Daredevil adventures to take in 2019
Thrill seekers, adrenaline junkies, daredevil adventurers, call them what you will. Since the dawn of time, people have been finding increasingly creative ways to take themselves well beyond their comfort zones and push their limits in pursuit of a rush.
So, where should you go in search of adventure, and what should you look for? As Flight Centre Travel Group Youth & Adventure Marketing Campaign Manager Divan Viljoen puts it: “There’s never been a better time for adventure travel. With the variety of adventure experiences available around the world, you don’t have to travel specifically for adventure anymore, you can just go find it wherever you end up.”
To narrow down the options, we got in touch with some of our favourite intrepid travellers who weighed in below:
“For anyone looking for an epic adventure next year, don’t miss exploring the wonderful country of Kyrgyzstan!” say Alesha Bradford and Jarryd Salem, award-winning travel writers and photographers, and founders of NOMADasaurus.
Located in Central Asia along the ancient Silk Road route, 93% of the scenic country is made up of gorgeous mountains, “making it a paradise for trekkers, horse riders and nature lovers.” Adventurers could kick off their exploration in the “cosmopolitan capital city” Bishkek, find themselves on the shores of Issyk Kul, the second-largest freshwater lake in the world, then cross to Karakol and Jyrgalan, the region’s adventure hot spot.
After a cultural immersion in the capital city, a dip in the clear blue waters of Issyk Kul, and some sun-bathing on its shores, the real adventure starts. Karakol is an excellent base from which to hit the slopes – Karakol Ski Base is the highest ski resort in Central Asia – go explore Karakol Canyon, or find some incredible alpine trekking.
A little further off the beaten path you’ll arrive at Jyrgalan, where even more trekking and skiing awaits, as well as horseback riding and mountain biking, and you’ll experience true Kyrgyz hospitality.
If that doesn’t get you excited, perhaps one of the experiences from On the Go Tours’ Active range will. On the Go offers an excellent range of walking, trekking, and cycling experiences spanning the globe and will push you to rise to the challenge.
For a start, why not trek across Jordan to the Lost City of Petra and stand in front of the monuments that welcomed Indiana Jones and companions on their quest for the Holy Grail? Consider delving deeper into the desert until you find the red sands of Wadi Rum and spend a night under the stars with Bedouin tribes.
Or, cover more ground in less time on a cycling tour in Turkey. All of On the Go Tours’ experiences begin in the incredible capital, Istanbul. After gorging yourself on gözleme, simit, and Turkish Delight, and visiting some of the world’s most iconic sites, simply pick a direction and start your adventure.
From the fairy chimneys and underground cities in Cappadocia, to the Cotton Castles of Pamukkale, the country that spans two continents is any adventurer’s dream.
Need something a bit more “epic” to get you going? Becki Enright, from Borders of Adventure, has just the thing. “Everest Base Camp Trek is what I would regard as an epic adventure.” Quite. Don’t be fooled into thinking that just because you’re not summitting it’s going to be a stroll in the park. “It’s so tough that at times you question your sanity and why you ever decided to do it,” and that’s coming from someone who’s no stranger to adventure. “It’s one of the hardest physical and mental challenges I have ever faced in my life but one that, upon reaching Base Camp, became one of my proudest moments,” says Becki.
So, just how difficult is it? You’ll begin at an elevation of 2850m and climb up to 5,364m (that’s more than 1.5x higher than the highest peak in South Africa).
As Becki puts it, “[it’s] not an easy undertaking, and it is more arduous than technically difficult.” She also notes that the greatest difficulty you’ll face is altitude, which is why the trek is spread across 12 days – to allow your body to acclimatise.
In the end though, when you’re standing in the shadow of the world’s highest mountain, having conquered more than half of its height, it’ll more than be worth it and you’ll have an adventure under the belt that you’ll never forget. And who knows, maybe it’ll inspire you to trek even higher next time.
From greater Asia, to Europe, across Africa, and far beyond, there’s adventure to be found everywhere, it just depends on how adventurous you’re feeling on any given day. So, what’s it going to be, what kind of Daredevil are you?