We love to live an adventure, which is why the majority of us here at Glacier Raft spend a lot of our time chasing them. From kayaking different rivers overseas to hiking through the wilderness, we continuously find ourselves spending seasons exploring new terrain and experiencing new cultures.
Even though the reasons we seek out the destinations we do may be vastly different, they all seem to have something in common: they have a way of pushing us out of our comfort zone.
Adventures seem to do just that.
Here are a few of our favourites, all of which have had their own sets of challenges along with the fun, teaching us some valuable lessons during the process.
ROAD TRIPPIN’ ACROSS THE COUNTRY
Glacier’s office staff member Laura Kluz will always remember the craziness that ensued when she drove across the United States with three friends, one of who was a stranger at the time.
With only a couple of destinations in mind, she says this way of travelling brings you to some incredibly unique destinations, as a vehicle gives you the flexibility of heading off the beaten track and experiencing events and places on your own schedule.
“Plus, you get to know your travel buddies fairly well, since you spend a crazy amount of time in such a small space!” she exclaims. Although that part of the adventure might seem a bit much for some people, she assures that it can also be such an enriching and overall a rather enlightening experience.
Be prepared to adapt though. Road trips seem to be designed for unplanned challenges – ranging from realizing your navigational skills suck to a broken-down vehicle.
But when it comes down to it, that’s part of the fun of road trips, really.
TREKKING THROUGH NEPAL
It makes sense that one of Glacier’s owners lives in the heart of the Canadian Rockies. Trekking seems to be one of Carmen Narancsik’s specialties. And one of her favourite locations to do so was in Nepal a few years back.
She journeyed through two separate treks during her time there, both longer than 18 days. Not only did she enjoy the stunning scenery, but she says the locals were so friendly, even opening up their homes to her.
“You don’t really see anyone else except the locals,” she explains, adding that a lot of the villages along the route are only accessible by foot.
“It’s so good for people who want to get off the beaten track and experience a new culture.”
With the routine being fairly simple (you literally just eat, sleep and walk), Narancsik says she would recommend the journey to anyone who wants to consistently see new terrain every day.
Plus, the versatility of the journey makes it appealing to even the most intense trekkers. You can challenge yourself to find your way alone (like Narancsik), or you can hire a guide to lead you.
EXPERIENCING THE CULTURE OF YOUR BEST FRIENDS
Visiting the hometown of her high school besties is one adventure that office staff member Mareike Michele will always remember.
Once she finished high school, Michele headed to Japan and China to explore the cultures of her two good friends. Staying with their families’, Michele got the ultimate experience of integration while being shown around two countries by locals. “I got to try on her auntie’s wedding kimono, which was so fun!” she explains, while also trying some new cuisine that sparked her taste buds. Plus, the sparkling ginger ended up dying her hair a dark purple during her stay there, much to the delight of her friends’ family members.
“They all loved it,” she adds with a laugh.
Although she loved learning about the ancestry of her friends’, Michele admits the communication barrier was particularly challenging, but not as much as baring the weather. “It was so hot in Hong Kong that I got the sickest I have ever been in the first few days.”
But it was her visit to Hiroshima that really opened her eyes to how powerful and profound a trip can truly be.
“If you have a personal relationship or historical relationship with the destination, then the journey becomes more meaningful.”
RACING THROUGH CANADA
Racing against time is one adventure that raft guide Darren Trapp experienced quite heavily when he competed on the first season of The Amazing Race Canada.
Trapp, along with his girlfriend at the time, was one of nine teams who had the opportunity to race against each other to be named the winners of Canada’s biggest race.
An intense and challenging event, the race brought him to all corners of the country – from Niagara Falls to Kelowna to Yellowknife – forcing him to find his way around unfamiliar places, sometimes without any help from locals.
The race definitely forced him to operate under a ton of stress, “especially when you are neck to neck with Body Break (speaking to Canada’s infamous duo).” Even though he lost on a leg that required him to build a raft (oh, the irony!), Trapp learned that through patience and perseverance, he can handle all that is thrown his way.
“Even when things don’t go as planned, you can get through it and everything will still end up alright.”
And really, this is what many of our adventures teach us. That no matter what obstacles are thrown our way we can overcome them. Because half the fun of an adventure isn’t where it takes you, it’s reflecting upon the journey that forced you to break outside of your comfort zone, opening you up to a new part of yourself you didn’t even know existed.
Now go live an adventure!
Cheers, from the Glacier crew.