages to being familiar too, they just don;t seem as exciting as being out of my depth somewhere new.

  • Great point – you don’t have to be far from home to have an adventure – it’s just a matter of how you look at it! I’m trying to change my mindset a bit and look at some of our close-to-home activities as adventures in the same way that our travels abroad are. I also realized when I was looking back at where we traveled in 2012 that nearly every single place we went was someplace that I had previously visited – yet they all seemed like brand new experiences.

    • Mindset – that’s it. I’ve been guilty of a bit of ‘never go back to the same place twice’ thinking, but I’m starting to see I may be missing (and spending) a lot that way!

  • I do think about that some times . . . especially since I live very near some extremely popular tourist destinations that mostly I don’t even notice, but people travel 1000s of miles to visit!

    • It’s so wierd isn’t it. We live down the road from a National Park where 10m visitors a year come. And don’t go there to explore that often. Sometimes because there are 10m tourists a year there, but still!

  • Really thought provoking post. Our kids are a bit too young to do long walking adventures like yours but maybe we will take the bus and find some new parks and shorter walks locally or maybe as well as our week in a caravan by the coast my husband could book a week for a staycation? You’ve inspired me!

    • Thanks! This wasn’t a very long walking adventure. 26 miles in all, over 6 days. I used to think miles mattered but don’t think distance is important anymore, unless you’re looking to challenge yourself. It’s the quality of experience that counts. I miss those toddler paced tiny walks, just because they forced me to slow down and look at every last stone, piece of moss and jump in every puddle. As adults we often go too far and too fast to notice where we are! We had a weeks holiday for the price of a bus pass and a few sandwiches this way. The ultimate staycation? We even slept in our own beds each night. Thanks for commenting.

  • I have a goal this year to try and get to one local attraction each month. Part of my problem is that I happen to live in the middle of nowhere(my husband is a farmer). I actually have to travel some distance just to get to museums and any kind of attractions, so I have to get a little more creative about my hometown travels :). The small towns near me have local festivals and stuff, so that is where I have to concentrate my efforts.

    • What a great goal. I know living rurally can present a bit more of a challenge in terms of ‘attractions’ although the absence of ‘attractions’ can be an attraction in itself. We found the Faroe Islands a bit like that, but it took us a little while to make that shift in our mindset when we first arrived. I love small local festivals too.

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We're Kirstie & Stuart. We share an adventurous spirit, a passion for indie travel and 3 kids. The Family Adventure Project is our long term experiment in doing active, adventurous things together. Find out more...


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