Adventure is for Everyone
When people ask me what I do and I tell them I am an Adventurer, they usually do a double take. I guess I don’t fit the stereotype – I am totally normal looking and in fact, totally normal. I don’t have a manly jaw or a many-pocketed vest; I don’t wear a leather hat; and I don’t stand on any available hillock looking out into the distance with steely, blue eyes. But, nevertheless, I am an Adventurer and I know that if I can do it, anyone can.
What is an Adventure?
The dictionary definition is, “an unusual and exciting, typically hazardous, experience or activity”. First off, I think we should ignore the “typically hazardous” as most adventures aren’t. Unless you are about to go off and attempt Everest alone, without oxygen and untrained. If so, then good luck! But adventures definitely are unusual and exciting.
The one thing that all adventures, big and small, have in common is that they are voyages of discovery. They will help you learn a lot about yourself and your companions and really get to the heart of the country and landscape you are travelling in. You will see things that very few people get to see and experience things that will enrich your life.
Adventures definitely don’t need to be giant expeditions. A weekend adventure can by just as exciting, as you’ll know if you have ever climbed Snowdon, had a day’s cycling in Glen Tress or canoed down the Thames. I try to climb Ben Nevis with my cousin every Boxing Day and sitting in the little hut at the summit in deep snow, eating the hot sausages he had cleverly hidden in a flask to keep warm, with freezing fingers, is one of my favourite memories.
But I am not…. enough
The main thing that I have found that stops people from setting off on adventures is fear. They are scared that they won’t be fit enough or brave enough. If they are going on a group trip, they are worried that they will be the last one or that they will hold the group up. They may not have done the activity before and they are scared that they will make an idiot of themselves.
I have certainly felt all of these things and I can promise you that none of them matter. When you are out in the wilderness, under a big sky, surrounded by beauty and getting from A to B under your own steam, those worries will fade away. Remember, you ARE strong enough, you ARE fit enough and you ARE brave enough. So, just do it.
All guided adventure trips are run by extremely experienced guides who will keep you safe and help you realise your potential. The self-guided ones give you everything you need to do the trip. Of course, you should choose a trip that makes sense for you – don’t opt for biking in Austria if you have never ridden a bike. The great news is there are lots of adventures to choose from.
Choosing your adventure
This really is the fun part! For most of us, there are some parameters that we need to work within – time and price being two of them. After that, the world is your oyster. I love hiking and biking so tend to gravitate towards that, but I definitely have a yen to try out new countries and experiences as well.
With Whereabouts, there is a guide on each adventure holiday or break which tells you whether it is easy, medium, hard or challenging and whether it is suitable for families or not. This is invaluable in helping you decide what you want to do.
Hiking in Norway, cycling the Danube, and rafting in Iceland are all currently at the top of my bucket list. I can also highly recommend the Toubkal ascent and the walking in the Sahara. Camping in the desert is something really special.
Preparing for the adventure
Once you have booked and are getting ready for the off, there are a few things that you can do which will make it more enjoyable.
• Get some extra training in. Make sure you have done some physical preparation – it doesn’t have to be excessive – as that will give you confidence as well as getting you ready to really enjoy the activity
• Select your kit carefully and try it all out first. There is nothing worse than being a day in to your hiking trip and realizing your brand new, incredibly expensive, boots give you blisters
• Pack some treats. Whether it is a couple of bars of chocolate, or warm bed socks, make sure you take along something to look forward to
Positive mental attitude. This is probably the most valuable thing you can take with you on any trip. If you keep positive then you will breeze through the challenges you will face. Every adventure involves effort and so, inevitably, there will be times when you are tired and something (or everything) hurts but this is temporary and will pass. Just keep moving forward and try to enjoy your surroundings.
And remember, fortune favours the brave! See you out there.
By Alice Morrison