Nine out of ten times this is the dream destination, the stuff of desktop wallpapers, where you sip piña coladas while lying on a white sand beach watching palm trees dance back and forth above you in the refreshing sea breeze.
But don’t be fooled so easily. Looks can be deceiving, especially on this occasion.
Next month we’re off to an undisclosed location in the South Pacific with No Roads Expeditions to try out their real Survivor experience island expedition.
This is the real deal. No cameras, no script, just a few complete strangers marooned on a tropical island with nothing but the clothes on their back – for eight days.
The ultimate endurance test, this expedition is like no other on the planet. The only solace you have is knowing you’ll eventually be extracted, otherwise you may as well be living the scenes of Castaway or Lost (except you’re not already dead – spoiler, sorry).
Your mental toughness will be tested, your ability to function in highly intense physical and social situations will be pushed to the absolute limit of human capacity.
The scenario that plays out is something similar to your boat capsizing or plane going down in the Pacific. Some may prepare for six months, enrolling in survival classes and building their physical fitness to the absolute maximum. Others will do nothing and take it as it comes as if it were to happen to them tomorrow.
We won’t be completely alone, we’ll have a career survivalist-Bear-Grylls-type on the island with us to offer assistance and advice should we need it (which we most definitely will) and provide basic first aid. A 24hr emergency team will be on standby on a nearby island, yet our medical evacuation time has still been advised as four hours in total – two to get us off the island and another two to get us to the nearest mainland hospital – not much room for error there.
You might be asking yourself now, why the hell would anyone willingly put themselves through this?
Just when you think you know yourself, this trip will recalibrate your self-awareness like no other. The common belief that it’s equal parts mental strength as it is physical, I’m sure, resonates strongly with this experience. If anything it’s possibly more imperative that your mental strength is as sharp as ever.
Imagine a few years from now, you’re going for a promotion at work or that dream job you wanted. Your potential employer asks you “Tell us about a time when you showed leadership or worked as a team player in a stressful environment…”
Need I say more? In any case, there aren’t many learning curves in the world like this one. We’ll soon have our own experience to share with you, so watch this space for the full debrief coming soon.
No Roads Expeditions offer dozens of international adventure expeditions in 15 countries. How does kayaking the Komodo islands of Indonesia sound? Or finally ticking off the Kokoda Track from your bucket list? Head over to their site to begin planning your next adventure.