Adventure Bucket List
Find out what the human body – specifically yours – can handle by throwing it off the highest heights, trekking through jungles, and generally putting it into situations it should never be put into.
An important part of life is knowing what you can handle, and I think you’ll surprise yourself when you throw yourself into it. It will give you fun new perspectives (literally!) as you look at the world from up high, down low, and from all new angles. Just picture yourself in a James Bond movie each time you’re about to leap and you’ll get all the inspiration you need.
Ever wonder who the first person was to jump from a plane and hope to God their new invention the “parachute” actually works? Well, it was a Frenchman and he jumped from a hot air balloon in 1797. While it seems like a completely mental pastime, in reality it’s pretty safe. Doesn’t make it any less terrifying, though.
Fishing off the pier is for chumps – the real action is out on the open ocean, where you can do battle with fish bigger than you are. Go head to head with fish like marlin, swordfish, snapper, tuna, kingfish and sharks. They’re all muscle and they’re all very keen to not end up in your boat, but if you win you’ll be able to feed your family for days!
Paragliding is a bit like skydiving, except instead of freefalling from a plane for what feels like forever, you let the wind pick you up from the ground until your chute, or ‘wing’, pulls you up into the air. You can glide around for hours once you know what you’re doing, and while there’s obvious dangers to gliding hundreds of feet in the air, it’s a very peaceful way to see the world.
In order to fly a hot air balloon most countries will require you have a license, which is a good idea as you’re heading up into airspace with planes and gliders. Using fire and gas to take yourself up through the clouds is absolutely thrilling, and once you learn how to fly it you can take others up in the air too. It’s an amazing experience to share.
An awe-inspiring way to experience nature, taking yourself off the edge of a cliff with nothing but some rope is a terrifying prospect. Once you get comfortable with it (and finally trust that the rope has got you) you can start to spring or walk your way down. Abseiling lets you go where people generally shouldn’t – off the side of a cliff.
Geocaching is an outdoor activity similar to a scavenger hunt, but the map is your cell phone. You get clues for treasures hidden near you, and, using GPS coordinates, you go on the hunt. The treasures could be anything from a logbook to mark your find, or items to win. It’s a great way to explore the world around you, whether you’re in your own city or a foreign land. Download the app!
Bungee jumping is the bizarre activity that involves jumping off a tall structure while your feet are connected to an elastic cord, the idea being that once you reach the bottom of your fall you bounce up and down for a while. There are some incredible places to bungee jump from, like suspension bridges and tall buildings, so you get an amazing view as you plummet. If you think you’re an adrenaline junkie but you haven’t bungee jumped yet, you’re only lying to yourself.
If you’re more scared of the idea of being alone than you are jumping out of a plane then this is the adventure activity for you. Also good if you’d rather just freeze up in fear than actually have to do anything while you’re plummeting towards the Earth – I know I would not want to be responsible for anything other than screaming my lungs out.
While flying in a helicopter is much noisier than flying by regular commercial plane, you do get to see a lot more, which makes helicopters ideal for scenic flights. You can hover over things to get a better look, then set down pretty much anywhere you like for a cheeky picnic. Then when you’re done, all you have to do is GET TO THE CHOPPA!
Remember those playground zipliners that would inevitably get stuck half way, leaving you to try to swing it back to the next person as you fell off? Yeah, this is nothing like that. Real ziplining consists of a metal cord strung high across treetops, usually spanning a good few hundred feet and moving very quickly. It’s about as close as you’ll get to soaring through the treetops like a bird.
Cliff diving is one of the more extreme sports you can do, just because there’s so many things that can go wrong. The water below could be more shallow than you think, landing properly is really important, and if you don’t jump far enough you could hit some rocks. That’s what makes it all the more badass when you pull off a spectacular dive without dying or breaking both your legs – the danger…
Many ships are scuttled, or purposely sunk, just off the coast once they’re too old to maintain. This means that fish get to turn them into their homes! Shipwrecks become beautiful sunken treasures, teeming with sea life while the old man-made shell rusts away. It’s an oddly breathtaking juxtaposition, and certainly worth a snorkel visit.
Remember when you were little and your brother would cram you in a barrel and send you spinning down the street? No? Just me then. Well zorbing is just like that, except, well, actually safe. Hop in a giant bubble and roll yourself down a hill, going end over end until you have no idea where you are or what your name is. It’s very fun, promise.
Plenty of volcanos have hiking trails that take you to the top for some incredible views. Make sure you take a guide as the treks can be quite challenging and take you to high altitudes, which could make you sick through your ascent. Once you get to the top though, you’ll be treated to spectacular views and a peek into the crater on the other side.
Have you ever looked at gooey flowing lava and wondered what it would be like to touch it? We’re not at all recommending you try touching it, but even getting up close with an active volcano is a pretty amazing experience. The fact that technically it could just blow up and kill you at any point is both cool and completely terrifying. It probably won’t, but it could.
Just like the movie Twister, chasing tornadoes is a helluva lot of fun. But also incredibly dangerous as they can switch trajectories in a split second. If you manage to stay far enough away from one, you’ll witness the awesome, destructive power of nature as it carves through houses and cars like butter.
Taking those weenie ski-lifts is for poor people – real skiers know the best way to ski is straight out of a helicopter. Helicopters are usually used to access more remote or difficult terrain, and is considered the ultimate powder experience since no one will have accessed the area before you. You don’t have to be an expert skier as you’re not diving right out and into vertical slopes – you just get to enjoy fresh runs without other skiers getting all up in your grill.
While at the moment this activity is reserved for the likes of Elon Musk and Richard Branson, we say put this on the list anyway. Commercial flights into space have already begun, and like all new things the price will come down eventually. Before you know it we’ll be flying into space as easily as we fly interstate! And what could be more breathtaking than looking out the window and seeing the entire Earth sitting there?
If you still think Tom Cruise in Top Gun was the coolest thing ever, then why not do a ride-along in a fighter jet? Nothing will get your adrenaline pumping like a supersonic flight over beautiful scenery alongside an experienced military pilot. Feel the need, the need for speed!
An aerobatics plane does manoeuvres and tricks for flight exhibitions and competitions. This means big dips, barrel rolls, loops, and withstanding high g-forces. You’ll want to find yourself a skilled pilot to take you on an aerobatic trip as it is a fairly dangerous activity – accidents can happen when planes fly too low, or when flying in formation. It’s pretty amazing to see the Earth and sky rotate around you like a spinning wheel, though.
Sail your own boat
You don’t necessarily have to own it, but learning to sail is a really cool skill to have. You’ll understand the ocean tides, wind knots, and how a sail boat actually works. Plus it’s handy if you decide one day to pack it all in and head out to sea!