“How far from home do you need to go for it to be an adventure?”
This is the question I asked myself when heading home after traveling around Thailand. My girlfriend and I had just driven more than 1000km through the Thai countryside on motorbikes. Off-road and on motorways – we got lost in order to find ourselves.
But this was a journey that started somewhere very familiar to me – the Thai island of Koh Tao. Koh meaning ‘Island’ and Tao meaning ‘Turtle’, Koh Tao is a diver’s paradise. I lived there about two or three years ago teaching people how to Scuba Dive and sharing my passion for everything sub-terrestrial. Every day on the boat I would tell students tales of Whale Sharks gliding overhead – close enough to touch – in the hope that on this dive too, we would see one.
But that was three years ago… This time, I was an outsider again. A few of my old friends and colleagues remained, but the amount of new faces was overwhelming. This was not the only difference: This time, my girlfriend, Lita, was here. I had dragged her half way round the world in order for her to see my other island home – but it appeared it was no longer mine.
Familiarity is a funny old thing. It doesn’t take much for your perspective on a familiar place to change. Case in point, next time you walk down the High Street, instead of looking down at the familiar cobbles, look up. Look up, above the familiar shopfronts. Look past, perhaps, the familiar first floor windows. Look up, and St Peter Port suddenly looks and feels like somewhere completely new. You’ll see what I mean.
After staying in Koh Tao for a month, re-familiarising myself with the place, we purchased two Kawasaki KLX’s for the drive through Thailand. Neither of us knew a thing about bikes or engines. Me being from Guernsey, I barely even knew how to drive on a road much wider than a horse’s carriage – never mind a motorway! It didn’t matter to us though – we were ready for an adventure.
The drive was spectacular – plenty of thrills (and fortunately just one spill) – an adventure we will never forget.
Adventures are important in life, but – looking back to my question at the beginning of this article – they don’t always have to be somewhere far-flung and unfamiliar. We can find adventures in the most familiar of places… All it takes is being a bit adventurous!
Adventure is not about a particular place or activity; it’s about the spirit in which you do things. I think I realised this at a young age, when going camping at Fauxquets Vally with my family and friends for the umpteenth time felt just as exciting as going to The Bahamas (which, at the age of ?? happens to be where I tried diving for the very first time).
Having traveled to around 20 countries, I can undoubtably say that Guernsey during the summer is one of the best places in the world to be. That’s why we left our South-East Asia adventure prematurely – for a quick adventure in a slightly more familiar place!
While back here, we want to spread our passion for travel and adventure. This is why, over the summer, I will be running ‘Mini Adventures’ for 8 – 14 year old, wanna-be adventurers. There are currently 5 adventures to choose from, with a 6th coming soon – which is to be designed by one lucky winner!
We’re running a competition for 8 – 14 year olds to see who can come up with the best local adventure. The winner will not only receive a free place on every Mini Adventure we hold this summer, but their adventure idea will also become a reality – forming the 6th adventure on offer! Read our competition page to find out how to enter. Be sure to read our Terms and Conditions before entering.