Tell some people that you're going on an adventure holiday and they'll look at you like you've said you're moving to Mars.
"But why?", they'll say. "Isn't the point of going on holiday to relax? Why would you spoil a fortnight in the sun by risking life and limb?". Maybe they have a point. Most of the time, that's the exact point of going on holiday. But then sometimes, you do want that adrenaline burst. Possibly you can get it close to home. But if you can take in stunning scenery while you do it, isn't that better?
That's why we go on adventure holidays. And the whole "risking life and limb" bit? If you follow safety advice and don't act out, then it's not really like that. The extreme situations you end up in on an adventure trip are more about doing something you don't usually do. Getting the wind in your hair a little bit. That's what makes them fun.
Then there is the fact that going on this kind of holiday puts you in places where nature has done some of its most jaw-dropping work. You can't go on a climbing holiday without going somewhere with cliffs or mountains. You can't go whitewater rafting without a fast-running river. And you're not going to spend the whole holiday adventuring, so on your downtime, you get to be somewhere remarkable.
River Rafting In The Grand Canyon
The word "epic" is overused these days, it's true. It is now used to describe everything from a wild party to a slightly more powerful hairdryer. But there are times when it is the only word that really does justice to something, and the Grand Canyon is an example of that.
A deep gorge carved out of the Arizona wilderness, the Canyon is something to behold even just standing near it. But if you think it looks spectacular from above, just imagine yourself on a raft shooting down the river between those cliffs! That's the very definition of the word "epic" right there.
There are some who say it is the kind of thing you have to do once in your life. Others, once they have done it, are already planning Grand Canyon river trips. It is one of those life-affirming experiences that makes you feel that bit more awake. And of course, it doesn't hurt that the scenery is so otherworldly.
Swim With Stingray In The Cayman Islands
Swimming with some of nature's most remarkable aquatic creatures is a wonderful way to get in touch with nature. It can be any breed you want to be, as tours exist for all of the big ones. You could be swimming with dolphins or submerged in a shark cage to see a Great White up close. But if you want to do something different, head for the Cayman Islands.
While on dry land you can explore beautiful tropical botanic gardens. Taking in all that nature has to offer in this stunning part of the world is worth the trip alone. But seeing the majestic stingray in their natural environment elevates it yet further. The pursuit is monitored carefully by experts so that safety is ensured at all times. This does not make the experience any less awe-inspiring.
While you're there, these are not the only creatures you'll get to see up close. The majestic sea turtles plus shoals of neon fish (of various shades) are the kind of thing that look stunning in a wildlife photo. Seen with your own eyes, it's somehow even more beguiling.
The Rainforest Of Costa Rica
You can hardly read a travel supplement these days without hearing about what a worthwhile trip Costa Rica is. In the main, these articles will focus on what a peaceful, prosperous place the country has grown into, and it's true. Costa Ricans have some of the highest standards of living of anyone in the world.
All of that may lead you to think that there's nothing attention-grabbing about the place. This is a shame because the rainforest gives visitors the chance to have their minds blown almost constantly. You can take a hiking trip within the forest and see nature's bounty. This includes rare tropical flowers you can't see anywhere else.
All those tall trees, though, mean that what can be seen on the ground is really only one part of the story. And it's when you get higher that things get even better. Rainforest tours give you a chance to zip-line along the top of the canopy. There you'll see some of the bird life which populates the forest, including majestic toucan. No wonder the people here are so happy!
Hiking In The Scottish Highlands And Islands
For such a small island, Great Britain manages to pack in a very diverse set of terrains. A drive through England will give you the chance to take in the sights and sounds of London. As you get further north, the Yorkshire Dales are a stark wonderland that will make you wonder if you're in the same country.
By the time you get to Scotland, though, it gets even more enchanting. Yes, Scotland has cities. Glasgow and Edinburgh are well worth a day trip. But it's in the Highlands and islands that Scotland becomes like something from a fantasy novel.
Many people who make enough money to retire early do so and move to a cottage on one of these islands. When you see them, you'll understand. The remoteness of an island such as Bute means you can live in total peace, if you want to. But if you want to tackle untamed, rugged majesty on a hiking tour, you can do that too. The Northern Scottish islands have to be seen to be believed.
Indeed, touring between the various islands by boat is a chance to see things you would never associate with Britain. From harp seals to indigenous hawk, your eyes will constantly be scanning around for more beautiful wildlife. Before long, you'll be figuring out how you can make enough money to move here for good yourself.