Everyone wants to do those adventure activities that would excite, thrill and get the adrenaline in touch with the soul.
Diifferent people have different ideas of fun time. For some, fun is driving in the middle of the night on a quite highway, surfing through huge waves, taking a walk along a shoreline, playing games, or maybe just watching favorite TV shows. There is a different meaning to fun and adventures; fun does not always require an adventure, but some people need to embark on an adventure to have fun. Here are some of the greatest adventures in the world you probably have to try at least once in a lifetime.
1. Sky Diving
For some people, climbing to the top of a steep cliff is not enough that they also have to jump from it. In many cases, however, sky diving adventure skips the climbing part entirely. Also commonly known as parachuting, this extreme sport does not even require a mountain, a building, a cliff, or any high altitude formation or construction. Instead of spending time to land the aircraft before taking the jump, sky divers simply jump off of an airplane. It is also called parachuting in reference to the vital piece of safety equipment. The experience can be either exhilarating or terrifying, depending on whether you are ready for the adrenaline rush as you free fall from the sky. Best places to do sky diving include:
- Livingstone, Zambia
- Mount Everest, Nepal
- Palm Jumeirah, United Arab Emirates
- Grand Canyon, U.S.A.
A lot of different companies offer the excitement to do sky diving. It does not actually take any special location to do the adventure. For first timers, tandem sky diving is a must; for the first few jumps, beginners must be accompanied by professional instructor to learn the basic skills and knowledge about the extreme sport. Training involves the safety landing as well. If you want to get the excitement without all the training procedures, some companies actually offer that as well; however, your body is fastened to the instructor the whole time during the diving and landing.
2. Game Drive in Africa
Africa is packed with game reserves and national parks. All animals are protected in such environments, but tourists are welcomed to visit and see wildlife at natural habitats. There are some exceptions where parks or reserves are closed for public due to conservation reasons. In game reserves where tourists are encouraged to visit, you have the chance to witness how wild animals behave and interact with the nature. Some game reserves even offer luxurious lodges. Best places for game drive in Africa include:
- Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
- Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
- Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area, Tanzania
- Okavango Delta, Botswana
- Kruger National Park, South Africa
One of the major attractions is The Great Migration where millions of animals are in their annual journey in search for grasslands and water. Game reserves are free from human encroachment, modern development, and poachers. Some reserves are owned, run, and managed by government, while others belong to private organizations. Each reserve has its own rules and limitations.
3. Bungee Jumping
If sky diving involves jumping off of an airplane, bungee jumping does require high altitude grounds to make the jump. You can do this from a building, a cliff, a bridge, or any high altitude place. There is no parachute involved, but you will be attached to a strong elastic rope for safety. The other end of the rope is attached to a stationary object at the jumping point. During the jump, the elastic rope prevents you front hitting the surface below. Due to its elastic nature, however, you will bounce up and down until the rope run out of momentum and stops. Popular locations for bungee jumping include:
- Victoria Falls Bridge, Zimbabwe
- Contra Dam, Ticino, Switzerland
- Kawarau Bridge, New Zealand
- Macau Tower, China
While bungee jumping is not without its risks, millions of successful jumps have been done all across the world. For safety reason, please choose only professional operators with good reputations.
4. Swimming with Sharks
When swimming alone can no longer fulfill your needs for excitement, adding sharks to it will escalate the fun to the next level. Swimming with sharks, or more popularly known as shark tourism, involves observing sharks’ natural behaviors without harming them. By observing, it means diving with them or simply watching them from a boat. Of course, the former is much more intense than the latter. Popular locations for shark tourism include:
- Bahamas – more than 40 species of sharks thrive in protected waters in Bahamas
- Maaya Thila, Maldives – expect to dive with whale sharks
- Beqa Lagoon, Fiji
- Cocos Island, Costa Rica
Sharks have always been associated with aggressive animals with appetite for human flesh; it has also been repeatedly confirmed that sharks are not as dangerous as most people think. As long as you respect them and avoid any dangerous provocative maneuvers underwater, sharks are actually docile animals. In fact, when you swim or dive with them, they will get bored of you before you get bored of them.
