The Rewards of Adventure Travel

By: Brinnan Shaffer

Other Posts by this Author

February 13, 2019 | 50th Anniversary Stories

I don’t own a smart phone. I don’t have a flat-screen TV. I’ve never seen anything on Hulu or Netflix and I’ve never heard a podcast. My eyeglasses and winter coat are both over 12 years old. I don’t own a car and I’ve never taken an Uber. I haven’t seen a movie in a theatre in years. I’ve never spoken to a Siri or an Alexa.

What I do have is a day pack, hiking boots, gaiters, and a 15-year-old hiking pole. What I have done is save all of my pennies so that I can take one trip a year. What I have seen is the Alps from at least 3 different countries. I’ve hiked the Picos de Europa. I’ve tried hurling in Ireland and I’ve eaten octopus, guinea pig and haggis. I’ve seen cork trees in various stages of harvest. This Wisconsin girl has had the best cheese ever, Arzua in Spain.

I’ve seen sunrises over lakes and sunsets over hills, sheep and cow herds flanked by aging locals, villages with a population of 7. I’ve seen coasts and mountains, canyons and castles. I’ve hiked in the baking sun and the pouring rain. I’ve had blisters on top of other blisters and never lost my smile.

I may not lead a lavish lifestyle, but I’ve spoken French in France (and Italy and Switzerland!), I’ve spoken Spanish in Spain, and I’ve attempted Portuguese in Portugal. On second thought, if that is not lavish, I don’t know what is…

Brinnan Shaffer, MT Sobek Guest

MT Sobek Trip: Hiking Portugal’s Historic Villages, 2018