Why We Go

A Love Letter to Adventurers

by Allison Villasenor

Dear Fellow Traveler,

There I was, standing on the edge; standing on the platform, harnessed safely with multiple cords, looking out into the horizon and then – I went. I did it. I jumped into the incredible, breathtaking Kawarau River in the place where bungee jumping was invented. My arms dunked into the water and I bounced up, opening my eyes to the beauty around me.

At that point, looking back, the adventure was just beginning.

But, adventure doesn’t have to be adrenaline and thrill. Sometimes it comes in the form of an unexpected connection; bridging the language gap by using animated, broken English at the train station in Italy, or tasting deep-fried scorpion on the streets of Bangkok. Sometimes adventure lies in the form of a new friendship forged at a local café over a shared love of lattes. Sometimes it lies at the end of a trail hike in Peru.

After over 15 years of traveling, my best travel advice to all you travelers and wanderlusters is to go. To do it. To let the journey take you. Stop by the roadside fruit stand and meet the family who makes their living there. Pop into the art shop and speak to the artist, ask the questions on the tip of your tongue.

You’ll uncover that while life is different in another part of the world, we are all locals and our similarities far outweigh our differences. Exposure to people and places is a great gift – take it. Embrace the experience and widen your world view.

And it’s not always the locals. It’s often those with whom share your journey, who will make a difference in your life. This is why I love small group travel. Adventure travelers come from all backgrounds, all ages and all geographies – but it’s our shared love of discovery that connects us. We crave new experiences and exciting interactions. Taking an adventure together can forge friendships, strengthen relationships, and create incredible memories.

My husband and I traveled in a small group around the world. Our “crew” has since become life-long friends who can’t wait for the next chapter in our travels. Together, we’ve conquered flat tires on the plains of Africa, sunburns on the beaches of Thailand and glacier hikes in New Zealand. What’s next for us? We’ll celebrate a few 40th birthdays in Greece!

Travel is powerful. It helps you uncover the commonalities that exist between cultures, the strangers who become friends, and the heart-filling understanding that there is so much joy and love in the world.

I promise, when you take that leap and toss yourself into an epic adventure, you’ll surprise yourself. And for that alone, we go.

Your fellow adventurer – Allison

Allison Villasenor is the Managing Director for Club Adventures, powered by AAA Exclusive Vacations. Club Adventures offers a lineup of small group adventure tours, helping Members to explore the world through a local lens. An avid discoverer and lover of connections, Allison has traveled the world in search of authentic travel experiences for over 15 years. In her role, Allison guides strategic vision, product development, sales and operations.