Adventure - - URBAN INITIATIVE -

By Deb­bie Gold­ing­ham

Rain pelted down, palm trees fring­ing the shore­line tossed madly, as heads down, eyes fixed on the road ahead of us, fu­ri­ously pump­ing our legs, we bravely cy­cled through the storm. Day one of our cy­cling trip around the is­land of Savaii in Samoa and it wasn’t look­ing too good. My itin­er­ary had said that once we got off the ferry from Upolu, we would stop at the lo­cal mar­ket, pick up some food for a pic­nic lunch and stop along the way at a nearby swim­ming hole for lunch…...yeah right!

We had dodged through the wa­ter­fall cur­tain that poured off the cor­ru­gated iron roof of the mar­ket­place, loaded our sup­plies into our ac­com­pa­ny­ing sup­port van be­fore head­ing back into the del­uge.

One of the mean­ings of the word “ad­ven­ture” is, “not know­ing what the out­come is go­ing to be.” Things can of­ten turn out a bit dif­fer­ently to what the itin­er­ary says but this of­ten works out as a pos­i­tive as the women on the ad­ven­ture get a sense of em­pow­er­ment, own­er­ship, com­radery and bond­ing that comes about through sort­ing out the next step to­gether. Yes, I’m the leader of the ad­ven­ture and gen­er­ally there is a Plan B but I love it when we work to­gether as a team to make it hap­pen. This is just one of the many pluses of women hav­ing an ad­ven­ture to­gether.

So how and why did Women’s Ad­ven­ture NZ start. I started tak­ing women on ad­ven­tures be­cause ba­si­cally there were so many ad­ven­tures that I wanted to do and I fig­ured that there must a lot of women like me out there. Not your hard core ad­ven­ture en­thu­si­asts or your adrenalin junkies but just ev­ery­day women who wanted to try new things but didn’t want to do them on their own, women who wanted have a bit of ad­ven­ture in their lives and meet other like minded women. And of course busy women who wanted some­one else to do all the plan­ning, re­search­ing and or­gan­is­ing for them.

It’s been nine years now and I’ve or­gan­ised all sorts of dif­fer­ent ad­ven­tures from learn­ing Bur­lesque danc­ing to two week tours over to Samoa, Bali and Viet­nam. From easy half and one day ad­ven­tures like horse rid­ing, cy­cling, kayak­ing, fish­ing, cav­ing, bush walks to multi day cy­cling, trav­el­ling and cul­tural ad­ven­tures.

Women’s Ad­ven­tures NZ has been the cat­a­lyst for women creat­ing new friend­ships, for get­ting some valu­able “me time,” for learn­ing new skills, for gain­ing con­fi­dence and courage and for dis­cov­er­ing and ex­plor­ing new di­men­sions of them­selves.

“Why not have men come on the ad­ven­tures,” I get asked this a lot, usu­ally by men. Whether we like it or not the dy­nam­ics of a group change when there are men in­volved. You get a bunch of women to­gether who don’t know each other and within a very short time there’s lots of laugh­ter, shar­ing of sto­ries, deep dis­cus­sions, lots of sup­port and en­cour­age­ment and of course - fun! When there are men in the mix, women tend to be a bit more ret­i­cent, not as open and shar­ing and the men, sorry guys, but they do tend to take over!

There’s lots of ad­ven­tures com­ing up and I’m al­ways hear­ing about new things to try. Just some of the ad­ven­tures on the cal­en­dar are: the Twin Coast Cy­cle Trail, Horse Rid­ing, a week­end in Ro­torua, Viet­nam in Oc­to­ber this year and in April 2019, Bali in Oc­to­ber 2019, E- Cy­cling and Win­ery tour on Wai­heke Is­land, the West Coast Wilder­ness Cy­cle Trail and Art Deco in Napier.

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