The Gift of Adventure is Closer Than You Think

By Jules Torti | December 23, 2021

If you’re the kind of person who is determined to see the shiny silver lining, here it is. While the pandemic continues to hurl all sorts of unexpected things in our direction (in all directions!)–there are no restrictions on travelling down memory lane!

The holidays come with their usual twists and complications beyond the worries of buying a real or faux tree. There are chosen families, gluten-free guests, multiple sets of grandparents to coordinate, a tofurkey, shared custodies of dogs to contend with–and always, the cat in the tree! What’s with that?

Most of North America has been advised to reduce social contacts but that doesn’t mean we have to sever our connections. We can still be involved in each other’s lives and perhaps more than ever, choose a way to celebrate that has a bigger impact.

Donating clothes, food, books, time, money or blood are the most valuable gifts of all. There are dogs who need to be walked at the local humane society. There are little grassroot organizations trying to protect piping plover nesting habitat who will be over the moon with some extra funding. You can donate old textbooks to Textbooks for Change–they will become a valuable part of partner campus libraries in East Africa or resold to local students at an affordable price. Women’s shelters are in desperate need of toiletries, warm jackets and new boots. Animal sanctuaries have never-ending wish lists for cat litter, laundry detergent and basic supplies like paper towels.

You can virtually volunteer by hosting an online fundraiser or starting a chapter of Period Purse in your area. This non-profit is the first and only Canadian charity focused on ensuring that women are provided with free access to menstrual products. When Carolyn Ray, the editor-in-chief and publisher of JourneyWoman walked the Camino de Santiago with Wild Women Expeditions in October, she walked in support of Period Purse

The gift of adventure doesn’t have to be abroad–you can bring the world closer to home and rally your family to build a Free Little Library for your neighbourhood. Stock it with your favourite travel memoirs or Thai cookbooks!

If you have stale baking ingredients in your pantry, share the love with your backyard squirrels with this nut ball recipe. Continue the legacy of the Amish Friendship Bread with this starter recipe and surprise a friend with a front porch delivery (*let them know so the squirrels don’t gift themselves first!).

If you’ve fallen behind on sending out Christmas cards–dig out those blank postcards you neglected to mail from a previous trip instead. Reconnect with the Wild Women you met way back when in Bhutan or Morocco and send them an old-fashioned letter! Then do something 100% for you: self-publish a trip journal, frame that watercolour you painted of Gros Morne or enlarge that darling penguin pic from the Galapagos Islands and hang them prominently as a reminder of what’s to come! 

If you’re feeling a little frazzled at both ends, maybe it’s time to think about investing in yourself. Research a trip that is all about recharging– like walking the Camino de Santiago with your fellow Wild Women in May! Maybe a good tromp and tölt around Iceland in July? Wild Women Expeditions has an awesome list of 2022 destinations we are adventuring to. Want to join us?

Until then, take a twinkly trip down memory lane and invite your nearest and dearest along.

Happiest holidays from the Wild Women Expeditions team. Make it a feel-good one. Whatever you have to give, it’s going to be good. Love, kindness, time—these are the most memorable.

Here’s to exploring a fabulous 2022 together!