When I think of adventure expeditions images of men with ice hanging from their beards comes to mind. Adventure travel, in my own head, is set aside for those that try to navigate some unexplored land hoping to be the first to ever complete the challenge in order to win notoriety of being the only human being to date to ever traverse the unforgiving landscape meant only for beasts that have evolved to survive in the harsh surroundings.
More simply put, adventure world travel is definitely not for the fainthearted.
Explorers have always looked to push boundaries, explore the unknown and step onto ground that has never before seen human footprints. From the time of Christopher Columbus people have been trying to push the boundaries in the hope of discovering something new. Today it is no different. It may seem like there is no where left to explore but the world is still a very large place.
Brit Ed Stafford is one such explorer still undertaking expeditions to far-flung places that push him fully to his limits. I mean, who in their right mind would opt to walk the length of the Amazon, taking 860 days to trek the 4,000 miles from source to sea along the river.
“You own travel ambitions might be very different but the most important thing about adventure is also the most simple: get up and go.”
In his latest book, Adventures for a Lifetime, Ed highlights that just because man now has the means to travel further there are still some very untouched parts of the world. Ranulph Fiennes, fellow explorer, provided the forward for this book and points out that “the challenges set out… vary greatly but they are linked to a common thread. They all encourage the reader to discover the emotional and spiritual rewards a person can best experience when exposed to genuine risk”.
From family adventure travel to solo expeditions there are still so many places to truly explore that even the less adventurous out there may still find something that peaks their interest within the pages of this book.
What New Adventure Expeditions Would You Undertake?
The best adventure holidays do not necessarily mean you need to hop onto a mammoth death-defying trip with a group of other serious travellers heading into the bitter cold at the end of the earth hoping to spot a new Island that has so far escaped discovery, it simply means that you are taking a journey that is pushing you and your skills to the limits.
“Setting yourself a challenge to survive in the wilderness might sound like a geeky thing to do. Actually, it can give you a sense of confidence knowing that you can look after yourself and your family should the unexpected happen”.
Adventure travel could turn out to be taking that cycling tour you always wanted to do or experiencing an outdoor trip to the wilds of Zambia to undertake a walking safari. For some it may be undertaking a Summit-bagging trip to hike some of the greatest mountain peaks in the world whereas for others it could be trying to survive in isolation out in the wilds away from all civilisation for a prolonged period of time.
For those unsure what their ultimate challenge may be then Adventures for a Lifetime is here to help.
Within the glossy pages of Adventures for a Lifetime you will find numerous adventures undertaken by many different extreme explorers out there, including Ed Stafford’s wife, Laura Bingham who this year, along with two other women, became the first to navigate the longest river in Guyana, the Essequibo, from source to sea.
Unlike other adventure books that highlight the impossible though this is a book that shows what is possible. Yes, there are trips that are only for the fearless, for those that have spent years completing lesser challenges in preparation for a more severe expedition say to K2 in Asia but there are also more realistic trips that those just starting out with adventure travel could undertake.
“Going on an adventure is a way of slowing down time. So many people reach retirement and wonder where their last forty years went. You don’t have to quit your job, just find an adventure as often as you can.”
I really can’t call myself an adventurer who seeks out dangerous experiences, but I still enjoy stretching myself both mentally and physically. So no, I am never going to challenge myself to climb the seven tallest volcanic summits or swim in open waters from one continent to another but I might one day like to channel my inner Cheryl Strayed and hike a long trail like the Pacific Crest trail or drive the 30,000 miles from Tierra del Fuego along the Pan-American highway to Prudhoe Bay in Alaska. Two adventures I would never have even really thought about before picking this book up. It’s not just the descriptions of the challenges either that grab your attention, the photos in Adventures for a Lifetime definitely attract the eye, causing a moment of day-dreaming where you envisage a time when you too might take the plunge and undertake an overseas adventure for yourself.
Even if you don’t see yourself undertaking any of the challenges mentioned in Ed Stafford’s book it is still an energising read that will get you thinking about the small changes you could make to your travel style in order to incorporate a slightly more adventurous experience into your next trip.
Have you read ‘Adventures for a Lifetime’? Are there other adventure travel books we should read or perhaps you know of some novels that highlight a big expedition that you think we would enjoy?