Couples and solo travelers alike can a lot and get an inspiration for their next adventurous unique experience. But before we start, a few questions pop in: Is adventure travel safe? Is it expensive to start an adventure? How safe is it to meet people from different cultures and backgrounds?
• Myth 1: Adventure travel is unsafe and solo travel even more so…especially for women.
So what does “unsafe” mean? Of course you may encounter dangerous areas where criminals, wildlife or extreme weather can become really difficult; but people can die commuting from work to the “safety” of their own homes. Things can always happen, but we don’t need to obsess over that. Most of the people who tell you traveling alone and without plans is dangerous, have never experienced this kind of journey.
Travel quickly makes you learn the rules of survival, and once you respect them, everything is going to be ok. Risk is part of what makes the journey exciting and full of beautiful experiences and lessons.
Solo travel lets you meet other travelers more easily. If you use common sense, adventure travel is as safe or unsafe as exploring your home country. Often, you may experience the greatest hospitality of very kind and helpful people in the most “unsafe” countries.
Adventure is an overused word today, but if you choose to embark on one, you accept that there is a degree of risk involved in its pursuit. The best way to make it ‘safer’ is to use good judgment and a healthy dose of common sense.
Solo travel can actually be safer than group travel. People are great out there and by travelling solo you are also more approachable. This brings out the caring nature in people. The vast majority of people a solo traveler meets want the traveler to enjoy and to learn about where they are. Travelling in a group can actually form a social or cultural barrier, which may actually make a traveler more vulnerable.
• Myth 2: I need a lot of money to have an adventure.
You don’t need lots of money to embark on an adventure trip. Some funds are of course necessary, but once you’re out there, who knows what wonderful opportunities will come your way. There are always ways to make more money, but no one’s worked out yet how to make more time! So don’t wait or over-plan. Get out there.
Travel is as expensive as you want to make it. With a good tent, sleeping bag and eagerness to engage all types of people, your travel costs can be minimal. Eagerness to engage people? How did that suddenly work its way in? For example, asking for places to put your tent up gives you protection, decreases your costs and gives you the chance to learn about where you are. Travelling on a small budget can actually be advantageous and offer experiences which can’t be bought.
Being able to travel on the cheap also depends on your ability to think laterally. You could decide that you want to spend a year visiting five neighboring countries in the developing world. That you’ll wild camp or stay in the cheapest of local hotels. That you’ll bargain for food in the markets or cook basic meals for yourself. You may also decide to ban beer, bearing in mind that in many countries a beer costs the same as food for three meals. If your car or bike is in good condition, doesn’t consume a lot of petrol and you are happy travelling gently, then you could have a very low priced adventure on wheels.
Of course, you need to save up some money to start your travel, but it doesn´t need to be as much as you might think. If you choose camping over hotels and cooking your own meals over going to restaurants, you can travel on a very low budget. If you choose to travel in affordable countries like Mexico or Southeast Asia, you can be on the road for months without spending a lot of money at all.
- Read more: When’s the Best Time to Travel in Asia?
• Myth 3: Adventure means traveling to an exotic location.
Absolutely not! A great adventure can start as soon as you leave your driveway. An adventure begins as soon as you put yourself in a position where you are experiencing something new. Different challenges and learning new things are the key elements of an adventure.
Adventure is waiting around every corner. You just need to be open-minded and curious to explore the less traveled roads and areas of the world.
Every few kilometers there is something that grabs attention and can make you stop to talk to the people, take pictures, or just enjoy the landscapes. You may be surprised by end of the day you only covered 50 or 60 miles and it feels like a life journey.
All you need to have an adventure is to step past what you previously thought were your personal boundaries. Take a peek past what you think is “comfortable” and chances are you’ll find yourself there!
Adventure is everywhere. Adventure is a state of mind. If you look for it, you will find it!
• Myth 4: Traveling off-road is more dangerous than on-road.
It can be, but this is where the word respect comes into play so strongly. Respect that either type of travelling will throw their own challenges in your path. The challenges can be as different as chalk and cheese according to the road or trail conditions, so you need an adapted skill set for each. Off road can be dangerous if you allow calm analysis and common sense to be thrown to the winds. One of the keys is to always challenge yourself within your capabilities. At least, never intentionally stretch too far beyond them. That, of course, can equally apply to on-road travel.
Traveling off-road is great fun. It is generally at slower speeds and usually worth a great photo or giggle! You also get to see the part of the world a majority of people do not reach.
Off-road you’re in control; your decisions and skill define your safety and success. On the road, that’s a different matter, with a thousand obstacles coming towards you, away from you and circling you. With that many variables in play, there is no control.
• Myth 5: I need the “perfect” car or bike for my adventure.
There is no perfect vehicle as such. If it’s in good mechanical condition and you like it, regardless of what make or style it is, then it could well be the perfect for you. The only other perfection key is the importance of working out what sort of trip you want to have. Off-road? Mostly on road? Off the beaten track where spares will be hard to find? These sorts of considerations will help you to make the vehicle that is as perfect for your dream as possible.
You’ll not get it all right though, but that is part of the fun of the adventure. Adapting and changing both you and your car as your journey dictates are both part of the wonderful learning curve that is adventure travel.
First off get it straight. There is no perfect car or bike! There really is no one size fits all and if you ride hard or long enough, eventually every vehicle will break.
The best bike or car is probably the one you have right now, or the one you’re most excited to ride.
Adventure travel is often about passion over practicality.