There’s nothing quite like finding yourself in strange and unusual parts of the world where you haven’t a clue what the people around you are saying. Most people would call that adventure travel. If that sounds like you, then here’s a list of ‘tools’ you might find handy for any future journeys:
1. Learn a bit of the local lingo: No need to learn the whole language in one go. But if you can pick up the basics it makes the adventure a bit more fun. Plus you’re exercising your brain, and you’ll make the locals smile as you answer in their language.
2. Visit places unseen in the guide book: A lot of it will be mapped, written about, sign-posted and commented on anyway. But there’s always those places no guidebook gets to. You might want to check them out sometime; go catch a bus to wherever it’s going at the time and get off the beaten track now and then.
3. Keep attuned to what’s going on around you: Not only does this give you an ear to the ground on local events, festivities and once-off happenings that could end up being amazing experiences, but it also keeps you alert and ready for action, just in case. Who knows what’s around the corner.
4. Keep a list of travel destinations: An effective adventure traveller has goals and a destination firmly in mind. Throw a little flexibility into that mix too. For example, by talking with other travellers you can find out when festivities are happening in nearby countries or locations.
5. Carry the appropriate gear for your situation: No point carrying snow gear if you’re headed for tropical climates. (Unless you’re in transit on your way snowboarding!) Travelling light forces you into thinking – how much gear do you really need anyway?
6. Make the most of opportunities that arise: Opportunities to meet and talk with interesting people always pop up – often you discover this fact right when they’re departing to another country. It’s too late by then of course. Initiating conversations wisely and considerately should be in every adventure traveller’s bag.
7. Enjoy your experience as it unfolds: Give people your full attention when they’re talking to you. Soak in the moments, document your journey with photographs and video, and leave things better than you found them before (whenever possible!)
Of course, this is only the tip of the iceberg to becoming an effective adventurer. There’s many more tools for your adventure bag that you’ll discover on your way as you cross continents and explore unknown lands. Make the most of each one of those adventures!