People think adventure seekers are all adrenaline junkies, but we’ve found most of them are just looking to shake up their routine. Maybe break out of a rut. Do something surprising or unexpected. Push their boundaries a little. For some people that’s jumping off high things with a GoPro strapped to their head, for others it’s just visiting a country they never thought they’d see, or hopping behind the wheel of a tuk tuk and learning how to say ‘Help me I’m lost’ in Khmer.
When it comes to overseas adventure travel these days, you’re really spoilt for choice. Central American countries like Nicaragua and Costa Rica in particular are really starting to make a name for themselves in the adventure space. For our part though, we’re looking a little further afield. About as far afield as a field can be in some cases: Peru, Sri Lanka, Cambodia and the Philippines.
Here’s how our Cambodia adventure challenge works. We give you the keys to your very own ready-to-roll tuk tuk, a map and a bunch of tasks to complete (and some training in how not to crash and hurt yourself) and say ‘Off you go. Run free.’ It’s your job, and your team’s, to navigate your way from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh, stopping along the way to complete certain challenges and eat your bodyweight in spicy Khmer curry and Amok. Like our Lanka challenge, this is a road adventure. The difference is the history (you’ll get a chance to explore Angkor Wat and learn about the tragic genocide that occurred in the 1970s), and the people. Cambodian’s have a well-deserved reputation as some of the warmest and friendliest on the planet. Getting to know them is the real adventure, the challenges are just icing on the cake.
On the world travel map, Sri Lanka is as hot right now as the island’s fiery Tamil curries (and anyone who’s eaten one of those without a glass of milk handy knows how hot we’re talking). The old spice island that’s played host to the Dutch, the Moors and a dozen other cultures is popping up on every magazine’s Top 10 list, and for good reason. It’s a compact slice of South East Asia at its very best. Beaches to rival the Thai archipelago, a sizzling food scene with more diversity than the Indian mainland and highland tea plantations that pump out some of the best brews in the world. Like the Cambo challenge, we’ll set you up with your own three-wheeled tuk tuk and unleash you on the backroads between Colombo, Kandy and Arugambay on the east coast. You won’t find this adventure challenge in your typical travel brochure, trust us.
This challenge is a little different. Instead of your very own tuk tuk we’ll hand you the keys to a traditional paraw tri-maran (well, they don’t really have keys…in fact that’s probably Sailing Lesson #1). Along with your team and a local skipper, you’ll set sail through the island-dotted waters of the Philippines, specifically the bit between Tablas Island and the north coast of Visayas, right in the centre of the archipelago. Along the way you’ll compete in certain challenges of the nautical persuasion (maybe catching fish for your dinner or climbing a coconut tree with your bare hands) as well as staying with local communities and learning more about Filipino culture. One more thing: this is a sailing race against the clock. The first team to cross the finish line wins. Bonus points if you dress as pirates while you do it.
A world away from the sandbars and coral reefs of the Philippines is the Peruvian Amazon. It’s a side of this little Andean country that most travellers never see (they’re too busy beating a well-worn path towards Machu Picchu, selfie sticks in tow). Our adventure challenge in Peru is a bit different. You’ll fly into Leticia, Colombia on the banks of the Amazon and navigate your way upstream using dugout canoes, kayaks and your own two feet to Peru and even Brazil. There’s indigenous Olympics (better work on your blow-pipe skills), dodging piranhas and hanging with Amazonian pink dolphins, plus all the warmth and hospitality of local Ticuna and Omaguas tribes along the way. This is one of the least explore corners of the Amazon, which, in turn, is one of the least explored rainforests on Earth. If that doesn’t qualify as an ‘adventure’, we don’t know what does.