Million Mile Secrets team member Joseph is re-reading one of his favorite books: Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel, by Rolf Potts. Most of our readers are NOT long-term travelers, but I asked him to write down any useful ideas our readers might appreciate.
Joseph: On a recent trip to Switzerland, my friends and I were surrounded by paragliders and downhill mountain bikers. It was a challenge to snap a landscape picture that didn’t include an advertisement for Red Bull.
Those experiences looked so fun. Soaring over valleys and riding through the backwoods of the prettiest places on earth sounds like a perfect way to spend the day!
But there are lots of ways to increase your heart rate without extreme activities.
Don’t let your notions of what you think adventure should be cause you to miss the adventure that’s right in front of you!
You Can Find Adventure Everywhere
It’s easy to get caught up chasing what society markets as “adventure,” and completely pass over everyday adventures that can be just as exciting! We’ve all fantasized about having our own Indiana Jones-esque adventure. But in my experience, high-speed motorcycle chases are not a guarantee in day-to-day life.
No matter where you travel, there’s plenty of opportunity for adventure. A big part of travel is facing your fears. And stepping into unfamiliar culture can be unsettling!
Have you ever used a restroom with no stalls or toilet paper? Have you ever boarded a rickshaw? If not, I assure you it’s an adventure!
Some of the most adventurous experiences I’ve had were food-related. Like sucking marrow out of a bone in the Philippines, or eating a fried – but still moving – fish in Galilee (that one was a little hard to deal with).
If you want an adventure, push yourself to do something you wouldn’t normally do. Take public transportation in a third world country instead of renting a car. Actively make friends with locals!
These things can give you just as many butterflies as any bungee jump or running with the bulls. But it will also give you something to take back home with you, whether it’s deeper knowledge of another culture, or new pen pals!
There is nothing wrong with things like base jumping or shark cage diving. Those activities look really fun!
But you don’t need those kinds of experiences to have an adventure during your travels. There are plenty of everyday things that can give you an adrenaline rush.
Eating an unfamiliar food, exploring an unbeaten path, or making a new local friend, can be just as thrilling! Some adventures are right in front of you.