My wife does not work out. Mind you, she works, a lot. She spends a good part of every day at Classic Journeys running our accounting and HR functions. What time she does not spend at the office is given to her efforts with Las Patronas, a La Jolla women’s philanthropic organization that raises significant sums for many homegrown non-profits here in San Diego County. To all that, she is a wonderful mother and wife to our sons and me. (Mother to them, wife to me!)

With all of that, it leaves virtually no time for her to go to the gym, take a run or walk, or get in an hour of yoga. Now, I’m not convinced that even if she had all the time in the world, she wouldn’t choose to use it working out, because as Susie says, “I don’t like to sweat.”

But something happens to her when she goes on a Classic Journeys’ cultural walking adventure or family vacation. It’s like she is a super hero who has stepped into a phone booth. (Let’s be honest, we’re all old enough to remember phone booths and how necessary they were for making calls and helping transform super heroes back in the days before cell phones.)

She steps out of that phone booth and into vacation mode and she becomes adventure girl. I first got an inkling of this adventurous side of her about four years ago, when we took our two kids and joined our Costa Rica Family Journey over spring break. Along with four other families who we met on the trip, she went river rafting, kayaking and zip lining; all things I thought she might never want to do. It continued the following year when she informed me that she wanted us to join our Peru and Machu Picchu Family Journey so that she could hike the Inca Trail on her 41st birthday. Seeing her, our boys and the other adults and kids complete that trail and walk into the famed site through the Sun Gate was a remarkable day, and another notch in her Adventure Girl belt. Last year, she rode camels in the Saharan Desert, bargained with shopkeepers in Marrakesh, and mountain biked in desert oases in Morocco. And this past week, she kayaked off a deserted island in the Gulf of Chiriqui and hiked through coffee plantations on the slopes of Baru Volcano in search of the Resplendent Quetzal on our Panama Family Journey. Each day, she came back to our hotels sweaty and a little sunburned, but smiling from ear to ear over the experiences.

Susie zip lining

So why am I writing about this?

Having been on so many of our Cultural Walking Adventures and Family Journeys over the last 15 years, Susie and I have spent a lot of time with other “adventure girls” as well. (I can think of Rocket Grandma who brought her six grandkids, a 77 year old who has taken six trips with us in seven countries with her equally amazing husband, a 50 year old veterinarian from Arizona, a New Yorker who grew up in Beijing, and a mid 40s single mom from San Francisco among many others.) These are women who do not think of themselves as jocks at home, but who really enjoy taking on a half day of walking or some time in a kayak or rambling through a rainforest, medieval village or kasbah when they are on vacation. And they appreciate being able to take on these challenges knowing that Classic Journeys has provided a safety net of support in the form of exceptional local guides, sublime hotels and memorable cuisine. It’s knowing that Classic Journeys takes care of all the little details that frees them to really push themselves a bit and fully immerse themselves into the history and culture of the regions they explore with us.

If you know an adventure girl of your own and would like to share her story, drop me a line at