Thanks to the rise of budget airlines, high-speed trains and, of course, the internet, the world is becoming a smaller place. Journeys that would have taken months of planning can now be organized with just a few clicks of a mouse. Rather than turning up at a location and wandering around to try and find a suitable hotel for the night, all arrangements can be made well in advance.
While these developments have opened up travel in many parts of the world to those who some years ago might have been too wary to take the plunge, it also means that many of the trips once considered to be incredibly adventurous to undertake now seem rather tame.
It is, however, still possible to find places where you can enjoy adventures that few others will have shared, it just takes a little more work, often combined with a little more time than would be possible in a standard two-week vacation.
Learn the ways of the West
If you want to enjoy a taste of the pioneer spirit, you can visit epic landscapes such as Monument Valley and Bryce Canyon, both of which are almost instantly recognizable have been the backdrop for dozens of Westerns in years gone by. You can hike the trails on foot or horse, and there are plenty of options to go and stay with the Navajo Indians, even spending one night in a mud hut.
If you want to take things a step further, why not consider taking part in a cattle drive? Made famous in the classic comedy City Slickers, cattle drives involve moving large herds between their summer and winter grazing grounds. Such opportunities are not limited to the American West – you can also take part in drives across South American and Australia. You’ll need to be comfortable in the saddle as you’ll be riding up to 12 miles each day. Evenings are spent around the campfire and it here that you will be able to make a real connection with your fellow travelers. Accommodation is extremely basic but for anyone looking to escape the madness of modern life, this kind of step back in time can be a life-changing experience.
Live like a predator
In many parts of the world, hunting is a daily necessity, and it was certainly something our ancestors did to survive. While farming may have made it less necessary, many people still enjoy it as a leisure pastime, and for them, the opportunity to go after big game can be absolutely thrilling.
Depending on what part of the world you are in, your quarry will vary. If you have exhausted all the possibilities in your home country, traveling overseas can bring you into contact with bigger, less common game.
If you’re looking for an adventure holiday that is filled with the type of thrills that only hunting and fishing can provide, then it’s best to seek out the services of an operator with plenty of experience in the field to ensure your holiday is problem-free.
The Outdoor Trip, for example, provides access to world-class hosts and provides all the flexibility you need to enable you to create the trip of your dreams. With access to reviews and photographs from previous trips, you’ll also know exactly what you are going to be getting for your money.
Watch the world light up
Getting to see the northern or the southern lights is close to the top of many people’s bucket lists. The fact that the phenomenon is best witnessed in some of the most remote parts of the world where light pollution is at a minimum is only a small part of the reason why such trips are so thrilling.
No matter where you go or what time of year, there is no guarantee you will see the lights at all. It all depends on a range of factors including the level of cloud cover, your precise location and the amount of electrical energy in the sky at a particular point in the day.
For those lucky enough to see the swirling patterns flashing across the sky, the experience is both humbling and often deeply emotional. The range of colors you are able to see will depend on some of the same factors that determine whether you see the lights at all, but the luckiest viewers are those that see a broad range of spectrums rather than just the more common green.
You can view the northern lights in Alaska, Iceland, Finland, Norway, Denmark, parts of Canada and sometimes Scotland. To improve your chances of success, choose your time of year with care and be flexible with your return so you can wait for them to appear. For a truly spectacular light show, uninterrupted by light pollution, take a tent and pitch up in the middle of nowhere.
The hot, the cold and the deadly
If you want to be able to tick off destinations that few others will ever visit, why not seek out some of the most extreme adventures around. Head to the small Russian town of Oymyakon and you’ll have visited the coldest inhabited place on earth. The population of 500 endure ground that is frozen all year round, thanks to average temperatures of -58 degrees F. Not surprisingly, winter sports such as skiing, ice fishing and ice hockey are hugely popular.
By contrast, a trip to the Lut Desert in Iran will allow you to tick off a box that says you have been to the hottest place on earth. With temperatures known to reach as high as 158 degrees F, the combination of heat and dryness can be hazardous to health so only visit if you are fully prepared for such extremes.
If you want to take a dip in the most dangerous waters on the planet, then head to Gansbaai in South Africa where cage diving with Great White Sharks has been a popular tourist pastime since the mid-1990s. The area has one of the densest populations of Great White’s anywhere in the world, making it ideal for you want to get a close-up view of one.