There is plenty of scientifically proven evidence that travel and experiences make people happier than owning things. Forbes says, the secret of happiness is spend money of experiences, not things. CNN says travel can be a savior.

As we already discussed on my last post, Americans are traveling more than ever, according to the research by the eighth annual Allianz Travel Insurance Vacation Confidence Index by Allianz Global Assistance. Asian women are the fastest growing travel demographic in the world. Travel is becoming an essential part of life not only for Americans but also people around the world. The type of travel is also getting more diverse, branching out from just sightseeing to more adventure-focused activities. Travel also brings positive impact when it’s a catalyst for giving and helping rather than just receiving. Giving and helping makes us feel good about ourselves. And so now we are starting to see a boom in experiential travel that helps satisfy philanthropic urges and our sense of do-goodness with sustainable, eco-friendly travel products.

Backpacking: Kyrgyzstan


Traveling in Kyrgyzstan is perfect for those of us who love hiking and camping in the wilderness. As a mountainous country, there’s no shortage of hiking trails in Kyrgyzstan. As long as you are well prepared with camping gear and food, you can disappear into the mountains as long as you want. This small landlocked country is also full of lakes, more than 2,000 in fact, which makes the scenery more dramatic.

Overland: Mongolia

My first impression in Mongolia’s wild was that there was no end to this land. It’s almost true considering it’s the 18th largest country in the world. Mostly flat steppe makes it perfect for off-roading. In Mongolia, 4WD or motorcycle travel is very popular, attracting overland travel enthusiasts from around the world. If you want to experience what Mongolians did in the olden days, you can also cross the country on a horseback.

Wildlife: Alaska

Recently I was asked what was the best wildlife destinations by a magazine. My answer was: Alaska. As the biggest and most wild state in the United States, Alaska offers great wildlife viewing opportunities. Even Anchorage, the most populous city in the state, is home to 1,500 moose! It’s not strange to see moose eating shrubs in parks. Anchorage is also the best spot to start a visit to Alaska’s iconic bear viewing sites. The creeks are full of salmon each summer, whales swim by, and there are more than 500 species of birds living in Alaska. Need I say more?

Cycling: Taiwan

As a small country, Taiwan is a great place to cycle all around. Taiwan is becoming more popular for as a cycle touring destination because of their numerous bike lanes, rest stops, high-quality bike makers, and additional cycling infrastructure. Locals and foreigners like to get outside and cycle around this island, whether it be for just a short day trip, a week of riding, or for a month-long bicycle tour around the entire island. Taiwan also has great culinary culture, which makes it even more attractive to travel and eat.

Adventure all-around: Mexico

Coyote Canyon Adventures

To be honest, Mexico wasn’t high on my list of places to travel. I knew only little bit about it. But after my first trip, I quickly found out that Mexico was a great adventure destination for many reasons. Mexico is big. In fact, it’s the 13th biggest country in the world. Thanks to the size, Mexico also has diverse climates and is the fourth in the world in biodiversity. There are deserts, Mayan ruins, canyons, rainforests, coastal cities, colonial towns, rivers, and of course, beaches. Each state has a distinct character. Come for horse riding through canyons in Guanajuato, waterfall jumping in San Luis Potosi, surfing in Oaxaca, Mayan ruins in Chiapas, and more.

Adventure travelers: you want to be prepared

You want to be prepared, instead of scared, when you travel, as our friend, Tim Leffel, said. Especially for adventure travelers, travel insurance is not something to take lightly. I had a few incidents (I hope not too many in the future as well) during my travels that I needed to use my travel insurance. I have a chronically bad back. When I was in Alaska in winter a few years ago, I hurt my back while I was getting ready in hurry. Stupidly, I tried to wear my ski pants with my winter boots on. I had to go for a physical therapy to soothe the pain. Another time, I fell from a horse and got a hairline fracture on my ankle. Not just physically, but I also rain came through my laptop during a storm that I had to ask my travel insurance to help. Travel insurance isn’t just for physical injury, it’s for canceled trips, stolen items, and of course health reasons.

#The Vacation Confidence Index has been conducted each summer since 2010 by national polling firm Ipsos Public Affairs on behalf of Allianz Global Assistance USA. A vacation is defined as a leisure trip of at least a week to a place that is 100 miles or more from home.

#This post is sponsored by Allianz Global Assistance (AGA Service Company) and I have received financial compensation.

6 thoughts on “Adventure Makes People Happy: Where to go and What to do?”

  1. It is always sad to leave a place to which one knows one will never return. Such are the melancolies du voyage: perhaps they are one of the most rewarding things about traveling.

  2. Wow, such wonderful photographs. Truly nice.
    I think I will plan something of an Alaskan trip for next year with my fiance. She is sort of a trekker and I think she will love it. I am choosing Alaska because i just completed reading Jon Krakauer’s Into the Wild and it was so life-changing I want to know how the place is like. I have read a lot about the Alaskan forest, and think I might just experience it first hand. Thanks for writing this. Mongolia also sounds fun.

  3. Wow…. great blog. After reading this blog… I am a trip to Mongolia this April with my friends. Thank you so much for sharing this blog. I am waiting for your next blog.

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