OH … TO HAVE AN ADVENTURE!!
My kids thrived on adventure! By the time Lara was one she had visited 10 countries, at nine she and Piers at seven scaled the highest peak (4000+m) in SE Asia, Mt Kinabalu: Jemma at four almost made it! At fourteen Lara and her siblings almost made the top of Mt Kilimanjaro! Our biggest family adventure was to sell our house, put packs on their backs and wander the world; fun at Disney, being wowed by the “coolness” of Yosemite; scrambled on the ruins in the Yucatan; played with street kids in Havana; house boating on Kariba Dam in Zimbabwe; and bush safaris with their cousins in Africa. All three truly bitten by the travel bug are still travelling. Lara is about to enjoy three months in Uganda as a volunteer. Piers is motor cycling in the rough top end of Oz and thoroughly enjoying life! What a way to have an adventure!
Adventure travel is rapidly growing in popularity. No longer are ‘fit and able’ holiday makers happy to bask on the beach and eat and drink their way through the menu. They want more! Perhaps it’s curiosity, or that they like to get involved or maybe they see a challenge. Whatever the reason more travellers than ever want adventure.
This type of travel can be any tourist activity which includes at least two of the following components - physical activity, cultural exchange or an interaction with nature. It is apparently a rare percentage of people who can spontaneously have an adventure; often holding them back is fear. “Courage is mastery, not absence of fear”. Fear of failure is also a deterrent to try something different. It takes courage to challenge yourself and that I find, is what travelllers in Australia are gaining.
Start a new challenge today: pick somewhere you would love to go and think about the different ways to do it. Sometimes it’s the planning of such a trip that holds you back; don’t let it! That is what we are here for, to follow through with your plans. I love to plan someone else’s holiday. I take great delight in spending another’s dollars knowing that they are going to come back for more excitement once it is over!
Stepping out of one’s comfort zone is where most travelers gain much of the excitement. This could be whilst volunteering in a third world country or perhaps with some activity that involves some degree of risk or physical danger. Aside from the normal adventure recreation that we think of, like parachuting, mountain climbing, jungle or river trekking, many new interests have become available. Perhaps those I have just mentioned are too tame for some! What about unheard of entertainment like” urban caving” (exploring underground caves/tunnels in cities) or “ghetto tourism” (the growing popularity of experiencing certain music types or craft within a ghetto)? I am even aware of ‘disaster tourism’ which usually involves exploring a danger zone like a hurricane or volcano.
However, possibly not for the faint hearted!
Adventure travel opportunities for discerning travellers take in many types of travel including:
· Overland in 4WDs visiting areas off the beaten track;
· Community, based in small remote villages working at projects helping to build clinics, refurbish classrooms, or installing wells;
· Care work which involves assisting staff to care for orphaned children;
· Family adventures where one can spend time with other families in a small group introducing the children to different cuisines and cultures, animals and physical holidays.
· Active which involves trekking, mountaineering, cycling, canoeing etc.
· Cultural/historical taking in some villages with different tribes. The list is endless as no matter your interest there has to be a destination just waiting for you to discover it.
Many companies are now combining activities such a trek/swim: canoe/cycle: or bike/boat.
Viv’s Travel Bug finds this sort of travel planning an exciting challenge and looks forward to customizing arrangements for travellers who wish to do something that is unique and experiential.