This guest post is by Jenny Collins, who works for Frontier, an international non-profit NGO with volunteer projects across the globe.
Whether you’re taking a gap year, a career break or just have a couple of weeks free to travel, you will want to make the most out of your time away. Many people fly off to foreign soil but not all of them really experience a country. If you only visit one town or city, particularly if it is the tourist areas of a country, you’ll only ever see one side. Adventure tours (like the ones offered by Frontier) allow you to travel around to various different areas and immerse yourself in the culture. One of the best parts of going on an organised trip around a country is that your guides are likely to know the best places to go even if they are lesser known to the average tourist. You’re also likely to be with people who are travelling for similar reasons to yourself – allowing for a much more rewarding experience than if you were only dragging around unenthusiastic travel buddies.
For some people, all they will ever want from a trip abroad is a place to lie on the beach, but for everyone else, a bit of adventure is an important part of a holiday. You can find adventure around every corner, from stumbling across fascinating local places and people, or by planning an activity designed to get your adrenaline levels flying. When you’re already on holiday people are often more open to trying things that might be the unconventional or even frightening! Thousands (or more) people take part in bungee jumps from many of the world’s bridges every year. Canopy tours, where you walk or zip wire through the the leafy canopy of a forest is a great way to see everything in an unusual and exhilarating way. Similarly river tubing or canoeing can take you straight through the middle of dense forest that you might not be able to see otherwise.. For the real adrenaline seekers, if you happen to find yourself near a volcano – don’t just walk up it, board down it!
Ethical tours are good for those travelers looking to make as little of a negative impact on the world as they can. Buying from and eating with local people not only helps them out but also means you can really sample what the locals eat and get to know them in the process. Volunteering on your journey also helps to give something back to the communities you visit, whilst at the same time giving you the opportunity to understand a different way of life.
These kinds of experiences have the ability to have much more of an impact on your life, particularly if you’re in the middle of deciding your next steps. Viewing the world through the eyes of a completely different culture allows you to see everything you thought about back home with a new perspective.
Jenny Collins works for Frontier, an international non-profit NGO with over 300 volunteering projects across the globe in teaching, wildlife conservation and gap year adventures.