Adventure Travel Blogs


Travel blogs about everything from backpacking trips in Colorado to solo trips in Southeast Asia and walking the Camino de Santiago in Spain; with more wanderlusting adventures around the world soon to come!

I grew up spending my weekends on a remote beach in the Pacific coast of Ecuador. The sea was rough, but we still ventured out in boogie-boards and got tumbled in the waves onto the rugged, sandy shore. When I moved to the Swiss Alps in 2009, I grew to love and respect the mountains, because there was not much else to do in Switzerland on the weekends but hike, climb, and ski. So I learned to become a mountain woman and pushed myself to my uttermost limits of fear and endurance. I am glad I endeavoured in all those mountain sports and while I still love hiking, and will ski with my boyfriend every now and then, my heart belongs to the ocean. To me, going to the beach is like going home. So this past November, on a month-long road trip to California, I split my time between hiking in Death Valley, Sequoia, and Yosemite National Parks, and driving along and visiting the beautiful California Coast. After almost 2 decades of 'California Dreaming', I finally got to drive on the Pacific Coast Highway and walk along the striking cliffs and expansive beaches of this unique, rugged coastline. These are the highlights.

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Are you a novice hiker and want a simple guide of what to do and not to do in the wilderness? Or are you a city person who wants to explore more time in nature but is a little hesitant about how to hike safely? This guide contains some advice based on my personal experience after 8 years of hiking 1000's of miles in mountains, deserts, forests, and jungles, in several continents, sometimes on my own. A lot of it focuses on safety and avoiding getting injured or lost. The better prepared you are the more you will enjoy your hiking adventure. Soon hiking will become second nature, and you will be eager to explore not only local trails but go on an exciting hiking holiday abroad!

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From the world's grandest trees to the country's largest granite rock faces, combining Sequoia and Yosemite National Parks into a 4 day/5 night itinerary allows you to visit the best spots in both parks and also do some epic hikes for awe-inspiring vistas of the Sierra Nevada mountains. I did both in early November, and timed it so I was there mid-week, thus avoiding the crowds while still enjoying the mild weather characteristic of autumn in Southern California. I finished my trip off with a few days on the coast around Carmel and Big Sur.

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I visited Death Valley National Park in early November of this year and was blown away by the geologic wonders this park has to offer. Since I was combining this with visits to other California National Parks, I only had two full days to explore the park. Being an avid hiker, I wanted to explore the park as much on foot as I did by car. Here is a two-day itinerary of things to see and do in Death Valley if you only have a limited amount of time. It may be the country's hottest, driest place but it is one of the most beautiful and unique.

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Travelling alone, especially as a woman, can be very scary, but it's an experience everyone should try at least once in their lifetime. It gets easier the more times you do it, and soon, it becomes a bit of an addiction. That's why you seldom meet people who are one-off solo travellers. Today on Halloween 2018, while driving from California from Colorado on my second, 1-month long solo adventure trip, I reminisced about my first ever solo travel adventure 17 years ago.

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The Tour du Mont Blanc is a European classic. A 170 km circuit that traverses the French, Swiss, and Italian Alps over the course of 7-12 days, it can be done without heavy packs thanks to a well-established system of alpine huts placed within feasible hiking distances. The TMB, as it is often called, attracts a wide variety of hikers, from young to seasoned. The high, alpine passes can be steep and unrelenting, but the views of striking granite peaks, snow-capped mountains and majestic glaciers make this a bucket-list hike for all outdoor and mountain lovers alike.

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Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) is only 1 hour from our home in Nederland, so it's like our neighbourhood playground. We prefer to go there in late September when most of the summer crowds are gone. Autumn, however, is still a popular time of year to visit RMNP as this is peak elk mating season, with dozens of herds roaming around the park. Bulls in rut will for bugle throughout the day and night while cows feed in the pastures. Seeing these majestic animals is very special, but we also enjoy the park for its wide variety of short, easy-to-difficult hikes that take you to scenic alpine lakes and waterfalls and offer amazing vistas of the Colorado Rocky Mountains.

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This past September, James and I went on a 3-day backpacking adventure in the Snowy Range of Wyoming. I was blown away by the scenery and the dozens of glacial tarns and alpine lakes we encountered, not to mention the striking white quartzite mountains lining what was once a grand glacial valley. We came across very few hikers along the way, which is always a plus. And on our summit day of Medicine Bow Peak, we had perfect weather. I definately recommend this hiking destination for anyone looking for scenic, isolated, and mellow trails and eager to bag a relatively easy and beautiful peak.

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Recently my partner and I did a 2-day backpacking trip in the Colorado High Country known as The High Lonesome Loop. This hike climbs over Devil's Thumb Pass in the Indian Peak's Wilderness and takes you across the Continental Divide, before bringing you to one of the most beautiful alpine lakes I've ever seen, King Lake. We camped at 11,000 feet under a meteor shower with a bear rustling around our campsite. It all sounds wonderful but walking 17 miles and climbing over 2500 feet with a heavy pack in the heat of summer after not having backpacked for over a year was a painful experience. These trips are challenging but the reward was the best vistas of the Colorado Rockies, and that makes all the pain worth it.

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In February/March 2018, I decided to take a 6-week solo trip to Southeast Asia, visiting Laos, Cambodia, and Northern Thailand in search of some off-the-beaten-path adventure. Towards the tail end of this already fabulous trip, I decided to spend a week hiking through rural villages outside Mae Sariang in the north of Thailand, something that had been recommended by local expats and adventure travellers in several travel forums. The first day of our trekking adventure, my local guide invited me to his cousin's wedding, and not knowing what I was getting into, I eagerly agreed. Let's just say I will never forget this particular wedding - definately one of the more enriching cultural experiences I've ever had.

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In September 2017, my friend Mariann and I decided to spend a week in New Mexico. I met Mariann on a climbing trip to Kilimanjaro in 2013, and we stayed friends ever since. She was also the first person to sign up to our kick-off alpine retreat in Chamonix, France back in 2015. I invited Mariann to Colorado two years later and offered to organize a road trip to New Mexico, to which I had never been. Being avid outdoors women, we decided to go on some outdoor adventures like rafting the Rio Grande and climbing New Mexico's highest mountain in addition to exploring the local culture. New Mexico has a rich Spanish and indigenous heritage, and the food is fantastic. Definately a must-see destination in the USA!

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Have you ever wondered what it's like to walk across an entire country and live for 34 days with nothing but a backpack, or to sleep 34 nights in a different bed, always in a different city? The Camino de Santiago is a famous pilgrimage that takes you 800 km (500 miles) across Spain, from the Pyrenees to the ancient city of Santiago, where the remains of Saint James the Greater are thought to be buried. I carried my dad's ashes on this wonderful but painful journey, one I will never forget. I highly recommend this journey to anyone who enjoys to walk, loves culture, and is looking for a life-changing experience. But unless you're an athlete or plan to take a bus/train to bypass sections of it, expect to feel some pain, as you should, in a real pilgrimage.

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