Language can sometimes be inadvertently misleading in that certain descriptions that you think mean one thing can actually turn out to mean a whole lot more than you had originally supposed. One of the biggest culprits in the travel arena is the niche market known collectively as ‘Adventure Travel’.
Adventure Travel (at least to my mind) tends to conjure up imagery of young, fit and primarily male participants who revel in canoeing and abseiling along with a whole host of other similar activities that wouldn’t look out of place in a typical Bear Grylls episode on the Discovery channel. It also suggests that content such as accommodation and transport are likely to be basic. Whilst all of these stereotyped expectations are true to a degree, it must also be said this applies to only a small subset of what actually gets featured on most adventure travel websites or their corresponding brochures. Indeed, you might be surprised to note that the median age with one of the largest ‘players’ in this space — the award-winning Canadian outfit known as G Adventures (formerly Gap Adventures) — is an atypical 43 years. That’s well into middle-age territory.
The fact of the matter is that the Adventure Travel market now caters for every age group from kids to octogenarians and you don’t even have to be fit to partake. You also get to choose ‘toned down’ itineraries where the culture shock effect is minimal. So for example, if you’ve always wanted to undertake a trip down the Amazon but didn’t fancy the prospect of sleeping in a hammock, you will be pleasantly surprised to note that you can still realise your dream but in the comfort of an air-conditioned cabin aboard a small steamer with full waiter service. In fact, you can choose from a list of approximately 1,000 different ‘adventures’ — all of which are graded from 1 to 5 in terms of activity level, comfort, culture shock and a host of other criteria so that you get to pick just the right balance for you.
So to summarise, there’s nothing stopping you from seeing any part of the world or realising any experience other than your own self-imposed limits!