In the mid 1900s, zorb came to existence in New Zealand. Soon after it was born, the world of extreme sports embraced the activity as one of their own. There is nothing complicated about zorbing; it is a simple ride inside a giant plastic ball down the hill on sloped grounds. In areas where natural hills ideal for zorbing are not present, some operators actually built their own tracks to accommodate the activity. Popular places for zorbing:
- Rotorua, New Zealand
- Roundtop Mountain Resort, U.S.A.
- Zorbinganlange, Germany
A zorb is a giant elastic ball comprised of two balls of different size. Between the outer and inner balls, there is a space for enough volume of air to help absorb all impacts as the balls roll downhill. It is probably not dangerous, but can be dizzying for some people.
When you hear the term skiing, the first image that comes to mind is someone gliding on a sloped snow mountain. You are right of course, yet there are different variations of skiing such as downhill, cross-country, backcountry, heliskiing, twin-tip, and more. For tourism activities, downhill skiing is more preferable. Popular places for skiing include:
- Chugach Mountains, Girdwood, Alaska
- Niseko, Japan
- Mont Tremblant, Quebec, Canada
- Wanaka, New Zealand
Especially for heliskiing, the activity takes place in areas accessible only by helicopter. In many places, the trails are all natural; the trails are not exactly prepared for skiing activity, and this is why the heliskiing is an activity best left to professionals. Downhill skiing is more comfortable for the vast majority of tourists.
7. Scuba Diving
Game drive in Africa involves observing wild animals in their natural habitats. What you mostly see in game drive are terrestrial animals such as mammals, reptiles, and birds. Scuba diving is exactly like a safari, but underwater. SCUBA (self contained underwater breathing apparatus) tells all about the activity. You are required to dive underwater carrying a breathing apparatus to increase the duration of the dive. In scuba diving, you have the chance to see marine animals and plants in their natural habitats. Best places for scuba diving include:
- Great Blue Hole, Belize
- Kailua Kona, Hawaii
- Barracuda Point, Malaysia
Scuba diving does not always have to be in oceanic water; it can be in a lake or river, too. Just like sky diving, there are classes for scuba diving. First timers will need to enroll in the class before they can dive down and explore the different world underwater.
8. Mountain Biking
Bicycling and mountain biking have many things in common. Both require bicycle and safety gear. The biggest difference is that bicycling happens in the park, roads, yards, schools, and relatively friendly trails. On the other hand, mountain biking can only happen in rough terrain hardly designed for bicycles. The bikes, however, are designed to enhance performance and durability to accommodate the difficult tracks. Best places to do mountain biking include:
- The Dolomites in Italy
- Chamonix, France
- Saalbach, Austria
- Mustang, Nepal
Before you go mountain biking, please understand that safety gear is a must. It is always best to do the activity in well known trails so you don’t get lost in the middle of a jungle or mountain. Mountain biking is an exhausting adventure, but it does have real sense of adventures and gives rewarding excitement.
9. Speeding on the German Autobahn
In contrast to popular belief, autobahn does have speed limit. Only certain parts of the highway system have no speed regulations, and these are the roads where you can push the performance of your car. For Germans, the autobahn is just ordinary highway system that leads them from point A to B. For many people outside of the country, the autobahn does provide real opportunity to push their cars to the limit.
Only less than a quarter of the entire autobahn system has no speed limitation. As long as you are on the right parts, it is fine to put the pedal to the metal. Make yourself aware of the traffic signs such as changes in speed limit when you reach certain areas, construction zones, school zones, urban zones, and so on. Germany actually has another open-to-public venue where you can test the limit of the car: the Nürburgring. There are even car rentals near the complex to try some sport cars if you want.
10. Under Water Scooter Adventure
Unlike scuba diving where you actually have to propel yourself, an underwater scooter adventure allows you to simply ride a vehicle underwater and enjoy the view. Some scooter for this purpose has built-in breathing apparatus, meaning you don’t have to carry the bulk of SCUBA on your back. The rider’s head is safely covered in glass dome, so the person can enjoy 360-degree panoramic view. Best places for underwater scooter adventures are:
- Bali, Indonesia
- Hawaii, U.S.A.
- Sydney, Australia
For maximum safety, the cabin of DPV (diver propulsion vehicle) feature backup air system and alarm button. In case of emergency, the air system kicks-in and you can press the alarm button to call for assistance from professionals.