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Please welcome Amy Angelilli, a socially responsible lifetime adventurer who’s visited at least 24 countries – and she continues adding a new one to that list every year.

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5 simple ways to add adventure into your travel

When we daydream about adventurous travel, it’s easy to let our imaginations run wild. Often we think about iconic experiences such as climbing Mount Everest or riding the Orient Express. Our minds conjure up big-ticket trips in exotic locations or physically challenging experiences in nature’s playground. While these can be thrilling adventure travel experiences, they aren’t the only kinds of adventures available.

Life is short ... travel!Wikipedia defines adventure as “an exciting or unusual experience.” When we think about adventure in that way, it becomes more accessible. We don’t need lots of time, lots of money or lots of anything. All we need is a willingness to say, “yes” to having that exciting or unusual experience. And the best part is that it’s up to you to decide what’s exciting and what’s unusual – for you.

This is my list of simple ways to access adventure – no large bags of money or huge chunks of free time required.

1. Go someplace new

The Dalai Lama, in his 18 Rules for Living, recommends we go someplace we’ve never been as often as possible. If this sounds too huge to wrap your head around, boil it down to what makes sense for you. My minimum goal every year is to leave the country at least once and to visit someplace I’ve never been before. If I get a really good year, these two goals might cross paths and multiply.

The reason why this works for me is that leaving the country shakes up my thought process while going someplace new is an experience that stays with me forever. There’s nothing like seeing a place for the first time no matter how well you’ve researched it online. When I finally saw the canals of Venice, I actually got a tear in my eye. Nothing will ever compare to the first time you physically see a new place.

2. Visit a friend

take time to visit a friendIn my 20s, I had the good fortune of having several friends in Europe. I visited all of them. I ate at restaurants I never would have known about. I experienced small towns that weren’t even mentioned in guidebooks. I took in drives and scenery and itineraries that only local knowledge could have produced. My explorations were richer and I was able to experience a way of living, which is a deeper – and more fulfilling – way of traveling.

3. Take a small group eco-tour

I don’t generally take tours as I value my independence when traveling. But … sometimes it just makes sense like when you’re visiting a remote location with no public transportation and with poor road conditions. This was the case when I visited Costa Rica and Belize. Luckily, Intrepid Travel was exactly what I needed. A leader in the responsible travel industry, their group size is an average of 10 travelers, which means you can still get off the beaten track. Plus, they use local accommodations and transport, so you can feel good about where you’re spending your money. There were solo female travelers on both of these trips – some opted for single rooms while others chose to pair up with other solo travelers to save money. Either way, because the group is so small, there’s no chance of getting lost in a sea of people.

4. Go on a retreat

If relaxing while immersing in wellness and personal development is more your thing, a retreat is a great way to get this experience while also traveling alone as a lot of people opt to attend solo. Last year, I headed to We Move Forward – a women’s conference, retreat and celebration on Isla Mujeres (The Island of Women) on International Women’s Day – alone. I didn’t know anyone attending the retreat, but immediately after I finished at the registration table, past attendees greeted me and welcomed me into their conversations. I enjoyed the experience so much that this year I’m presenting – a great example of how an adventure can produce another adventure!

5. Take a learning journey

take a responsible learning adventureJust by traveling, you learn about yourself as well as the world around you. But, if you really want to dig in and learn a new skill while you’re away from home, there are so many options available … languages, cooking, art and on and on. I studied abroad when I was a teenager and although I was young and an inexperienced traveler, it was a way for me to sharpen my language skills while enjoying an immersive travel experience. Plus, because I was part of a group learning experience, I had support during my six-week program. One of the most comprehensive learning journey offerings I’ve seen is through Road Scholar. The name says it all!

Whatever adventure you decide to pursue, make it your own – not every adventure works for every kind of traveler. The important thing is that you have one! I wish you many happy travels and I hope you find your adventure in 2015.

About Amy Angelili

Amy Angelilli ~ @amyadventureproAmy Angelilli is a socially responsible lifetime adventurer who’s visited at least 24 countries – and she continues adding a new one to that list every year. Between trips, she moved from Philadelphia to Denver in an RV filled with rescue pets, and opened a low cost spay/neuter clinic for stray cats so she wouldn’t have to adopt any more. Now, as Chief Adventure Officer of The Adventure Project, she uses improvisational theater techniques to play with others so that they may discover and create their own adventures – at home or abroad. She performs regularly in “3 Blind Dates” and “It’s All About Amy” – improvisational theater experiences she created and produced. When not on stage, she’s usually packing, planning or putting her frequent flier miles to good use on a new adventure. Catch up with Amy on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest or Instagram.

 

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