What that means is different for all of us. Perhaps it involves eating unusual food prepared by a street vendor, initiating a conversation with a stranger or exploring a new city without a map. Or maybe you take it farther: white water rafting, riding an elephant, and remote trekking are activities many of us find ourselves doing on our travels.
In the spirit of adventure, today we’ve compiled a shortlist of some of the more brazen adventures active travelers can do with a ToursByLocals guide.
Hike Tiger Leaping Gorge
Tiger Leaping Gorge, in Northern Yúnnán, China, is one of the deepest gorges in the world, stretching a dizzying 3900m from the Jinsha River to the towering mountain peaks on either side. Travelers can hike the 16km gorge in a leisurely 3-4 days or power through it in two.
Learn more: Hike Tiger Leaping Gorge
Fly fishing in Bulgaria
It’s worth trying this activity, just so you can someday begin a story with “One time, while I was fly-fishing in Bulgaria…” The clear waters of the beautiful but little known Rezvaya River flow through the protected area of Strandja Mountain, past the small town of Malko Tarnovo, near the border with Turkey. Your guide can take you fly fishing for brown trout, while regaling you with stories of Bulgaria’s history and legends, its traditions and culture.
Learn more: Fly Fishing in Bulgaria
Snowshoeing on Vancouver’s Mount Seymour
Vancouver’s North Shore Mountains – a mere 20 minutes from the city’s bustling downtown core – are some of the most accessible outdoor playgrounds in the world. Strap on some snowshoes and join your guide as you walk softly through sparkling snow and whispering spruce trees, experiencing the majesty of the Canadian West Coast. These winter tours are only available from December to March, but the mountains are accessible year-round with your guide via spectacular local hiking trails.
Learn more: Snowshoe and Hiking Tours on Mount Seymour
Learn How to Train an Elephant in Thailand
You might have considered going for a ride on the back of an Asian elephant, but what about giving one a bath? Or learning how to approach it in the bush, feed it and lead it around? You can embrace your inner mahmout with your guide at a well-respected elephant training centre near Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Learn more: Elephant Training in Northern Thailand
Hot Air Ballooning over Cappadocia
One of the most striking spectacles you’ll ever see is a sky filled with colourful hot air balloons gliding over the surreal, lunar-like landscape of Cappadocia, Turkey. And how could you watch them float by without wanting to take a ride yourself?
Learn more: Hot Air Ballooning in Cappadocia
Sea Kayaking in Brazil
Brazil is fast becoming one of the most popular international sea kayaking destinations. Renowned the world over for its vibrant Beach Culture and with the longest coastline in South America, Brazil is undoubtedly a paddler's paradise. Getting out in a kayak is a great way to escape the boat-tripping crowds, see wildlife and visit places like the coastal mangrove forest that aren't accessible any other way. You don’t need any prior paddling experience; just a willingness to learn!
Learn more: Sea kayaking in Brazil
Summiting “Kili” is on many people’s bucket lists, although not everyone realises just what an arduous challenge it is to reach the top of Africa’s highest peak. Your guide will remind you to walk “po-le, po-le” (slowly, slowly) on your ascent, to conserve energy for a summit push after several days of hiking. The reward is a view and feeling of accomplishment like nothing you’ve ever experienced.
Learn more: Summit Mount Kilimanjaro
Lemur Safari in Madagascar
Many people dream of going to Kenya or Tanzania to see the “Big Five” … but what about a safari that introduces you to some of the cutest creatures on earth? Madagascar is home to no fewer than 100 species of lemurs, all endemic to this isolated island nation. Bring your binoculars, because you’ll also have the chance to spot hundreds of types of indigenous birds, another hundred mammal species and countless unique reptiles and amphibians.
Learn more: Lemur Safari in Madagascar