5 Places Adventure Junkies Should Have on Their Bucket Lists
The beaches of Southern California offer countless opportunities that can add a little happiness to your life. Even if a person finds everything they ever wanted in a single locale, though, there's always that drive to do more. This is why many people have created exciting bucket lists full of places they want to visit. Lots of these lists include “visit New York” or “see Paris,” but for an adventure junkie, a bucket list typically looks more like the schedule at the X Games. Whether you need inspiration to start or just have a few empty spots to fill it up, the following locations are essential for every adventure bucket list.
1.) Kjerag BASE Jumping
Depending on where you live, you might have to break a few laws to actually go BASE jumping. This is definitely not recommended, but for those who like taking chances without landing in the slammer, Kjerag is a mountain in Norway that offers that opportunity. The trip to Rogaland, Norway is exciting enough, but once you're finally there, it only takes moments for you to get the beach lifestyle off your mind in exchange for an adrenaline-fueled fall down the mountain.
Of course, it's important to remember that BASE jumping shouldn't be a decision made on a whim with friends and beers. It's one of the most dangerous activities you could ever engage in, and if you're not properly prepared and trained for this adventure bucket list item, there's not much hope for coming back. Fortunately, there are BASE jumping companies in Norway that can get you fully ready for your jump.
And if BASE jumping isn't exactly your cup of tea, go ahead and add Kjerag to your list anyway. The mountain still offers great hiking and mountain climbing opportunities. For a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, you can also hop onto Kjeragbolten—the massive rock wedged in a mountain crevasse with nothing but 3,228 feet of air below it.
2.) Mount Everest Base Camp
Summiting Mount Everest is one of those bucket list items that often go unfinished. It's a nice thought and all, but far too many people add it just to have an exciting list. In reality, only 800 people even attempt to climb the gargantuan mountain each year, and if you're one of them, the ice-cold temperatures might have you wishing that you were back enjoying the beach lifestyle in sunny California.
It’s likely that even the most extreme among us have never attempted Everest. It's a difficult and dangerous journey, and being fully prepared to make it to the summit takes years of conditioning and experience. Fortunately, trekking to the Mount Everest Base Camp is a bit easier. Don't think, though, that you can just kick down the door and start charging up the mountain in your swimming gear. The base camp is at an elevation of 17,590 feet, so you'll still need a little mountain climbing experience under your belt for the trip.
You should also realize that this isn't a day trip. Most companies that take trekkers out do so for at least two weeks to get to the camp and back. In all likelihood, you won't be able to sleep at the base camp, but you can head back down to Gorak Shep and enjoy a beer while bragging to locals who have heard the same stories a million times already.
3.) Swimming in the Yucatan Cenotes
When we think of extreme adventures, swimming isn't typically the first thing to come to mind. Sure, you've got to do a little of it after faceplanting a wave that you probably should have never attempted in the first place, but otherwise, the act seems a little mundane. At the Yucatan cenotes, however, this is far from the truth. A cenote is formed when the bedrock collapses and reveals a groundwater pool below, and the Yucatan cenotes in Mexico are some of the most mystifying.
Now, while it's understandable that you might feel even more adventurous by setting out on your own and trying to find an undiscovered cenote, it's not the best idea in the world. Ever seen The Ruins? Attempting these feats can easily turn into a horror movie. Luckily, there are several well-known groundwater pools you can venture to on your own, or visit with a cenotes tour company. Cenote Dos Ojos has two pools of water, Cenote Azul calls to SCUBA divers, and Cenote Yokdzonot is just far enough out that the tourists have dissipated.
Visiting the Yucatan cenotes gives you an opportunity for a bit of hiking, cave exploration and swimming in some of the clearest waters in the world. Add in the fact that the Mayans used these massive openings to communicate with their gods, and this bucket list adventure is, without sounding too cliché, “heavenly.”
4.) Rock Climbing and Stars in Namibia
There are untold numbers of things to enjoy in Namibia, and as one of the most sparsely populated countries on the globe, you can really live the life you love without getting claustrophobia from excited tourists who just want to see a zebra. Although, you should see a zebra while you're there. In addition to that, you can immerse yourself in history by camping out among the ancient rock engravings at Twyfelfontein or go on a safari at the Fish River Canyon.
What typically draws most adrenaline junkies with an eye to finishing out their adventure bucket list, though, is the rock climbing available at Spitzkoppe and other mountain formations across the country. The landscape, however, is the actual reason this place has to be on your bucket list. The views from the summit of a mountain in Namibia are worlds away—both literally and metaphorically—from those you'll see back home.
After a day of hiking and mountain climbing in Namibia, you'll have one last adventure awaiting you. The NamibRand Nature Reserve is a gold-certified Dark Sky Reserve. You won't find any nearby towns or lights, so when you camp out under the night sky, you'll get a little piece of heaven that not even the Yucatan cenotes can provide.
5.) The Ultimate Trip to the Amazon
The Amazon rainforest is around 2.1 million square miles, so there's no limit to the things you can enjoy there. Since you'd probably rather have a specific area on your bucket list rather than “#4: Visit somewhere in the jungle,” go ahead and mark down Ecuador. While there are skydiving, BASE jumping and a variety of other extreme opportunities to enjoy there, you might just walk away from this bucket list adventure more excited about the time you spent on the ground.
The reason you might consider a few outings away from extreme activities is the multitude of unique adventures. By booking your stay at a lodge owned by local indigenous tribes, you can get an inside look at how these tribes have lived away from civilization for centuries. Many tribes will also provide guides to take you hiking through the Amazon, and it's here that you'll find plants and animals you couldn't imagine even after an all-night trip to the bar.
Maybe the most exciting thing you can tell all your friends back in Southern California about, though, is your trip out on a canoe. No, you won't be traveling down rapids, but you will have the opportunity to fish for piranha, and come on ... how many adrenaline junkies ever lay claim to that adventure?
We tried to find a few places you haven't thought of for your adventure bucket list. Did we miss any that are already on your list? Tell us in the comments!