Rattlesnake hunting and bareback riding in Idaho; Piranha fishing on the Amazon; White-water rafting in Oregon; scuba diving in Jamaica; fishing for barramundi in Australia; shark-cage diving in South Africa; bungee jumping in Thailand; glacier walking in New Zealand; trekking in Peru; grape stomping in Rioja; cooking in Puglia; tango dancing in Argentina; windsurfing in Fuerteventura; ballooning in Cappadocia; whale watching in the Azores; dog sledding in Finland; zip-lining in Vegas.
What do all these activities have in common? Believe it or not, these are just some of the things that I’ve experienced at first hand during the course of my 41 years travelling around this wonderful and fascinating world of ours. I’ll try most things at least once, since isn’t that what life is ultimately about? Testing yourself. Pushing your limits. Moving out of your comfort zone. You won’t necessarily love or even like everything that you do but that’s not necessarily a good enough reason not to try it in the first place as every now and then, you may encounter an experience that you simply adore!
Staying within one’s comfort zone is something that a lot of people tend to do and earlier this year, we produced a series of posters featuring iconic locations around the world which we married up with some inspirational quotes from several famous people.
The whole point of the exercise was to challenge people and get them to take stock and ask themselves questions about where they’ve been and what they’ve done? Don’t get me wrong. I love normal and safe and indeed try to get away to somewhere in Europe at least once a year to minimise my travelling time and not have to challenge myself too much but equally, I always try to stretch my horizon each year by visiting someplace I’ve never been or doing something that I’ve never done before! OK, I work in the travel industry so you may say that it’s easy for someone like me to do such a thing but you’d be surprised. Travel has never been a particularly highly paid profession and many travel agents struggle to undertake the kinds of travel plans that they would like to and gone are the days when an agent can expect a 75% discount on their airline fares like they used to back in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. Nowadays, they are obliged to look out for the best-value fares available in the marketplace — just like every other consumer.
So with 2017 practically around the corner, now would be a good time to get those creative juices flowing and start to think about where you would like to start the first day of the rest of your life? Indonesia or Iceland— trekking near the slopes of active volcanoes? Wine-tasting in Argentina or the Medoc? Improving your culinary skills somewhere in magical Italy? As Steve Jobs famously once said: ‘Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life!’
And my most unusual experience? That was probably competing in an antelope s**t spitting contest near the Botswana border and if you don’t believe me, just check out the photo!