Adventure – what does it mean to you? Throwing yourself out of a plane, leaping off a cliff, or hiking a mountain? Or perhaps just travelling solo to a country you’ve never been to before? Whatever your definition of adventure travel there’s one thing for sure – it’s hella good for the soul and if given the option, you should say yes every single time…
Adventure travel has soared in popularity over the past few years, with more and more people choosing to embrace their daredevil side. People care about their health, both mental and physical, and this is translating into their travel choices. Sure we love a good old fashioned beach holiday filled with a whole lot of eating, drinking, sunning it up and not much else, but there’s just something about getting out there and really experiencing the world that is so much more appealing.
But why? Why are people opting for adventure over relaxation, pushing themselves to the edge of their comfort zone on a so called vacation? And why should you be sharing their mindset? Here come the specifics:
Adventure improves your physical health
Remember the countless times your parents told you fresh air was good for you, normally to get you off the computer/console/annoying your little sister? Turns out they were right. Fresh, clean air, especially mountain air, has an alkaline effect on your body which helps to protect it from disease. When you’re stressed or doing little exercise your acidity levels increase, often resulting in illness, the inability to lose weight and a lack of energy. Fresh air reverses this effect and has a positive impact on your body.
Adventure is the ultimate natural high
Ever wondered why you feel so much happier and content after going for a run, hitting the gym or spending the afternoon playing Frisbee with your mates? It’s all to do with endorphins. Endorphins act as analgesics (a pain killer), reducing the perception of pain or anxiety. They work in the same way as the drug morphine only unlike morphine, endorphins are produced in your body and are completely non addictive (unless you’re a self confessed exercise addict). Now imagine how many endorphins your body would create after hiking a mountain, white water rafting a river or bungee jumping down a gorge? That’s one mad crazy high.
Adventure improves your self confidence
Ask yourself right now, ‘would I jump out of a plane?’. If the answer is an unfaltering ‘yes’, what can we say, we’re impressed. If, like us, you’re not quite so impulsive, here’s why this helps. Adventure activities force you to face up to some of your biggest fears – heights, falling, being deep under water. If you can conquer these fears and actually enjoy yourself in the process, just imagine what else you can achieve. Hell, if you can jump out of a moving plane you can definitely pluck up the courage to ask your boss for a pay rise! Believing in yourself and actually following through with adventure activities you always say you want to do but actually don’t is one heck of a confidence booster.
Adventure helps you to realise who you really are
OK so we know we’re getting a little deep and meaningful but stick with us. Picture the scene – you’re travelling alone in a city and you’ve temporarily become separated from your new travel friends – what do you do? Panic, or rationalise and figure out the logical next step. Adventure travel puts challenges and hurdles your way that you and only you can figure your way out of. Maybe you’ve never travelled alone before or been to a country that speaks a different language. Working through these problems tests out your life skills – you realise your strengths and weaknesses.
Adventure forges friendships
Friendships are based on shared experiences – memories that two or more people make together based on interactions and activities they’ve done together in the past. So when you’re with a new group of friends mountain biking through the Swiss Alps, horse back riding through the Canadian Rockies or jet boat riding through Niagara Falls, just imagine the memories you’ll make that you can laugh about over a cold beer that evening or reminisce over on your 30 year adventure travel tour reunion. Adventure is a bonding experience – you’re all in it together and only you know what it feels like.
So what do you say, are you an adventure travel convert? If you’re still not convinced, we’ve got one final trick up our sleeves. We teamed up with Devin Supertramp, badass daredevil and the ultimate adventure traveller, to create the biggest, baddest travel legend you’ve ever seen. Check out the Contiki Legend here.