4th Station – We see it by expanding our horizons

Setup:

Find yourself a quiet space in which to work. You will need access to the internet as your “window on the world” to watch some videos, do some reading and research. If you have a smartphone, you might want to use it when we go 360 degree exploring. You will also need a copy of the Where in the world worksheet, and a paper and pencil for making some notes and a method of randomly selecting a place in the world (e.g. rolling a dice on google earth or a printed map of the world and a pointer or pin).

Download worksheet here>

Introduction:

Adventure can broaden our outlook on the world by compelling us to experience new environments, places and cultures. Sometimes this comes through physical travel; at other times through connecting with people from different cultural backgrounds closer to home and exploring the cultural diversity in your local environment.

At the moment, of course, it’s not possible to do either so we’re going to expand our horizons and stretch our imaginations by taking a virtual trip around the world instead.

Pick at least one of the interest areas below and check out the online sources by clicking the links embedded in the text. If you have a smartphone, you might want to use it for this activity.

As you explore, be mindful of the experience, and how it makes you feel. Consider the experience as a substitute for travel and note down any pros and cons you can think of.

Sights and places: If your adventure lies in the astonishing sights you see, you can explore the wonders of the modern world HERE and the natural world HERE, see photographs of some breathtaking sights around the world HERE and architecture HERE. You can travel across the world in 3D with tours of natural wonders HERE cities HERE and even underwater experiences HERE. For historical sights, fly over the Great Wall of China by drone HERE, take a 3D visit to Petra in Jordan HERE or Pompeii in Italy HERE  or Stonehenge in England HERE.

Thrill seeking: If thrill-seeking is your thing you can follow the exploits of adventure Youtubers – check out a rundown of five examples HERE – and you can watch a compilation of thrill seeking experiences around the world HERE. In 360 degree VR you can immerse yourself in the experience of free solo climbing HERE. You can go skiing, bob-sleighing and paragliding HERE, and skydiving HERE or take a ride on the Extreme roller coaster at Seoul Grand Park HERE.

Natural world: If your idea of adventure travel includes exploring wildlife and the natural world you can browse through a global network of wildlife live cams HERE or join a live safari HERE. You can take a 360 degree swim with a Hammerhead Shark HERE swim with dolphins HERE or get up close and personal with a pride of lions HERE. Or take a 360 degree visit to Antarctica HERE travel down Canada’s wild rivers HERE, take a trip to the Sahara Desert HERE, visit Buck Island Reef HERE or delve into the Rainforest HERE.

Welcome back

Welcome back – how was your trip?

What do you find yourself saying in answer to that question when you come back from a travel experience? How do you describe it? What do you tell people on the postcards you send? What do you share on Instagram or other social media? Do you think about, and explain, travel in terms of what you see and do, or do you consider it in terms of what you learnt and how it made you feel? Therein lies the difference between holiday tourism and adventure travel.

That is not to say the two cannot be combined – you can have an adventurous travel experience whilst on holiday as a tourist… so what’s the difference? You guessed it – it’s all in the mindset – it’s all about “the why”.

Take a look at the notes you made on your virtual trip around the world and consider this: If we can visit all of these places and online why go there in person? Is there a difference between watching a safari or swimming with dolphins through a screen and being there for real? Imagine a parallel closer to home: You can get a better view of the stage at a music festival on the TV than by being there, so why buy a ticket? You can watch football or cricket or baseball online with a clear view of the field or pitch, so why join the crowds for the match?

As our collective awareness of the negative impacts of travel on our planet’s natural environment grows, so does our understanding of the need to travel ethically and with purpose, seeking sustainable options wherever possible and making every trip count. So, when we can see places so easily online through someone else’s films and photographs, is “the why” behind adventurous travel about something else that expands our horizons beyond the sights we see?

Read and learn:

In a moment we are going to go travelling again but before we set off, take a moment to consider that phrase “Expand your horizons”. What does it mean? Write yourself a brief definition. You might want to look up the phrase “Expand our Horizons” or “Broaden our Horizons” in an online dictionary and see if your definition agrees with the explanation you find.

Then read the sources below and make a list of reasons to travel.

Some of your reasons might come from the articles and blogs below and others from your own ideas.

Reflecting on the list you have made, consider the saying “travel broadens the mind” and ask yourself: How? It’s an expression we use a lot but have we really stopped to think what it means?

Is it sufficient to simply travel (to a new place), or is there something we need to do when we get there? What is the difference between tourism, travel and adventure travel? Is it about the motivation? The purpose? The destination? When it comes to adventure does it matter more why we travel than where we travel to?

Now let’s plan a trip:

Let’s test the theory by planning a round-the-world trip that will take in four destinations, each one involving a different type of adventure experience. The objective is to identify four activities in four different places around the world that will help you to broaden your horizons. You will need to look for experiences that will take you beyond your comfort zone.

Find your Where in the World worksheet and CLICK HERE to work through the activity.

Review and reflect

Look at your imaginary trip and consider: Which of the experiences on the trip would you be most excited by? Which the least? Which might challenge you the most? Which would be the most comfortable? Why? Which is more important to you – the destination or the activity or is it a bit of both? Where do you think the most learning lies?

Now ask yourself:

What experiences like this might be available more locally to me? Are there any adventures on my list that I could experience closer to home, either because the activity is offered nearby, or perhaps because there are opportunities to connect with other cultural influences in my own town or city? This might be through, e.g. food, theatre, music or art or through interacting with people from different community and social groups or visiting specific areas or neighbourhoods in your town or city.

What are my own personal reasons for travel? What makes a trip an adventure for me and how do I hope and expect to be challenged? What is my WHY? How have travel experiences changed me in the past and what do I hope to gain from travelling in the future?

In what ways would I like to be different when I return – what travel adventures do I want to have that might change my perspective on life, shake me of my routine and develop my Spirit of Adventure?

Consolidate with a task:

Write a short essay, article or blog entry of no more than 500 words that responds to one of the following quote-and-question pairs:

The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” (St. Augustine): Why do we travel?

The traveller sees what he sees. The tourist sees what he has come to see.” (G.K. Chesterton): What is the difference between tourism and adventure travel?

Not all those who wander are lost.” (J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring): Is adventure travel and exploration about quality or quantity of experience?

Travel far enough, you meet yourself.” (David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas): In what ways is travel to a new place a journey of self-discovery?


Next task>