18 meaningful adventures in 2024 for a real-life connection  

written by Sahar Aman December 4, 2023

In 2024, Intrepid is amplifying the joy of travel by bringing you more opportunities to spend time with the communities you visit.

These new trips and experiences are all about creating unforgettable moments of connection in places you’ll think about long after you get home. They are the kind of adventures you read about in travel magazines or learn about in a documentary and say to yourself, one day, I want to do that. Well, now’s your chance. 

1. Slumber in a Korean heritage village  

Hanoks are traditional homes made from wood, and Jeonjui Hanok Village has around 800 of them. This destination is a popular weekend getaway in South Korea, and on Intrepid’s new Essential South Korea trip, you can find out why. The hanoks found in this postcard-perfect village are mostly a guesthouses, restaurants, cafes or shops. After a day of exploring local crafts and food, your restful slumber in a hanok will be much-needed.

2. Grab lunch in the Balkans  

Refuelling on local goods while hiking is as tasty as it is essential. Lukomir is Bosnia’s highest and most secluded village, and you can get there on Intrepid’s Hiking the Balkans trip. You’ll hit a stunning loop trail to reach the village and then stop with a local family for a bite. As you break bread and eat cheese (among other morsels), you’ll exchange stories and stay for a cup of strong, chocolatey Bosnian coffee.  

3. Ditch those post-hike granola bars for a Moroccan feast  

A delicious home-cooked meal isn’t easy to come by on vacation unless you’re travelling with Intrepid. On the new One Week in Morocco: Sahara and Todra Gorge trip, after hiking under palms, everyone sits down to refuel on a feast prepared kindly by a family. The table will be heaving with nuts, dates, freshly made tea and other tasty treats.  

Moroccan feast

4. Enjoy a day of trekking and Borneon culture  

This new experience on the Real Borneo trip begins with a drive to Pukak in Kiulu Valley – a small area in Kiulu named after the bamboo that grows on the riverbanks. From there, you’ll set out for a trek to Kampung Ratau (Ratau Village) for an overnight stay with the locals which includes sleeping in a traditional bamboo hut and participating in cultural activities. Learn beadwork, try your hand at traditional fishing, take a cooking class, and practice playing the gong in a music class.  

5. Join a Cree guide for a medicine walk in Banff   

Explore Indigenous cultures during a medicine walk in Banff, Canada, on a brand-new Classic Canadian Rockies trip. Guided by a local Cree guide, you’ll begin with a traditional tobacco blessing and then walk beside them along Cascade Pond. This is a rare chance to listen to Indigenous knowledge and wisdom of the region’s plants and nature’s healing remedies in person. 

6. Spend an afternoon with Japanese warriors 

The closest most of us have come to samurai culture is in movies, but new for 2024, you could see their weaponry and attire in real life. The new Premium Highlights of Japan trip will take you to a 400-year-old-dojo in Tokyo. You’ll learn about their history from a descendant of an original samurai clan and find out what it’s like to don their traditional armour. 

a group of samurai masters wielding a sword

7. Discover your destiny in Istanbul  

Explore suburban Istanbul as you visit a fortune-telling mother and daughter in their home. Indulge in homemade borek and learn the art of crafting the perfect cup of Turkish coffee before learning about your destiny. The tradition of fortune-telling by reading coffee grounds is a skill passed down through generations in Anatolian culture, providing a peek into your future and the cultural tapestry of this country. This new experience can be found on Intrepid’s Women’s Expedition in Turkey.  

8. Park yourself in a Thai village 

Explore the charms of a homestay in Thailand with a journey to the village of Phrom Lok on a new experience now part of Real Bangkok to Singapore. You’ll eat home-cooked meals with your hosts (chatting in between bites), glide through rural landscapes on two wheels, take dips in the nearby waterfall and spend time with the community on the edge of Khao Luang National Park. 

