Man Up! Skip the Hammock, And Take the Adventure of a Lifetime

Have you returned from vacation dreading your return to work? If so, you either hate your job or failed to take full advantage of your vacation. Your vacation should accomplish two things: a) recharge your enthusiasm for work by spending time away from the grind; and b) allow you to see and do things you can’t do on a weekend. Any vacation can achieve the first objective, however a little planning is needed to achieve the second.

Many of us fall into the trap of “doing nothing” on our vacation; or worse – partying ourselves into oblivion. While these vacations provide us with a short break away from reality, we quickly fall back into the malaise of the weeks, months and years stretching out before us. The answer is to push yourself outside your comfort zone, and one of the best ways to do this, is to make your next vacation a Costa Rican adventure! The potential benefits are not only returning to work refreshed, but gaining new found potential in yourself and greater optimism in general.

The U.S. Marine Corps requires every recruit to rappel from a 60-foot tower as part of their basic training. Rappelling is not a particularly useful skill for a Marine as the last place you want to be in combat is tied to a rope when someone is shooting at you. The Marine Corps includes rappelling because it pushes their recruits outside of their comfort zone. Overcoming such challenges builds self-esteem and prepares one to tackle other unexpected obstacles that may arise in life. Your challenge may not be what is necessary to become a Marine, it can merely be a new adventure vacation that achieves the same benefit.


First. Pick an activity. Make it something new to you. It should be challenging, but also appealing. Your goal is to push yourself slightly out of your comfort zone – or tackle your greatest phobia.

Second. Pick an enticing exotic location. A foreign country such as Costa Rica may be all the adventure you need, or a starting point for more.

Third. Prepare for your vacation. Extend your vacation by using the weeks leading up to it to prepare yourself mentally and physically.  Going shopping for items you will need on your vacation, getting some extra cardio in at the gym, or reading about the place you will soon explore.. Daydream.

Fourth. Bring a camera. You will want to document at least parts of your trip. If you use a guide, give the camera up and let them take some photos of you. You are the Star, it’s your Vacation.


Adventure travel has never been more popular and there are a number of quality adventure travel companies to help you plan your perfect adventure. Whether you choose to white water raft or hike a volvano – make sure you skip the hammock and foo foo drink and make your next vacation an adventure of a lifetime.

Crawford Hill is the owner and director of Costa Rican Adventures, an educational travel company focused on cultural immersion. An expedition leader, former biology teacher, and educational innovator, Hill has been guiding students and adults on wilderness adventures since 1974.

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