Combining many different elements, Adventure Travel seeks to get the most out of the travel experience. With a more conscious, intentional approach, adventure travelers are changing the way people experience travel.
People are seeking more than just a vacation. They're traveling to alter how they see the world, and even themselves.
Here are the various elements Adventure Travel offers.
Each of them are present on our trips.
The modern world has disconnected us from our innate need to be in nature. Adventure travelers are aware of this and seek to explore the nature of a place instead of the walls of it.
With less focus on luxury and more focus on exploration, adventure travel brings you outside – to not only get a healthy dose of nature – but to allow you to really get to know the country you're in as well.
Without getting to know the local culture, you can't really experience an authentic flavor of the country you're visiting.
Whereas traditional travel may have encouraged hitting the tourist spots & staying in nice hotels, adventure travel encourages us to find the hip, local spots where we can really get to know the culture.
Additionally, there may even be specific activities designed around the local culture. For example, on our trip to Machu Picchu & Peru, we visit the Quechua tribe in the Andes and participate in an incredible cultural exchange with textile weavers and subsistence farmers who still embrace their traditional language and dress. They even explain how they live in the Andes & share their spiritual connection to Pachamama (Mother Earth).
When it comes to adventure travel, authentic experiences rank higher than hitting the tourist stops.
Of course, that doesn't mean you don't see touristy things once in a while. After all, many of them are busy for a reason. It's just that adventure travel recognizes authentic experiences as an integral part of travel – and often times just seeing the tourist spots doesn't provide that.
Instead of being shuttled around in buses from place to place, adventure travelers want to be outside moving their bodies. They'd rather spend more time exploring a location than trying to get to as many spots as possible.
Whether that means hikes in the local area, walking around markets, or touring rice paddies, adventure travelers want to be outside and active when possible.
There are even many adventure travel trips that are centered around physical activity. Under30Experiences, for example, has two trekking trips. One covers 55 miles in Iceland, while the other hikes the famous Inca Trail.
Adventure travelers know travel has the power to significantly impact our lives. They also realize it has the power to directly impact the places they're traveling to as well.
Mass tourism is a big reason overtourism is a problem in many countries. The impact can be detrimental. Adventure travel seeks to not contribute to this problem.
In addition to not having a negative impact, adventure travelers seek to make a positive one. Through building relationships with the locals and keeping the money local, adventure travel strives to make a positive impact on both the traveler, & the country they're visiting.
New experiences can transform us. Unfortunately, many of us get stuck in our usual patterns and ways of being.
By seeking novelty, adventure travelers have the opportunity to step out of their routines and try something completely new. Of course travel can do this naturally but adventure travel is intentional about it.
From trying new foods, to experiencing foreign cultural traditions, to attempting things they've never done, adventure travelers are seeking novelty as an important part of their travel experience.
For adventure travelers, unhealthy vacations are a thing of the past. They're seeking out the healthy food in airports, traveling with reusable water bottles, and taking sleep more seriously while they're traveling.
Additionally, adventure travel offers trips specifically designed around wellness. Whether it's a yoga retreat in Costa Rica, or a trekking trip in Iceland, adventure travelers are seeking more wellness based trips.
And while abroad, they're also being mindful about their health. From drinking less alcohol to choosing healthier food, adventure travel takes wellness seriously.
Some people's ideal vacation is sitting under an umbrella on a beach drinking tropical cocktails. For adventure travelers, it looks quite a bit different.
After all, what does an authentic adventure look like without a little bit of challenge?
Transformation is an important part of adventure travel, and challenge happens to be one of the best tools for transformation. From challenging hikes, to novel experiences, you can find elements of challenge in most adventure trips.
If you're going to make the investment to travel and see the world, why not learn valuable wisdom along the way?
Adventure travel is about seeing the world and learning from it. That means local exchanges with the culture, learning some of the language, gaining interesting facts about the region, etc.
But more than that, it's the filter by which travelers experience new places. It's not just about the activities that provide learning experiences, but viewing the entire trip as a learning experience. This opens travelers up to seeing the world differently, and a result, seeing themselves differently.
Conscious travelers don't want to travel in a way that is unsustainable to the country, or the planet. Many travelers never even think about the impact travel can have but adventure travelers are not only concerned, they're proactive.
There are three main areas to focus on when it comes to sustainability: mass tourism, carbon emissions, and keeping the money local. When it comes to choosing trips, adventure travelers often consider at least one of these elements if not more.