AUGUST 2015: 35 PLUS EASY ADVENTURES

Photographer:
courtesy Konashidaira Camping Retreat, Kamikochi, Japan

YES, I’M A SCAREDY-CAT

By VARDHAN KONDVIKAR, Editor, Lonely Planet Magazine India

I’m not the most physically-inclined of people, being naturally clumsy and prone to injuring myself in ways that have scientists offering me millions if I’d consent to being a test subject. I definitely don’t like heights – apart from that little voice that goes, “Hmm, I wonder what will happen if I jump?”, I have no desire to go bungee-jumping. I quake just a little every time I don breathing gear and duck my head underwater, I’ll always be the suspiciously polite one letting others go ahead in the queue for the roller-coaster (and the one with a grim face once on it). And yet, somehow, I’ve chosen a job where I’m expected to zipline over thousand-foot drops, go diving with sharks, and go up in stunt planes, where being upside-down is actually the most relaxing part of the experience.

Just for once, I’d like a quiet life.

However, since that is not my destiny, I commanded my long-suffering team to come up with a list of things even I could do. They’ve managed to sneak in some things that make me roll on the floor laughing, like the GR20 trek in Corsica – quite gorgeous but also Europe’s toughest trek – but, for the most part, they’ve kept in activities that are fun, memorable and yet not terrifying. Want to go kayaking in the moonlight? Or whale-watching in New Zealand? Or playing at being a cowboy in Montana? How about a drive on one of the most glorious roads in the world, in Norway? Or even just hiking through tea plantations in Sri Lanka, with the promise of a cuppa at the end – now that sounds doable.

Thus, ladies and gentlemen of a relaxed nature, here’s our list of Easy Adventure travel – easy even to do with a paunch and a tendency to flop down in corners with books. Loosely paraphrasing a great Chinese chef who said, “If I can do it, so can you!”