When you go on a genuinely life-changing trip, you don’t come back as the same person. You’re usually stronger, more confident, and are rocking a pretty excellent tan. It sounds like a cliché, but it’s true: when you venture out, good things happen. That's what life-changing trips are all about!
We’ve been running adventure challenges for years now, and for us, the biggest kick is still hearing stories from our challengers after they’ve come home. That time they dodged a cow in a three-wheeled Sri Lankan tuk-tuk, or practicing their armature Khmer on uncomprehending locals, or simply tested their own fortitude. How often do we get to do that in our everyday lives? That’s what great adventures are all about.
The ingredients for our Lanka Challenge are pretty simple: 1000-odd kilometers of road, a few friends by your side, and your very own three-wheeled tuk-tuk (aka The Beast). That’s all you need for a proper life-changing trip. Each morning we wake up our teams, give them instructions of where they need to be by sunset, and then wave goodbye as they tuk-tuk off into the wide blue yonder. The rest, as they say, is up to them. Here are a few stories from the (very bumpy) road.
“The trip has it all”– Tilde and Stina (Danish), Team Nurses on an Adventure
Tilde and Stina summed it up in this line: “You don’t just see the country through the window of a bus.” That’s our whole philosophy right there. Bam. Total immersion. No barriers. A rollicking, grass-roots adventure, without anything in the way.
“We did it! We did the Lanka Challenge 2015 and what an adventure it was! This trip has it all. Here you don’t just see the country through the window of a bus. Driving around the country in a Tuk Tuk, interacting with the locals in various challenges and meeting the other participants from all over the world and all in name of charity. All logistics are organized for you. Just show up, have an open mind and enjoy".
“A memorable life experience”
“We had the freedom to travel in our own time, interacting with the local flavour and culture from the disarming and conversational starting position of a tuk-tuk while knowing help, if required, was just a local call away and that our nights accommodation and meal was already organised to highest of standards. A great feat of organisational skill. I look forward to the next memorable life experience.”
– Chris O´rell (South African), Team Top Cougar
Aww shucks, Chris O’rell. We’ve always wanted to be called unflappable. Just try and flap us; can’t be done. For us, life-changing trips are about striking a balance between freedom and reliability. You just focus on the journey, we’ll focus on watching your back.
“A rewarding Challenge like no other” – Malcolm Chaney (Australian), Team Aussie Tukrobane
We love hearing stories about fathers and sons, mothers and daughters and everyone in between having fun together on our adventure trips. We put in a lot of effort to ensure our challenges are tough but accessible. All you need is a bit of a ‘venture out’ attitude. We’ll supply the tuk-tuk.
“Somedays…you are sitting at work in your cubicle, bored, and wishing you were doing something more exciting than spreadsheets– but what? Now close your eyes and imagine you are racing along in a half motorbike, half car, 3-wheeled contraption, the engine is deafening, and a bus is trying to pass you on the inside, and there is a cow on the road ahead. It is hot, humid and you are still feeling the after-effects of the previous day's (and night's) activities. Hang on! You focus, make room for the bus, you deftly avoid the cow, and you are on to your next adventure!"
An off-track destination that has so much to explore? Tick. Friendly Khmer locals who know how to change a tire? Tick. Fiery curries and all-you-can-eat fish amok? Double tick. This is Cambodia. Not a classic travel destination, but one that’s fast becoming our fav. We’ll set you up with a bona fide Japanese-powered tuk-tuk and unleash you on the back roads around Siem Reap and Phnom Penh. We’ve got excellent feedback on this life-changing trip. Wanna read?
"Mentally and physically challenging”
“Who else can claim they have circumnavigated Sri Lanka and Cambodia driving a Rickshaw? Or bought fuel in a coke bottle whilst wearing pyjamas? I truly believe there is no better way to see a complete country and get down with the local culture. "
– Tim Hartford (British), Team Tuxedo
For Tim, and for us, it’s the little details that set our adventure challenges apart. We love to hear about weird stuff like buying fuel in a coke bottle while wearing your pyjamas. We guarantee you don’t get that on your typical tour. No sir.
Amazon & Philippines Challenges
Our two newer life-changing trips. The same crazy energy. The same all-out adventure. We just swapped the three-wheeled tuk-tuk for a dugout canoe (in Colombia) and a traditional Paraw craft (in the Philippines). The mission’s still the same: complete challenges, navigate and find your way from place to place, and leave your comfort zone way behind. Nothing says life-changing trip like practicing your blow-pipe skills with Peruvian tribesmen, climbing coconut trees for your dinner on the beaches of Santa Fe, or fishing for piranha in the murky waters of the Amazon.