You Can Do Heights and Lows on Vacation

An adventurous spirit will feel restless, self-destructive at worst, if not given some thrills and a few spills in any given year. If your dream is travelling, and your desk job makes the dream manifest, I’d recommend an intense spring/summer break this year. I’m not talking city breaks, or beaches, I mean mountains, treks, and tents, or a sunrise breakfast on a safari. Africa is calling, and the Andes are waiting for you. Why not?

Have no Fear

If heights bother you, many of the treks, like the Salkantay or the Inca trail, are endurance climbs, not rock-climbing. You won’t find yourself flat against a cliff hanging by ropes unless you specifically choose such a trip. The trips I suggest are 5 to 8 days in length, at a reasonable pace surrounded by majestic mountainous scenery. You might even get lucky enough to swim in hot springs near a sacred space. Some words of caution for the happy-packers among us. Think carefully before it goes in the bag. Do you really want to lug it up a mountain, even if it is at a gentle pace?

Machu Picchu

If you haven’t heard of Machu Picchu you’ve probably never thumbed through a travel guide on South America. The climb to it has been made simple with the introduction of a train allowing you to forego the trek if altitude sickness gets the better of you.

Once at Aguas Calientes, the town below Machu Picchu, which was the holy place and palace of the Incas, you can choose what feels like a hundred million steps up to the site, or you could just take the bus. Anyone with a problem to chew on is encouraged to thrash it out on the way up, then let it go once you are on top of the Inca world. Buses and trains can take you back to Cusco where you have more to explore from sacred plants to coffee in the local museum.

African Safaris

Not everyone wants to trek through mountains to find parts of themselves. We accept that, which is why your second option for your spring/summer adventure is an African safari. Wake up to nature making a different kind noise to the sounds of a city.

When on an established game reserve, of which there are hundreds for you to choose, you might wake up early to catch the animals live in action sauntering around under the African sun. At noon, when the sun is fiercer, we’d recommend you do as the animals do,  gather in the shade to rest until late afternoon. It is then that the Big 5 will come back out from the bush to a watering hole, or just to enjoy the breeze. Your reserve will offer you night drives to see cheetah kill, or the hunted flee. Despite the occasional fodder you see in tabloid news, game reserves are safe. Your vacation will offer you African views in secluded areas, even camping if that is what you’re after.

Whether you choose to exercise your free spirit in Africa or in the Andes, the right way to do it is to be prepared. Ensure your vaccines are up to date, buy mosquito spray, and don’t forget travel insurance. That said, going with proper tour providers, much like Kandoo, will give you or your mother peace of mind. Your equipment will be up-to-date, and all operators come with solid reputations. In the safest of hands, you can experience an adventure of a lifetime. Why not do it this year? A spring/summer adventure might just be exactly what you need.

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