Boy ziplining at Boyne Mountain Resort

One of my favorite parts of travel is the planning. I love scouring websites and brochures, reading reviews and looking a photos taken at my destination. I’ll pore over maps to get a sense of the place and its layout (and maybe mark the location of a Starbucks or two) and check weather reports to see what sorts of clothes to pack.

But there’s something else I’ve recently started looking for. Adventure. I’m not talking about skydiving or swimming with sharks (because I don’t usually swim unless several life jackets are involved), but rather lower key adventure. Like zip lines. I first experienced this activity in Ohio’s Hocking Hills region, where another journalist and I steeled ourselves for an adventure we had never done before – and thought we would end up too chicken to do.

I can’t speak for the other person, but I loved every second of it and didn’t want the day to end. I stopped thinking about how I was hanging many, many yards above the ground (and sometimes water and trees and a cave) with only a line of cable and some hooks keeping me from falling. There was no danger; I felt safe, happy and somehow at peace while sailing over the treetops, from one platform to another and nothing but nature around me. It was probably my favorite part of the trip, and an experience I couldn’t wait to enjoy again when my family and I visited Boyne Mountain Resort last year. My kids were, unfortunately, too light to zip but I was eager to give it a go. Honestly, it was a little lonely being a single among families, but it was just as fun as before.

I’m not sure what adventures might be in my future… I’d love to take a hot air balloon ride, or maybe try out stand-up paddleboards (or, as the cool kids say, SUP’s), which are becoming popular on the many Michigan lakes.

What adventures have you experienced on your travels – or do you hope to experience?

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