Escaping the Crowds; A Passion to Explore

There is an increasing trend in travel, people seeking to explore, hoping to find more authentic experiences. They prioritise getting away from the crowds, and attempting to step off the beaten path.

This new wave of traveller isn’t content sipping mai tais on all-inclusive resort beaches. Though a deserted one, that few ever reach probably holds greater appeal. They are not interested in ticking off countries, more important are new experiences, cultural immersion, wildlife encounters, and unearthing the gems which others rarely find.

Explore Serpentine Gorge on the Larapinta Trail in the Northern Territory, Australia on Mallory on Travel adventure, adventure travel, photography Iain Mallory-300-49_serpentine_gorge

Into the outback, Serpentine Gorge, Northern Territory, Australia

Adventure is relative”

They probably feel with some justification, this differentiates them from average tourists. The time and effort they invest searching for these authentic experiences, to remote, difficult to reach destinations setting them apart from annual vacationers. This does not mean that all those with limited holidays don’t venture into such regions, or experience amazing cultural encounters, just that it’s probably less common.

Travelling is a personal experience however, it’s more important that the individual enjoys the journey, and the destination. Adventure is relative; one person’s exciting challenge is another’s absolute nightmare. Actually enjoying any free-time is of paramount importance, there shouldn’t be any ego or machismo, it’s about travelling on our own terms.

Place to explore; Wahiba Sands, orSharqiya Sands in the Sultanate of Oman on Mallory on Travel adventure, adventure travel, photography Iain Mallory-306_sand_dune

No paths here, Wahiba Sands, Oman

Travelling is a pleasurable experience, not a feat of endurance. This is relative, dependent on physical ability, comfort zones, and personal motives, it shouldn’t be a competition, even if social media can sometimes make it seem so.

This quest for adventure seems easier in a wilderness area, the remoteness and accessibility becoming a part of the overall adventure. Destinations which take several days trekking to reach, or are only accessible by sea kayak or float plane by their very nature seem exciting. It also seems reasonable to conclude visiting such destinations regularly will offer more opportunities for adventure.

Huskies; a dog sled team in Chamonix in the French on Mallory on Travel, adventure, adventure travel, photography Iain Mallory-300-46 husky_team

Sled teams into the wilderness

The Brevent in the Mont Blanc Massif which surround Chamonix in the Rhone-Alpes region of France on Mallory on Travel, adventure, adventure travel, photography Iain Mallory-300-25 chamonix

Heading into the mountains

Some countries or destinations such as the Antarctic, Canada, the outback, New Zealand, the Sahara or the Amazon are so evocative that we cannot help but be stirred merely hearing their name. They conjure up images of vast wildernesses, huge unexplored tracts of land where anything is possible, maybe even discovering something completely new.

Explore by sea kayak off the coast of Grand Manan in New Brunswick, Canada on Mallory on Travel adventure, adventure travel, photography

Exploring by kayak off New Brunswick

We think of these pristine landscapes as being untouched, but in truth very few places are genuinely pristine. Heavy metals, and other man-made pollutants are carried in rain, rivers and oceans seeping into the earth of even the most remote destination. However, to the casual eye of the observer they still seem untouched and pristine, and it is this perception of unspoiled landscape we seek.

Adventurous activities can offer many opportunities for adventure, especially if they involve travelling in these remote destinations. Kayaking into the North American wilderness or around the Falkland Islands in sea kayaks, remote camping, and ski mountaineering are likely to offer unlimited adventures. Trekking in the Himalaya, even if with a guiding company will feel like an adventure; high altitudes in impressive mountain scenery, plus an unusual culture it’s a special travel experience.

Explore by sea kayak the coast of Grand Manan in New Brunswick, Canada on Mallory on Travel adventure, adventure travel, photography

Off-shore kayaking adventure

It’s relatively easy to imagine adventures in these destinations or activities, but with the right attitude it is possible to enjoy adventures in a large, well-known city. How many times have you explored a backstreet or blind alley, followed some faint music or a strange aroma to its source? How many can enjoy several hours exploring a small Greek or Spanish village, without any specific attractions?

“secluded beach for skinny dipping”

Explore the village of St Antonin Noble Val in the Aveyron, France on Mallory on Travel adventure, adventure travel, photography Iain_Mallory_006088_stantonin

Explore where the streets have no name

The primary qualities of any would-be adventurer are observation, curiousity and the determination to follow them through. These qualities, equate to an attitude, and those with this attitude will almost certainly find themselves in adventurous situations.

Examples of this are plentiful, and most can probably recount a story in which their curiousity led them to a memorable experience. The attitude for adventure has spawned many moments of serendipity, unexpected encounters with other cultures or wildlife, possibly a cave to explore or a secluded beach for skinny dipping or sunbathing without fear of being disturbed.

The good news is that, It’s possible to learn this attitude, or improve it. It only needs an open mind to begin with. By observing our surroundings, being curious enough to follow-up, determined enough not to give up. Qualities which  are possible to develop. If these qualities are used regularly, they will become honed, and eventually come naturally to the individual.

There is almost certainly still plenty that to be discovered close to home. Employing this attitude, and the necessary qualities will ensure that adventures are found without having to travel far. Pack a bag with all that you need for a local adventure, and see what lies just around the corner. Sure, often there will be little of interest found, but sometimes ……..

The Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis on Hudson Bay, Manitoba in Canada on Mallory on Travel adventure, adventure travel, photography Iain Mallory-300-45_northern_lights

The aurora, a signature of the wilderness

Explore; Tibetan prayer flags in the Himalaya mountains of Khumbu, Nepal on Mallory on Travel, adventure, adventure travel, photography

The Himalaya


Comments 19

  1. Jennifer

    I wasted so many years living in the US thinking that I had to travel to faraway places for it truly to be an adventure. Now I regret weekends spent at the movies or at home instead of out and about exploring. Lesson learned though! Now we have an adventure every weekend, whether it be near or far. Life’s too short to miss out!

    1. Post

      At least you’ve learned that lesson Jennifer, many of us haven’t and don’t explore our local neighbourhoods enough. Glad you’re enjoying exploring yours now.

      1. Jade D'sa

        I agree with Jennifer! Luckily realized this early enough and have started exploring the rural villages around the city I live as well as other parts of India. Exotic travel can follow once I’ve saved enough 🙂

  2. Passport Dave

    You said it exactly, “Adventure is relative”. Find new experiences is what it is all about in my opinion. I have to agree with Jennifer as well, so much time wasted thinking about mysterious and far-off places when I could have gone and found adventure right outside my front door. Very well written Iain!

    1. Post

      Thank you Dave, so pleased you enjoyed it and can relate to what I was attempting to say. I also agree with Jennifer, we concentrate on the far away too much and not enough on our own doorsteps. So many great things can be found close to home.

    1. Post
  3. Deborah Thompson

    Excellent article, Iain – echoes many of the sentiments I have also expressed in some of my articles as well. It is something we, as New Jetsetters, think about all the time as we try to craft our travels to indulge our passion for exploring, albeit comfortably… Well said and enjoyable. Please take a moment when you have some time to visit my online travel magazine; I’d love it if you’d leave a comment if you enjoy any of our articles! Best regards, Deborah

    1. Post

      Thank you Deborah, I’m glad you enjoyed it, and that you can relate to some of what I said. Great to hear other people think similarly to me, and have the same passions for travel as I do. Thanks for commenting.

    1. Post
  4. James

    Really great article. A timely reminder that we don’t necessarily need to travel to far off lands in our quest for adventure. We just need to explore what’s around us. I’m going exploring this weekend. Thanks

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