A stroll through famous museums or sampling the local cuisine may be a lovely vacation for some, but for those who enjoy getting off the beaten path and experiencing something that you won’t find in a typical travel brochure, this can be downright boring. If getting outside, working up a sweat, seeing sites that aren’t highlighted on a poster in a travel agent’s office, and getting your adrenaline pumping – maybe even facing a little danger – is your idea of a fun time, then consider these destinations for your next vacation:
Africa offers a number of great destinations for thrill seekers, with its abundant wildlife and rugged terrain, but Kenya is known as a standout for its diversity and beautiful landscape. You can go on a classic African safari, looking for a variety of diverse and unique wildlife, or even sign up for a hunt. (Just be sure you aren’t looking
for any endangered or protected species.) Mountains and national wildlife reserves offer plenty of opportunities for hiking and climbing, and on the coast, there are beautiful beaches and coral reefs for divers and scuba divers.
North Korea is an isolated country living under an oppressive regime. Independent travel to the country is not permitted, and tourists must be part of a guided tour to enter. While on this tour, visitors are under strict regulations: Photographs can only be taken at certain times and of certain objects; visitors cannot speak to the locals; officials can search belongings at any time; and only certain areas of the country are open to visitors. One popular destination is the Diamond Mountains, which allows visitors the opportunity to travel into this forbidden country and to climb these breathtaking mountains. Be prepared to answer a lot of questions about your passport when you travel later, but know that you’ll have a memorable tale about your traveling adventure.
If you want to travel really far off the beaten path, head to the continent where you aren’t likely to see many other people who aren’t also tourists. Bundle up and snuggle up next to emperor penguins, seals and polar bears. You can also check out volcanoes and “diamond dust,” or ice crystals formed by meteorological events. If you’re not up for trekking through the snow, try a cruise and get your thrills from afar.
Australia offers plenty of cultural and “touristy” type spots that you can find on a traditional tour, but its vast outback offers something different for the thrill-seeking traveler. Get up close and personal with the Aboriginal people who live there, or spend time spotting native wildlife like kangaroos and dingoes. (And try to refrain from yelling out “A dingo stole my baby!” every time you see one.)
Nepal may be home to many a peace-loving Buddhist, but it is also home to one of the world’s most popular lures for adventure lovers: Mount Everest (which shares part of its land mass with China). Mount Everest is the highest mountain in the world and reaches 8848 meters high. Only about 1,500 climbers have reached its peak, putting its triumph atop many a bucket list. Just be sure that you properly train: Many a hopeful climber has suffered serious injury and even death attempting to scale Everest.
Have you been to any of these destinations? How did they live up to their reputations as hot spots for thrill seekers? What other destinations would you recommend for those looking to get off the beaten path and amp up their adrenaline levels? Tell us in the comments!
Amanda Tradwick is a grant researcher and writer for CollegeGrants.org. She has a bachelor’s degrees from the University of Delaware, and has recently finished research on law school grants and student grants in hawaii.