Many people associate the word adventure with physical thrills and excitement. They think about climbing Mt. Everest, going down the rapids in the Colorado or Zambezi rivers in America and Zimbabwe, respectively, zip-lining in Costa Rica, riding a hot air balloon in Turkey, bungee jumping somewhere in New Zealand or Australia, or watching the sunrise for the first time that day atop Mt. Fuji in Japan.
But while these and others definitely encapsulate what the word means, there is more to an adventure than simply releasing large amounts of adrenaline or being scared. Adventure is also about learning new things and getting to know different people. It’s about letting go of preconceived notions and being open-minded and flexible. It’s about discovering things about others and ourselves and putting valuable new lessons into our lives.
As we keep that in mind, let us look at a few tips on how to make your next vacation an adventure you won’t soon forget, even if at no point your heart is beating over 60 beats per minute.
Trying new Dishes
Food is not just a bunch of cooked or raw animals and plants. It’s about experiencing a new culture and getting to understand how a man’s palate affects and influences his choices in life. For example, when you go to Argentina and try one of their world-famous grass-fed steaks, you will not only be eating a piece of exquisitely cooked meat.
You will also be learning about the Argentinian cowboy or “Gaucho” culture and how it permeates into everything people in this South American nation do, from playing football to drinking mate and even politics. If you try some sushi in Tokyo, you will be immersing yourself in a millenary culture that has managed to survive and thrive by living off the sea.
So the next time you go to Shanghai, Johannesburg, or Chicago, stop by a local restaurant and get some lunch. You will gain much more from it than simply being full.
If you decide to visit the small city-nation of Singapore in the Summer, you will most likely get to experience temperatures close to one hundred degrees Fahrenheit or 38 degrees Celsius. With the many buildings, houses, department stores, shopping malls, and every other construction you can imagine, the ground temperature can get as high as 110 degrees Fahrenheit (ca. 43 °C) at any given point in time. Not the most enticing weather for a walk now, is it?
Naturally, the purpose of walking around a city on vacation is not to lose weight or suffer from the effects of heat exhaustion. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. It doesn’t entail you riding on taxis and tour buses all day long.
Walking is a way of soaking in your surroundings, listening to the many sounds that a locale has to offer, smelling the different smells. It is also a chance to discover interesting and unique places you cannot see from the second floor of a double-decker bus.
Off the Beaten Track
A city like Paris, France, is full of exciting places to visit. You can take a stroll along the Champs Elysees, stand under the majestic Eiffel Tower, ride a boat on the Seine River, be captivated by the beauty and amazing wonder of a Picasso or Da Vinci painting at the Louvre Museum, or, even if you are not a religious person, go inside the walls of the Notre Dame Cathedral. They are all well-known attractions you should not miss. The same is true for places like New York City, Milan, Shanghai, or Rio de Janeiro.
But that doesn’t mean you should only go there and not see anything else. It doesn’t mean less known places are not worth exploring. If adventure is what you are looking for, try the famous sightseeing spots and experience the many intricacies and snippets other settings have to offer. It is when you take a road off the beaten path that you submerge into a city or nation’s culture and get to see the reality of those living inside it.
If you want your next vacation to be the adventure of your life, try the local foods and take the time to walk around the city. Also, explore the hidden gems that every city has to offer, and don’t forget to engage in conversation with the locals. You never know who you might meet and the valuable, long-lasting relationships that can result from this.
Remember, even if you are not jumping off a bridge, facing wild animals, or screaming out of your lungs, you can still have one of the most unforgettable, rewarding experiences of your life.