Southern Africa, Celebrating the Solstice, Cycling Central America, and Challenging Cultural Norms

This week on Bootsnall we’re all about big time adventures! From 9 of the best in Southern Africa, to cycling through Central America and where to see the midnight sun, you’re sure to find inspiration to fuel your dreams.

Here’s what you may have missed:

9 Amazing Adventures in Southern Africa

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White water rafting the Zambizi river anyone? How ’bout an elephant safari in Botswana? Penguins in South Africa, or pony trekking in Lesotho? Adventure in Africa is about so much more than just safaris and big game. Check it out:

“Southern Africa is so much more than the country named for the region. While South Africa is a great place to get started, there are adventures to be had across the entire continent south of the Sahara. Whether you’re interested in culture, outdoor adventure, safaris or urban exploration, you’ll find it.”

5 Places to Experience the Midnight Sun

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This week marked the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, and the day where, north of the Arctic Circle, the sun never goes down, it just does a big lap around the sky. The solstice has been celebrated across cultures for time immemorial, but only in the era of air travel have we been able to hop north for a quick look at the midnight sun for the holiday. Wondering where you can go see it next year?

“If you want to witness this in person you’ve only got 8 countries from which to choose, and not as many planned festivals and activities as you might expect. If you merely want to visit a place where it’s reasonably light all night in late June, you’ve got quite a few more options. According to the most recent person to edit the Wikipedia page, this lesser phenomenon is known as ‘white night’ and you only have to get past 60° latitude to be part of it. But to truly experience the ‘midnight sun’ you’ve got to cross over the 66° 33’ 39” mark, and below are five of your options, more or less.”

How to Cycle Tour Central America

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Every now and then you run into people who just inspire the socks right off of your feet. That’s how I felt about connecting with Joe and Elin on a recent trip to Guatemala. They cycled into Lago de Atitlan and we spent a week swapping stories about cycle touring and places we love, as well as the pursuit of happiness. Swedish folks who swapped backpacks for bike panniers in Mexico City, they’re headed south and have some tips for you if you want to do the same!

“In a similar style of trial and error, we have been biking and learning every day on the road. Taking a route from the mountains above Oaxaca to the pacific coast of Mexico, then back into the mountains of Chiapas, before cycling down and over the Guatemalan border, where we currently find ourselves at the famous backpacker hangout, Lake Atitlan, which lands us about halfway on our planned journey from Mexico to Panama.

It has been a blast.”

Challenging Cultural Norms Through Travel

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How do you feel about the idea of allowing, even encouraging, teenagers to travel alone? In this age of helicopter parenting and tight reins, when it’s more normal for a 28 year old to be living at home on his mom’s couch than it is for an 18 year old to be running her own business, Jenn Miller discusses the how and why of allowing teens to spread their wings, sooner rather than later.

“The point is, that there are some commonalities that I’ve noticed among young people who are encouraged to flap their wings as early as they possibly can. There is something about the experience of having to take responsibility for yourself in the real world, struggle through hard things, and get way outside your comfort zone that causes an otherwise ordinary teen to do extraordinary things.

So, what qualities do these kids share?” (Read on to find out!)

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