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What Does Adventure In Travel Mean To You?


Since I live in the United States, my first overseas travel — to the totally exotic and beautiful part of the world known as Indonesia — was quite an adventure for me. Traveling alone, going through Customs and Immigration of a foreign country halfway around the world from “home”, was an adventure in itself. After all, arrival is when the real fun begins on such a trip.

It started right at the airport, at the Immigration desk. My Indonesian friend had told me ahead of time not to give anyone money for anything when I arrived — to carry my own bags, etc. I was very conscientious about this, and had no problems. But the Immigration desk is “official government”. I wanted no problems there. So, when the girl behind the counter hesitated on stamping and returning my passport, I wondered. When she asked me how much money I had with me, I was the one who hesitated. I asked her if there was a reason for needing to know, and how much I was expected to have. She simply repeated her question. A flash of recognition hit me then. So I raised my voice a bit (so her co-workers at the desks either side of her could hear), and said, “Oh, do you mean for a bribe?” Work continued at the other desks without interruption, and the girl simply said “yes”. I then told her I thought I had $10. She said, “OK, I need you to give it to me”. I did, and received my stamped passport back immediately. Later, I was told by my friend that I had handled it all wrongly, and I learned my first lesson about international travel.

While I was only on the island of Java (no, I didn’t go to Bali), traveling around old (and new) Jakarta to experience the flavor of the culture in various ways with local friends was amazing! This was the city of which I’d read adventure tales many times in my youth, while I was only an “armchair traveler”; (and which was formerly spelled with a “D” as the first letter – Djakarta). It was an adventure conversing with locals in my then non-existent Indonesian, and their broken “pigeon” English. It was an adventure going to the hill country outside Bandung to see the tea plantations and the terraced rice fields; and to interact with the people in a small community with whom I was invited to play volleyball (yes, really! — and they had the net and ball, with a decent dirt court!). Volleyball games, and people who knew how to play, were perhaps least among my expectations to find in the small community of a totally different culture, in “the middle of nowhere” in a largely third world country halfway around the world from home. Volleyball is, after all, a game created in the U.S A.!

So, what do you think of when I say those three words together — “international, travel, and adventure”? As mentioned above, and elsewhere in my musings on the subject, simply stepping across a border of another country can be adventurous; but what about beyond that? Does adventure combined with travel conjure images of an African safari in your mind? Does it possibly involve heli-skiing from some of the otherwise inaccessible slopes of the tallest mountains in Canada? Or is your adventure one of exploring newly discovered caves under the jungles of South America?

You will, from time to time, of course, find all of those, and more, right here. But there are many kinds of adventure in travel, and we may even explore a bit of the romantic kind from time to time. (Hey, this isn’t only for the guys!)

Source by Dan Lisson

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