Just read a great interview with one of my heroes, Blue Highways author William Least Heat Moon. A man responsible for my long-held belief that it’s not the destination but the experience that really matters. And the more extraordinary that experience the better.
While I’ve collected a fair number of extraordinary experiences both here and on the pages of XTRORD.com, I’m well aware there are lots more of these truly remarkable once-in-a-lifetime adventures out there waiting to be discovered.
Which is why I’ve been geeking out on a handful of new adventure travel books. While all of them tend to focus on destinations rather than experiences to some degree, read between the lines and you’re bound to find a few gems that make you think “Gee, I’ve always wanted to do that!”:
by Chris Santella $25, 224 pages, Clarkson Potter Publishers
From an elephant safari in Botswana to a cross country skiing expedition to the North Pole, the experiences in this handsome little book definitely live up to the “extraordinary and memorable” claim in its sub-title. While a few of the featured adventures border on the ordinary, there are enough cool ideas here to spark a full year’s worth of daydreams.
Foreword by Bill Bryson. $40, 336 pages, DK Eyewitness Travel
I can’t help but like any book that presents dozens of alternative destinations, events, and activities designed to help you leave the touristy masses far behind. The end-of-chapter lists of other little-known adventures and the gorgeous photography are just icing on the cake.
$30, 608 pages, Rough Guides
Look, when it comes right down to it, nothing succeeds like excess, and that’s just what this beautifully-done book packed with 1,000 great adventure ideas offers. If you can’t find at least a dozen cool new experiences to add to your life-list in its 600-plus pages, well, I feel sorry for you.