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March 9, 2012

Are you an Adventurous Solo Traveler?

My heart is racing, as I stand at the edge of the cliff, while my Ecuadorian guide hooks me into my double harness for a “Superman” run across the Amazon rain forest.  The “Superman”, a forward zip line with arms outstretched in super hero form, is not for beginners. My fellow travelers look on in envy until it’s their turn.  Earlier in the day, we hiked and swam at the foot of a waterfall, not bad for just one of the action packed days on an adventure vacation.

My very first adventure trip was a multi-sport trip to Bryce, Zionand Grand Canyon where we hiked and biked our way through some of the most beautiful national parks in the US.  I trained a bit before I left but was told that all skill levels would be accommodated, so I didn’t kill myself getting ready.  As a regular runner, I simply added a little biking to my routine and off I went.  To my surprise, the guides on our tour were not only trained adventure, naturalists, but they also prepared a mean, gourmet baked brie snack in the middle of nowhere!  They carried extra water, supplies, knew the best routes for each of our abilities and were willing to pick up the pieces or boost us up into the van when we’d had it and were ready to pack it in.  As a super achiever with a competitive nature, I pushed myself as hard as ever and was rewarded with a new sense of accomplishment when I repelled after the most incredible hike in theGrand Canyon.

Best of all, my brave compadres and I bonded like I’d never done before on a group tour.  There was something about sharing our fears, facing them together and helping support one another to successfully navigate new horizons.

Since then, my adrenaline rushing experiences include hiking to the Sun Gate at Machu Picchu, biking through hillside villages of Peru, hiking the 17 mile Samaria Gorge in Crete followed by a soothing, natural hot spring mud bath,  horseback riding, surfing and white water rafting in Costa Rica to name a few.

I am a city girl who loves fine dining and the conveniences of a 5-star hotel.  But now, nothing gets me more excited than taking it to the limit, surrounded by good ‘ole Mother Nature, with laid back people just like me who like to take a day at a time.


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