Anyone ready for a challenge? You know, rough it up, don’t shave, carry an overstuffed backpack, gleefully counting passport stamps and eating a bread sandwich. There’s plenty of luxurious destinations to choose from, to chill out in the sun, have a drink or party on; but I think everyone needs a change once in a while. A great deal of the world is off-limits to those who can’t afford helicopters, private jets, and the money to afford them. So, how about testing how courageous you really are?
10. Traversing the deserts of Egypt
Few places are left in the world that have yet to be mapped, but even bedouin nomads are careful when in the Sahara. The last explorers arrived here during World War II, and the extreme heat, scarce resources, and absurd lack of cell reception means you’ll need a guide, heat-proof all-terrain transportation, and a lifetime supply of sweatbands. It might be useful if you could know some astronomy.
9. Diving between tectonic plates
When your first step is to find a gap between tectonic plates, aside from being totally astonished, you’ll probably experience the most unique feeling in your entire lifetime. There are very few places where diving between Earth’s crust is even possible; Silfra, Iceland allows you to enjoy unsurpassed visibility beyond 100 meters while floating through an underwater canyon that divides the North American and Eurasian plates.
8. Entering the “Dead Heart of Africa”
The world’s greatest climbers summited desert pillars that no human has ever climbed before inside the Ennedi desert. With a nickname like Dead Heart of Africa, it’s pretty much obvious that beginners are not welcomed here; but if you enjoy remoteness, isolation, and solitude, the martian-like landscapes of the Ennedi is the place to go. rganized tours, however, might be the safer choice.
Jumping out of a helicopter, on a surfboard, and ride a massive swell on into a remote beach may sound dangerous, but it’s way more fun. You can spend weeks looking for the perfect wave, but this way you’re surely to hit hte perfect spot. You’ll need some cash, but yo won’t regret it.
6. Getting to the most remote inhabited island on Earth
Tristan da Cunha is one of the most remotely inhabited islands on Earth. Located in the south Atlantic, over 1500 miles from the nearest human settlement, the only way in or out is with an expensive ticket on one of the few fishing boats or polar research vessels that stop by to make sure it’s still around. The lifestyle here is as self-sufficient as it gets: every family farms their own food, livestock numbers are strictly controlled, and no outsiders are allowed to settle or buy land. Survivor, the real game!
5. Sailing around the world
Aside from a very sturdy boat, if you want to sail around the world you’ll need a lot of experience. The Clipper Round the World is a yearly race that pits complete amateur sailors against each other, and with a little training, you’ll be taught to hold your own on the high seas. If you’ve got the guts — and around $20,000 — the high seas are yours. Be careful, though.
4. Skiing the entire world
Without your own helicopter and private jet, there’s no chance you could do that. There are way to many choices, that’s for sure: Chamonix, Turkey, the Himalayas, Japan, Alaska, British Columbia, Greenland, and Sweden come to mind instantly. 8 countries and 3 continents, in about 17 days; where there’s a will, there’s a way. Just bring cash!
3. Trekking the jungles of Borneo
Borneo is the third-largest island in the world, covered mostly by a rainforest so thick that light doesn’t reach many parts of the ground. It’s also the third-highest island in the world and claims the world’s oldest rainforest. It’s nearly impossible to think of Borneo’s indigenous tribes that live today as they did centuries ago as anything but foreign; this adventure makes the contact. Go on!
2. Whitewater Rafting in Bhutan
Enjoying a trip to Bhutan is way more difficult than it should be. Everyone who isn’t a citizen of India or Bangladesh has to apply for a visa up to 30 days in advance, and prepay for everything through a limited amount of government-controlled tour companies. However, Bhutan lies in a green section of the Himalayas with an equal amount of soaring altitudes and low-lying forests; you’ll probably enjoy the countryside, and whitewater as well.
1. Going back-country in Afghanistan
Despite the ongoing war, travelers are able to go and come back unscathed from Afghanistan. Remoteness, inaccessibility, and high threats of danger make this enticing, but I’m not sure I’m up for this. The backcountry of Afghanistan and its ever-unconsidered neighbor, Tajikistan, can be enjoyed over a 30-day trek. So, what do you think?