• Claudia Elena

Don’t Just Take a Trip: Top 10 Reasons to Have an Adventure

At the top of El Peñol, Colombia

I think there are four types of trips that people take for pleasure.

1. A relaxing trip where you can just lay on the beach and have people serve you

drinks, or just simply a trip where you can enjoy the creature comforts of home with

nice hotels and meals.

2.  A busy, highly-structured trip where you enjoy the creature comforts of home and everything is pre-planned and organized.

3. A trip you take for your kids’ enjoyment, or with your kids. Let’s be honest; traveling with little kids does not feel like a vacation. 

4. A true adventure that forces you outside of your comfort zone.

I am a fan of all of these types of travels; each has a time and place.  But my favorite type of travel is the true adventure. Why, you might ask?  Here are my top 10 reasons to make your next trip an adventure.

1. When you step outside of your comfort zone, you learn more about yourself, can better reflect on your life, and the experience is more memorable. When you are put in situations that are sometimes difficult to navigate, and you have to problem-solve, you come out of it with a sense of accomplishment and greater self-worth.  Studying abroad in Costa Rica for six months, not knowing anyone, living with a strange family, immersed in a language I barely knew, forced to navigate every foreign detail of my new life, was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done.  I also came out of that experience feeling like I could do anything. You can’t put a price tag on that.

2. Experiencing new and exciting places and people in all of their vivid colors, not from behind the protected curtain of a pretty hotel room or manicured beach, holds up a mirror to yourself and forces you to see your life and the world in new ways.

3. It creates open-mindedness.  When you interact with people from other walks of life you become more open and accepting, not only of other people, but to alternatives that are possible in your own life.

4. It’s exhilarating.  It’s exciting. It shakes up your mood and your outlook. It’s interesting.

5. You can make life-long friends.  I am good friends with some of the people I have met on my adventures because our shared experiences brought us together.  You also make nice acquaintances from around the world.

6. You can save money.  When you travel on a budget, it often goes hand in hand with more adventure.  We’re talking public buses, hole in the wall restaurants that only locals go to, etc.  If locals are doing it, chances are it’s cheaper.  If it’s cheaper, you’re interacting more with the culture and outside your comfort zone.

7. It gives you perspective on what’s important in life.  It helps you to let go of some things that don’t really matter in the grand scheme of things.

8. More gratitude.  Adventures help you appreciate what you have.

Swimming at Nauyaca Waterfall, Costa Rica

9. It loosens you up.  If you have a tendency towards taking yourself too seriously or being uptight, adventure forces you to roll with the unknown and the unexpected, and to find humor in the inconvenient.  It can make you a more flexible person. Either that or it will break you and make you crawl further into your den of comfort. If that’s the case, adventures aren’t for you, but I hope they can be!

10. You’ll have great stories to tell to those who will listen!

So get scared.  Take risks. Be safe, but get uncomfortable.  Learn to roll with the unknown and the unexpected.  Stay open and have fun. You’ll be so glad you did. It’s never too late.   To learn more about how to infuse more adventure into your travels, check out:

13 Ways to Turn Your Vacation into a True Adventure. 

Ultimate Colombia Adventure Guide: 14-day Itinerary

Nicaragua: A Cheap, Easy, and Epic 10-day Itinerary

Are You a Busy Mom Who Dreams of Travel: 10 Secrets to Make Your Dreams a Reality

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