5 Ways To Adventure-ize Your Next Vacation

Luckily, you can turn any vacation from a predictable trip into a life-affirming adventure. The only problem is that you may not want to come home when your once tame vacations are replaced with adventures of a lifetime! You have been warned...
11/04/2014 11:54 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

"Bite off more than you can chew. Then chew it."

Ella Williams

There are many different reasons for going on a much-deserved vacation. Some want to relax, some want to visit historical sites, and some want adventure (me!).

If you're among those who can't remember much more about your trips than the monotonous ramblings of a jaded tour guide and fighting the annoying crowds at tourist attractions, you know that adventure isn't guaranteed on every trip.

But if you're an adventurous soul, then you can make an adventure out of anything you do.

Luckily, you can turn any vacation from a predictable trip into a life-affirming adventure. The only problem is that you may not want to come home when your once tame vacations are replaced with adventures of a lifetime! You have been warned...

Below you will find seven 'Vacation Boredom Crushing' tips.

Go Somewhere Totally Off the Beaten Path...

I suggest that you throw away your guidebook and spin the globe. Around and around. Until you have found a place that most of your friends don't even know exists. North Korea. Myanmar. Eritrea. And who can forget the small African Country of Lesotho. Go there and adventure is guaranteed!

Turn Off Your Social Media Devices...(as much as you can!)

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram -- they can all wait for your return. If you bring all your modern technological comforts with you, you will miss the true magic of travel. The people. The sites. The smells. The connections (not the Facebook kind!).

Go Low-Budget

Staying in five-star hotels, traveling first-class, and eating in top-ranked restaurants can make for a comfortable and relaxing vacation. And also a very boring one! If you want a real soul-pumping adventure, turn your trip into an extreme low-budget one.
  • ᅡᅠIf any of your friends live in your destination countries, ask to sleep on their couch. Email David Cameron, the Prime Minister of England, and ask if he has a spare couch for you to sleep on.
  • Take public transportation instead of taxis. Chat with other riders and get off at any stop that looks promising. Or any stop that doesn't look promising.
  • Buy street food instead of going to Western-style restaurants.
Inspire Someone.

As long as you're traveling, you might as well do some good. Try volunteering while on the road. There are plenty of opportunities that you can arrange beforehand, or you can stop by the local travel agency at your destination for some guidance. You'll meet new people, probably learn a few new skills, and find out how the local economy works. Or you can Facebook or tweet me and I can give you some ideas (but you will have to do that before you travel because you wont have a smartphone on your adventures, will you??).

Ask the Locals

Wherever you are, the locals know best. Sometimes their idea of "best" coincides with yours. Sometimes it doesn't. Either way, you can learn a little something from them and end up doing something that you otherwise might not have done. They might suggest something wonderful (or downright crazy) or they could send you off on a wild goose chase, which is an adventure in itself. They may even offer to take you to the place they recommended, and 'voila' you have just made an instant new friend. Someone you can chat with on Facebook when your awesome adventure is over and you are back home. Being bored. On Facebook.

Get in the Car and Drive

It's not easy to get lost when you're using GPS, but not impossible, as I can attest. On one of your vacation days, get in the car and start driving. You may pass through small towns that aren't in the tour books or see wildlife that you never expected (like the time I was attacked by a monkey in Cambodia...). You can always check your GPS when you're ready to figure out where the hell you are. Or you could throw your GPS out the window and rely on the stars and the locals and the signs in foreign languages and your intuition.

Order Off the Menu

Wait! That doesn't sound so crazy! Well, ordering off the menu when you have no idea what it says can create an adventure. This tactic works especially well in countries where the language is different from your own (like maybe Swahili, unless of course you speak Swahili). For example, unless you know Norwegian, you might not happen to know that Smalahove is a dish made from boiled sheep's head. In Cambodia, you could end up with anything from spiced eel to fruit bats. I wish I hadn't tried this little "tip" myself, as eating jellyfish isn't particularly appealing...

Ultimately, when we embrace flexibility and spontaneity, anything can happen. And I mean anything! By following these 'Vacation Boredom Crushing' tips, you're a lot more likely to end up with a series of adventures on your next vacation than a stream of boring Facebook status updates...