We went shark diving off of the coast of Hermanus, South Africa during World Cup 2010, and it has to be one of the most thrilling adventures of my life. Having been a tanker in the Army (so I can knock out #5 too), commanding a tank careening down a Bosnian road...err...dirt path at 68 mph is exhilarating, but, nothing compares to having tons of fish flesh brushing up against your cage while your feet dangle, with toes looking like little sausages. Worth the trip, and afterwards, you can calm down your nerves by taking in the wineries of Franschoek!
Ever start to feel like your day-to-day life is a little, well, tame? Sure, sprinting to the bus stop or trying to get through spin class might get your blood racing, but when was the last time you really felt a major adrenaline rush?
Well, look no further—we’ve rounded up five amazingly adventurous day or weekend trips that will leave you thrilled, exhilarated, and in touch with your fight-or-flight mechanism.
1. Dive with Sharks
Love exploring the underwater? Get up close and personal with some of the ocean’s greatest predators with a shark dive. Yes, you’ll be enclosed in a protective steel cage, but you’ll swim within feet of a frenzied Tiger Shark. You won’t be wearing any tanks, so you can maneuver with ease, and you can even tease the sharks into action with some food.
Most companies don’t require previous diving experience—if you can snorkel, you can shark dive. Check out excursions in Southern California, Mexico, the Bahamas, and off the coast of South Africa. Costs range from $700 to $1,350 and typically include two or three dives, meals on the boat, and accommodations in remote locations.
Photo of shark courtesy of Shutterstock.
2. Special Ops Training
Ever wondered if you could survive in the wilderness? Find out for sure with an adventure in Special Operations Training. One of the best programs is run by Mykel Hawke, a former U.S. Army Green Beret and star of Discovery Channel’s Man, Woman, Wild—over the course of a weekend, you’ll learn the basics of outdoor survival, including finding and preparing food and water, building a fire, constructing a fire and shelter, and land navigation.
The cost is roughly $1,000, not including hotel costs for the first evening (when you’ll get briefed on what to expect).
3. Race a Ferrari
If nothing thrills you more in your daily life than taking your car to top speeds on the freeway, head to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway and strap yourself into a F430 F1 Ferrari.
You’ll get a lesson in controlling the Ferrari at top speeds, including gliding through the gears, judging stopping distances and corner speeds, and what to do if you start sliding out of control. The instructors perform a few exhilarating laps with you in the passenger seat, and before you know it, it’s your turn to hit the road at speeds of up to 200 mph.
You can also check out different types of high speed racing adventures at the Talladega Superspeedway, Homestead-Miami Speedway, or Nashville Superspeedway. The day should cost you around $300.
Photo of Ferrari courtesy of Shutterstock.
4. Fighter Pilot Training
Once you’ve got racing down, take to the skies and take control of a fighter jet. One company in Los Angeles, California offers you the chance to jump into the cockpit of an L-39 Russian Trainer jet and not only take to the skies of Southern California, but have a Hollywood-style movie made of your experience. The adventure includes training, the chance to take off and climb at a rate of 4,000 feet a minute, and lessons in a variety of maneuvers. The flights take just under an hour, although they feel much longer than that. You do get to take over the controls (but the pilot can take over instantly if things get dicey).
No, it isn’t cheap (the day will cost you around $3,000), but you’re paying for an exhilaration that you truly can’t get from anything else on the planet.
Photo courtesy of Lukich / Shutterstock.com.
5. Drive a Tank
If strength and power excite you more than speed, jump behind the controls of a tank at a course in Kasota, Minnesota. You’ll start with an instructional driving course, rumbling through the open fields in the British FV-433 Abbot tank. Then, you’ll maneuver the speedy FV432 Armored Personnel Carrier through “combat-like” conditions, with nothing but the periscope to guide your way. Close out this amazing adventure driving the 60-ton Chieftain Battle Tank. You don’t get to fire the guns, but you do get to crush a car. Does it get better than that?
This tank-driving adventure will run you around $250 for 3 hours.