10 Trips to Take if You Live an Active Lifestyle: International Edition
*beware this article may induce wanderlust
Looking for adventure? Find it below...
1. Trek the Camino de Santiago
The Camino de Santiago is an approximately 500 mile long trek mostly in Spain that many believe to be the hike to self-realization. It traverses beautiful landscapes, amazing food, and interesting people. This journey is a life-long goal of many and will challenge the body, mind, and soul to grow.
Tip: If you want to meet interesting people along the way and desire the company of others to enhance your trip then embark on this journey during the summer months of July and August. However, if you prefer introspection and solitude try going during the bumper months of May or September when the rain is still less likely, but there are fewer people.
Shimanami Kaido is located in Japan and traverses 6 separate islands connected by a series of bridges. You won't be competing with cars or pedestrians along this route thanks to the provided bike lanes. The full journey is approximately 37 miles long with views of the sea, citrus groves, and shrines.
Tip: Try visiting in the Spring when the Cherry Blossoms will be in full bloom.
The Blue Atoll, also known as the Blue Hole, is located off the coast of Belize. This almost perfect circle in the ocean creates what looks like from the sky a dark spot in an otherwise turquoise blue sea. This is because the sea level drops off significantly in this ocean sinkhole causing an interesting marine cavern perfect for exploring via scuba diving. There are very few other places in the world quite like it.
Tip: Take advantage of the surrounding area and snorkel or scuba dive in the world's second-largest coral reef. Also, be conscious of the marine life in the area and don't disturb the coral or wear any chemical-based sunscreens.
Most people think of the Matterhorn as a sight to see from a distance while sightseeing or skiing in Switzerland, but it's more than a unique silhouette in the Swiss mountainscape. This peak can take 12 hours to climb nonstop and involve climbing on snow, but worth it if you can endure the journey.
Tip: The easiest route is Hornli Ridge, but keep in mind it is also the most crowded. Especially during the summer months.
Taking a trip to train in any martial art can be a physically and mentally challenging and enlightening adventure, but none is more sought after than training in Muay Thai in its home country. There are countless gyms to train at for all levels with numerous programs involving the opportunity to compete. Many of these are located near beautiful beaches making it the ideal place to rest your inevitably sore muscles.
Tip: Many Muay Thai Gyms in Thailand lack air conditioning, so do yourself a favor and go in March for great weather and fewer crowds.
Patagonia is an outdoors wonderland perfect for all kinds of adventure. I chose to highlight kayaking, because of its variety of options. While kayaking Patagonia you can witness wildlife like Charles Darwin once did, glaciers as big as mountains, and marble sea caves. There's no place to kayak as dreamlike as Patagonia. You will feel like you're on another planet or just this one before people got their hands on it.
Tip: Normally I would suggest taking trips in the off-season to benefit from a lack of crowds, but you're gonna want to break that rule with this trip. Off-season here also brings extreme weather and unruly rapids making it very dangerous to traverse. However, keep in mind they are in the southern hemisphere, so the high season is December through March.
No place does cross-country skiing like Norway. Skiing is their national sport and they hold the record for most Winter Olympic medals of all time and it shows. There are many resorts in several regions offering cross-country skiing. Travel miles by ski in a winter wonderland.
Tip: Go in the winter or spring for possible sightings of the Northern Lights, but don't rule out skiing in Norway if you can only travel in the summer. They have summer ski centers where you can cross-country ski even in June in a place that gets as much as 20 hours of sunlight in a single day. So take your pick Aurora Borealis or the midnight sun.
Canyoning is the kind of activity that brings a variety of adventures. Everything from wading in water to climbing cliffs to scrambling boulders to repelling. One place that provides all the perfect conditions for this activity is Tara River Canyon which stretches between Montenegro and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Being the largest canyon in Europe it doesn't lack possibilities and being a Unesco World Heritage Site and a protected biosphere it remains a natural beauty.
Tip: Get the most out of your trip to the Tara River Canyon by combining it with another popular activity there, rafting.
Caves are always an adventure, but many these days can be visited with little to no effort. For the active lifestyle this can be boring, so if you're looking for a challenge try a more strenuous caving experience. At the Sudwala Caves located in South Africa, you can take a 4 hour tour that will end at the sparkling aragonite crystal chamber. During your trek through one of the oldest caves in the world, you will shimmy down narrow corridors and crawl through small tunnels. Not an adventure for the claustrophobic.
Tip: When packing keep in mind you're gonna need a flashlight or headlamp and you want waterproof shoes with good grip.
When horseback riding the Sunshine Coast of Australia you can traverse beaches, rainforest, mountains, and rural countrysides. The Sunshine Coast has a number of quality horse trails to take advantage of, as well as tours for all skill levels. If you've ever dreamed of having your picture-perfect horseback riding on the beach moment, this is the place to do it.
Tip: Because there's so much variety in terrain to ride on here, decide what views and experiences are most important to you and plan accordingly.