Adventure Travel in the Time of Covid – Part II

Read Part 1 to this story to gain more insights!

Adventure travel requires an appetite for risk – balanced by trip planning and peak physical conditioning. We’ve been grounded temporarily by the Covid-19 global pandemic, but we are already making plans to start climbing to Kilimanjaro’s Summit  or exploring Greenland’s amazing glacial back-country in the near future.

Now is the time for adventure travelers to stay in peak physical and mental shape for these future journeys as well as planning them. These proactive disciplines will fire up your wanderlust and help you release your pent up hunger for adventure.  Tusker Trail is planning to reboot our overseas travel schedule when flights become available, and the psychic bridge to that reopening is planning for it and remaining active outdoors.

Human with a plan

If you’ve stayed home glued to the TV, buried in a book or getting negative because you had to cancel a trip, get over it fast. This is no time to be inactive, feeling sorry or at a loss because you can’t do what you love to do, travel to the world’s ruggedly exotic locales. Be thankful you’re healthy and your travel mojo is still intact. We all need a little escapism now, but many lesser travelers have fallen victim to the self-defeating idea that travel in a post Covid world will be too complicated, dangerous or expensive. Sure, there is a lot we don’t know about the short and long term future, but there have been pandemics before and explorers didn’t stop exploring. The Spanish Flu of 1918 terrorized millions, but the world soon cracked open to mass travel. Covid-19 too shall pass, so be ready when it does.

You now have time, so turn the pent-up quest for your bucket list adventure into action. Dust off your maps and get to work. Do your deep dive research into where you want to go, reading articles, watching foreign movies, scouring blogs for intel on countries worthy of your travel dream. If you live in a big city with ethnic neighborhoods, put on your mask and take a walk or bike ride through them. It’s the next best thing to being in Nepal or Tanzania. Walk into a grocery specializing in imported food/ spices. Get a waft of the chilies or curry and be dazzled by the colorful way the people who shop there dress. These smells and foreign languages spoken along with the street life you encounter along the route will trigger your travel curiosity and you will want to learn more.

Get back in touch with your travel buddies who you climbed Kilimanjaro with and find out where they’re going next and feed off their bravado. Confidence is a big weapon in getting back on the road in a post-Covid travel world.

One shout-out to consider is to Tusker Trail’s founder Eddie Frank. His travel juices flow just by hearing about people’s dreams. “I get excited and feel the joy of travel when I can help people plan a trip. It rekindles my early days of expedition adventure when I would get out maps and plan our overland routes from Europe across the Sahara down into southern Africa.

The pleasure in looking forward

There have been several studies that show planning a trip and the anticipation of it actually leads to more happiness than the actual trip. In a Dutch 2010 study with 1,530 respondents, it was found that people are happier prior to traveling than after a trip. Another revelation was we’re happiest when we spend our cash on hard earned experiences rather than material purchases (i.e. clothes or cars). Subsequent recent studies also bear this out.

To bring this research closer to home, looking forward to trekking to Everest Base Camp or going to see the upcoming solar eclipse in Chile’s Patagonia will provide more anticipated joy than any bauble picked off the shelf. Travel  has long lasting psychic effects.

The French nailed it with their expression, “se rejouir” which means to capture the experience of deriving enjoyment in the present you must anticipate the future. So if you’re feeling the Covid blues see yourself achieving the summit of Kilimanjaro or trekking with the Mongolian nomads. It will provide a psychological lift encouraging you to seriously consider a future trip.

Cure for the common Covid

Staying healthy hasn’t changed. Diet, exercise, sleep, stress release and guarding against your genetic weak links will buttress your immune system against current and future virus threats. Parks and hiking trails have remained open throughout the Covid months, so put on your boots and feed your lungs the best antidote available—fresh mountain air. Frequent hikes this spring have kept many in the Tusker tribe healthy, sane and fit for the resumption of overseas adventure. The backpacking season is now underway in many parts of the country and a warm spring out west is melting high mountain trail snow rapidly.

Backpacking is a great way to get yourself fit for the coming resumption of Kilimanjaro climbs, the classic trek to Everest Base Camp. Lose the weight you may have gained over the last three months to get into the best shape you have been since your last Tusker trek. Being outdoors puts you in the right physical and mental state to get you through the present lock-down while leading to a more promising and active future.

Go on.  Get out there!

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