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Less Extreme Adventures

By Steve Gillman

Extreme adventures and travel adventures are becoming more popular all the time. Some of us, however, want to have the excitement, without so much risk of injury, without getting shot at or kidnapped like Robert Pelton, and without spending a fortune. With that in mind, here are some ideas for less extreme adventure travel.

- Summit the highest peak in your state. It might be less-than-adventurous in some states, but it will at least be an excuse to get outside and get some exercise.

- Canoe down a river you've never been on. There could be an interesting one an hour away from you. If you don't have one, you can rent the canoe, and bring a picnic.

- Treasure hunting at the beach. You can rent or buy a metal detector and spend a relaxing but interesting weekend finding coins, jewelry and who-knows-what in the sand.

- Vagabonding. Just pack for several days and start driving, with no destination in mind. See where you end up, and discover what you can.

- Surfing lessons in Montanita, Ecuador. You might want to bring your Bob Marley CD to this hippy/reggae/tourist area. The beaches are beautiful and the lessons are cheap.

- Make a raft. Find the nearest river that is large enough and has some public forest, then build a raft from dead trees and float downstream for a day.

- Cliff-diving. Try the small ones, like those on Lake Superior, near Marquette, Michigan. You'll jump fifteen feet into crystal-clear water.

- Climbing lessons on Mount Ranier in Washington. It's sure to be more exciting than my trip up a local sledding hill with my ice-axe and crampons.

- Travel monastery to monastery. You can make it a spiritual adventure or just relax. They usually have reasonably priced accommodations, and they are in beautiful places.

- Take a hot springs tour. Drive around for a few days with a guide to hot springs or directions copied off the internet. Bring suits, towels and a cooler full of refreshments. For added adventure, seek out the ones that you have to hike into the wilderness to find.

- Take a waterfall tour. If you live near an area of waterfalls, drive around for a few days to find all the ones you haven't seen. try to find ones that you can go swimming in.

What is adventure? Any activity you engage in that is somewhat new to you and doesn't have a predictable outcome. It doesn't have to be too dangerous to be interesting and fun. It could even include a trip to the nearest large city for a weekend tour of the bars. Of course, depending on the bars you choose, this could be one of the more extreme adventures.

About The Author

Steve Gillman hit the road at sixteen, and traveled the U.S. and Mexico alone at 17. Now 40, he travels with his wife Ana, whom he met in Ecuador. For travel stories, tips and a free e-book, visit:


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