Turkey’s stunning Cappadocia from the air

Adventure Travel isn’t all white-knuckle thrills and low budget backpacking. It’s more about getting off the beaten track and fulfilling some of those lifelong ambitions.

When the term ‘Adventure Travel’ is conjured up, what do those words mean to you? If you type in the term in Google, you get the following two definitions:
‘an unusual and exciting or daring experience’ and ‘engage in daring or risky experience’ It’s those two words ‘daring’ and risky’ that almost certainly put most people off (assuming that they’ve googled ‘adventure travel’ in the first place) but even if they haven’t, there continues to be a persistent assumption that, that indeed, is what adventure travel is all about which is unfortunate as it unnecessarily pigeonholes a whole sector of travel that is actually what a lot of people are looking for!

If you replace the word ‘adventure’ with the more appropriate ‘experiential’, it more accurately defines this niche market. True, there are some companies that focus on more strenuous activities; out-of-the-way places and generally help people to move well outside of their comfort zone.

Indeed, that is the type of imagery that one tends to conjure up when the subject of adventure travel gets discussed. People who have been weaned on a diet of package holidays, traditional city breaks, and mass market cruise itineraries assume that adventure holidays are aimed at a target market that is young, fit and adrenaline seeking. The stats, therefore, may surprise you!

Believe it or not, the single biggest demographic group represented within the world of Adventure Travel (40%) varies in age between 40 and 70 with the average age being 47 — not exactly your skateboarding, backpacking, beer-loving architype, now is it? The typical adventure travel client is much more likely to be quite mature in age with a grown-up family of their own and an appetite to discover more of the world that they live in. Adventure travel is more about the experiences one can have rather than the destinations to be visited although often, one is inextricably linked to the other.
People who opt for this kind of travel experience are adventurous only in the sense that they want to explore more of the world around them — but on their terms. It doesn’t mean that you necessarily have to compromise on the standard of your accommodation; the mode of transportation between points on your itinerary or even the level of ‘culture shock’ that you must endure as there is more than enough choice out there for every type of traveller to be accommodated.

Itineraries tend to be graded according to their activity levels, comfort levels and so on and each metric is designed to help you find a point of equilibrium where you can customise the various component parts of your itinerary in keeping not only with your personal preferences but also within the limitation of your budget.
Always fancied doing Machu Picchu but felt that you were too old, too young or too unfit? Perish the thought as I have seen young parents with infants in arms visit the Peruvian citadel, as well as couples well into their 80’s! How about dancing with Masai warriors in Kenya. It can be easily arranged and is great fun. How about experiencing the thrill of white-water rafting? It’s not as dangerous as you think but the water can be cold alright.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did”

Samuel Langhorne Clemens (known to you and me by his pen name, Mark Twain) and who, coincidentally wrote a rather famous and much loved tale entitled ‘The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn) was a great man for the one-liners and quotable quotes but one of his most apt expositions was when he observed ‘’Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So, throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.’’

Couldn’t have said it better myself!


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