Are you ready to become a travel rebel? For those who have exhausted the sights and sounds of the average holiday and are now on the hunt for something a little more exciting, you’ve come to the right place.
You are not alone in your quest for a more thrilling, more daring travel experience; plenty of people are actively seeking a vacation with an adrenaline-inducing twist. The popularity of shows like Netflix’s Dark Tourist prove that modern holidaymakers want a little more than sun, sand and sangria from their summer break. But how to go about it?
You may not be ready to go to the extreme of Alex Honnold's solo ascent of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park, but some of his 'can-do' attitude may come in useful when planning your next extreme travel opportunity.
Climb Every Mountain
Ok, so I’m not about to suggest you stock up on climbing chalk and start up the nearest rock face, but, if you’ve never done it before, climbing a mountain can actually be easier than you would think. A person of average fitness can walk up famous peaks like Mount Fuji in Japan, Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Ben Nevis in Scotland and Mauna Kea in Hawaii. Plus, you get the added bonus of visiting the beautiful countries that host these impressive hills.
Just remember, be prepared! The weather conditions on each of these mountains can vary massively according to the season in which you visit; whilst they are scalable by us mere mortals, it is best to plan ahead so that you don’t find yourself stranded in a snowstorm or debilitated by altitude sickness. It is advisable to consult local guides when climbing Kilimanjaro, for example.
Have you ever been sitting and watching Tom Cruise fling himself from a tall building or Roger Moore throw himself out of a plane and thought, ‘I could do that.’? Well, here’s your chance! Skydiving has become a much more accessible pastime in recent years; although the average price will still set you back a hefty amount, it’s worth paying out for this once-in-a-lifetime, hair-raising experience.
If the view from the summit of Mauna Kea didn’t quite satisfy you, then consider seeing Hawaii from the air. The lush green island is one of the most stunning areas to skydive over in the world, and you can choose from a wide range of heights to jump from. If vegetation isn’t your thing, however, then opt instead for a breathtaking dive over a glacier in New Zealand—this insane adventure is surely one you won’t forget in a hurry!
As with mountain climbing, it pays to be prepared for this trip. Make sure that the skydiving company you go with is safe, secure and has your well-being firmly at the top of its list. Then just relax and enjoy the ride.
If jumping from a plane at 20,000 feet seems a little too untethered for you, perhaps you’d rather try skydiving’s earthbound cousin—the bungee jump. Again, this is the perfect opportunity to witness some of the world’s most awe-inspiring sights, but from a totally unique perspective. Hurtling downwards towards the ground hundreds of metres below, you might not have time to take in the finer points of the view, but you’ll certainly have a whole new experience.
Whilst organised bungee jumping originally began in New Zealand, you can find qualified places to jump all over the world. The spectacular Victoria Falls on the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia provides the perfect natural setting, whereas the Verzasca Dam in Switzerland is another opportunity to ‘play Bond’ and re-enact that famous Goldeneye scene for yourself.
At the risk of repeating myself one to many times, I really can’t stress enough how important safety is in this venture. Make sure you go to a qualified and practiced organiser and you’ll sure to be in safe hands.
These are certainly not the only extreme travel experiences on offer—in fact, there are almost too many crazy adventures to list here—but they are some of the most popular, and they are almost guaranteed to satisfy any adrenaline junkie.