Some people believe a break from work should involve more than just a holiday: it should be an adventure! Which is why adventure travel is becoming so popular. It doesn’t have to mean climbing Everest, attempting K2, or crossing a desert on the back of a camel: but it can, though it can just as easily mean a guided rafting trip in the Grand Canyon, seeing the desert from the basket of a balloon, a bungee jump like James Bond (off Switzerland’s Verzasca Dam) or a road trip somewhere literally *off the beaten track*.
Trekking in Nepal or paddling the Grand Canyon are the classic adventure travel options, and for most adventure travellers involve a bit of travel to get to, but there are travel adventure options in every country — you ‘d be surprised to see the list of where all the best paragliding destinations are, and paragliding definitely qualifies as adventure travel if it’s done right. Ice climbing, cave diving, shark diving, paddling between scenic islands, trekking overland, base jumping, or even heli-biking or heli-skiing can elevate your travels to adventure travels, and these kinds of adventure travel options can be found in some very unlikely destinations.
But the classic adventure options are still the best: New Zealand, for all the cycling and paddling options, as well as the extreme sports, is one of the best places for adventure travel, and Chile and Patagonia are popular for the same kinds of adventure travel attractions. Canada has the winter-y wilderness, and offers adventure travellers the chance to get back to nature and meet some exotic animals, while Borneo and the Galapagos, offer adventure travellers both untouched wilderness, unique animals and sunshine. Just in case you prefer your adventure travels without the adventurous weather.
Not all of us get the chance to have a real travel adventure. However, ‘adventure holidays’ are becoming ever more popular, and accessible, and not just among the young. As baby boomers-mature they find they are fitter, and generally richer, than their parents were – so your 50s and 60s is a great time to take that travel adventure you never had time or money to do. Lots of adventure travel is within the realms of possibility for most people – you don’t have to be an elite athlete to cross the Sahara with a camel train, just relatively healthy and the owner of an adventurous spirit. Some adventure travel tour operators even run adventure tour options for younger explorers, and there are some gentle routes along even some of the most exciting of white-water rivers, and child size mountains still worth conquering. And while once people thought of some adventure travel options as being the adventure of a life time, now a lifetime can have many travelling adventures.