The Art of Adventure

Shiva and Me

“What’s with the Breakthrough?” a friend asked me during the week after she read the dossier for my next tour.

I had to think for a minute to work out how best to answer. I decided the best way I can describe what I’m bringing to my tours was to tell her about my own experience.

Going travelling for a year without any plans – simply jumping on a plane and going was something I’d always wanted to do. For a long time, I told myself that I would do it when I was older – to not ‘mess up’ my career. Do it when I was ‘set’. I didn’t. After working ten years with the one company, I simply put a date on it, applied for leave and went for it.

Somewhere along the line, I realised adventure was like an art form and not something you could plan or manufacture. Along with that, I became aware that making a list of the popular tourist attractions and ticking them off (which I was tempted to do) is fairly superficial. On the year away, it became more about the experiences. It was about connecting with the local people, immersing myself in the traditional culture and having a full experience of life itself.

It was in those moments of stepping into adventure, those journeys into the unknown where the breakthroughs happened – where my self awareness increased, where the things that were most important to me became clear and where I broke through old beliefs that were holding me back. All the while experiencing the true freedom that only comes with adventure.

This is what I bring to my tours and what Breakthrough means. Yes we will see some of the major sites but that’s not the focus. Experiences are the focus. Unplanned, spontaneous and potentially life changing experiences. With loads of fun along the way!

The Indian tour later this year runs from the 19th of October until the 2nd of November. It starts off in Kolkata and goes through to Delhi covering Bodhgaya, Varanasi and Agra (amongst other places). To ensure people get the most of the trip, I’ve kept the group size to 8. There are still a few spots left. Please contact me for a copy of the dossier.

Please leave a comment below and share your breakthrough travel experience.

 

Forget Finding Your Passion

Just go for Adventure!

Adventure

This week, I had a client ask me about finding her passion and the fact she was struggling to define what it was. She’d been reading a book on the subject that had a questionnaire at the end of it to answer but she was still confused and that led me to sharing some of my own experiences on the subject.

Now I’ve got to admit, I used to be jealous of people who are passionate about what they do. They seemed to have easily found what their passion was and then there was me, who had absolutely no idea and I this found outright frustrating.

Why was that important? Why did I get hung up on it so much? Because something was missing. While I had a great job, career and a decent wage and I was grateful for all of that, I lacked a direction. I wasn’t excited anymore about what I was doing with my life and I wanted to change it.

Find your passion and never work a day in your life

Sounded good to me. So I thought that finding my passion was the answer. I read books about it, answered questionnaires, signed up to countless courses. Nothing worked. I could never answer that question and until I could, I wasn’t prepared to make the jump from my nice cushy, albeit mundane, life – my comfort bubble.

What changed for me was adventure – a year away travelling. The chance to experience things that I’d always wanted to do, things that were completely unknown and new to me. The chance to be free. What I realised was that finding my passion, being able to answer that question definitively, didn’t matter. It was simply getting out there and doing new things that started to bring meaning back to my life.

In the end, my point to the client about finding her passion, discovering something she can get excited about and escaping her own comfort bubble was you can’t ‘think it out’. You’ve got to be prepared to explore, be prepared for adventure and to try new things. If there are things you’re curious about – do them and don’t put them off. And who knows, in doing so, you may even find your passion!

What’s your experience with finding your passion?  Leave a comment below.

 

The greatest lesson adventure has taught me

An essential step to popping the comfort bubble…

wpid-photo-17052012-257-pm

“What’s the biggest lesson adventure has taught you?” asked a client the other day who is going on the India tour in October.

“First, decide you will do it then find a way,” I said.

I went on to explain that sometimes it’s not possible to plan, despite best intentions, you can’t pre-organise, pre-book or pre-arrange things to achieve an outcome.  In some cases, you’ve just got to make a decision that you’re doing something, charge ahead and find a way. I used to be a compulsive planner and organiser.  I wouldn’t step out of bed without knowing what I was doing next, yet I always had a yearning to take a chance, to roll the dice and just see what would happen next.

This chance came in our year away. We were travelling through the north of Argentina and had arrived at  town where there was no bus service to take us to the next town.  The guide book said we would need to either grab a taxi or hitch hike.  Seemed simple enough when we first looked at it although I was more than a little anxious.

When we first arrived and stepped off the bus things looked promising with cars and people everywhere.  With in a couple of minutes though the place was deserted.  I was waiting for the tumble weed to blow down the main street as this was truly a one horse town – one road in – the same road out – move along folks, nothing to see here. It wasn’t long before I realised we were stuck here – no taxis, no cars – the place was just deserted.

As the minutes and hours started ticking by our chances were not looking good.  Earlier in the day, I’d felt quite positive about having a car turn up and offering us a lift. Unfortunately, my hopes were evaporating after many hours and so was my patience. I was ready to throw in the towel and declare the experiment over.  I was ready to give up, spit the dummy and book us into one of the local hotels or catch the next bus back to where we came from.

And then it happened.

A white car seemingly appeared from no where.  Kaz and I took off with our backpacks to try and get to the road before they left again.  We knew there was a good chance they would drive in, find out that there wasn’t much to see, turn around and go out the same way.  We waved them down.

“?Vamas a Cachi?” (Are you going to Cachi?) Kaz asked in her best Argentine accent.

“Do you speak English?” the young lady said back in a very Australian accent.

We couldn’t believe our luck.  They were an Australian couple heading our way and were spending the night in the same town we wanted to go to.  We had to cram into the back of their two door car but we didn’t care, we had a lift!  After a couple of hours, we arrived at our destination and bought them dinner to say thank you.

These days, I’m getting more comfortable with this approach. I’ve found that when I decide to do something, I always manage to find a way.  It is also the most effective way I’ve found to pop the comfort bubble.

Have you tried this approach? Share your experiences below.

It’s all about the adventure…

Indian Street Scene

It’s all about the adventure and not just the major tourist sites…

“Maybe I need to include more draw card tourist sites,” I thought to myself.

Last week, when I was designing a tour to India that I’m running at the end of October this year I caught myself wondering if I had included enough draw card tourist places.  Did I need to include more popular places?  And then I remembered something.  That’s not what it’s about.

 

“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”

― Eleanor Roosevelt

 

And that sums it up perfectly.  It’s not just about the major tourist sites, it’s about seeking out those little things along the way that make the trip a richer experience.  From drinking chai with the locals to devouring the most authentic curries, haggling with a stall holder at a local market to holding a conversation with a rickshaw driver.

My memories of travel are not so much of what we saw but more of what we experienced and who we met along the way.  Over time, I’ve realised something, not only about traveling, but also life in general that changed me forever – major tourist place or not:  Every place has a history, every person has a story and every moment holds the opportunity for adventure, fun and wonder.  It is this essence that I aim to bring to my tours.

And while the focus of the tour in October will be on the experiences, we will be definitely visiting some of the major tourist sites!

What’s your favourite travel experience?  Share in a comment below.