9. Take part in the age-old Amazigh tradition of henna tattooing 

In this new Morocco Uncovered experience, a skilled local henna artist, known as a naquasha, will visit your guesthouse to enlighten the group about the origins, crafting process, and historical significance of henna in Morocco. As you have your hands painted with intricate designs, learn more about the tradition of this ritual, which has been practised for centuries to mark milestones such as battle victories, marriages, births, and the Eid al-Fitr festival. 

woman applying henna tattoo to another woman's hand

10. Meet South Korea’s female divers  

Haenyeo are skilled women divers in Korea known for their traditional practice of free-diving. You’ll head to the shores of Busan for a heart-to-heart with these skilled seawomen to learn about this ancient diving tradition and their deep knowledge of marine life. Some of the women are in their 80s and still work proudly as divers to support their families. This new experience offers memorable moments of cultural exchange on the South Korea Highlights adventure. 

11. Meditate on life on Mt Gaya  

After a scenic drive to Mt Gaya’s Gayasan National Park on Intrepid’s new Premium South Korea trip, you’ll stay at Haeinsa Temple. This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Three Jewels Temples representing the dharma of Buddhism. Upon arriving, you’ll sit down to tea with a monk to learn about their way of life here and the temple’s history. Then, you’ll follow the temple’s daily routine with an afternoon dinner, guided tour and communal dinner. Deepen your spiritual connection with an evening meditation. 

12. Sleepover with the family in Navajo Nation  

Intrepid’s new Western USA Family Holiday is jam-packed with activities for a vacation you’ll talk about over dinners for years to come. The top pick on this adventure has to be the Najavo territory family sleepover. After exploring the valley in 4WD with a Navajo guide, you’ll settle down for a night under the stars in a hogan. These traditional huts stay cool in the heat and are made from desert juniper tree logs and red desert earth. 

a small red hut in a red desert landscape

13. Drink mint tea like a local in Midelt  

Woven into Morocco’s social fabric, mint tea symbolises hospitality and generosity. Traditionally served thrice in one sitting, each cup intensifies in flavor, echoing a Magrebi proverb: ‘The first glass is as gentle as life, the second is as strong as love, the third is as bitter as death.’ On Intrepid’s Best of Morocco trip, you can experience this daily ritual in a family home in Midelt, between Middle and High Atlas. Sip piping-hot tea and munch sweet pastries while learning about life in Morocco through your hosts’ stories.  

14. Visit the Korean Demilitarised Zone with a defector  

Learn about the complexities of the Korean Peninsula’s history through someone who has navigated the challenges of crossing the border between North and South Korea. This experience provides a rare moment to witness the DMZ through the eyes of someone with a deeply personal connection to the region. This visit also takes place on Intrepid’s new premium trip to South Korea. 

15. Savour sake and stories in southern Japan  

Discover local hospitality with a homestay in Usuki village on Kyushu Island in this new experience in Southern Japan. You’ll visit the local sake brewery, where you’ll get to see how sake (the national drink of Japan) is made, followed by a tasting. Your hosts will be waiting to welcome you into their home for an evening of fun while cooking dinner together, followed by a feast of those homemade dishes. Share stories with your hosts, get to know about their lives and learn a few things about Japanese cooking to take back home with you. 

man pouring sake from a machine

16. Learn about life in a Korean monastery  

Experience a day at a monastery, delving into Korean Buddhist life through various activities. Families on Intrepid’s South Korea Family Holiday can spend a day with monks at Golgulsa Temple. Discover the ancient art of Sunmudo, a thousand-year-old martial art with meditation elements, and have a go at traditional Korean archery. Wrap up the day with a traditional Buddhist vegetarian dinner at the temple. 

17. Dabble in some martial arts in Vietnam  

Intrepid has added a special new martial arts experience to Scenic Vietnam. You’ll visit a local family that has been doing martial arts for three generations and get face time with the master of the family to learn about martial arts. Explore the health benefits of this practice, see how it’s done and then give it a go for yourself as you try your moves under the master’s expert guidance. 

18. Go behind the scenes in the Grand Canyon  

Intrepid’s new LA to Las Vegas trip stops off at some of the most epic national parks: Zion, Joshua Tree and, of course, Grand Canyon, to name a few. You can go behind the scenes with a naturalist guide in the steep red-rock escarpments and gorges of the Grand Canyon. This land, as old as time, invites travellers to discover its Indigenous history and geological wonders.  

See what else is new at Intrepid for 2024 with The Goods.

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