Three Adventurous Wellness Retreats You Need to Try

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
– Mark Twain

Pursuing adventure has a certain way of reinvigorating our lives and putting things in perspective. It’s freeing to identify our fears, only to stare them down and challenge them. So much so, that people have built whole retreats around doing just that. These fear conquering getaways have been dubbed adventure retreats: designed to test the body, strengthen the mind and renew the soul. Here are three examples of different wellness retreats you need to try:

Run Mindful

This running retreat allows participants to push their cardio to its limits while enjoying all the beauty that nature has to offer. Organizers carefully choose both challenging and gorgeous trails that physically and mentally test your level of endurance, fitness and determination. These retreats don’t only emphasize running but focus on bettering your whole self. You’ll eat healthy foods that will nourish, support, and replenish your muscles. You’ll learn the importance of mindfulness and meditating while running. Lastly, you’ll have a chance to connect with other runners like yourself, giving you a chance to build your network of like-minded individuals.

Outdoor Survival Training & Yoga Getaway

This adventure retreat mixes outdoor theory and application with the calming nature of yoga and meditation. It was designed to be enjoyed outside in the beautiful setting of the Forest of Dean in Glouchester, UK. You will be faced with challenges on both land and in water, and will be assessed on your ability to lead and survive as a team member. Outdoor rescue training, emergency scenarios, rappelling, situational awareness, and basic survival skills are also built into the retreat. At the end of each day, you’ll have a chance to center your mind and body with yoga and stretching. After three days in the forest, the retreat moves indoors and wraps up with two days of massages, dinners, touring, classes, and socializing.

River Soul Journey

River Soul Journeys are adventure retreats along Idaho’s rivers, led by skilled rafting guides. Along the way, participants have an opportunity to fly-fish, hike, journal, and learn about local wildlife. You’ll have a chance to unplug, practice self-discovery and awareness, and tap into the healing arts yoga and meditation. River Soul Journey is about much more than the adrenaline rush that comes with rafting, it’s meant to be a deeper spiritual exploration to connect with what it means to truly be present, alive, and balanced. You can expect a health mix of journaling, yoga therapy, hiking, camping and plenty of time in the water. 

Bonus: Women-Specific Adventure Retreats

Increasingly, women-only adventure retreats are gaining in popularity. Many speak to the wellness aspect, emphasizing staying in tip-top shape, but doing so by traveling to some of the most beautiful destinations on the planet. Others stick to driving home the point of adventure and nothing more. The last group of women-only travel adventurists seems to highlight lifelong sisterhood. Whatever the selling point, it’s working. More and more women are jumping on board, hopping on flights (and jumping off planes), all in the name of adventure and unity. Here are a few women-only travel groups to check out:

Adventure retreats open up a completely new avenue for travel and vacations. This year, instead of taking a week for your typical trip to a resort, why not take one for your mind, body and soul? There are countless selections available, covering an array of sports and adventures, just waiting to be explored! These three options are just the beginning, so do your research and find the perfect adventure retreat for you. 

Brad and Julie DuncanThree Adventurous Wellness Retreats You Need to Try
Read More

5 Ways Traveling Can Help In Your Personal & Professional Growth

Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.
-Anonymous

People have a variety of options when it comes to fun and adventure. However, if your wish is to enjoy and learn at the same time, traveling is the way to go. Meeting new people and seeing new places open vast opportunities for lessons that can help you grow personally and professionally. You may not realize it at once but traveling changes you. As you explore unfamiliar territories, you may find your views on certain matters changing as well. In many ways, you can gain fresh perspectives and acquire new skills. The following are some ways on how travel brings about personal and professional improvements:

Personal Improvements.

  • Boosts self-esteem.
    Even with the planning and preparation, going somewhere new can still feel like an adventure into the unknown. You are technically leaving your comfort zone so It is normal to feel excited and nervous at the same time. As a traveler, you learn to cope with unexpected moments and even turn it to your advantage. The ability to deal with unavoidable travel woes increases your confidence to face any adversary that may come your way. 
  • Increases self-awareness.
    As Aristotle said, “ Knowing thyself is the beginning of all wisdom.” Self-awareness is important because it allows you to fully understand your wants, needs, and limits. This means you are aware of your strengths and weaknesses that will help you set realistic goals and avoid mistakes. Knowing oneself will require time for reflection which you can get from traveling. The new scenery can also help you see yourself in a new light making it easier to understand yourself better.
  • Increases general knowledge.
    Traveling is like opening a treasure chest of knowledge. For people hungry for knowledge, every turn in your journey is a chance to learn something new. This is information that you cannot learn just from reading books or watching documentaries. You can learn a new language or be adept at a new skill. Bits of info and trivia you pick up during your escapades increase your general knowledge.

