Travelling around the world…going around the bend

12 03 2008

The author on holiday in Nassau

 The blogger on holiday in the Bahamas

A friend of mine once proclaimed that adventure travel was any hotel room that didn’t have a hair-dryer. Considering that the little hair he had was coiffed into a beautiful comb-over that would stand perfectly vertical in even the slightest breeze, I tend to think he was joking. However, it does raise the valid question of what exactly does put the adventure in adventure travel (apart from lost luggage!).

I believe it’s anything that challenges your senses or takes you out of your comfort zone. Depending on who you are, that could be lying on a beach in Costa Rica, sipping a coffee in an outdoor cafe in Croatia, or climbing K2 in the Himalayas.  If you get culture shock in the noodle section of your local corner store, you’ll probably find anywhere beyond your own borders rather challenging, especially if there’s a different language spoken or it’s less developed than home.

Just because you’re not diving with sharks off Cape Town doesn’t make you less intrepid than those who do, however.  Adventure travel is all about exploring the world around you. Experiencing different cultures, trying new foods or sitting in a cozy club on a quiet back street and listening to some amazing local music.

Adventure travel is “pinch me” travel: that feeling you get when you’re somewhere truly remarkable, doing or seeing something you never thought you’d see or do and you suddenly get that “pinch me” sense of realization that’s absolutely priceless and certainly unforgettable.

The more you travel, the wider your comfort zone becomes. What once seemed impossible, becomes normal. What was once daring, becomes mundane. My first bit of adventurous travel was 3-days in the Bahamas when I was 21 years old. Now, I would be the first to agree that that’s not particularly adventurous, but as I was more accustomed to Europe and Canada, bartering in the straw market and eating a plate of beans was pretty wild and I strutted like Dr Livingstone. What that trip did do – apart from leaving me with a painful sunburn and a peeling nose – was to whet my appetite for more and more travel and to more and more exotic places.  Nassau pushed my boundaries and I’ve never looked back.

Post and photo by: Simon Vaughan © 2008

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