Adrenalists are constantly scouring the globe for the next big excursion, but even the most adventurous individuals have their bucket list.
From an expedition into the deep powder of Japan to a tour through the most unique ghost city on earth, these are the top adventures at the top of every Adrenalist’s bucket list.
Hokkaido, the northern island of Japan, is one of the snowiest places on earth. It gets walloped by wet cold winds sweeping down from Siberia, making exotic winter wonderlands of volcanic resorts Niseko, Rusutsu and Kiroro. Go for the snow, and stay for the “onsens” - hot thermal springs where apres-skiers strip down and heal sore muscles. You can also find “onsens” at Zao Onsen near Yamagata on Honshu, Japan’s main island. Here, you can also find the famous “juhyo” - or snow monsters – white goliaths that form over the season as ice builds upon the trees at the higher elevations of Zao Onsen ski resort, the biggest ski resort in Japan. Before you leave the island, visit the snow monkeys of Jigokudani, a five hour car ride away.
Ski & Surf New Zealand in 24 Hours
While you can feasibly ski and surf at various latitudes in New Zealand, the North Island might be the best place on Earth in which to tackle both activities in the same day. That’s where the water is warm, with subtropical currents swirling up and creating a perfect left hand break at Manu Bay in Raglan. You might recognize the wave, which is said to sometimes carry riders longer than a mile. It’s just a four-hour drive to Mt. Ruapehu, a glacier-frosted active volcano that’s home to two separate ski areas. If you’ve got a helicopter handy, the commute will be considerably more convenient, and your skiing options more numerous.
Few earthly formations inspire the imagination like Venezuela’s Mount Roraima – a massive mist enshrouded tepui at the crux of the Venezuela, Brazil and Guyana border. Who knows what it will inspire you to do after you return home from a trek up to its treacherous tabletop – if you make it home. Canaima National Park is notoriously pest-infested with poisonous bushmasters and biting gnats aplenty. What’s even more of a challenge is the heat and sheer remoteness of the otherworldly geological wonder. You’ll probably have to take a private plane or two to get to Santa Elena de Uairen, the closest town to Roraima that has an airport. All of these challenges make Mount Roraima an adventure worth taking.
Nearly 30 years ago, a small industrial city in northern Ukraine was decimated by a catastrophic nuclear disaster. Today, that city is a ghost town, and one of the most unique tourist destinations on Earth. Get to Pripyat, home of the decommissioned Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, via Kiev, which is less than 100 miles away, but be sure to plan ahead. Outsiders can only enter the 30 km exclusion zone after being being approved for a day pass through any one of several Chernobyl tour operators which now guide travelers through the abandoned fallout zone. From amusement rides frozen in time to a contaminated vehicle graveyard, the sights found along a Chernobyl tour can’t be found anywhere else. Don’t worry about radiation – while certain areas near the core are still deadly, radiation levels along guided tour routes are about equal to those experienced while flying at 30,000 feet. Unless you venture off towards ground zero (or eat produce grown from the soil) you won’t kick the bucket visiting this bucket list destination.
Skeleton Bay, Namibia
If you thought New Zealand featured a unique long wave experience, try remote Skeleton Bay, in Namibia. Barely accessible by a minimal network of dirt roads, this recently discovered surf gem features the longest waves in Africa. Protected from land invaders by swamp and desert and guarded from the sea by sharks and fog, Skeleton Bay is an isolated otherworld. Shipwreck hulls, weathered whale rib cages and seal skulls famously dot the rust colored sands of Skeleton Bay. You have to be a survivor to make it out here on the edge of the Namib desert. Just ask the San (also known as the “Bushmen”) and the Bantu, who have inhabited the land for centuries.