5 Audacious Experiences that Take Girls-Only Vacations to New Heights
You were the tomboy on the block that raced BMX bikes and broke your arm climbing a tree. You never shied away from a challenge, in fact, you live for them. Friends and colleagues alike label you Type ‘A’ because your drive knows no bounds.
Or maybe you have always been driven to succeed but you played by the rules. Now, at forty-something you don’t want to play it safe anymore. You crave adventures in your free time that require the same preparation and effort you exhibit in the boardroom.
Increasingly, strong and successful women seek opportunities to prove themselves someplace other than at the office. They are choosing adventure vacations and destinations where agility, strength and courage collide for a few days or weeks of thrills at locations near and far. Go whitewater rafting, swim in waterfalls and go zip lining in Costa Rica. Hike in Sedona or horseback ride through the West. If mountain climbing is more your style, you could climb Mt Kilimanjaro and then relax on safari.
The Emerald Ride
Put those horseback riding lessons your parents paid for all those years ago to good use. Gallop across Southwest Ireland on the Killarney Reeks Trail in County Kerry. This horseback riding experience hosted by Adventure Women boasts a ride “past monasteries, castles, and ancient ruins, from the mountains to the sea.” Although this adventure is a “moderate” skill level, participants must be have English riding experience English and be able to post a trot and canter/gallop competently in an English saddle.
Backpack the AT
If the movie, “Wild” with Reese Witherspoon has you jonesing to hit the trail, this might be the perfect trip for you. Even novices can enjoy backpacking the Appalachian Trail with Adventures in Good Company. This low mileage trip is paced for beginning to intermediate backpackers and winds through a section of the Appalachian Trail “known for high alpine meadows, towering rhododendron and azaleas, wild pony herds and other more indigenous wildlife, and spectacular views.” Disconnect from your cellphone and email for a week walking with nature. Participants even receive an Introduction to Lightweight Backpacking handbook from Adventures in Good Company that they can use to venture out on their own for their next excursion.
Kayak the Great Bear Rainforest
If water adventures are more your speed, you might enjoy exploring the Great Bear Rainforest on British Columbia’s central coast. Kayak between remote coastal villages through diverse conditions while camping and enjoying the scenery. Wolves, bear and humpback whales are known to excite kayakers along this route and kayakers keep their eyes peeled for a white variation of the Black Bear that inhabits the area. The Great Bear Rainforest adventure is one of the most challenging offered by Wild Women Expeditions.
Hang Ten at Surf Camp
Maybe you didn’t learn to surf in Nebraska growing up, but now that you’re an adult—why not? Endless Summer Surf Camps have been teaching people to surf for 22 years, and their camps cater to beginners through experience surfers. Surf Camp takes place at a campsite overlooking the Pacific Ocean in the San Onofre State Park near San Clemente, California. Adult overnight surf camps run 5 days, just enough time to thrill and exhaust you before you fly back home to the daily grind. If you already surf but desire to make it an art form, the camps offer surf coaches to help you improve your game. You already have a business coach, why not splurge on a surf coach too.
For a women’s only surfing adventure, the Kelea Surf Spa in Oahu, HI caters to women who want the thrill of surfing with the relaxation of a spa. Surf, do yoga, and enjoy relaxation massages at Kelea, named for “the Hawaiian chiefess who gave up her position to live by the ocean so that she could surf.” Luxury meets adventure at this surf/spa/bed & breakfast with private or shared accommodations and a private chef. Founded by women, for women, this adventure also offers snorkeling, scuba diving, hiking and windsurfing nearby.
Mountain Bike the North Rim Trail
When a simple bike ride through the local park just isn’t enough for you anymore, travel to Moab, Utah for an all-women mountain biking excursion. Backcountry Babes promises, “A supportive and empowering all-female atmosphere.” Ride 15-30 miles per day through stunning Southwestern scenery of the eroded canyons of the Colorado Plateau. You supply the gear from mountain bikes to camping equipment, Backcountry supplies the trail guides and food catered by Western Spirit. If you would rather not haul equipment, rentals are available when you get to Utah. Prove your strength and endurance while surrounded by unparalleled natural beauty.
These five adventures equal only a crumb on the smorgasbord of fabulous vacation experiences for women. As with any vacation, do your homework. Know the skill level to which the trip caters and be honest about your abilities and experience. Prepare physically and emotionally for your trip. Purchase trip insurance in case the unthinkable such as a natural disaster, forest fire or avalanche cancels your excursion for you. Most of all, enjoy the thrill of planning and executing the vacation of a lifetime.11