Do at least one thing you have never done before in your life – and you won’t be able to stop.
We’ve selected 8 creative and inspiring travel challenges that will turn your trips into personal adventures. Our source of inspiration is a book – “203 Travel Challenges. Travel the world. Explore Your Inner Self”.
Traveling is something personal, so take the ingredients of the following challenges, stir them, move them and change them to create your own challenges to spice up your trips.
1. Jump into a warm, open-air mineral pool while it’s snowing
There are plenty of warm, mineral pools in the open air around the world. However pleasant they may be in the summer, there is nothing like getting into one in the winter, when snowflakes are falling from the sky and you are soaking in warm, mineral water, not caring about tiny details like weather forecasts or an air temperature more suited to polar bears…
How to do it: Don’t forget to take a towel to dry yourself off as quickly as possible as you climb out of the pool. Also take your favorite warm drink in a thermos for pure bliss (coffee, cappuccino, tea and rum, etc.).
2. Night Challenge
There are many attractions which stay open even when it’s dark outside. There are also events created to make your night more interesting. It’s a different world when you trade the light of the sun for the light of the moon and the stars.
A couple of ideas for night events: European Night of Museums (every year on a Saturday, around 18th May – the International Day of Museums), European Literature Night (in May – celebrities read excerpts from European works of art), European Theatre Night (in November). European Researchers’ Night – research centers and museums open doors to show their achievements (every year in late September). Open-air cinema to enjoy a movie under the stars.
A couple of ideas for attractions open during the night: Every summer from May until October the Colosseum in Rome, Italy, is open until midnight on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays (reservation necessary). In New York the Brooklyn Museum has free admission until 11 p.m. the first Saturday of each month (except September); the Top of the Rock observation deck at Rockefeller Center offers 70th floor views of Manhattan until midnight (last elevator up is at 11 p.m.), and the Empire State Building’s observation deck is open until 2 a.m. In Bangkok, Thailand, every district has its own night market where you can find all kinds of food, goods and fun activities, at the same time immersing yourself the best way possible into local life. Try the biggest market, Rot Fai, or the bohemian JJ Green Night Market.
For seasoned travelers: Take a night walk through the mountains. Under the only light of the moon or a headlamp – with an experienced guide or along trails you know like the back of your hand. Night walks are an experience that is hard to forget.
3. Go out of range for 24 hours
Go out of range, see the sunrise, read a book, talk to people.
You are constantly online. You follow the events on the social networks and sometimes it’s as if the real world has disappeared. We challenge you to go for at least 24 hours to a place where electronic devices are out of range. We challenge you to feel that you are here and you are here now, instead of drifting through virtual space.
For seasoned travelers: Deliberately turn off all your devices for a day. Get out of range for a week.
4. See a shooting star and make a wish come true
Seeing a shooting star to make a wish may seem to you like pure chance. The truth is, you can help chance come your way by being in the right place at the right time. Every year, around 12 August, the sky night fills with hundreds of shooting stars (or meteorites to be exact). The reason is the annual meteor stream called Perseids.
Fun fact… The meteors are called Perseids because when we look at the sky it seems like they come from the constellation Perseus. In fact, the shooting stars we see in the sky are part of the comet Swift-Tuttle.
How to do it: The Perseids peak around 12 August (look up the date for the year) when hundreds of meteorites can be seen every hour.
A couple more ideas: There are other meteor streams throughout the year (Geminids in mid-December, Lyrids in mid-April, Quadrantids in late December – early January) when you can see a shooting star.
5. Bathe in a waterfall
Enjoy a free shower from nature. If you try to find pictures of the waterfalls listed below, without a shadow of a doubt you will want to shower there next time.
A couple of ideas:
Skogafoss (Iceland), Havasu (Grand Canyon, USA), Ouzoud (Morocco), Skradinski buk (Croatia), Kempty (India). Or just visit the nearest waterfall to you.
6. Celebrate the International Picnic Day
On International Picnic Day (every year on 18 June), enjoy one of the best ways to be close to nature. The importance of picnics dates back to the Victorian Age when young men and women could spend time together in the open. Back in the day, they would bring fancy meals, sandwiches, sweets and crackers. Nowadays picnics require far less effort, but they can be a good reason finally to go somewhere you’ve been meaning to, but haven’t had the chance.
How to make it more interesting: You can give the picnic a theme – everyone to wear red, to bring only Italian cuisine, tea and board games, a candlelit picnic, etc. To make it more fun, you can throw in a kite, slackline, hacky sack, badminton or a frisbee.
Fun fact… According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the biggest picnic in the world was organized in Lisbon, Portugal, on 20 June 2009 with more than 20 000 participants.
7. See a shipwreck – without going underwater
It’s human nature – we are drawn to tragedy and decay. We roam around abandoned villages, enter buildings carrying legends of ghosts and dive to reach sunken ships. If diving is not your passion, we challenge you to visit one of the most famous shipwrecks in the world… without having to dive.
A couple of ideas:
Zakynthos, Greece – At Navagio Beach, you will see the remains of a vessel washed ashore. You can take a peek from the high rocks or reach it by boat.
Muynak, Uzbekistan – Outside the town of Muynak (or Moynaq) in Uzbekistan, in the direction of the Aral Sea, you will witness a sinister view along the road – the skeletons of ships and fishing boats abandoned long ago in the desert. Up until about 30 years ago Muynak was a sea harbor, but today it is in the middle of the desert, 50 km (30 miles) from the coast, after the rivers were diverted for irrigation purposes, and so the road leading to the Aral Sea turned into a ship graveyard.
Sydney, Australia – Homebush Bay in Sydney has become the final resting place of no longer operating ships. Some of them were swallowed by mangroves, growing over the rusty decks.
8. You want a raise? Take a holiday!
It is a proven fact that employees who use more of their vacation days achieve better results at work and have a higher chance of being promoted. Many people don’t use all of their vacation days as they fear that their long absence might show their bosses that the work can be managed without them. A study, however, shows that employees, who take all of their vacation days, show better results at work. Statistics in the USA and Canada reveal that for every 10 days off from work, the employee’s results improve by an average of 8%.
How to do it (if your boss won’t give you a holiday): Show this article to your boss (or an employee who urgently needs to take a break)…
Have you completed any of these challenges? Share about one of them and become an inspiration to others. Send a story and a couple of photos at firstname.lastname@example.org or share photos, thoughts, videos and texts on social networks with #203challenges. Sharing adventures is like a night around the campfire – it brings people closer in no time and creates a community of courageous, positive people, open to the world. You are one of those people.