Do Your Own Micro Exploring

After I have caught an explorer excitement about the city where I live here, I was inspired to share the collections of things that catch my attention. Like my collection of backyards, or balconies, or details of Oslo. In my first years in this city I was sharing my collections of doors, old cars and lights of Oslo on Facebook. Then when Instagram came, and I have seen shots of the beautiful doors, I was again running around the city looking for the pretty doors and facades. My friend even mentioned that I should post more photos of myself than of doors (but I disagree :)).

I also want to introduce the idea of micro exploring. That concept came to my mind yesterday, but I would not be surprised if it already exists (as it often happens with some ideas occurring to me :)). A quick search of blogs here on WordPress led to the Ted talk  by  Alastair Humphreys who introduces the notion of micro adventure. A further research is to be done. But here I am not to claim the originality of the idea, but to speak my heart about it. I feel that this is what the world needs right now. Or maybe, this is what I need right now :)) A shift of focus. The discovery of beauty in my immediate surroundings.

So I woke up this morning and checked Instagram habitually. After watching Stories for 15 minutes I caught a slight swipe of unease. What was that? Everyone there was in some cool places like Beijing, Crete, Amalfi coast or Normandy, and those who stayed at home were having picturesque breakfasts and coffee dates in the hipster locations. I was the only one who woke up on the gray day in the Northern capital that was drowning in autumn rains for the past few days. The days when I was hurrying with my umbrella, freezing, getting wet, no wish to stop and snap and share, and pretend that this city is glamorous. Anyone familiar with the feeling? The feeling that everyone is having more fun than you? Well, they say it is so typical for users of social media (I consider changing my habits after watching this great Ted talk Quit Social Media).

So what to do if I cannot boast of travelling to a new location every month? What if I have no idea how all these girls of Instagram, travel bloggers and no travel bloggers alike, live that lifestyle? What if watching their amazing reports doesn’t inspire me but makes me feel that I am missing on something? And the next flight is not so close? Here is my solution: do micro exploring. When I was a kid, we had a book “Jungle in the backyard” with the macro shots of insects, plants with rain drops on them. I remember my mother was so fond of the idea that you don’t have to travel so far in order to discover nature wonders – they are in front of your nose, literally. And it looks like I forgot that in the hunt for a new big thing. The time is right to rediscover the philosophy of small wonders.

So this is my recipe for life. In fact, I’ve been doing it all the time, without realizing the creative powers of micro exploring. Do your own exploring wherever your life is now, don’t wait for a beautiful destination. Take your camera and go for a walk, without certain expectations. Get the eye for details. Make collections of small things (yes, the doors and windows are the perfect start), be curious, look behind the fences. Be observant of people around you, notice those smiles, tiny conversations, looks on their faces. This is your life, and it is happening now – not on snapchat or Instagram of some social media celebrity. Live your emotions, and not the emotions of those you follow.

Do you happen to practice micro exploring? Tell me of your finds and experiences!

P. S. I just realized that the name of my blog perfectly matches that idea. Mexploring which stands for Me Exploring (or Marina Exploring, like my Instagram name) now got the dimension of Micro Exploring. This has been my project since I started: to explore far and near, so that makes the good point in my search for the art of life in the world and in my place.


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