Women's Adventure Travel
Pushing Our Boundaries
Are you ready for women's adventure travel? If you've been pushing your travel boundaries, this increasingly popular type of travel may be for you.
Basically it's an active vacation or trip, a journey in which what you do physically is at least as important as the journey itself.
If you're at that stage where you're looking for something different, something more challenging than throwing on your backpack and heading off into the wild blue yonder, you may be ready for what is commonly called women's adventure travel.
- Are you an active, sporty woman who wouldn't dream of lying by the beach for a week or two?
- Are you a couch potato in search of a bit of activity?
- Are you a bit older and in a hurry to experience new things?
- Are you perhaps afraid of adventure but ready to push beyond your fears?
- Are you the adventurous type who hasn't had a chance to align her personality with her travel?
- Are you simply looking for a fun time?
You can see there's something for everyone. But what exactly is adventure travel for women, and what kinds of things should you keep in mind while you decide whether this is for you?
- This type of travel will certainly be more physically challenging than what you may be used to. If you're not in shape, start training well before you go. You'll be surprised at what you can do when you start practising, a little bit at a time.
- Even if you're out of shape that doesn't mean you should stay away. Just take it easy at first and go for something less arduous - a few days rather than a few weeks perhaps, or a lighter sport rather than something Olympian.
- Look for companies that offer various levels of difficulty so you can be matched with others of your level, whatever it might be.
- Find a reputable company that will take your needs into account rather than try to fit you into their own structures. Ask a lot of questions, and pay attention to the frequency and tone of answers. A company that answers all your questions and seems happy to do it is a company that cares.
- Stick to women-only travel groups if you're relatively new at this - you'll feel less pressure from that masculine drive to compete and will be able to go at your own - and more enjoyable - pace.
- Check out the best travel forums and post plenty of questions for women who have taken the same trip before you. There's nothing like the voice of experience and the 'been there' advice you can get first hand.
- Be daring! You'd be surprised at what you can do if you just take the leap. I can barely swim but with the proper equipment, guidance and a bit of recklessness I'm now having great fun kayaking all over the place.
Getting ready for an all-woman kayaking trip
Photo: Leyla Giray
Wondering what kinds of activities to expect in women's adventure travel? Let me give you a little taste of the kinds of things you could try...
- canoeing across an Alpine lake
- sea kayaking around Vancouver Island or Zanzibar
- long-distance high altitude walking or trekking through a country, a region or a mountain range
- packing your horse and ambling off across Andalusia
- join a cattle drive on a Wild West working ranch
- fishing in the Caribbean
- snow sports like cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, dogsledding in Canada or Eastern Europe
- hiking through the rainforest in Costa Rica
- riding a barge downriver or renting a houseboat in France
- daring sky-related sports like hang-gliding or bungee jumping in New Zealand
- backpacking overland across Africa or South America
- cycling through Burgundy or Alsace wine country
- riding a motorcycle across the continent (this Carla King interview will give you a taste)
- mountain climbing - as my friend Birgit tells it in her Mount Kilimanjaro Guide
- scuba diving or shark diving off Australia
There are hundreds of activities I haven't even begun to think of! Just search for terms like "adventure holidays", "adventure travel package", "adventure vacation" and the like, and add the word "women" in front for women-only travel.