‘Adventurousness’ is a trait that people often think you have or you don’t have, but that’s not a belief we hold with. Anyone – even the most cautious amongst us – can have an adventure and everyone has something to learn from adventuring. In all of the itineraries we organise, there’s plenty to stretch students’ minds and open their eyes, often (but not always) alongside loads of blood-pumping and muscle-stretching activities.
We like to think of the school expeditions we put together as the beginning of a life of adventure, not a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Obviously not everyone can be Indiana Jones, but getting out of your comfort zone and seeing something new and unexpected can kick-start a different way of looking at the world. An adventure might take place on a zip-wire in the jungles of Borneo, but it can just as easily take place on your doorstep – it’s a matter of having an open mind and a willing spirit. Often, taking a trip to somewhere totally new is a way of unlocking ambition and opening the door to a life spent discovering, exploring and learning.
To make it impactful, an adventure needs challenge. That might be a physical challenge, like hiking the mountains of Eastern Tibet. Or it could be mentally demanding, like meeting hard-pressed locals in destinations where everyday life is very tough. Facing the human cost of challenging issues like poverty and exploitation face-on makes the world suddenly feel like a very small place. We try to unite both of these elements to maximise the personal development and educational experience.
Taking youngsters out of their everyday environment gives them a break from their day-to-day reality and offers up unique experiences that are exhilarating and mind-blowing. They’ll surprise themselves from the first to the last day. But while adventure is definitely about self-development, there’s also the small matter of the fun and elation. Don’t worry: we include those by the spadeful too.
Photo by Doran Erickson