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One of my favorite scientific findings: Take a hike, get a bigger brain. For the past several years, I have been writing about adventure topics for the Good Nature Travel blog, on everything from the merits of bumpy ro to tracking devices on narwhals. Looking over all of these articles since my first appeared here on February 9, , I realize that one theme keeps showing up: adventure travel is simply good for you. While there are several physical health benefits to adventure travel see nos. Too, adventure travel can enlighten your soul nos. Can you think of anything else that can do all that?
Scientists have recently reported that our modern obsession with cleanliness might be leading to a rise in allergies, asthma and inflammatory bowel disease. Getting dirty could just be the best path to developing a strong immune system. Going on adventures means getting dirty—and healthier. Adventure travel takes park prescriptions to the next level. Anyone can make nature a playground. Adventure travel is an activity you can stick with for life. Research indicates that hiking or walking grows brains.
Typically, your hippocampus gets smaller once you hit your mid 50s, leading to memory loss. But a group of middle-aged adults that took three, minute walks a week for a year grew their hippocampi, on average, by 2 percent, which could improve their retention for years. Hiking adventures will keep you mentally sharp.
And there is no shortage of those. One of the best things about embarking on an adventure is that you can shed your familiar skin for a while and pretend to be anything you want to be —before you take a drastic and permanent step. Who would you be if you lived there? Adventures give us pleasant memories, which we often bring back to the forefront of our minds for reminiscing. But reliving our adventures again and again allows us the time—and capability—to learn something from them. Adventure travelers need to become environmental activists.
And each time you go, you find yourself changing. Adventures build your confidence; and with each successive one, you challenge yourself just a little bit more. I would add a fifth step to the Travel Cycle: dream bigger. Today, the United States is facing what some have described as an epidemic: the loss of the adventurous childhood. The Outdoor Foundation reports that youth participation in outside activities has declined for three straight years. The spark for wanderlust goes out, permanently. That select group of people just may turn out to be adventure travelers: those who typically venture beyond the envelope in the outdoors.
So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Twitter - Facebook. I just wished more Americans would get out there. In comparison of people from other well developed OECD countries It just seems like there is a lack of sense of adventure, curiosity or wonderment from Americans. Partly because most Americans are lucky to get 1 or 2 weeks vacation a year, and along with a declining standard of living with less disposable income. Although there is some of that where we here in the States are conditioned by our fear rmongering media that makes it appear that the rest of the world is far more dangerous then the safety of our US perimeters.
I really thought that the article was well-written and thought-provoking, Candice. I can relate to some of the reasons you list. My over-riding experience is to visit many places, meet new people, see wonderful sights and go to my maker for having been fortunate enough to have seen so much. I always say after a trip that if I do not go on another trip for whatever reason I will look back and say that I have seen and done so much more than one could hope for when I started out becoming the adventurous tourist! A really good piece. The chance to meet completely different people with completely attitudes and outlooks on life to you is one of the delights of adventure travelling.
Hi there! This article could not be written any better! Looking through this post reminds me of my roommate! He always kept preaching about this. I appreciate you for sharing! Unfortunately I could not buy the Daily News paper on the day my feature on Adventure Tourism appeared. But I read it on line. Today 22 August I found your message. Almost every Wednesday one of my features appears in the Daily News. At the moment I write on Greek Epics. Thanks, Kaviratne. I read your article when I was planning to write a feature on Adventure Tourism relevant to Sri Lanka.
I found important points for my information. Hope to hear from you. An impressive share! I have just forwarded this onto a colleague who had been conducting a little research on this. And he actually ordered me dinner simply because I found it for him… lol. So let me reword this…. Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending the time to talk about this issue here on your website. I think the other side of the coin is that without eco-travel, many of the national parks and preserves around the world would not be possible.
Is it even possible for the ordinary person with a family to live a life where they spend their life traveling the world learning without being ridiculously wealthy? Is it possible? Great article, Candice, as usual. I would add another reason you alluded to — in who-knows-how-many-years from now, it might be gone.
I went to Timbuktu about 8 years ago, just before it was put on the State Dept. And I think of your trip to Churchill, Canada to see the polar bears. When will that natural treasure be lost to us and to the world? We Americans are way too insular. We must encourage our children and grandchildren to be passionate about travel!
Thanks for letting me vent. I work in the travel adventure industry, specializing in Costa Rica. Dear Candice, I love traveling. When we travel,we leave all our worries aside and looking for a different experience. All the reasons given by you are very appropriate. We become a part of nature,beautiful surroundings,we develop aesthetic sense within us the moment is most enjoyable. You are best candice,always inspire me. However, into the equation you have to consider the benefits that ecotourism brings to local economies and the fact that many countries would not have the funds for conservation without ecotourism.
Parks have been started; poachers have been stopped. You put your finger on a popular debate: the advantages — and disadvantages — of ecotourism. There are both, to be sure. Re Air travel has huge negative impacts on the climate produces enormous amounts of greenhouse gasses. So flying off to the Galapagos Islands may make you feel good, and make you appreciate wilderness and the environment. Hi Candice, This is my first visit to your site and I really enjoyed it.
For those of us that have the wander bug, it was refreshing to see others with the same basic wants, going places, seeing new things and just traveling period. Thanks for the good content and look forward to your next post. Bud Corwin. I really thought that the article was well written and thought provoking Candice. I always say after a trip that if I do not go on another trip for whatever reason I will look back and say that I have seen and done so much more than one hope for when I started out becoming the adventurous tourist! A wonderful article Candice, thanks! The urge to explore wanderlust just simply is always with me.
I do hope that I can pass that on to my children. The adventurous people I know, and they immediately pop to mind, are curious people, which I think fuels their lust for adventure, to go, see, do, and learn. All the best. The people of these adventure locations are very thankful and ever more reliant upon tourism income. All rights reserved. Start Planning Your Nature Adventure! Together, Nat Hab and World Wildlife Fund have teamed up to arrange nearly a hundred nature travel experiences around the planet, while helping to protect the wondrous places we visit.
Together, Nat Hab and World Wildlife Fund offer nature travel experiences to over 50 countries around the planet. Get travel and wildlife news delivered to your inbox! Share on Tumblr. About the author: Candice Gaukel Andrews View all posts by Candice Gaukel Andrews A multiple award-winning author and writer specializing in nature-travel topics and environmental issues, Candice has traveled around the world, from the Arctic Circle to Antarctica, and from New Zealand to Scotland's far northern, remote regions.Looking to go on an adventure
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9 Opportunities to bring more adventure to your life