Professional Improvements

  • Improves communication and organizational skills.
    You may not give much thought on the way you communicate when you are in your hometown because people generally talk the same way. On the other hand, you may find yourself paying more attention to your speaking, listening, and comprehension skills when you are in a place where people speak a different language. As you go about from place to place, you also learn to be conscious of how you organize your time and things. Poor communication and organizational skills can jeopardize your vacation so you find ways to improve it. With better communicating and organizing techniques, you will certainly increase your value as a professional. 
  • Discover wonderful opportunities.
    Companies are always looking for fresh ideas, which can sometimes be hard to come by. It is especially difficult to think creatively if you stay in the same place day in and day out. Traveling, on the other hand, can make you discover new ventures and ideas. Who knows? You may see a product or system that is not yet available in your hometown. New things you see from traveling can help you come up with ideas that can be a hit back home.

Traveling may be considered an expensive and exhausting hobby but exploring different destinations give many benefits that make it all worth it. Make the most out of your travel experiences by welcoming changes that help you become a better person.

Brad and Julie Duncan5 Ways Traveling Can Help In Your Personal & Professional Growth
Read More

Five Reminders For Your First-Ever Backpacking Adventure

Backpacking is usually defined as a great option for people who want to travel on a low budget. You do this by taking the cheapest fare to get to your desired destination. To further cut down on travel expenses, you also try to fit everything you need for your escapades in a backpack. Although it is an inexpensive way to explore new places, backpacking can also be considered as the true route for the real travelers and adventurers by heart. But like any adventure, it also comes with risks. To ensure a smooth and safe backpacking getaway, it pays to take note of the following tips especially if you are doing it for the first time.

Choose your destination well.

Since you are new at it, you do not want to go backpacking to a destination that is too far or too remote. You want to lessen the risk of getting lost or encountering unexpected mishaps so it will be wiser to choose an easy destination. It means picking a place that would not take too much time or effort to reach. It may even be a good idea to go to a place where the route is already familiar to you.

Consider a guided tour.

Many travel agencies offer backpacking options for certain destinations. Signing up for this tour is likewise a good option because you considerably minimize the preparation you need to do. As part of a group tour, you have a well-thought-out itinerary and expert guides. You will feel more safe and confident as you travel and may even make new friends along the way.

Check the weather and other safety information.

It is always a must to take note of the weather forecasts before a trip but this is especially important in a backpacking adventure. Aside from the weather, you also need to research about existing policies in places you will pass by. Some areas may prohibit certain items or may require some documents. Do your research before so as not to violate any rules and avoid hassles.

Be ready with essentials and supplies.

You don’t want your bags to feel like a burden so you are advised to pack lightly and only bring essentials. However, traveling with a backpack is no excuse to forget necessary items and supplies. Some items you need in your bag include water, toiletries, and medicines. You also want to bring easy to carry food that you can eat on the go. 

Make sure you are ready for the trip.

Backpacking sounds great but it may not be suitable for everyone. Thus, carefully assess if you are physically, mentally, and emotionally up for this travel adventure. Remember that you need a strong body for the journey and a stable disposition to beat any odds you may encounter.

Backpacking can make you appreciate a place more and allows you to creatively devise ways to cope with your surroundings. Thus, with the excitement and the challenge that comes with it, you can say that backpacking is a cool adventure worth taking even just once in your life.

Brad and Julie DuncanFive Reminders For Your First-Ever Backpacking Adventure
Read More

Three Travel Tips to Take Better Pictures on Your Next Trip

We’ve all returned home from an amazing trip, looking forward to posting pictures on Facebook or Instagram, only to discover they aren’t “post-worthy.” No one wants to show off a dull sunset, scene-ruining photobombs, or wayward thumbs that accidentally find themselves in front of the camera’s lens. So how can you avoid these common mistakes? Here are three travel tips on how to take better pictures on your next vacation.

