10 reasons to try adventure travel

“But why would you do that?”
We hiked for 6 days. We walked 140km through snow, rain showers and mountains. My foot were wet constantly wet, because the path was so damp and my old hiking boots started leaking. I got so cold after walking in a blizzard that I wondered at which point you can get hypothermia (if you are curious here are some explanation about it here) and my legs got so tired that I almost wanted to cry. This was last summer, in Swedish Lappland.
kungsleden_weather

July 2015. We could have been on a beach in Greece…

My choices of vacation trigger shakes of heads and flat faces. Why would you do that? Or more exactly “Why on earth would you f****** do that?

I have a short and simple answer “Because I like it“. I love the feeling you get when you use physical activity to explore a new place. Behind this simple statement, I have actually many reasons of why I like it so much and a few fun stories to prove it.

 

10 reasons to put some active adventures in your travels:

1. Go further. There are just some places where you can’t go if are not ready for a bit of adventure. You won’t get as close as glaciers than when you go on an ice-trek! Secret beaches that you can only reach by canoe or exceptional views at the top of hundreds of stairs are other examples.

2. Be an actor, not a spectator. Explore on your own terms. Feel like a stop? I remember really well our mountain biking trip in the Atacama desert. having chosen to rent a bike to explore this area we became actors of our own destiny, not just spectators.

3. Pay attention to the details. You realize the distances better, the geography, the climate… all these things that are an important part of exploring a region but that otherwise you will barely notice. “Waoooo now I understand why Patagonia is renown for its strong winds, at times you could barely walk!” Yes, that’s for good, or for bad!!

4. Get closer to nature. Stop going to the zoos. Outside is where magic encounters happen. Get away from the civilization and take your time to appreciate nature and leave space for the unexpected. My encounter with a penguin while snorkelling in the Galapagos is still today the most magic experience I had with an animal.

5. Enjoying local gastronomy without feeling guilty! A pragmatic one, for the epicureans: with all these calories spent kayaking on the lake, you really can treat yourself with a fantastic ice-cream, and this, without feeling guilty! A week of hiking on Kungsleden was the perfect excuse for a feast of reindeer and local liquor tasting.

6. Bragging rights! I am not talking about counting the likes on Facebook but about your own bragging rights. Yep, you climbed your first 6000m, pretty cool, isn’t it?

7. The journey is more important than the destination. This is a bit cliché, but it is true for many travel experience. Our hike to the top of Adam’s Peak, a night walk with dozens of buddhist pilgrims is a great example of that. Being dropped there by helicopter -even if it was possible- would just take away any sense to the experience.

8. Where human contacts live. Hiking is probably the best way to get in touch with people, tourists or locals. In Argentina, it’s by camping in the wild that we got close a local family spending the christmas holiday with their 3 kids there. They offered us some mate (a local drink that we had not tried yet), we shared some memories (they had travelled in Europe) and some great tips. A great evening.

9. Because that’s how some places are meant to be explored. Think Indiana Jones! Trekking 2 days through “green hell” (the Colombian jungle) to appreciate the pre-colombian ruins of Ciudad Perdida put you in the shoes of the archeologist who first reported the site.

10. Remember forever. The climax of a long effort, chills guarantee and pain keeps the memory forever. The reward of discovering the legendary Machu Picchu after 4 days of trekking on the footprint of the incas, learning about their history and pushing ourselves over 4,000m.

View from Llactapata. In the distance, the mythic Machu Picchu, on the 4th day of our trek!

View from Llactapata. In the distance, the mythic Machu Picchu, on the 3rd day of our trek!

And you, what keep you going on your adventures? Share your story below!

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