I often think of ‘adventure’ as something extreme that comes with a fair bit of danger, like diving with sharks, zip lining into a volcano or swimming with piranhas. But this post from Cheapflights reminds me that there’s more to adventure than surfing a shark on the world’s biggest riptide.
Containing travel adventures ideas such as ‘flew over the Atlantic Ocean’ and ‘battled through a hangover in Prague’, the post had me thinking that actually, I’m a lot more adventurous than I give myself credit for. At least, in my mind, when I think about all the things I still want to do and where I want to go. And, thinking back on the last few years, I’ve actually had my fair share of exciting adventures…
My 8 Biggest Adventures…So Far!
1. Horse riding in the mountains of Paphos
This might look like a jolly little stroll around some fields, but this was INTENSE. Firstly, that horse was so tall that it required a step ladder for me to get on. And then we were led up some steep, crumbly mountains with pathways which seemed a little too perilous at times. It was great, and one of my big highlights of Paphos. And I did feel like Indiana Jones for a bit afterwards.
2. Taking the ferry out to Macau – during a typhoon
Now here’s a real #TBT back to 2012 when I fly out to Hong Kong for a week for my first taste of Asia. We decided to go to Macau for a day trip which, despite the horrendous immigration queues and muggy weather, was actually pretty fun. What wasn’t great was the fact the whole one-hour ferry journey there we were thrown about like socks inside a washing machine. Unbeknownst to us, there was actually a typhoon heading towards Macau/Hong Kong – and we were heading right into it.
Sadly I don’t have too many exciting stories of our ferry typhoon adventure. While everyone else around me was throwing up, I just fell into a very deep sleep.
3. Zip lining at Go Ape
I thought I would hate Go Ape. And I did. For someone with zero confidence in their own ability, the fact that this whole obstacle course revolved around your ability to harness yourself in at every walk, swing and climb was not something I relished. Let me just rephrase that: your own life is on your own hands at this place. I’m still recovering from the adrenaline.
4. Cycling across the Golden Gate Bridge
“Let’s go on a nice little cycle across the big bridge.”
Pah, yet right. While the cycle route along the beach towards the Golden Gate Bridge is bliss, at times it’s absolutely devilish. On more than one occasion I had to jump off my bike and wheel it up a massive hill. But it was all worth it at the end, just to say we’d done it!
5. Learning to ski in Austria
So 2015 me – unfit and a wee bit lazy – wasn’t a great skier. Who’da thunk it? It very literally almost broke me (both physically and mentally), but it was an adventure of a lifetime. On the baby slopes.
6. Exploring Naples underground
Following the maze of subterranean tunnels in Naples might not seem like the most adventurous thing ever, but looking back on it I truly can’t believe I managed it. I’ve explored lots of cities underground – from Krakow to London – but Napoli Sotterranea was something completely different. This was mainly due to its claustrophobic nature, where tiny doorways and long narrow walkways were virtually everywhere.
I remember at one point we had to squeeze through a long, thin tunnel that was so dark we had to hold candles with naked flames out in front of us. It was a health and safety nightmare waiting to happen – still gives me a rush of adrenaline thinking about it now…
7. Seeing Yosemite…in a day
Lots of people want to see Yosemite when they go to San Francisco. But if you’re short on time, you have to compromise massively on the time spent in either destination. Because there was so much to see in San Francisco, we decided that we would see Yosemite…in a day. Yep, that was a 15-hour+ day, most of which was spent on a coach. All together, I remember us only having around 3 hours’ free time at Yosemite. Thankfully our coach driver was good enough to drive us all around to the main spots (see our pic below of us in front of the Apple wallpaper!)
8. Going on a Solo Mini Rail Adventure for an Overnight Trip to Cologne
6 hours there and 6 hours back – to say my mini rail adventure from my hometown in Essex to Cologne was anything short of tiring would be a lie. Undertaking this trip all for 24 hours in Cologne might sound mad, but when you work full-time and have limited annual leave you need to get creative.
And 8 Adventures I Still Want To Do…
They might not be bungee-jumping out of a plane or kayaking with crocodiles, but my list of adventures I’d love to do still involves its fair bit of excitement:
- Take part in a safari
- Take the Trans-Siberian Railway
- Trek through a Costa Rican jungle (although slightly perturbed by the number of snakes out there)
- Walk along the Great Wall of China
- Chase the Northern Lights
- Go inter railing through Europe!
- Climb up El Peñón de Guatapé
- Snorkel the Great Barrier Reef