Travel + Leisure magazine invited select experts from the travel industry, including WWF’s Elissa Poma, to join a live Twitter chat last month to discuss adventure travel. Here’s a recap of the conversation:
Travel + Leisure: What emerging adventure destinations are on your radar right now?
T+L: Any “endangered adventures” to take advantage of while they’re still around?
EP: Joining a nature trip to see endangered animals like tigers, pandas, gorillas or rhinos will inspire you to help protect them.
T+L: For weekend warriors, what are great adventure destinations or parks near big cities?
EP: Those of us in DC flock to Shenandoah National Park for great hiking, fresh air and pretty vistas. I also like Chincoteague Island.
T+L: What is the most extreme or memorable adventure that you’ve ever had?
EP: Being face to face with a polar bear and locking eyes for a seeming eternity brought me to tears.
@IslandRoutes found that to be “pretty incredible.” @angeltracey19 said: “I would have cried knowing his uncertain future. My heart aches for the whole planet.”
T+L: What are your go-to items that you always bring on an adventure trip?
EP: Sunblock, rain poncho, extra socks, cap, sunglasses, bird guidebook, bags to pick up litter and my watercolor painting kit.
T+L: When it comes to accommodations, do you prefer B&B, luxurious lodge or historic park hotel? Why?
EP: I like grand lodges built in harmony with their surroundings, like Old Faithful Lodge in Yellowstone.
T+L: How has technology changed adventure travel and parks (for better or worse)?
EP: New technologies can be a barrier for immersing in wild areas. In this day and age, there is real value to being unplugged. However, everyone can contribute to scientific research via crowd-sourcing apps on smart phones.
T+L: What is the most immersive cultural experience you’ve had while on an adventure trip?
EP: Last year I spent two hours with an elderly shaman in the Amazon in Peru. His connection to the rain forest was powerful.
T+L: What are some ideas for affordable adventure trips?
EP: The US Northern Great Plains is affordable. Observe wildlife, hike, bike and photograph wide-open spaces.
T+L: After news of Mt. Rainier and Mt. Everest, what safety precautions do you take when planning a trip?
EP: You can’t eliminate 100% of the risk in true adventure travel. But you can mitigate it by using professionally trained guides.
T+L: What adventure do you have planned next?
@rachjournalist said her travel list includes “seeing orangutans in Borneo and Sumatra.”