When you’re on the couch watching Indiana Jones running through the Temple of Doom or Laura Croft scaling sandstone walls in crumbling temples in Tomb Raiders, your Adventure Travel IQ is through the roof! In reality though, it is probably much different.
I stood in the Ta Prohm temple complex in Cambodia which served as the backdrop for the Tomb Raiders movie–and it was indeed pretty cool. While my personal Adventure Travel IQ is relatively high and I find crawling through crumbling jungle temples exciting–that kind of adventure is not for everyone.
With a simple exercise it is easy to determine YOUR Adventure Travel IQ and use it as a starting point to guide the kinds of trips and activities that will ensure your best possible travel experience.
The formula boils down to how much mental and physical exertion you can endure, what interests you and what you have no interest in doing.
High Adventure Travel IQ
Can you picture yourself trekking through jungle terrain surrounded by unfamiliar animals, insects, blistering heat and walking on unpaved, steep terrain for hours at a time? Are you game for sitting 18-24 hours on an airplane to travel to Asia or Australia and deal with a 12 hour time difference that flips your sleep/wake cycle? Are you capable of hiking in mountains at high altitudes? If you have a High Adventure Travel IQ, these kinds of activities that require extreme mental and physical exertion are suitable for you.
Moderate Adventure Travel IQ
While adventure appeals to you, extreme adventure does not. The good news is, many “extreme” activities can be modified to provide a similar experience without with the full-on commitment. For example, if you have bad knees, then climbing many stairs to and from steep waterfalls is not a good option. Check with your travel advisor about experiencing those waterfalls from a different, flatter location above. If you love whitewater rafting but you no longer enjoy the near death experience of flipping out while hitting Class VI rapids, find a rafting outfitter that also offers an excursion to peacefully float down the river in a different area. There are always options to modify adventures–sometimes you just have to get creative.
Low Adventure Travel IQ
You would choose a leisurely stroll along a waterfront boardwalk long before you would ever consider climbing mountains in Rwanda to get up close and personal with mountain gorillas. Most destinations have tour options that accommodate travelers who prefer or less strenuous activities. I wouldn’t rule out a destination altogether because activities seem extreme or the terrain looks too cumbersome. There are likely tour groups that cater to your style of travel in the region.
There is no right or wrong travel style, it is only important that you understand where you fall on the Adventure Travel IQ spectrum and enjoy the activities that are perfect for you.