15 joyful Instagram moments that capture the true meaning of adventure

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Imagine for a moment that you’re a bottle of Coca-Cola. Leave that bottle hanging around for a while, and it’ll end up flat and lacking in flavour. Send it on an adventure, however, and you’ll start shaking things up as the bottle fizzes over with energy. 

And therein lies the beauty of travel. Because adventure in the purest sense of the word is not about lounging by a pool in 30ºC heat. Instead, it involves transporting yourself from the everyday with new and unique experiences that are entirely beyond your comfort zone. 

This type of escape can be thrilling challenging, even. It’s likely to provoke a range of emotions, from delight and awe to trepidation. Above all, it’ll spark some serious joy. 

Because, when it comes down to it, adventure is like catnip for the soul. It charges up your confidence and helps you see the world in an entirely different way. It’s about as far as you can get from a life more ordinary. 

Fancy a taste of the unknown? Be inspired with our round-up of 15 dazzling travel moments that define the meaning of adventure. It’s time to leave normal behind…

Celebrating your 40th in a Balinese waterfall


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A post shared by Amber 🍄🎶🦄 (@amberginidiablo)

This exuberant post shows us that there’s no better way to celebrate a landmark birthday than by wild swimming in a Balinese waterfall. Forget the stress of a big bash and make like a mermaid for the day, surrounded by wild tropical scenery on the Island of the Gods. 

Come to Bali

Sharing lunch with Sumo wrestlers in Japan


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A post shared by Shinta Reinlie (@easternjava)

The next time you happen to be in Tokyo, remember that a trip to a sumo stable is not to be missed. This off-radar experience lets you step inside the ancient world of wrestling, as you observe how these incredible athletes train before sharing a traditional Chanko Nabe (stew) lunch together. 

Jump on-board for Japan

Climbing Sri Lanka’s lesser-known peak


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A post shared by Nick Mazur (@foodienick17)

Sigiriya Rock Fortress is one of Sri Lanka’s most famous sites, but if you want to amp up the adventure factor, head to nearby Pidurangala instead. Hike this ancient rock formation at sunset for glorious views of cloud forest over lowland jungles, and neighbouring Sigiriya cast in a faint pink glow. 

Say hi to Sri Lanka

Rainbows and waterfalls in Zimbabwe


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A post shared by Andrea Westaway (@awestaway)

An escape to Zimbabwe is overflowing with adventure – not least when it comes to the mighty Victoria Falls. This spectacular gem is home to the aptly-named Devil’s Pool, which you can swim in during dry season to perch right on the rim of one of the world’s Seven Natural Wonders. 

A moment of stillness on the Mayan peninsula


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A post shared by Hkloves2travel (@hklovestravel)

As this traveller so rightly points out, swimming in one of Mexico’s emerald cenotes can feel like “a dreamlike paradise”. The Yucatán Peninsula is a wonderland for these mysterious grottoes, and Ik Kil Cenote is one of its better-known spots. Arrive early for an unhampered look at this sacred Mayan site, complete with naturally formed balconies, and the sun bouncing off a canopy of hanging vines.

Behold Sri Lanka’s gentle giants of the wild

Yala National Park is home to the highest population density of leopards in the world. These elusive and beautiful creatures are a joy to behold, but so too are the wild elephants that roam the region. The Sri Lankan elephant is one of the planet’s largest and rarest land animals, and the chance to see it in its natural habitat is a wow-worthy moment indeed. 

Step inside Sri Lanka

A bath in the shadow of Mont Fitzroy, Argentina


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A post shared by Samiah Shameen (@samiah23)

El Chaltén is Argentina’s trekking capital, located in the shadow of Cerro Torre and Cerro Fitz Roy mountains. You can actually spot their spire-like silhouettes from the Laguna Condor mountain hut, which has an outdoor bath surrounded by nature and the snow-capped Andean peaks. A great, secluded spot from which to soak in the wondrous Patagonian landscape. 

Be amazed by Argentina

A little monkey business in Bali

As this post shows, the inquisitive residents of Sangeh Monkey Forest, near the Balinese town of Ubud, are a pleasure to hang out with. When they’re not monkeying about in the sanctuary’s maze of giant nutmeg trees, you’ll see them scampering around the 17th Century Pura Bukit Sari temple. And, of course, they may come up to say hi, too. 

Let Bali tempt you in

Oman’s spectacular balcony walk


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A post shared by victoria beavon (@victoria_beavon)

The legendary Balcony Walk snakes around the rim of Wadi Nakhr – Oman’s very own Grand Canyon – and is very much *not* for the faint-hearted. This four-hour loop leads from Khateem village to the abandoned hamlet of As Sab and back via a pathway banded by sheer rock faces above and below. Each new step brings massive views that even the best cameras can’t do justice to.

The glory of the Perito Moreno glacier, Argentina


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A post shared by Samiah Shameen (@samiah23)

The 18,000-year-old Perito Moreno glacier is breath-taking even by Patagonia standards: we’re talking next-level magnitude and beauty. Donning a pair of crampons here will allow you to take a closer look at the luminous blue gullies and crevasses that criss-cross this ancient icescape. Prepare to be blown away as you tap your inner mountaineer.  

Argentina awaits

Sunrise ballooning over Bagan


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A post shared by Laura (@lauratreharne1)

The gilded city of Bagan dates back to the 11th Century, and comprises a maze of ancient ruins, temples and pagodas set against striking green vegetation. This UNESCO World Heritage Site, one of Myanmar’s most feted archaeological hot spots, offers a fascinating blast from the past. It’s best appreciated at sunrise, with a hot air balloon ride you’ll never forget. 

Swinging through the canopy, Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s lush and steamy jungle interior is one of the best places on Earth for a spot of ziplining. Unleash that Tarzan within via a network of zip wires and high ropes that spool across a jaw-dropping rainforest canopy, tens of feet in the air. Euphoria, here we come. 

Come to Costa Rica

A dinner to remember, Iceland


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A post shared by Edda (@edda.yasar)

With glacial heights and Northern Lights, Iceland has plenty to recommend it on the adventure front. But equally intrepid is the country’s food scene, which is having a moment right now – particularly in the capital, Reykjavík. Combining ancient recipes with modern techniques, delicacies to try here include halibut soup, slow-roasted Icelandic lamb and Rúgbrauð: a type of rye bread that’s steamed in underground pits heated naturally by geysers. 

Get to know Iceland

Basking in the street art of Medellín


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A post shared by Corina | Travel (@reisemuus)

One of the best ways to get under the skin of Medellín, Colombia’s “City of Eternal Spring”, is via the vivid street art of Comuna 13. The hillside favela of this once notorious region is filled with colourful graffiti and murals that speak to Medellín’s vibrant reinvention. A place you can’t fail to be moved by. 

Let’s go to Colombia

Forest bathing in Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, Japan


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A post shared by Olena ☀️ (@summer_stateofmind)

Arashiyama Bamboo Grove near the city of Kyoto is an ideal place for what the Japanese term “shinrin-yoku”, or forest bathing. This mindful type of ecotherapy involves immersing yourself in a forest landscape, to de-stress and soak up the solitude of the natural scenery. Arashiyama is particularly well-known for its sensory “music” that occurs as the wind ripples through swaying bamboo plants. As this is a pretty popular, as well as tranquil, spot, it’s worth arriving early to beat the crowds. 

Discover Japan


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