1. Maximize What You’ve Got

Most tourists travel light, bringing nothing more than their cell phones, and that’s perfectly fine. Many professional photographers are quick to admit that it’s not the camera, but technique that creates the best results. So if all you’ve got is your phone, don’t count yourself out.

  • Cell Phone Photography
    Start with the basics. We unintentionally smudge both the front and back lens through normal use of our phones. So before you take a picture, pause to wipe off your camera’s lens. Now that your lens in clean, it’s time to focus on your screen. Go into the camera app’s settings and turn on the grid feature to help you better frame your scene. Last, use the advanced features to your benefit. Modern smartphones are packed with photo features. Play around with your settings, or head over to YouTube for a tutorial on all your phone has to offer.  

2. Plan Ahead

The second way to become an enviable vacation photographer is to plan ahead. There are many factors that go into bringing your photos to life. Most can be controlled with a little planning. 

  • Time of Day
    First, consider your location of choice. Getting the perfect shot, in popular area, during peak visitation hours is extremely difficult. But if you show up early in the morning, or later at night, your chances of success increase exponentially. Also remember to be mindful of nature. Lighting is one of the biggest factors that play into how a photo turns out. If it’s too bright, the photo will be overexposed. If it’s too dark, you won’t be able to clearly see your subject. So before you plan your trip itinerary, make a list of the locations that you want to photograph and schedule your visits accordingly. 
  • Be Patient
    Even in the best of conditions, it may still come down to being patient (with yourself, your scenery and your camera). Sometimes you’ll need to take the same picture more than once, at different angles, in various light, after adjusting your camera settings multiple times. Don’t let the process deter you from getting your shot! Know that everyone has faced the same challenge and what matters most is the end result. If you get frustrated, take a deep breath, or pass your camera off to someone else for a while, but don’t give up! 

Upgrade

One of the most effective ways to take better vacation pictures is to make a few upgrades! 

  • Knowledge
    Upgrade your skills! Although things can get technical pretty quickly, investing a bit of time into mastering aperture, shutter speed and ISO can quickly improve your photography skills. Fortunately, there are many videos, articles and books that offer detailed explanations of each. Before your next trip, set aside time to study and practice so you’ll be ready to jump into action with no hesitation.
  • Equipment 
    The last, and most expensive step, is to upgrade your equipment. Cameras and lenses today are manufactured to conveniently accommodate the trickiest of conditions. Even the accompanying accessories can make all the difference in capturing impressive vacation pictures. If you are open to making a financial investment, it’s worth the effort to research tripods, DSLR and mirrorless cameras, lenses, and even editing software like Lightroom or Paintshop Pro

Pictures are a physical reminder of the memories we’ve created over the years. Having the ability to capture perfect photos with your loved ones is a gift that lasts a lifetime. Why not work on living up to your full vacation-photographer potential? Next time you are ready to plan some time away, remember these three photography tips to ensure you’ll return home with memories worth posting. 

Brad and Julie DuncanThree Travel Tips to Take Better Pictures on Your Next Trip
Read More

Four Extreme Sports to Satisfy The Adventurist in You

Do you love the feeling of pushing yourself to the limits? Do you enjoy physical challenges that make your heart race and palms sweat? If so, you are the perfect candidate for action sports. Action sports, better known as extreme sports, up the ante when it comes to undertaking thrill-seeking adventures. If traditional sports like basketball and football just won’t do, it’s time to try your hand at going extreme. Here are four extreme sports to satisfy the adventurist in you. 

Canyoning (Gorge Walking)

Canyoning is an extreme outdoor sport whose popularity has grown exponentially since the 1980s. Its origins can be traced back to Edouard Alfred Martel, a French scientist who had a penchant for cave exploration. Today, canyoning is a modern test of athleticism that requires participants to intertwine rock climbing, cliff jumping, scrambling, and swimming skills to reach the end of mountainous courses. 

For more information click here.

Snowkiting

Snowkiting is an exhilarating winter sport that requires nothing more than a snowboard (or skis), a snow kite, wind and an open area filled with snow or ice. Snowkiters hold a handle that’s attached to a parachute-like kite. The tension from the wind then allows you the freedom to soar across the snow, while completing impressive spins and flips, adding more adventure to this  adrenaline filled sport.

