Adventure vacations thrive in the wild

And now enjoy your search for the next cute and adorable swimming pool. (Photo: Stocksy)

The hard way

Dream beach luxury hotels and 24 hour service – no thanks. Today’s travel enthusiasts prefer the hard way: sink into the middle of nowhere and see for yourself. However, these holidays are not always cheaper than luxury hotels.

“One afternoon in Morocco, a 59-year-old former naval officer named Phil Asher took me to a secluded valley in the Atlas Mountains, shook my hand, and left me… Now I was in the wilderness, alone.” You can read it recently under “The New Luxury Vacation.” in the American magazine “The New Yorker”. In this case, a journalist describes his experience with what is supposed to be the latest trend in high-end travel: dumping somewhere in no-man’s-land and making peace with it. It is said that the experience should change lives.

You smile while reading. One wonders and wonders why someone would sacrifice their precious free time and so much money for at least an unpleasant experience. Because honestly, how many people want to roam the Atlas Mountains on their own for days – without a tent, without a cell phone and, as they say, with really bad food out of the bag? However, there seems to be an increasing number of travelers who have had enough wellness, gourmet cuisine and dolce farniente in their lives and now want to experience something that is going in the direction of staying and thus getting off to work.

Go completely «off the grid»

You don’t always have to be as ruthlessly spartan as the British Black Tomato’s “Get Lost” trips, booked by the “New Yorker” author. Munich-based tour operator Unforgettable Journeys isn’t too squeamish either, but it does offer its clients stranded in the Greenland ice sheet a proper tent, satellite phone, kayak, and gun for the highly unlikely event of a polar bear encounter. “Put completely off the grid and see what this vast landscape and absolute silence are all about,” the website says. With unforgettable excursions, you can explore the Andes on horseback, join a yak caravan in Mongolia, or sail through the Namibian desert on a vintage motorbike.

French operator Les Maisons du Voyage believes that “adventure is lived through adrenaline-pumping activities,” which sell, among other things, lone-on-ice rides through the frozen expanses or the nomadic life of Kyrgyzstan. For others, not knowing your destination is adventure enough – they’ll find it in Magical Mystery Tours or Pack up + go.

Off the beaten path for beginners

Be ready to rethink life

The question arises: Do you need the help of a tour operator to experience a unique vacation? Anyone who has ever climbed the Portuguese Route of St. James from Lisbon through central and northern Portugal to Galicia knows that this can also change his life, provided the pilgrim is willing to reconsider his life along the way. And even if one had to be completely satisfied with being so far, the Norwegian archipelago of Vega offers lovers of absolute solitude 6,500 islands perched below the Arctic Circle, most of which are uninhabited. Sitting on the mussel-strewn beach in front of an impromptu night camp on a bright midsummer night and roasting a homemade pike over self-ignited embers can certainly be considered a special experience.

There is a wide range of possibilities: the barren mountains of the Greek Peloponnese with its deserted tower villages or the stunning landscapes of Bardenas Reales in southeast Spain’s Navarre can present a challenge for those who want to stay here for a few days without much equipment. But of course there are limits: professional support is highly recommended for solo tours through the Amazon rainforest or nighttime hikes in African wildlife reserves.

luxury illusion

price for this? “It depends on how much loss you want,” says Black Tomato. Flights and transfers, as well as the holiday hotel usually booked at the end, make up only part of the costs – it’s the extras that add up to CHF10,000 bills and more.

At the end of the report on the mountain tour in Morocco, the reader learns that the “Get Lost” traveler was never alone, but was accompanied by invisible assistants who followed each step from a distance and with modern technical means keeping an eye on it. And make sure nothing happens to him. The adventure of mastering a seemingly hopeless situation on your own is a very luxurious illusion – but it can be downright satisfying.

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