There is an increasing trend in travel, people seeking to explore, hoping to find more authentic experiences. They prioritise getting away from the crowds, and attempting to step off the beaten path.
This new wave of traveller isn’t content sipping mai tais on all-inclusive resort beaches. Though a deserted one, that few ever reach probably holds greater appeal. They are not interested in ticking off countries, more important are new experiences, cultural immersion, wildlife encounters, and unearthing the gems which others rarely find.
“Adventure is relative”
They probably feel with some justification, this differentiates them from average tourists. The time and effort they invest searching for these authentic experiences, to remote, difficult to reach destinations setting them apart from annual vacationers. This does not mean that all those with limited holidays don’t venture into such regions, or experience amazing cultural encounters, just that it’s probably less common.
Travelling is a personal experience however, it’s more important that the individual enjoys the journey, and the destination. Adventure is relative; one person’s exciting challenge is another’s absolute nightmare. Actually enjoying any free-time is of paramount importance, there shouldn’t be any ego or machismo, it’s about travelling on our own terms.
Travelling is a pleasurable experience, not a feat of endurance. This is relative, dependent on physical ability, comfort zones, and personal motives, it shouldn’t be a competition, even if social media can sometimes make it seem so.
This quest for adventure seems easier in a wilderness area, the remoteness and accessibility becoming a part of the overall adventure. Destinations which take several days trekking to reach, or are only accessible by sea kayak or float plane by their very nature seem exciting. It also seems reasonable to conclude visiting such destinations regularly will offer more opportunities for adventure.
Some countries or destinations such as the Antarctic, Canada, the outback, New Zealand, the Sahara or the Amazon are so evocative that we cannot help but be stirred merely hearing their name. They conjure up images of vast wildernesses, huge unexplored tracts of land where anything is possible, maybe even discovering something completely new.
We think of these pristine landscapes as being untouched, but in truth very few places are genuinely pristine. Heavy metals, and other man-made pollutants are carried in rain, rivers and oceans seeping into the earth of even the most remote destination. However, to the casual eye of the observer they still seem untouched and pristine, and it is this perception of unspoiled landscape we seek.
Adventurous activities can offer many opportunities for adventure, especially if they involve travelling in these remote destinations. Kayaking into the North American wilderness or around the Falkland Islands in sea kayaks, remote camping, and ski mountaineering are likely to offer unlimited adventures. Trekking in the Himalaya, even if with a guiding company will feel like an adventure; high altitudes in impressive mountain scenery, plus an unusual culture it’s a special travel experience.
It’s relatively easy to imagine adventures in these destinations or activities, but with the right attitude it is possible to enjoy adventures in a large, well-known city. How many times have you explored a backstreet or blind alley, followed some faint music or a strange aroma to its source? How many can enjoy several hours exploring a small Greek or Spanish village, without any specific attractions?
“secluded beach for skinny dipping”
The primary qualities of any would-be adventurer are observation, curiousity and the determination to follow them through. These qualities, equate to an attitude, and those with this attitude will almost certainly find themselves in adventurous situations.
Examples of this are plentiful, and most can probably recount a story in which their curiousity led them to a memorable experience. The attitude for adventure has spawned many moments of serendipity, unexpected encounters with other cultures or wildlife, possibly a cave to explore or a secluded beach for skinny dipping or sunbathing without fear of being disturbed.
The good news is that, It’s possible to learn this attitude, or improve it. It only needs an open mind to begin with. By observing our surroundings, being curious enough to follow-up, determined enough not to give up. Qualities which are possible to develop. If these qualities are used regularly, they will become honed, and eventually come naturally to the individual.
There is almost certainly still plenty that to be discovered close to home. Employing this attitude, and the necessary qualities will ensure that adventures are found without having to travel far. Pack a bag with all that you need for a local adventure, and see what lies just around the corner. Sure, often there will be little of interest found, but sometimes ……..