Living life on the edge and plummeting off the other side of it is a lifestyle choice. Extreme bucket list travel is about testing your limits, whether it’s swimming with sharks or manning the helm of a tall ship. Either way, you’re bound to return home with exhilarating memories and life-changing experiences. In the last few years, I participated in the most extreme adventures that I could imagine and I didn’t need to be a professional athlete to do them. I narrowed down to my top five extreme adventures based on sheer fear, nervousness, excitement, and potential to crap my pants. You don’t need any previous experience or skill to participate in these extreme adventures. All you need is a desire to participate in something extremely remarkable.
Five Extreme Adventures for Your Bucket List
Number One – Drive Race Cars with Formula Experiences
Formula Experiences puts you in the driver seat of Radical SR1 and SR3 cars and gives you the thrill of a lifetime yet it’s such a personal experience that you always feel comfortable and in control.
Their 2018 cars create the closest Formula One or IndyCar experience anywhere. Located at VIRginia International Raceway, they offer the world’s only high speed adventure set at a resort, including options for trackside accommodations, gourmet dining, and activities ranging from shooting sports, karting, autocross, and a relaxing day spa.
I was behind the wheel of a Radical SR1 driving 130 mph and experiencing g-force as I maneuvered around the track. The instructors at Formula Experiences transformed me from a timid driver to someone willing to push the limits as far as I could. They made me feel comfortable and confident, and they made me want to continue to hone my skills. Formula Experiences creates a driver experience that matches your skill and desire, while putting you in control of high downforce purebred race cars.
Number Two – Aerobatics in a T6 Warbird
The T6 Warbird lesson in California isn’t a mere ride! You’ll spend an incredible hour learning to perform a variety of aerobatic maneuvers. The lessons are limited only by what your stomach can handle.
During my T6 Warbird lesson, we flew toward the mountains and within minutes we were already doing barrel rolls. We topped 220 mph and over 4 G’s. We flew through the mountains sideways and upside down. The window was closed but I still felt completely free of obstructions. I could see everything, including the ground which felt extremely close at times. It was one of the most thrilling, extreme adventures I’ve experienced.
Number Three – Sail to Antarctica on a Tall Ship as Part of the Training Crew
Antarctica is one of the greatest adventures that anyone could have. It’s the final frontier, the dream of a lifetime, and an incredible journey. It will remain in the top five extreme experiences in my life. From sailing through 1,000 m high mountains of ice that tower over the ship to taking a polar plunge, Antarctica was full of dreamland experiences that are better than your wildest imagination.
As voyage crew on board Bark Europa, we were assigned to the watch system. During the sailing days on the Drake Passage and on the longer voyages in between the various destinations, I stood on look out, handled the sails, and steered the ship. No prior sailing experience was needed! The crew were there to give instructions and answer questions. Bark Europa puts you in control of the high seas.
Number Four – Aerobatics in a Biplane
When it comes to adventure, rolling, spinning, flipping, and diving at 4,000 feet off the ground is hard to beat. Add an open-air cockpit and a beautifully restored 1943 WWII Stearman biplane and you have a day you’ll never forget.
Biplane Fun took me on a roller coaster in the sky where adventure lingered around every cloud. This 360 degree experience was over some of the most beautiful scenery in America, and the aggressive maneuvers provided the most adrenaline-filled rush of my life.
There is nothing that can prepare you for the sensation of four times the normal G-force pushing your body into something weighing 360 kilograms then pulling you away and toward the ocean below. With wing overs, barrel rolls, loops, spins, and a hammerhead, my mouth was agape and my heart was pounding. Filled with adrenaline, I took a deep breath and reveled in the greatness of excitement and Biplane Fun.
Number Five – Cage Dive with Great White Sharks in Mexico
There is no denying that I was petrified to go cage diving with great white sharks. Admittedly, I had a complete panic attack during my first dive that included crying, hyperventilating, and almost giving up completely. I was overcome with fear; I couldn’t function. Once I got in the water and watched the actions and reactions of over a dozen different great white sharks, everything changed. I was mesmerized by how they moved and the way they behaved. It is utterly fascinating and an eye-opening, life-altering experience.
I spent five days with Islander Charters to get the great white shark adventure of a lifetime. It included 12 hours (over three days) of surface-supplied air, cage diving at Guadalupe Island, Mexico. I needed to learn more about the behavior of great whites to try and overcome my fear of such ancient creatures. Once you have the experience, you will never look at sharks the same way again. You will still have a healthy respect for them, but the fear will change to curiosity, knowledge, and understanding.
What extreme adventures top your list?
How far are you willing to push the limits? I’d love to hear your suggestions for extreme adventures to add to my list. You may just have the greatest adventure of my life waiting for me.