Going on holiday and going on an adventure are two very different things. On a holiday you sit around a swimming pool, perhaps have a few nights out and visit the main sights and attractions that you can find in the brochures. On an adventure on the other hand you’ll experience things that aren’t in any of the brochures, you’ll travel with very little plan and you’ll spend a lot of your time dirty, tired and confused. When you get home though, it’s the adventure that you’ll want to talk about and that will have helped develop you as a person, and it’s only once you’ve travelled like this that you’ll really appreciate why people seek out these kinds of experiences.
When it comes to holidays and adventures I’ve done both, and I have to say that it’s the adventures that gave me the fondest memories. Often though I found these adventure holidays when I wasn’t expecting them, or they came about in different ways. No two adventures is alike, but over time you start to learn what makes a trip truly unique and memorable. Here I’ll share three of my most exciting trips, and what I learned from them so that you can have more success in designing your next excursion and in adding those secret ingredients to make it memorable.
My Poland Experience
The first real adventure I had was a trip to Poland with my best friend. Prior to this trip all I’d done was ‘lads’ holidays’, but this time I was returning to the country of my heritage (I’m half Polish) and staying in a cheap hostel. What we quickly learned was that no-one in Krakow spoke any English, but this immediately made the experience more fun and unique as we tried to bumble our way around the city.
My two best memories from this trip were going on a night out with a bunch of Swedes in a range of underground clubs, and stumbling upon a small log cabin while lost and freezing cold in the Tatra Mountains. Here it was the interactions we had with other people that made the holiday unique, and especially other tourists – when you meet someone who speaks the same language suddenly you become best of buddies. Oh and don’t worry about spending too much on nice hotels – sleeping rough forces you to explore more and teaches you to really appreciate a good cup of tea…
Gran Canaria isn’t much of an adventure spot, but for me it felt like an adventure because I went with a whole group of people I’d just met. My friend asked me if I wanted to fill a spot on a holiday he was going on last minute, and impulsively I decided to go ahead. We stayed in a villa where we’d have lots of parties and we hit the Kasbah regularly too. The whole party was a bit of a blur, but the new friends I made and the fact that this holiday was so completely different to my previous travel experiences made it really memorable. So the advice? Try travelling with different people, and welcome impulsivity.
The West Coast
LA was another great trip, because we didn’t just stay in LA, but rather rented a car and did a road trip along the West Coast which also included Vegas. Having the car really freed us up to experience as much of the West Coast as we wanted to and at our own pace, and it also got us into some unique situations – such as we set off the alarm at David Beckham’s home trying to get an autograph, and when we got pulled over by the LAPD for driving in the hard shoulder. My tip from this trip is that everyone should go on at least one road trip holiday.