For more information, click here.

Microlighting

Microlighting (also known as ultralight aviation) is defined as the operation of an extremely light, small-engined aircraft that can carry up to two people. You can also participate in microlighting by sitting in the passenger seat of the plane. Ultralight aviation is unique because it allows you to fly low, bringing you closer to beautiful scenes below. If you choose to fly solo, this sport is one of the few forms of aviation that doesn’t require the plane’s pilot to be licensed (although in-depth training is strongly advised). However, if you want to fly a two-seater ultra light, you will need a Sport Pilot Certificate to fly. 

For more info on microlighting, click here

Abseiling (Rappelling) 

Abseiling comes from the German term “abseilen,” which means to rope down. In the United States, this sport is better known as rappelling. Abseiling can be used to lower yourself down steep cliffs, mountains, buildings, bridges, and much more. It involves attaching a rope to an object, then binding yourself to the rope. After securing your rope, you lower yourself down the side of an object, while releasing rope to increase your distance from your starting point. This useful technique, turned sport, was created by an alpine guide named Jean Charlet-Straton, late in the 19th century.

For more information on abseiling, click here

Obstacle Course Races (OCRs)

Modern obstacle course races range from traditional to outrageous. Over the past decade, the rise in big-market, annual obstacle course racing has surged dramatically. Currently, there are thousands of OCRs that span the globe. Some require participants to conquer their greatest phobias (ex: heights, tight spaces, fire, water and electricity), while others demand racers to slither through mud, carry partners on their backs and brave overnight challenges. The unique part of obstacle racing is, for many of them, participants don’t need to be hardcore athletes in order to qualify for entry. 

For more information on the history of OCRs, click here

(Still want more options of extreme sports? Click here!)

As with all physical activities, it’s important to use caution when participating in sports. However, when it comes to extreme sports, you need to be even more careful. Make sure to wear appropriate gear, advise weather conditions, applicable laws and any other safety rules put in place for your protection. And once you’ve taken care of those things, you’re free to have fun! Keep these four extreme sports in mind next time you are in need of a little adventure.  

Brad and Julie DuncanFour Extreme Sports to Satisfy The Adventurist in You
Read More

Are You Ready For Adventure Philanthropy?

We all need a little adventure in our lives. A quick break from our daily routines to venture into the unknown keeps the zest in life burning. Meanwhile, setting aside time for altruistic endeavors gives us a sense of purpose. Needless to say, adventure and philanthropy play important roles in making our lives happier and meaningful. These activities help us discover our strengths and weaknesses, and ideally makes us a better person. It is therefore a good idea to continually seek adventure and pursue philanthropy throughout life.

But do we have to do these two things separately? Apparently not, as these activities complement each other well. When you come to think of it, every philanthropic act is an adventure on its own. On the other hand, an adventure becomes more colorful and challenging when it opens an opportunity to lend help to others. It is no wonder then that adventure philanthropy or the act of tying up travel or other exciting activities with community outreach or social services is gaining popularity. There are groups and organizations offering adventure philanthropy for passionate adventurers who want to give back and have fun at the same time. You are likewise welcome to organize a philanthropic adventure of your own. However, just like any other venture, you cannot simply jump into it without fully understanding what you are getting yourself into. To gauge your readiness for adventure philanthropy, you may want to ask the following questions to yourself:

Have I done any research?

An adventure trip would be more memorable if you immerse yourself with the culture of the people.This would involve a lot of interaction with the locals. It would be beneficial if you can dig some valuable information about the place you will visit and the people residing on it. A bit of research will help you see and understand the problems in the area. You can also avoid making any offensive gestures or comments.  It will also help you empathize with the people you will meet on your trip. The more you know about the community you are visiting, the greater the chance to create a positive impact. 

Do I need proper training?

Some adventure travel may bring you to towns where people need medical assistance. In other places, you may have to offer psychological counselling. It is also possible to visit towns where children need  educational help. In cases like these, your intention to help may just not be enough because proper training is necessary. The organization you are with should offer some seminars and trainings before your trip to make you well-equipped to offer any assistance that may be needed. You can also check the services that you can render and give yourself proper training or education to be prepared.

What are the possible problems I may encounter?

