Are you a thrill-seeker? Do you like to live on the edge? If you shudder at the thought of spending your holidays lounging around by the pool reading books, extreme sport vacations might be just what you’ve been looking for.
If you’d like to exchange your peaceful getaway in Majorca for kayaking in Indonesia, rock-climbing in Morocco, sand boarding in Namibia, bungee jumping in New Zealand, or surviving a desert island castaway in Panama, then read on.
Extreme sport vacations are unlike any other type of travel experience on the planet. But what is an extreme sport at its very core?
The term “extreme sport” gets used interchangeably with many other descriptors such as “action sport” or “adventure sport” but it can generally be viewed as a sport which involves a high degree of risk that exposes the participant to physical and mental challenges which are out of the norm. Extreme sport also requires the competitor to perform fast and accurate cognitive perceptual processing in order to succeed.
Here’s why extreme sport vacations are awesome.
Connect with Nature
Being outside improves physical and mental health. Spending time outside and becoming closer to nature is a common reason cited by extreme sport participants for wanting to pursue their passion. Being immersed in beautiful, natural spaces invigorates and revitalises body and mind, and has positive effects on our brains, bodies, feelings, and social interactions.
Every type of extreme sport requires the participant to be strong in several total-body movements and to have good coordination between many muscle groups and joint motions. The increased strength and cardiovascular conditioning that we gain from training our sport over several months or years allows us to produce less force to perform the same task in all future endeavours. This decreases our body’s demand for energy in our sport and everyday life.
What does this mean?
It means that, not only can we perform better in our extreme sport without getting tired, but we can also go about our daily tasks in everyday life much easier and feeling fitter and healthier. It goes without saying that a more athletic and healthier-looking physique also contributes to our long-term happiness.
Personal transformation is a big reason why people from all walks of life want to get involved in extreme sport vacations. Reports by participants generally state that these transformations happen instantaneously during or immediately after the event and that these permanent shifts in perception spill over into their everyday lives. The types of long-lasting transformations experienced by extreme sport enthusiasts include being more content, appreciating the small pleasures in life, and realising what is important to them.
There aren’t many vacations or life-events on Planet Earth that can elicit such profound transformations in such a rapid and often unexpected manner. Extreme sport vacations can provide you with this type of experience again and again. Just ask any BASE jumper who has parachuted off a 500-metre cliff how the experiences of feeling exhilarated, petrified, peaceful and tranquil all at once has transformed their lives for the better.
Gain a New Level of Humility
Successful participation in any extreme sport requires a great deal of humility. If you lack this fundamental aspect of your chosen activity, you will learn it sooner rather than later.
If ever there was a mountain that can temper human arrogance and teach humility, it’s Everest.
…I was certain that in exploring the terrain of the mountain, we were really exploring a far more mysterious terrain – the landscape of our souls.
~ David Breashears
There’s something about competing with our external environments and realising that they are so much more powerful than ourselves that really teaches us humility in its purist form. Learning to adapt to the environment that we’ve put ourselves in and exploring it to new levels aids in the exploration of our inner selves like nothing else. Extreme sport participants are learning lessons like this each and every time they compete, and often demonstrate the following characteristics as a result;
- More open-minded
- Less arrogant
- More balanced
- More understanding of others
So, extreme sport vacations do much more than meets the eye; any participant will tell you that they have become a more enriched human being from their experiences. That’s pretty cool.
Perform – In Spite of Fear
If you’ve never tried an extreme sport, it may seem like the participants are superhuman; performing every stride, jump or dive without fear. The truth is, they are a million miles away from feeling fearless when performing; extreme sport can be terrifying at times and elicits high levels of anxiety and stress.
The reason why experienced practitioners don’t freeze or panic is that they have learnt to deal with the fear and they are able to remain calm and focused on the task in hand. Fear requires great psychological skill to overcome and it is only when that natural state of fear is balanced with the knowledge of our personal capabilities that we can fully embrace the awesomeness of extreme sport (and all the lessons that come with it).
Having courage is not only how we cope in events that are forced upon us, but in how we cope in those events that we have willingly put ourselves in. Yes, you will feel real fear when rafting the Zambezi River, but you will also know that powerful, positive, and psychological experiences are a distinct possibility.
Feeling less stressed, less anxious, and less fearful in everyday life is something that all of us can benefit from.
Extreme Sport Vacations: Conclusion
In their study from 2017, Eric Brymer and Robert Schweitzer conducted interviews with 15 extreme sport participants from three continents and found three common themes in their responses;
- Extreme sport is an invigorating experience
- Words are inadequate to describe the experience
- A sense of transcendence has been experienced
Extreme sport is about much more than getting an adrenaline rush; it makes all of our senses more efficient than in everyday life and makes us come alive. I’m sure that most extreme sport participants would agree that the transcendent ecstasy that is felt at the end of an event is extremely difficult to describe with words. Many state that the most common triggers for these experiences of transcendent ecstasy are based in nature; water, mountains, trees, and all extremes of weather, and that they felt merged with nature itself.
Perhaps these are some of the reasons why some recreational sports are on the decline and extreme sport vacations are on the up. Extreme sport gives us a glimpse of what it means to be human and enriches the lives of all involved through its instantly powerful altered states of consciousness.
Participating in extreme sport vacations involves performing physical activities that incite real fear and bring us face-to-face with nature at its most beautiful and most extreme all at the same time. This provides the platform for the many positive physiological and psychological changes that occur as a result of participating in extreme sport.
If you’re ready to experience the awesomeness of extreme sport vacations, share your adventure dreams with us for a chance to live the trip of your lifetime for free.