Have you been doing everything “boring and safe” until now? Are you tired of it? Of course you are, who wouldn’t be… No one can find the thrill and rush in today’s everyday world: it’s slow, rather stale and the only challenge comes from your job, and that comes with stress, weight gain, and hair loss. What you need to do is step up your game, jump out of your comfort zone and into something wild and fun. This year might be ending soon, but that doesn’t mean that 2016 can’t be extremely fun and memorable. Here are five activities, with the best places where to do them:
1.Spooky legends and Ice hotels: Transylvania, Romania
You’ve probably had some Halloween fun recently while dressed in a spooky costume, drinking and hanging out with someone dressed as Dracula. How about you try the real thing, or at least go to where the legend originated: Transylvania, Romania. You know the man, or shall we say vampire, but maybe you didn’t know that the legend originated from an actual person called Vlad III or Vlad The Impaler, Prince of Wallachia. He ruled the region Wallachia in the fifteenth century, inspiring respect as well as fear. He protected the Romanians and Bulgarians from the Ottomans and is regarded as a hero by those two countries, but history remembers him as a vampire, something “backed up” by his choice of residing castle. His castle at Bran sits on top of a 200ft high rock, with gothic towers, and an overall mist of menace. The castle is, of course, open to tourists so if you have the guts, you can visit the castle interior, secret passages, and the dungeons.
While visiting the vampire castle, you can stay at the Ice Hotel at Lake Balea. The hotel is rebuilt every year, using the ice from the lake. While the idea of staying in a hotel made from ice sounds preposterous, the hotel itself is quite cozy and pleasant. The beds might be made out of ice, but they are covered in many layers of furs, mattresses, blankets… so your night will be warm and fluffy though no one guarantees you’ll be safe from vampire bites; or love bites if you bring your significant other.
2.Maximum adrenaline rush: Chicamocha Canyon, Colombia
If ice and mist are not your things and you prefer warmth, and you find sightseeing and casual touring to be too boring; then I suggest something a bit more extreme. A place that will take your breath away in more ways than one – Chicamocha Canyon in Colombia. It’s a steep-sided canyon carved by the Chicamocha river. What it offers is the best possible experience for men and women of action and thrill: rafting, paragliding, canyoning and trekking, horseback riding, and much, much more.
These activities can all be done in a huge open space carved in the Earth about 46 million years ago, covering over 108 000 acres and going over 2000 meters in depth. The thrill of these activities is something that is hard to explain, but must be experienced instead. All this excitement is further enriched with breathtaking natural sights and the is air as pure as it gets. The surrounding vegetation and pure hard rock brings out the bestial side of any man or woman, making the experience one of a kind.
3.The power of volcanoes: Iceland
Two places you, unfortunately, cannot visit, at least while still alive are Heaven and Hell. What you can visit however is one place that combines the two, all in one: Iceland. Iceland is so beautiful that it’s hard to find where to start from. As Tolkien’s works have been recently adapted into movies, let’s try there: Iceland was, is and will be an inspiration for Hobbit houses and scenery. Vast fields with perfect green grass, check. Tiny houses with only natural elements such as wood and stone, check. Feeling of a fantasy world rich with supernatural beings, check!
When the night comes, Iceland turns into a light-show, and it’s not fireworks. Northern Lights, also known as Aurora Borealis sheds colorful light on an already beautiful landscape, consisting of geysers, hot springs, lakes, and glaciers. The beauties of these cannot be trumped by any fantasy movie, comic book or painting, no matter how much the artist tries.
That was the “Heaven” part, but what about the “Hell” part, where’s all the fire and brimstone? Well, Iceland has plenty of that too. It has active volcanoes and no matter when you decide to go there, you’re bound to find some of which are currently active. Shooting fire and lava pools are a must-see here, as this is, hopefully, the closest you can get to actual Hell.
4.Swim with the sharks: Gansbaai, South Africa
The following idea takes you underwater, way, way away from your comfort zone. This one is for the bravest and the wildest among those who reading this. Swimming with the sharks. How does that sound? If it sounds tempting, then rest assured that you can indeed do that. The best place to do this is Gansbaai, South Africa, due to its dense population of great white sharks. You can jump into a cage and get tossed into the water for the best caged shark diving experience. The place is called: “shark Alley” and is located between Gansbaai and Dyer Island. Seeing these magnificent yet terrifying creatures face to face is one of the most heart-pumping experiences that you can arrange for yourself.
5.Sled times with wolf-dogs: Kuusamo region, Finland
Here’s an experience for those who want to take their entire family on something special, safe, but still pretty amazing: sledding with huskies. The best place for this one is Kuusamo region in Finland. Located near the Russian border, deep into Arctic wilderness, this place offers the cuddliest and friendliest husky dogs, which you and your family can play with, as well as ride on sleds with. Experience sledding even better than that when you were a kid, one powered by fluffy wolf-like dogs. Enjoy the beauty of nature, like one in “Narnia” or “Frozen”, with elks and reindeers as common pop-up sight.
After a fun day of fun activity, you can relax in a sauna of your log cabin or cuddle up to a fireplace with a warm drink.
These are just some of the ideas you can do the following year, and there are many more as it’ a big and wonderful world out here. You need to get out and start exploring.