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  • Writer's pictureJuliet Weller

Adventure Travel...What is it?

Updated: Mar 30, 2021

Adventure travel...what is it?

I've used this picture for a specific reason. The words “adventure travel” conjure a different picture in every person’s mind because an “adventure” constitutes something different for each person. Living in Colorado or Utah, the trails in Arches NP in Utah aren’t necessarily an adventure, but for someone from Miami or Dubuque they surely are. Personally, you can give me this adventure anytime. This hike was the day after a half marathon in Moab.

'Adventure travel' is really any activity that allows the traveler to be immersed in a culture, destination or activity that is outside of their everyday. Travelers want to do more than observe their destination, they want to feel like they are a part of it, and so adventure travel itineraries take them slightly outside their comfort zone – the more authentic the experience the closer to “adventure” it’s considered. For example, I swam with the manatees in Florida in their natural setting in the clear Crystal River one December. You have to rely on your boat pilot to find the gentle animals, since they’re not in a pen or a pool. For a person who lives on the Crystal River – meh, no big deal, right? But for everyone else, a manatee is not an everyday sighting.

For some folks, adventure travel means zip-lining in Costa Rica, sky diving over the Mojave Desert or climbing Mt Kilimanjaro, and it can mean those things – any or all of them. As a travel advisor, my job is determine what the client has in mind for their adventure: are there special skills they need? Does what they have in mind surpass their abilities? Is it ‘soft’ adventure or something a little more hard-core. (Soft adventure is the term for activities that do not require the traveler to have prior training, special experience or equipment. Whatever the need or need-to-know for that activity it can be taught as part of the experience).

The iconic adventure trip? The African safari. Once accessible only to the wealthy, it is now an adventure available to the 'working class'. Yet, there is so much more than ‘just’ safaris; whatever you want to do is likely available: explore Turkey to discover the historical and cultural differences between life on the coast and in the interior, a sort of ‘East meets West’ dichotomy; tour Singapore and learn about its coffee culture; have a quintessential Central American experience in Guatemala’s smoking volcanoes and Mayan ruins.

Adventure travel has grown in recent years especially with multi-generational groups, because due to the diversity of activities available, it no longer means that the traveler has to have great strength, skills or stamina, or have to place themselves at risk. Besides it’s not just young people in their 20s and 30s that want to have amazing experiences. We all do, and we want to take our families and friends with us. Where is Adventure Travel?

Every continent, including the poles. The variable is: what is it the client wants to do? The advisor needs to be able to match the client with the right supplier for their risk tolerance, comfort level and of course, budget. Btw, I don’t need to have done the activity myself, but I need to know the trustworthy provider who will keep you safe and (very, very important), meet (exceed!) your expectations.

I am part of Virtuoso’s Adventure Community of travel advisors so I participate in additional training for that; adventure travel is part of my certification as a Hawaii Destination Specialist. I also have certifications for Australia and NZ, and with a company called G Adventures that offers National Geographic Journeys. This is how I make sure I am able to design the adventure trip you desire, using out-of-the-box thinking when it comes to selecting activities. Industry-wide, adventure travel bookings are growing the fastest, probably due the unusual lifestyle adjustments of 2020, coupled with ample time for self-reflections, missed celebrations, and a sort of ants-in-your-pants agitation due to inactivity.

I have mentioned previously that I became a travel advisor to help people experience the wondrous things they've only read about, or seen in books or film, because that is what inspires me to travel. I know that other people feel that same magnetic pull. Being immersed in the wonders that compel us to wander is life-changing. What is the adventure trip on your list?

'til next week.


Did you miss any of my articles? They are all here.

I create expertly designed, transformative vacations for people who crave immersive travel. If you’re too busy to take time to plan the details of your own well-deserved escape, don't know where to begin, or are longing to make unforgettable memories with those you love, then don’t wait another day. Let's talk.

-Juliet Weller, Founder

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