8 Ways Adventure Travel Transforms You

Adventure enthusiast and world traveler Liz Galloway shares 8 reasons behind her passion travel as well as fantastic tips that we can all learn from. Her personal travel formula? Dream. Plan. Go. Learn. Share. Change. Yes, please!

 Petroglyphs hike West Desert Utah. Photo credit Dan Gorder.

Petroglyphs hike West Desert Utah. Photo credit Dan Gorder.

Expert vagabonding is more than a vacation, it’s a lifestyle. The modern vagabonder is not simply an idle wanderer or irresponsible nomad.  And as a part time adventurer, I consider myself to be quite responsible. But I also love unexpected, out of the ordinary adventures. Adventure travel embraces my love of all those things while seeing beautiful destinations and pushing my boundaries. 

Virtuoso’s CEO, a luxury travel advisor, has said “We tend to talk about luxury travel, adventure, family… all these different travel niches. When it comes down to it though, it’s the transformative nature of travel that is the single biggest motivator. When you travel, it pushes you out of your comfort zone, and fundamentally changes your perception of yourself, your place in the world, of others….”

 Helicopter flight practice.

Helicopter flight practice.

I agree, and transformation is an important factor in our world. Over the past decade I’ve explored everything from stargazing in the Sahara, overlanding deserts, trekking mountains in various countries, scuba in tropical locations, survival training in the jungle, and surfing the Mediterranean. Whew! All of these adventures were and still are a personal journey and a chance to be more than just a “tourist.” 

So in my experience, here are the 8 top ways that adventure travel transforms:

1.     You learn new skills: My tolerance for uncertainty has grown with travel. By being open to personal enrichment, I’ve learned kite surfing,sandboarding, scuba diving, hang gliding, conversational Arabic, fluent Spanish, horseback riding, sloth rehab, how to build a temporary outdoor shelter, and many other things I would not have done without travel. 

 Coral Pink Sand Dunes, Utah

Coral Pink Sand Dunes, Utah

2.    It pushes your physical boundaries: Nature is a perfect playground and a great place to get dirty. Breathe in the air, enjoy the views and expand your mind. I feel I’m in better shape in my forties than I was in my twenties. Travel forces you to be uncomfortable, to communicate in ways beyond words, and in the case of adventure travel to push physical and mental limits that give you a rush most other thing can’t even compare to. 

 Sharing Bahn Mi with street Vendor Cat Ba Island/Halong Bay

Sharing Bahn Mi with street Vendor Cat Ba Island/Halong Bay

3.    Provide real cultural interaction: Take a moment to meditate and watch the local life. Start conversations with local people. Don’t worry about language or looking foolish, nobody cares, yes really, we are all trying to communicate. You’re putting your dollars directly into local communities, plus you get to see the area from the eyes of a local. 

4.     Make a grassroots difference: Increasingly intrepid travelers are choosing adventures with social return that targets the betterment of the world. This includes environmental efforts, volunteering, and cultural exchange where bothparties benefit in the interactions. 

5.     Connect with natural surroundings: Connecting with nature is a big part of travel, and I encourage you to enjoy vast natural habitats that will fundamentally change your perception of things. Trade the real connection with nature, wildlife, and natural surroundings for the familiar trappings behind resort walls. Take a moment to breathe in and appreciate the areas that are still preserved. 

 Kayaking Lamplugh Glacier, Alaska

Kayaking Lamplugh Glacier, Alaska

6.     Have an adrenaline rush: The pursuit to higher and higher boundaries (within reason) is part of the transformative power of travel. You can feel yourself changing. Challenging yourself just a little bit more each time you go. You reach a goal, you gain knowledge, confidence, and open yourself up to serendipity. This rush is in part responsible for the growth in the extreme adventure travel sector. 

7.     Make lifetime connections: Travelers know travelers, and you are bound to run into interesting characters and people in your travels. People who you can relate to and who have left behind one place to set off for immersive experiences just like you. When traveling you are bound to make a few lifetime friends and connections to visit in the future. It seems I’ve collected friends around the world, and with social media shrinking our geographical boundaries we can stay in touch anytime, reliving travel memories and time away. Most travelers want to share their experiences and tips with like minded people. 

 Hiking with women owned non profit guide in Sapa, Vietnam

Hiking with women owned non profit guide in Sapa, Vietnam

8.    Make lifetime memories: If you want to make those memories, you’ll find a way. Time off work, pet and house sitters, working remotely, break from the kids, or take them along. Make no excuses. Creating travel memories and learning new things is not something I’ve ever regretted spending my time and money on. 

 Hanging out in Marrakech, friends Henna art

Hanging out in Marrakech, friends Henna art

Liz Galloway is an adventure and travel writer, with a lust for adrenaline, who decided to become a survival guide, trainer, yogi and wellness coach. With a degree in Business & Hospitality, she has found her life passion and purpose is creating meaning and connection with the outdoors. Having worked as a TV host, and been on various radio, TV and podcasts segments for entrepreneurs and business she understands the connection in storytelling and preparing brands for the public eye.  She believes in breaking boundaries and stereotypes and has trained as a survival guide, boat captain and student helicopter pilot. 

Want to meet Liz? Join us with her in Bali in April 2019!