Adventure is going out of your comfort zone so be ready to experience some hazards. It is advisable to study the area you will visit prior to the trip so you can assess the possible difficulties or problems you may encounter. You are free to decline a trip if you are sure that you will be a burden rather than an asset to a group. However, if you are determined to be adventurous and philanthropic at the same time, you strive to think of ways on how you can cope with the discomfort you may experience.

How can I apply my learnings to my own community?

Adventure travel is an opportunity to share and learn at the same time. The experience can give you fresh insights that you can apply to your own community as well. If you can extend help to people living in far places, you should also somehow make an effort to help the people in nearby communities that may be experiencing the same plight. So while doing altruistic work in a new place, keep your hometown in mind and you may just come up with ideas on how you can apply your new knowledge upon returning home. 

People travel and seek adventure to gain new experiences and create memories. For unique escapades that enrich the soul, you may want to give adventure travel a try. This activity is open to all but to create a lasting and positive impact, you first want to make sure that you are ready for it. 

Brad and Julie DuncanAre You Ready For Adventure Philanthropy?
Read More

4 Stress-Relieving Adventures to Pursue this Summer

You’ve worked hard for the first half of the year, and now it’s summer. What a perfect reward! For most, the summer months are enjoyable because of the warmer weather, water activities, freedom to wear lighter, more comfortable clothes, and flexibility to vacation. However, the fun isn’t limited to just those few perks. Here are four stress-relieving adventures to pursue this summer. 

Book a Quick Staycation

The best things about vacations are obvious. Unwinding with your friends and family, touring new areas, and taking in unseen sights are all great reasons to excitedly book a flight. But the downside of traveling is equally obvious: travel expenses, securing vacation days away from work, and finding the time to plan a trip. If you want to avoid the high airfare and extended rental car fees, try booking a staycation! Keep it local and schedule some fun at a resort near home. Staycations are flexible, can save money, and are ideal for those who are in need of rest and relaxation but are short on time. So, if you want to eliminate a bit of travel stress, a staycation is your best bet. 

Pursue a Passion Project 

When we think of summer learning, children are usually the first group who come to mind. Fortunately, summer classes are for adults too! With all of the stress of life, investing time in yourself can fall to the bottom of your priority list. So push the reset button this summer and take some time to pursue a passion. There are many great opportunities for adults to experience structured sessions to enjoy a hobby or learn a new skill. If you’re having trouble choosing a subject, consider what you find enjoyable, calming, or entertaining. To find classes, a little online research goes a long way, but if you want to be more hands-on in your pursuit, visit or call your local library, art museum, or community/recreation center to learn which classes are available. Not only will pursuing a passion help fill your time, but it will also provide a sense of productivity at the end of your summer. 

Tackle a Fear

For those willing to exercise their courage and strive to be better, this one’s for you. Take some time for self reflection to identify the fear you feel most ready to pursue. Maybe you want to finally be able to speak in front of a crowd, squash your fear of heights or dance like nobody’s watching. Whatever the case may be, make it your goal to tackle your fear this summer, so you’re able to take on the rest of the year with your head held high and your fear proudly conquered. 

Attend a Festival 

Summer can be a great time to be outdoors while being a part of an exciting event. Throughout the summer you will be able to find different types of festivals to enjoy with friends, your spouse, or even your little ones. Kid-friendly festivals centered around art or animals are popular throughout the summer, making it possible for your kids to join in on the fun. Occasionally, family festival tickets are offered at a discount at your local grocery store. If you decide to leave the kids at home, adult events can include full weekends of music and high-end culinary and wine festivals. 

There are endless ways to make the most of the summer time. Don’t let the long days full of sunshine and good weather go to waste. Use these four stress-relieving activities to take a much needed break and make new memories.

Brad and Julie Duncan4 Stress-Relieving Adventures to Pursue this Summer
Read More

Is Travel Insurance Necessary? 3 Things To Check When Buying One

With a multitude of things a traveler needs to prepare before a trip, it is often easy to forego purchasing insurance coverage. A national survey conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates in 2013 shows that only 21% of the respondents reported buying travel insurance. The same study also reveals that 49% of people included in the study did not purchase travel insurance policy because they do not understand the importance of having one. The reason for its unpopularity is quite understandable. Traveling is already an expensive venture, making travel insurance an additional cost some might pass up on. On the other hand, the extra fee will offer the protection and security that you want for a more blissful vacation.

