Although travelling is a popular way to unwind and relax, some are using this time off to fulfil some of their most adventurous desires. In a research by the Adventure Travel Trade Association, it revealed that more than 150 million vacations are being used yearly for adventure trips, where caving, trekking, and mountain/rock/ice climbing are considered the most extreme by many travellers worldwide. But, other destinations in the world offer more extreme adventures than what we popularly know.
Safety first! Whilst it’s exciting to embark on this extreme sports and adventure, safety should be every travelers utmost concern. Even daredevils fear pain, especially if it involves hefty medical expenses from an injury while abroad. Although travel insurance can cover you in some activities, extreme sports are, likely, not included in the list of general coverage. Most plans will cover injuries from cycling, horse riding, zorbing, recreational sports, and surfing.
Thus, if you plan to try some of the most extreme adventures, it’s best to discuss with your provider if this will be covered by your plan, otherwise, get a more comprehensive one that guarantees your safety afterwards.
But, how “extreme” can some sports and activities be abroad? In this post, we will feature the most daredevil adventures one can try when they go overseas.
Volcano Boarding – Nicaragua
This extreme activity was pioneered by another traveller like you, who found a great way to make the most of their stay near an active volcano, while he was in León, Nicaragua. Volcano Boarding is the art of sliding down the face of an active volcano while riding a reinforced plywood called ‘toboggan’ as fast as 90-kilometre per hour. Similar to sand boarding, it doesn’t use any mechanical force to work, but it is more extreme than the former as the volcanoes can erupt any point of the day.
The plywood is also less fancy than the surf boards, as you need to use your heels to brake and steer it. This activity is only available in Nicaragua, particularly offered by León Big Foot Hostel that runs trips to the nearby Sierra Nevada volcano everyday.
Cheese Rolling – Gloucester, England
Photo Credit: alexwardphoto
Since the 15th century, people in Gloucester, England have celebrate the annual cheese rolling event. People from all walks of life (tourists and locals) are waiting at the starting line to charge down a steep hill to get the rolling round of cheese.
This activity has been considered as injury-prone, but more and more travellers and locals continue to join the festivity. The event is called Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling in Gloucester, which is the largest competition of cheese rolling in the world. But, other countries also host similar events annually, such as in Canada. Based on the official website of Cheese Rolling at Cooper’s Hill, the next event will be held this month (Monday, 30th May 2016).
Bouldering – Great Britain, South Africa, and Germany
Photo Credit: J-T-M v
The sport of bouldering before seems too extreme that we only saw it in movies like at the start of the film Mission Impossible 2. But, many daredevils have begun trying this activity on their own. Compared to rock climbing, bouldering requires no protection harness or equipment, perfect for those who are looking for a real adrenaline rush. It has become so popular that it was recently shortlisted as amongst the top sports for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. Bouldering was popularized in North America through indoor centres with low wall to minimize injuries, but it has now expanded outdoors, in real mountains from Great Britain, Germany, and even in South Africa.
Ice Swimming – Estonia and Finland
Photo Credit: red line highway
Unafraid of hypothermia? Then, ice swimming should be in your top extreme adventures which is popular in Estonia and Finland. Most northern Europeans are used to having a dip in their frozen waters between sauna sessions for centuries, but annual events are now held to witness ice swimming competitions that is administered by the International Ice Swimming Association (IISA).
Participants will have to paddle a one-mile water that is below 5°C. If you have attempted a solo ice swimming and want to make it official, you need to register your witnessed attempt with the IISA.
Freshwater Cave Diving – Mexico
Photo Credit: Mal B
While ocean scuba may seem extreme enough for some travellers, others go as far as descending into underwater caves to explore what lies ahead. Submerged stalactites are one of the things you will commonly see, apart from deep water marine lifeforms. The best spot for cave diving is in Yucátan Peninsula in Mexico, which is the world’s largest concentration of sinkholes. The area is surrounded by lush jungle that is reflected in the crystal-clear turquoise of water. There are relatively few practitioners of this activity, as it requires specialized equipment (different from scuba diving), set of professional skills, and the high potential risks.