By Ailien Phan
Spending time with my friends often involves a lunch date, shopping, seeing a new movie, or any combination of the above. Occasionally, when we’re feeling more ambitious, we might just go float the river in San Marcos or head to Lake Travis for the day. And that is the extent of my adventures. If one day someone suggested we go on an adventure trip backpacking through the jungles of South America or climbing a mountain in the Alps, I’d laugh and probably think they were getting ahead of themselves. But what I’ve recently realized is that adventure travel is an industry on the rise and that its growth is largely due to the participation of women. While a day at the spa is a wonderful activity for girlfriends, it doesn’t form or strengthen a bond quite like exciting shared experiences in Mother Nature.
Now what triggers a woman to decide that she wants to do something like kayak through Nova Scotia or hike a glacier in Alaska? I think several different things influence this decision, and a lot stems from where you are in life. Your life stage is usually, but not always, determined by age. It is not absolute, but how old you are can tell a lot about why you choose adventure travel:
• Twenty-something year olds, myself included, may have a zest for life that encourages them to do and try as much as possible before they settle down with a family or have a career that does not allow for as much flexibility. I know that before I graduate college I want to travel abroad and have experiences in several different countries. You’re only young once, so why not take that opportunity to explore?
• Women in their thirties and forties may have already raised children or established their careers and wish to do something for themselves now that they have the time or money. Now that you have the means, why wouldn’t you do something for yourself? You deserve some excitement and challenge in your life.
• Women in their fifties and sixties may look back on their lives and realize they still have things that wish to achieve. Life doesn’t stop at a certain age, and adventure is out there for everyone to experience.
But whoever you are, male or female, consider the old cliché that you only live once. And if the urge strikes you to do something new or outside your comfort level, don’t immediately throw the idea out just because it may not seem completely feasible or realistic. It may be the best decision you’ll ever make.