It is exciting to watch Indiana Jones running through thick jungles and escaping rolling boulders in the movie but in reality, very few people lived that kind of life or take up such life-threatening vacations.
For most people, adventure travel should be fun and safe. It may involve some degree of hardship and sweating but there should be little or no risk involved. Adventure travel, really, is whatever you want it to be. It might mean travel to a distant and exotic place although it does not have to. It might cost a lot of money or it might be free. If you travel somewhere, anywhere, and you have an experience that excites you, provides you with an escape from the ordinary, and leaves you feeling happy, then you have had an adventure.
Adventure travel may involves activities such as sky diving, mountain climbing, go white water rapids in a kayak, or photographing polar bears in the Arctic. These are exciting and adrenaline rushing activities and do provide one with a deep sense of adventure. But adventure travel can also involve a leisurely trip on the Mississippi River in a paddle wheeler, a stroll across the English countryside in search of a certain species of bird. Even a tour of the wineries of southern France or a shell-collecting expedition on an obscure Caribbean beach can be considered as adventure travel.
Here is an interesting example. There was this guy in Taiwan who chose to hitchhike his way around Taiwan for nine days. In fact, he even asked for free food and accommodation from strangers during the trip. And he was very surprised by the friendliness of the people he met. Many strangers actually offer him food, lodging and transportation for free! Throughout the journey, he did not climbed any big mountain or jump off a plane in the middle of the sky. So is this adventure travel? Absolutely!
Of course, everybody has a different perception of adventure travel. A marine biologist would probably consider diving near a sperm whale as a thrilling adventure. However, to a poker player, playing poker in various casinos in Las Vegas will also provide a high degree of thrill.
Adventure travel does not necessarily mean a trip out of the country or state either. Interesting things to see and do are often within your own back yard, or at least an easy car drive from home, wherever that might be. Go exploring uncharted area in the nearby mountains or rivers where you lived can be just as exciting too! Look around the place where you lived, be it a small town, the countryside or a big city. They are many unpublicized places where few people know. Embarking on a tour to uncover such places is a form of adventure. These places can include small local museums, houses of special interest (the birthplace of a famous person), small sanctuaries for wildlife and flora, restored buildings or even communities dating back to historic times, and so on. In fact, hunting for good food in obscure corners of a big city is very exhilarating, thrilling and fun.
Adventure travel can take you to the other side of the world, to the top of a mountain, or to the wildest places on earth. It might also take you to the inside of a little old library just around the corner that you have walked past a thousand times. Ultimately, it is not where you go but the sense of adventure you feel that counts.
Stephen Chua is the webmaster of TrekkingAdventureTravel.net, a popular adventure travel website that provides tips, advice and resources to trekking and adventure travel vacations. Visit http://TrekkingAdventureTravel.net today and receive a free copy of the report 'How To Preprare For Your Next Trekking Adv