Have breakfast at home. Have lunch 300 kms (200 mi) away. Have dinner abroad.” – Challenge #186.

203 travel challenges (book cover)

If you’ve travelled a lot, or for long periods of times, you may have reached a point where it all became pretty routine: boarding flights, checking into hotel rooms, wandering around different cities, sightseeing. After a while, the novelty of constant change wears off. Amazing sights lose some of their ability to amaze. You become… jaded, a very sad state of affairs indeed.

So, how do you recapture the excitement? This is what 203 Travel Challenges sets out to do. As the authors say in the introduction: “This book (…) will give you ideas for destinations and new experiences but, above all, it will challenge you to do, see, hear and try things you’ve never thought of doing while travelling”.

If you’ve ever thought of throwing a dart at a world map to decide where to travel next, you’re in the right frame of mind!

(By the way, I once completed the above challenge, only in reverse: I had breakfast abroad in New York City, lunch at home in Toronto, and dinner in Montreal, 500 kms away!)

203 Travel Challenges – what’s in the book

The book starts with a short test to determine what type of traveller you are. There are four types, and each is associated with specific travel tips to improve your trip, travel strengths, and the best way to approach the book. By the way, if you take the test on the companion website before August 31, 2017, you can also enter a giveaway to win a copy of the book (or some other prize).

The rest of the book is divided into six sections, for different kinds of challenges: outdoor, once-in-a-lifetime, finding yourself, home-town, friendship and love, and crazy challenges. One fun way to use the book is to choose a section, and then open it at a random page within that section. Or if you’re the thorough and organized type, you could browse through the whole book and put check marks next to whatever sounds intriguing.

So, what are these challenges like, you ask? They run the gamut from the silly, to the goofy, to the original, to the wise. For example, you could get lost on purpose (#112). Or do something really adventurous like paraglide or do a parachute jump (#22). You could also go for something unusual like have a drink in an ice bar (#79).

tandem parachute jump (203 travel challenges)

A tandem parachute jump (that’s me in the red suit!)

Some of the challenges hint at the book’s European origin. Take #120 for instance (which will give Canadians a good chuckle): Close your eyes, turn the map of your country three times and then point to a place. Open your eyes and discover your destination for next weekend. (“Oh dear, looks like we’re going to the Arctic next weekend.”) But fear not, most challenges can be undertaken in any country.

Granted, not every one of the 203 ideas in this book is groundbreaking or mind-chattering. Some of the challenges are pretty mundane, but there is a good chance you may not have tried or even thought of doing some of these things.

(To be completely honest, a few of the challenges made me cringe. Some of them would not be safe for a solo traveller. Use common sense.)

What really surprised me though, is the amount of information 203 Travel Challenges packs besides the challenges themselves. I learned a bunch of things I had never heard about before: travel tips and destination information, trivia, and other tidbits. Even some insights into how the brain works.

afternoon in a hammock (203 travel challenges)

For type A personalities, a true challenge may be to spend the whole afternoon in a hammock (#17)!

Who is it for?

Interestingly, several of these challenges touch on topics I have written about before:

If you like these posts, there is a very good chance you’re the kind of person who will enjoy this book. Or if you’re a traveller who is jaded, anxious, lacking confidence, or perhaps too conservative, you’re also part of the target audience.

Where to buy it

You won’t find 203 Travel Challenges on the shelves of your local Barnes & Noble or Indigo bookstore. It was written and published in Bulgaria by Maria Angelova and Ivalina Nenova. You can currently buy it on Amazon in either a softcover or Kindle edition. (Kindle edition only on Amazon Canada.) The first 29 pages of the book can be read for free by clicking on the book cover on Amazon.

When I got my paper copy in the mail last month, I was impressed by the book’s layout, quirky illustrations (by Irina Peneva), and compact size, which lets it fit in a small purse so you can take it wherever you go.

203 travel challenges (inside page_

Inside the book

You can also visit 203challenges.com for more travel tips, ideas, and inspiration. They even invite you to submit the story (or photo) of a travel challenge you completed.

What if you’re not travelling?

Even if you’re not planning any trip right now, settle in with a glass of wine, and browse through the book, in any order you like. Its cheery, often tongue-in-cheek tone makes for an entertaining read. You will probably find challenges you have already completed without really trying, and some new ones that look intriguing. And guess what? Travelling solo is listed as one of the challenges! 🙂

I’m eying a couple of home-town challenges at the moment. I’ll let you know how I did on my Facebook page!

(All photos courtesy of 203challenges.com except the parachute one.)

(Note: this post contains an affiliate link.)


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