Action | December 28, 2019 2:09 pm

How a New Generation of Travel Companies Blend Adventure and Storytelling

Where immersive experiences and thrilling action converge

Combat tourism
For some, the ideal vacation might resemble an action movie more than a day at the beach.

We live in an era where compelling, immersive narratives surround us. The way that television has become home to ambitious narratives is one manifestation of this phenomenon; the growing popularity of escape rooms is another. But that blend of thrills and storytelling can also be found in other industries — notably, travel. 

At The Wall Street Journal, Donna Bulseco explored the evolution of adventure travel, and the companies that specialize in creating unique and bracing experiences for travelers. Bulseco writes that “lately intrepid thrill-seekers and travel experts are seeking out daunting trips that satisfy that desire both safely and more originally.”

Among the companies mentioned are Covert Venture Joint Task Force, Bushmasters and Pelorus, both of whom offer immersive, high-intensity experiences for their clients. Bushmasters’ website notes that their clientele has included Channing Tatum; their themed events include a two-week jungle combat expedition and one in which travelers will battle the elements to simulate the aftereffects of a shipwreck on an island. 

Others opt for a more military-focused approach; some companies also offer customizable experiences. One Pelorus trip is described by Bulseco as “like a James Bond movie script, minus the tuxedos (but not the Martinis).”

As Bulseco notes, these trips aren’t for everyone, and there’s a combination of physical ability, financial resources and a willingness to opt for a decidedly non-luxurious travel experience. But it also seems like a logical extension of a travel ethos that emphasizes experiences rather than objects — and, for those who have taken part, the results could be unforgettable. 

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