Do you want to bring inspiration into your life, surprise yourself, and stock up on some great stories? If the answer is “yes”, then you might enjoy this new concept for a guidebook. “203 Travel Challenges” is a collection of quirky ideas, meant to infuse your life with an extra shot of fun.
Why 203? Well, the authors share that they simply collected all of their most exciting experiences, dreams, and stories. At the end, when they combined them, that’s the number that came up. Fuss-free, easy going and action-inspiring. This is not the kind of book that you curl up on the couch with. “203 Travel Challenges” is meant to push you out of your comfort zone and into a more exciting life, whether it’s at the other end of the world, or a block away from your home.
On the first few pages, you’ll find a fun quiz to help you determine your travel style. As it turns out, I am the “sociable traveler”, which is surprisingly accurate and made me think of all the crazy people I’ve met on the road. There are also a few other entertaining treats in the book, such as instruction on saying “cheers” in 45 languages and “10 incredibly simple ways to be happy on the road”.
Besides, you’re encouraged to turn it into a game, by filling in your own challenges, taking notes on the pages, drawing, and daring your friends to break out of their routines as well. The whole point is to personalize every experience and create stories of your own. At the end, there is another game to help you discover any new city.
The book is divided into 6 sections: outdoor challenges, once-in-a-lifetime challenges, happiness challenges to help you find yourself, hometown challenges, friendship and love challenges, crazy challenges.
Here are some of my personal favorites:
“Drive along picturesque winding roads.” Some aspirational ideas are provided, and you can also come up with your own list of roads.
“Discover your philosophy of a happy life, while traveling.”
“It’s a big world and free stuff lurks just around the corner.” Inspire your inner frugal adventurer and make the most out of free experiences anywhere around the world.
“The low-value notes challenge.” A strategy on saving up for travel, by keeping small bills tucked away in a jar, for a whole year. Then, when that perfect airfare deal comes up, pop the jar open and go on an adventure.
“The slow return challenge.” The idea is to go to a destination as quickly as possible and then, on the way back, come up with creative ways to travel extra slowly. Take the time to practice mindfulness and enjoy each minute of your trip, whether you’ve made it a few days or a few minutes longer, no matter if it’s at the other end of the world, or one neighborhood over.
“Take home a recipe, instead of a souvenir.” I love this one and always try to do it when I travel. It’s such a treat to invite your friends and family over, for a home-cooked exotic meal!
“Go to a bookstore and leave notes in your favorite travel books, for future readers.”
“Pretend to be a tourist in your own town.” Try it for a fresh perspective on the place you know oh-so-well, some laughs, and the opportunity to reinvent yourself with a crazy background story.
“Stand before the gates of Hell” – a challenge specific to Turkmenistan, with a concise and titillating description of the place.
“Travel around Spain like Don Quixote (and other famous combinations of places and books)”, ideas for famous literary works and characters and provided.
I often think about how we’re no longer easily amazed. Our senses are constantly being bombarded by stimuli and what would have seemed astounding just 10 years ago, is now a regular part of any Facebook feed. So, what I enjoyed most about “203 Travel Challenges” is that it encourages you to go out and create excitement, not just witness it.
How have you challenged yourself on the road? Please share your story in the comments below 🙂