Your cubicle walls are looming in closer and closer with every passing summer day, and the last time you had a “vacation,” it involved a $30/night room in a Super 8 with 20 of your closest fraternity brothers. The daily toil of office life is not for the faint of heart. So when it comes time to take that hard-earned vacation, you better make it worthwhile. Abandon your notions of the vacations of yesteryear—no touristy photo ops or cheesy t-shirts here. Toss out the fanny pack and pack up the machete, because today’s man is seeking his R&R in rainforests, rockets and more. From bear-hunting to dog-sledding (and everything in between), here’s a quick round-up of some of the best vacation options for the adrenaline junky in all of us.
NEED A NEW RUG?
Instead of making the terrifying trek to Pier 1, why not trek to Alaska and take down a 1,500 lb. brown bear yourself? Sign up for an Alaskan bear hunt and you get to brave the Alaskan wilderness with a professional hunting guide. Hop on an ATV with your guide and track down Fuzzy Wuzzy through the snow, then (if you got lucky) have your trophy prepped for shipping back home, ready for display. Most hunts also include the opportunity to take down caribou or moose, and usually include food and lodging at their remote camps. The freezing temperatures, limited food options, and sheer danger make it sound strenuous—but not nearly as grueling as navigating through IKEA one more time.
Resources: http://www.alaskahuntingguides.com; http://www.akbiggamehunting.com
THIS AIN’T THE BUNNY SLOPE.
Snow skiing is a fun rush for anyone—but heli-skiing separates the men from the boys. For the ultra-adventurous, helicopter skiing takes the discerning skier to new heights. The purpose of heli-skiing is to access natural conditions that a ski resort can’t offer—think vertical slopes, unmarked trails, and perfect powder snow. Of course, being able to pretend you’re James Bond is a draw too. As if jumping from a moving helicopter and skiing down a mountain isn’t exciting enough, now you can do it in the Himalayas (but Alaska and the Rockies are also options).
Resources: http://www.himachal.com; http://www.heliskijackson.com.
Damage: About $10,000 for 6 days in the Himalayas—but if you’re willing to settle for Jackson Hole, it comes to $950 per person, per day.
TEST YOUR LUCK.
Feel like taking a gamble? Check out the volcano climbing tours, where you can hike up a ticking time bomb and hope that today’s not your unlucky day. Enjoy sunrise atop Guatemala’s appropriately named Fuego volcano, or stay closer to home with an ascent to the top of Mount St. Helens. It’s like playing hot potato, but even more exciting. Some hikes are tailored to your skill and fitness level—but just to be safe, you may want to add a few more jumping jacks to your cardio routine. Hikes are normally led by a trained guide and often include on-site camping. Sweet dreams.
Resources: http://www.volcanoclimbing.com; http://www.guatemalaventures.com; http://www.mshinstitute.org.
Damage: Anywhere from $100 per person (Mount St. Helens) to about $1,500 for a 13-day Guatemalan tour.
LEASH UP FIDO…
…and head to Norway for a tour of frigid Norway via dog sled. The 9-day expedition begins with a two-day orientation and includes crossing above the treeline, through the Arctic mountains, over the reindeer-populated tundra, and atop frozen rivers and lakes. You’ll also get to experience the Santa-esque joys of a reindeer sleigh ride. Top off your journey with a cocktail and a one-night stay in the Ice Hotel, in case you haven’t been cold enough throughout the freezing journey. But you’ll have to leave the beagle home for this one—the sled dogs have been expertly bred and trained for the strenuous journey.
Damage: About $15,000 per person.
GRAVITY NOT REALLY YOUR THING?
If you’ve truly seen it all, then there might be one last spark of hope for adventure—space. For a cool hundred grand, you can blast off into a suborbital space flight and experience five whole minutes of weightlessness, in addition to a 62-mile high view of Earth, panoramic view of space’s total blackness, and a special commemorative astronaut’s pin. Of course, Space Adventures offers a few more “economy” options, including astronaut training ($89,500) and a centrifuge experience ($9,750). As of yet, no one has stepped up to the plate for the Lunar Mission guided moon tour—but shell out the $100 million and you could be the next Neil Armstrong… one giant leap for your bank account.
Damage: If you have to ask…