I’d like to think of myself as a moderately adventurous person. Overcoming fear and pushing your body to limits you didn’t know were possible is an incredibly rewarding feeling for anyone brave enough to take the leap of faith (pun intended). Sure, we’ve all heard post-vacation stories of zip lining, parasailing or scuba diving, but what happens when those kinds of activities no longer give you the adrenaline rush you’re looking for?
To all the adrenaline junkies and thrill seekers out there looking for a crazy next move, maybe you’ll find the below 5 adventures bucket list worthy:
1. Swim with Great White Sharks (South Africa)
If you’re going to willingly put yourself in a little metal cage in the middle of the ocean and get cozy with one of the most dangerous animals in the world, you might as well go big. And by big, I mean there is no need to mess around with small silly sand sharks when there’s an ocean full of great whites. If you’re familiar with Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week,” you know that the epicenter of shark diving is in South Africa off the coast of Seal Island.
A few years ago, when volunteering in South Africa, I went shark cage diving with a few other volunteers to see what all the hype was about. It was amazing to be up close and personal with dozens of massive great whites, and definitely worth it if you get the chance. As far as adrenaline goes, I’d have to say that the choppy boat ride out to the site was more frightening than the dive itself. Bring your Dramamine! You’ve been warned.
– Suggested Location: Great White Shark Project, Gansbaai, South Africa
2. Running of the Bulls (Spain)
The Running of the Bulls is an annual celebration that takes place in Pamplona, Spain in July, and the title of the event says it all. Each year, millions of spectators and participants fill the streets of Pamplona to run with a dozen angry bulls for the 900 yards between the bull corral and the end bullring. I can’t say from experience, but running side by side with several thousand-pound bulls may get your blood pressure higher than normal.
Although the actual run from the bull corral to the bullring takes only a few seconds, the festival lasts several days and includes fireworks, music, and bull fights each day. Not sounding dangerous enough? Don’t let the fact that the event lasts only seconds fool you. Each year, many runners are injured and trampled by the bulls and 15 have been killed over the past 100 years of the festival. Run at your own risk!
– For more information, visit the official Running of the Bulls website.
3. World’s Highest Bungee Bridge (South Africa)
I’m not sure that there is anything scarier than jumping off a bridge head first and free falling for nearly 800 ft upside down. I know this because I was crazy enough to do just that a few years ago during my travels. I know, I know…what would make a person do such a thing? Peer pressure? Being in a new environment? Having the 79-year-old hostel owner brag that he jumps every year on his birthday? Looking back, it was probably a mixture of all of them.
If you’re a “go big or go home” kind of person, you may be interested to know that Bloukrans Bridge is the world’s highest bungee bridge declared by the Guinness Book of World Records, so in other words, if you’re going to do it, you might as well do it here. Plus, the “pendulum” design of this specific bungee system is said to offer the longest and smoothest ride in the world. I won’t comment if I thought that was true or not.
Unlike the shark dive, bungee jumping was off the charts as far as adrenaline levels are concerned and I definitely encourage everyone to make the jump if they ever get the chance. One piece of advice though… don’t look down.
– Suggested Location: Face Adrenaline, Plettenberg Bay, South Africa
4. Wing Walking (United Kingdom)
So you’ve flown on a plane, maybe even jumped out of a plane, but have you ever taken a ride ON TOP of one? Wing walking has been around for many years as an acrobatic event, but in various locations in the UK, the activity has been made available for the public to try.
In a nutshell, the ride consists of one brave soul being strapped on top of a small biplane, standing up. The plane will take off, fly, and land as usual, giving the rider an entirely new perspective on flight.
Sound interesting? If the idea of standing on a moving airplane doesn’t scare you, hopefully the hefty price tag won’t either. This one-of-a-kind ride will cost you upwards of 450 pounds (around $800), which includes instructions, photos and a 30-minute ride.
– Suggested Location: Aerobatic Tactics, Essex, UK
5. Dogsled the Iditarod (Anchorage, Alaska)
If you’re looking for an intense way to push your body and mind to the limit, you could train to participate in the annual Iditarod race in Alaska. Every March racers travel from Anchorage to Nome (over 1,100 miles) with a dozen sled dogs for over 2 weeks and are forced to overcome the treacherous Alaskan weather and terrain.
People of all walks of life, ages and occupations have completed the race and those who have bravely taken on this challenge have had unique and inspiring reasons to do so. With that said, if you’re looking for the ultimate physical and mental test and are willing to devote many hours to training and preparation, racing an Iditarod may be for you.
– For more information, visit the official Iditarod website.
There you have it… 5 items to add to your bucket list that will give you the blood pressure spike you’ve come to know and love. A little adventure never hurt anyone, so get out there and fly, jump, swim or run out of your comfort zone. You’ll thank me later!
About Andrea Proulx:
Andrea is a social media consultant who studied Marketing and International Business at Suffolk University. She’s traveled internationally to Central America, Europe, Africa and Asia both as a student and as a volunteer. She is passionate about global travel and loves learning from new people and new experiences.
Copyright © 2016 Andrea Proulx