“Climate Talk with Christo Foerster”

In 2024, we are spotlighting people who are committed to climate protection and whose actions can serve as an inspiration for others. We are delighted to have adventurer Christo Foerster with us today to answer our questions and broaden our horizons on the subject of climate-friendly travel.

Christo, you’re considered the “father of micro-adventures” in the German-speaking world. What is a micro-adventure?

Micro-adventures are adventures, which means they’re about getting out of your comfort zone, heading into the unknown and discovering, but they don’t require a lot of effort. They are little adventures that we can go off on without a lot of holiday leave, money or professional equipment. They’re the adventures right on our doorstep.


How can micro-adventures appeal to people who are looking for special experiences but don’t want to travel far, for example because they’re concerned about climate change?

It helps when we make adventures less about where they take place and more about our attitude. If we’re prepared to be truly minimalist on our travels, and sometimes even let chance take the lead, we can experience the extraordinary at every roadside, no matter how ordinary looking. I like to set a few rules to challenge myself. On my micro-adventures, for example, I never travel by car or plane, but I do allow myself to use public transport. You quickly get into a kind of expedition mode when planning – if you plan at all, that is.


You say that the adventures start on your own doorstep in a way. No survival skills needed. Can you recommend a good adventure for beginners?

I love sleeping outdoors, in a hammock or on the ground. You’re not allowed to camp in the wild, but resting, even overnight, is fine if you’re not in a protected area or on private land. For many people, sleeping outdoors is associated with fear, so it can be a challenge. But it’s incredibly easy. And it really grounds us in nature. But it can also be a great micro-adventure to set off from home two hours before sunrise to be there when the day begins, wherever that may be. In the summer you might even make it back in time for work.


What made you change your life to focus on spending more time outdoors?

The process started with what I consider to be my first real micro-adventure. I spontaneously cycled over 300 kilometres overnight from Hamburg to the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin to have breakfast with an old friend. I hadn’t cycled long distances in ages. Immediately after breakfast I grabbed my bike and took the train back. This experience, and all the micro-adventures that have followed, have shown me how important nature is to me, and how much I can change by consistently trying to make the most of what I have where I am. You have to look for opportunities. It’s mad how many windows open all at once, quite literally!


What do you think are the quick fixes for a healthier, more climate-friendly life?

I think it’s incredibly important to spend a lot of time outdoors to renew our connection with nature. Only if we can do that will we be able to meet nature as equals and see it as a partner, not just as a backdrop, a stage or a supplier of resources. In terms of adventure experiences, I would say: more walking, cycling and canoeing, and less driving.


Last but not least: what adventures are you looking forward to in 2024?

I recently spent eight weeks travelling from the Zugspitze to Sylt on a stand-up paddleboard, sleeping in a hammock at night. This year I’m getting back to smaller adventures. I want to cycle from Munich to Venice, and I want to walk all the way around Hamburg. I also have a lot of ideas that I haven't quite worked out yet, but I’m sure they’ll result in one or two great experiences. To be honest, I’m not a fan of bucket lists.
The latest episode of Christo’s podcast FREI RAUS is available here: https://freiraus.podigee.io/

Reading tip: Christo Foerster’s new book is also highly recommended. It’s called "Am besten draussen", and it shows how we can bring even more nature into our lives.

Stay informed!