So one question that may start hanging over your head is: do you really need travel insurance?  

The importance of travel insurance cannot be undermined because you cannot entirely be certain of future events. Still, since the trip details such as length of travel and the number of travelers vary, travel insurance is likewise not necessary for every trip. One way to determine if it is a wise choice to buy travel insurance is by examining the cost of the policy and the financial risks you are taking by deciding to skip it. In general, the insurance cost will be equivalent to 5-10% of your total travel cost. 

This amount will save you worries from any unforeseen trip cancellations or missed flights. It will also cover your expenses for any unexpected accidents or illnesses you may encounter while on the road.  Being in a place where your existing health card is not valid increases the risk of you spending more on healthcare. Therefore, if you have health concerns and plan to stay overseas for a while, it is probably wiser to purchase insurance coverage. Meanwhile, if you purchase airfare at a budget rate and the flight schedule is in a few days, buying travel insurance may not be helpful since there is a low chance that you will cancel your flight. Many other scenarios can determine if you need or do not need travel insurance. Therefore, weigh the pros and cons depending on your own circumstances. Once you realize that getting insured is indeed the better option, the following reminders can help you get the most out of your coverage:

Read the terms. 

It is never wise to sign a document without reading what is written on it. The same is true in travel insurance. Therefore, allow some time to sit and read through all the terms written in your policy. You want to take note of the benefits you can get in cases such as accidents, illnesses, or flight delays and the conditions for availment. Aside from the inclusions, you also want to be on the lookout for things that are not covered by the policy. Do not hesitate to consult with the insurance company any inquiry you have or clarification you want. 

Be meticulous. 

Not all insurance providers are equal so a bit of research to check the background of the company will go a long way. Choose a provider that has a good reputation in terms of paying claims and providing assistance. You will gain insights into their services by reading testimonials or reviews from past clients. You can also check the services of several insurance companies so you can compare and assess which provider gives the best offer.

It pays to be prompt. 

You do not want to procrastinate if you want to enjoy the protection of travel insurance for a longer period of time. This is because some insurance policies get you covered for up to 2 months before your actual trip. So if your trip is finally confirmed, do not waste time by delaying your purchase to get protected as soon as possible. If you wait for something unexpected to happen before purchasing insurance, the company may have reasons to deny your request for reimbursement. Some insurance also offers a review period for a number of days so you can freely make changes to your trip or plans. 

Being a savvy traveler requires a lot of research, planning, and preparation. But as you start booking airfare and checking hotel rates, do not forget to give travel insurance some thought. It can be the key to your best vacation ever.

Brad and Julie DuncanIs Travel Insurance Necessary? 3 Things To Check When Buying One
Read More

How to Foster a Healthy Sense of Adventure in Your Children

“Do one thing a day that scares you.”
-Mary Schmich

Adventure requires risk. According to Merriam Webster, risk is defined as the possibility of loss, injury or peril, and adventure is what follows. Adventure starts the moment you decide to expose yourself to an unknown outcome. Adventure is what happens when you push forward. Despite the fear. Despite the trepidation. Despite the negative possibilities. Adventure is the physical manifestation of the abstract concept of what it means to truly live.

Risk taking is a part of life. We’ve all faced the crossroads of deciding whether to cling to stability and familiarity, or throw caution to the wind and leap into the unknown. Although it’s comfortable to follow a predictable outline in order to arrive at an expected outcome, doing so isn’t always the best option. Setting aside predictability, in the name of adventure, can result in some of the most memorable, life changing experiences, lessons, and opportunities.

As adults, we’ve seen proof and heard success stories about how big risks can pay off. We understand that adventures don’t always end in triumph. However, are still undeniably worthy of pursuit. We’ve experienced the highs and lows of our own risk taking and have learned that a strong sense of adventure is a valuable quality to have.

As parents, it’s our job to pass that knowledge on and teach our kids to be confidently adventurous. Here are three ways to foster a healthy sense of adventure in your children:

Support Safe Risks

As children grow and interact with their world, they will naturally encounter obstacles that’ll force them to decide whether to be daring or cautious. Use those experiences as teachable moments. Model how to weigh the pros and cons of possible consequences. And if the risk is safe to pursue, encourage your little one to go for it! The way you choose to respond heavily influences the type of response your child employs. So, instill confidence by providing the proper problem solving skills to analyze the safety level of the risk, then be supportive when the adventure begins.

