I get a little dismayed when I see travel site after travel site where the people are going on wilderness treks, venture into developing countries, or backpack across mountain ranges.
I’m so not that person.
My husband would tell you that I face enough hazards in the backyard. He usually makes such a comment when he finds me covered in dirt, every gardening utensil we own scattered about, dragging around behind me a green garbage bag bursting with debris. Frequently, he makes a statement related to this observation before using the garden hose to clean me off so I don’t carry the mess inside the house.
My ability to find thrills—snakes, swooping hawks, pinecone tossing squirrels—in the yard is why I think any trip to any location and of any duration can include escapades—you just have to let them happen and pay attention as they do.
Merriam-Webster defines adventure as, “an exciting or dangerous experience. Or a remarkable experience.” I’m voting on exciting and remarkable over dangerous every time.
I’m not into purposefully having perils at home—at least I never set out to perform the treacherous. Except maybe when I slide across the newly polished, wooden kitchen floor in my socks, often screeching to a stop horizontally rather than vertically. I’ve stopped performing that move when Alex is home.
With klutziness an innate part of my DNA, why would I put myself in jeopardy on a vacation that’s supposed to be relaxing? The perilous approach to travel makes no sense to me but, hey, more power to you if riskiness gives you a thrill.
For me, I don’t need to go hiking in a war-torn country or a place where human life isn’t highly valued in order to feel like I’m accomplishing an astounding feat. If I were that brave, I’d have joined the military.
My favorite hiking destination is Wales.
Seester (Jackie), her daughter and I have just returned from 16 blessed days hiking in Pembrokeshire. How many posts will be coming as I relay our escapades in the land of the ever-delightful and humorous Welsh?
Pop onto the Visit Wales website and check out the variety of National Walking Trails. My best-loved area is South Wales (many blogs on my site) and trekking sections of the 186 mile Pembrokeshire Coast Path. Oh such beauty! Such a wild and woolly bit of nature! Rugged terrain, narrow paths, seal sightings—why, a part of it even traipses through a firing range! If the red flags are flying, steer clear.
Articles about the Pembrokeshire Coast Path will often launch (pun intended) with the offering of Coast Steering. No part of me wants to scramble up a boulder, jump off the side of a cliff, and plunge into the Atlantic for a swim, let alone to ride a rushing burst of water through a confining shoot out into the sea. Nope. Although … since watching Tales from the Coast when Robson Green jumped into the Blue Lagoon of Abereiddy, I’m somewhat tempted to give that a go—from the lowest level.
On the other hand, mightn’t my Welsh adventures last longer and not involve crutches if I stick to walking alongside cliffs, and gazing in wonder at rock formations, pounding waves, or soothing outgoing tidewater moving far from shore? You betcha.
Mostly for my travel, I’m addicted to historical places with castles, gothic churches, and defined hiking areas with signage. Backcountry hiking and camping trips will see me diverting from the path—unintentionally extending the trip. On the Pembrokeshire path, follow the upside down (to an American) acorns and you’ll stay on the proper trek.
My riskiness in having an adventure is about meeting people and discovering different ways of thinking, of doing things, expanding the way I experience life.
So far my journeys have encompassed European destinations or places throughout the broad USA from New England to Hawaii. I’ve been to Mexico (Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta), the Bahamas, and Saint Maarten. These places aren’t dangerous unless you venture off the beaten path (Mexican jungles without a guide, unmarked Hawaiian lava fields), or into bad city areas.
Adventures of this Broad Abroad* have included hiking in my beloved Wales, Italy, Germany, Hawaii, and lots of other states. I’ve explored museums in those places and in France, Belgium, Spain, and England. All these locations held thrills for this country girl, who considers it a great gift to travel from the tiny spot where I grew up in western Pennsylvania. I’ve learned to be savvy and aware when needed, childlike and open when wanted. Other than having to keep a look out for pickpockets, my trips haven’t been treacherous. And I’m okay with that.
There are pleasures to be found and remarkable experiences to be had each time you step away from the normal of your every day life.
Walking new paths, wherever they may be—as safe as you may choose—opens you up to new emotions, new memories, and forever leaves impressions upon your heart and soul.
How do you define an adventure?
*Female and on Facebook? Find my group, Adventurous Broads ABROAD. I’d be happy to have you join us.
Although TSA still makes you pack trekking poles (mine do not have sharp tips on them) in your checked bag, I take these z-poles on every trip. For someone with as wonky balance as I, them keep those hazards at bay.