Before adventure travel entered our lives, my husband Dave and I were stuck in a rut. We were consumed by work and our biggest excitement on the weekend was deciding what movie to see and where to go for dinner.
We didn’t have hobbies and life had become routine. We spent too much time on our careers and too little time on our relationship. If something didn’t change, we would lose each other.
And then we found adventure!
It was during our first extended trip to Thailand that we stepped out of our comfort zones and tried something new. We signed up for rock-climbing lessons and sea kayaking, trekked through jungles and experienced a new culture. We did more in those five weeks of travelling through a foreign land than we had done during the last decade of living together. As we encouraged each other to push beyond our boundaries, we became closer and it gave us a new lease on life.
Many people say that travel can make or break a relationship, but we find that if you are willing to compromise, encourage each other and have an open mind, it can be the most rewarding experience you will ever have. You’ll come home from your adventure inspired to try new things and change your life.
Adventure is different for everyone. When we first started travelling, what was adventurous to us then is different from what we do now. In the beginning, we tried small things like walking through the streets of Bangkok at night or exploring a Cambodian market. With each trip we became more confident and started taking on new challenges such as trekking to Mount Everest Base Camp or cycling the continent of Africa.
If you want to adventure travel as a couple, we suggest starting small. You don’t have to start off with some epic adventure like driving from England to Mongolia while camping your way through the Gobi Desert.
Instead, when you go on a vacation, sign up for surfing lessons or try zip-lining over a jungle canopy. Maybe take your mountain bikes along on a weekend camping trip, or look for adventures in your own backyard and try out a few different things to see what you both like.
Whatever you choose, keep your mind open to each other’s suggestions and even if you are not interested in doing something, find a compromise. If one of you wants to go skydiving, but the other is afraid of the jump, try paragliding instead and do it together. If one of you wants to try scuba diving but the other is afraid of breathing under water, give snorkelling a try.
There is nothing better than conquering a great peak, finishing an epic journey or facing your fears together with the one you love. You will build memories and have shared life-changing moments that will help you grow closer and keep the relationship exciting and fresh.
A couple that has suffered together through the final steps to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro or weathered a sandstorm in the middle of the Sahara Desert will have created a bond that is indestructible.
Adventure travel has brought us closer together over our 21 years as a couple. Instead of drifting apart, we have strengthened our bond by encouraging each other, relying on each other and keeping life exciting.
We constantly inspire each other to try something new with each trip and have ended up doing things that we never thought possible. By slowly building on past adventures, we embrace life and enjoy new opportunities by keeping an open mind.
Adventure travel comes in all shapes and sizes and what we may think of as an adventure may be completely different from what you are looking for. The point is to step out of your comfort zone, try something different and, most important, do it together.
Debra Corbeil and Dave Bouskill blog about their travels as Canada’s adventure couple on The Planet D.
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