How to Plan a Once-in-a-Lifetime Adventure

I'm craving an adventure. I daydream about being lost in a country whose native language I don't speak and needing to find the nearest hospital. That sounds like an amazing story to bring home to tell and cherish the rest of my life! Is that weird?

This week I've spent an alarming amount of time researching possible adventure trips. While I had an incredible time traveling alone to Chicago in November I came home knowing that I wanted my next trip to be more than wandering around a new city. I have two main goals; to spend most of the time outside and to have a totally new experience. Lesser goals; push myself physically in something, meet new people, and keep it affordable. With those criteria in mind I've come across 7 diverse potential trips.

1. Trek Travel:  Greenville, South Carolina 4 day Ride Camp - $899

Trek TravelDefinitely at the top of my list for so many reasons. Not only is it one of the more affordable trips, but they also have optional triathlon training that allows you to schedule in swims and runs on top of the daily bike rides. Score!!

2. Kripalu: R & R Retreat - 3 days/2 nights in one of their dorms $368

KripaluKripalu has been on my 'dream' list for years now. They offer hundreds of healthy living programs that focus on everything from meditation and yoga to hiking and art therapy. You can always go up whenever you'd like as a R & R retreat. That price above for 2 nights include accomidations, all-natural meals, optional workshops and guided outdoor activities, daily yoga and noon dance classes, evening events, and use of amenities such as sauna, whirlpool, and fitness room. I could  imagine coming home from a trip to Kripalu and feeling more recharged emotionally and spiritually than physically.

3. G Adventures: Cycle Cuba - $1,299

g adventure

Cuba sounds exotic and mysterious to me. I think the country has received an unwarranted bad rep in recent years and I'd love to cycle around it for a few days! So far the only negative thing I've seen about the trip is that it is really, really hard to get a flight into Cuba from the US (any insight as to why this may be?)

4. National Geographic Expeditions: Discovering the Maya - $6,550

National GeographicBy far the most expensive trip on the list, but can you imagine getting to walk around ancient Mayan ruins?! Plus, you get to explore them with the Archeologist who discovered them, ride a helicopter over the treetops to a remote archaeological site, and enjoy a special dinner at the base of the ruins. That's like - rich folk vacation sh!t.

5. EarthWatch: Volcanology and Ecology in Nicargua - $2125 +

EarthWatchEarthwatch has a lot of amazing volunteer vacations all over the world (and domestic!) This one in Nicaragua has you setting up technical equipment around the volcanos crater and hiking through the forest to record information. So, exercise, education, and volunteering all wrapped up in one tropical package. Winning.

6. Sierra Club Outings: Women's Moab Adventure - $1,695

Sierra ClubWhile I'm certainly not more inclined to go on an all women's trip than mixed gender, the thought of doing one does sound like a lot of fun. Especially through the Moab area! As a single girl it can be hard to get someone to want to go on an extended hiking/backpacking trip and Sierra Club is the perfect solution for that. The trip cost includes equipment, meals, guides, accommodations, and on-trip transportation. They also have a trip just for people 20-40 to hike around Yosemite in August that I'm totally eyeing!

With airfare most of the trips would fall in the range of $1,000 to $3,000. That's a good chunk of change, but I think most people could set aside $83 to $250 a month to take a trip like this once a year. I know I could certainly eliminate my sushi/kombucha spending and be halfway there before I even look at my monthly budget!

Would you consider going on any of these trips? Do you know of any other adventure trips/companies?