10 Reasons Why Adventure Travel Is Good for You
A Look at the Benefits Behind Adventures
By: Brad Edelson
Adventure travel has become quite popular, especially over the past few years, as research shows an increase of 50% more North Americans choosing adventures over lying on a beach. It’s quite understandable that people would rather invest their hard earned money and time into a vacation that provides longer lasting memories, improved health and excitement. Adventure travel is an obvious healthy alternative to lying in a resort, over drinking and eating yourself to sleep, only to return with no lasting memories. I mean, think about how many people come home feeling worse than when they left, depressed to be back. Is this how a vacation should end? Why not come back feeling more refreshed, healthier, happier and with endless stories to tell! Here are my top ten reasons why Adventure Travel is good for you:
1. When you get outside, you’re Improving Physical Health. Stress and lower oxygen levels increase acidity within the body – resulting in serious illness, impaired fat loss, poor endurance and more. The natural fresh air we breathe – especially mountain air – reverses this harmful state and has an alkaline effect on the body, protecting it from disease and making it healthier and stronger. Going on adventures means dramatically improving your health!
2. Outdoor physical activities Regenerates and Rejuvenates. We obtain energy by combining the oxygen we breathe with digested food so that our body can burn fat, increase endurance and more! When we combine this energy with physical activity outdoors, we release endorphins (the happy neurotransmitter), improve blood flow and increase exposure to Vitamin D, which helps protects our DNA. This combination makes us healthier and happier but also regenerates AND rejuvenates the body! True story. This is why Doctors actually hand out “park prescriptions” for conditions ranging from heart disease to obesity to attention deficit disorder. Adventure travel takes “park prescriptions” to the NEXT LEVEL!
3. Adventure Travel brings you a sense of Accomplishment. Regardless of age and size, taking on a wild adventure helps you with personal achievement, especially when you’re taking on new challenges or using your adventure as a personal goal – this can be quite uplifting. The sense of being closer to mother nature, as we were designed to be, is an accomplishment on its own and provides a euphoric feeling – ask anyone who has sat in front of an ocean landscape.
4. Adventure allows for Self Awareness. Most people just don’t meditate enough – or at all! We are referred to by some experts, as “doers”, meaning that we “do so much” or “think about doing so much.” This habit of always doing, impairs our inward awareness and over-exposes us to “doing.” The result is a progressive onset of fatigue and suppression of self awareness and self experience. Adventures bring you closer to your “inner self” and allow you to challenge the everyday “doer” way of thinking. Forget about the cameras, cell phones, folding of clothes or getting dressed up and just LET GO!
5. Adventures help you Cope with Uncertainty. Anytime we place ourselves in situations where things don’t necessarily “go our way”, we learn and we grow as individuals. Adventures are full of uncertainties, alternate routes and challenges that eventually help us cope with the uncertainties we face in life.
6. Adventures Bring Back Lost Childhood. David Suzuki once wrote “Healthy Kids Need Time In Nature.” I couldn’t agree more. We are living in a time of lost childhood, as many other writers in todays society have noted, and rightfully so. Kids have much less free time, as it is now replaced with structured activities, which inhibit their connection to the outdoors and increases levels of stress. Parents are simply over-exposing their children to these activities and insist on being involved in every one of them – as opposed to letting them “play off the land.” If parents consistently hover over their children’s actions, a child’s desire to explore is extinguished and the spark for wanderlust goes out, permanently!
7. Get a “Better Brain” with Adventure. Research indicates that hiking, rock climbing and rafting will help increase activity in the hippocampus, the brain’s main “storage unit.” Typically, your hippocampus will decrease with older age, leading to memory loss, but physical activity outdoors leads to a chemical reaction within the body that allows for an increase in hippocampus – by over 2 percent – keeping you mentally sharp for years to come!
8. Adventure travel makes Dreams Come True! The editor of National Geographic Traveler Magazine once suggested that the “Cycle of Travel” went like this: 1) dream, 2) plan, 3) go, 4) share. These steps allow any adventure traveller to live out their dreams every time, and from personal experience, the adventure always surpasses any expectation of the dream. Each adventure brings a newfound challenge, knowledge, enlightenment, friendships, emotions and confidence within oneself. It is a dream come true every time. Live as many dreams possible!
9. Going on adventures creates Life-Lasting Memories. Adventures give us pleasant memories, often required for reminiscing. Reflectiveness is so important in our lives today, especially in this fast paced world where time passes you by in a flash and is gone for good, without warning or any real meaning. Taking the time to relive adventures allows us to reminisce on life, learn from our past and teach others for their future.
10. Adventure travellers can Save The World! Mother nature provides us with the gift of life and the ability to live out our travel experiences. However, through global warming, our environment has become ill and in need of a desperate change. That change includes the preservation of our world’s finest rivers and ecosystems. The preservation of land becomes very difficult in poorer countries, where most of the natural land is still “untouched.” The money from Ecotourism helps these countries in their efforts to save our land, through organizations that ultimately strive to “save the world” from self-destruction. Adventure travellers are needed throughout the world, venturing into the wild, beyond the comforts of all-inclusive resorts. After all, isn’t it our home to protect!
As Mark Twain once wrote, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails.”
Explore. Dream. Discover.