Don’t Project Personal Fears

As much as we hate to admit it, parents’ personal phobias and negative self-talk is contagious. Children are perceptive and impressionable, causing them to absorb and mirror the behaviors that surround them. Your attitude, perspective and outlook is the blueprint for your children’s foundation. Therefore, be aware of how you handle risks. Think of the example you’re setting and adjust accordingly. Lastly, when speaking to your children, equalize your emphasis on potential outcomes by highlighting what may go right, instead of only discussing what may go wrong.

Regularly Expose Your Kids to New Experiences

Humans are granted such a short period of life to feel unburdened by the stressors of adulthood. By design, childhood is absent of major responsibility. It is a safe space. To learn, to play and to fail. School-aged children have the luxury of experimenting and discovering who they are, while still covered safely under the umbrella of financial and emotional support. So be intentional. Foster their sense of adventure by tailoring their exposure. Seek frequent, meaningful risks and experiences that will help build character and shape their worldview. Give your child the best start possible to their lifelong pursuit of adventure.

Author Neale Donald Walsch stated, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” Risk can be scary, but it can also be gratifying. Do your part to guide your children through coping with the fear and celebrating the reward. Use the three tips above to help foster a sense of healthy adventure. By doing so, you are opening the door to a lifetime of fulfillment.

Brad and Julie DuncanHow to Foster a Healthy Sense of Adventure in Your Children
Read More

4 Misconceptions Hindering You From Embracing Your Adventurous Side

Anyone would be happy to be described as adventurous. It is generally a compliment implying that someone is interesting, independent and strong. The trait personifies confident individuals who are ready to face any challenge that comes their way. All the positive characteristics make being adventurous a little intimidating. But as they say, there is almost always more than meets the eye. Adventurous people may appear larger than life for others, but in reality, they are just typical people with their share of strengths and weaknesses. Shatter any doubt about your ability to embrace an adventurous spirit by looking at some of the misconceptions about this trait:

Adventurous people are fearless.
Bravery plays a huge role in trying something new, so it is easy to assume doubts and fears have no place in any adventure you take. However, it does not mean that people should adopt a “risk-it-all attitude” at all times. A famous quote even says that courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the ability to face it. Therefore, it is wrong to think adventurous people are fearless. Most likely, they suffer from worries and anxieties too, but the main difference is they have learned to adopt skills and techniques to deal with their fear. So, if you are feeling a little scared, do not be too quick to say no to an adventure. Rather, try to look for ways to subdue your fears. When you come to think of it, without the element of fear, an activity may not even be considered an adventure at all.

Adventurous people are young.
People associate old age with retirement houses and routine activities. On the other hand, heart-racing adventures seem to be reserved for the young. So it wouldn’t be a surprise if people beyond their 50’s would think twice about trying new experiences. But the truth is, there are no rules stating an expiration age for adventures. If you have a young spirit, no one can say that you are too old for any adventure. As part of caution, it is still advisable to seek the advice of a physician before starting any physically draining adventure.

Adventurous people are wealthy.
You can’t deny that funds and resources are needed to try new experiences. Travel requires airfare and some activities require equipment. However, do not forget that money is not the most important thing about being adventurous. In fact, lack of funds could even open doors for more unforgettable experiences because you get to make do with what you have. People who are truly adventurous are resourceful and creative, so they can find ways to make exciting activities happen even with limited funds.

Adventurous people are perfectly healthy.
It takes physical strength to participate in extremely strenuous activities, such as mountain biking or rock climbing. Still, adventures should not entirely exclude people with physical limitations (such as disabilities or ailments). Sometimes, adventures can even pave the way to physical fitness or improved health. It can also be a way for some people to discover hidden strengths.

The decision to be adventurous is not something reserved for the privileged few. Given the right mindset and stern determination, anyone can add a sense of adventure in their life. So, if you want more fun and adventure, start by widening your mind and shattering misconceptions.

Brad and Julie Duncan4 Misconceptions Hindering You From Embracing Your Adventurous Side
Read More