The Adrenaline Junkie's Year Abroad
Scuba diving by Gran Riviera Maya
Picking your year abroad destination should be about what you enjoy; be it culture, architecture, social outings, food or even adventure. Working, studying or volunteering abroad is your opportunity to visit far-flung countries, with exotic customs and spellbinding views. Sports, for some, will rate high on the agenda and what better way to spend your year abroad pushing yourself to the limit with mountaineering, kayaking, trekking and so on...Here’s our list of the top places to go to, grouped by activity!
MountaineeringChile, Argentina, USA, India, Australia, Brazil, China
If climbing to the top of a mountain is your way of living on the wild side, look into travelling along the Americas or in Australasia. With great courses and great opportunities for those who want to work, you could combine a year abroad with bouldering across Patagonia or walking atop of the Himalayas.
Scuba-divingCarribbean, Australia, Indonesia, Egypt, USA
Take a dip into the Atlantic ocean and you will be able to spot cenotes, stalagmites and coral fossils in Mexico, an incredible array of sea life around the Channel Islands of California, obscure and exotic species in Indonesia’s Wakatobi Archipelago, or even an old shipwreck as well as thousands of starfish in the Ras Mohammed National Park in Egypt. You can qualify as a scuba-diving instructor, too, meaning you can both practise what you enjoy whilst also getting a bit of money from it...Bliss.
CyclingAustria, Bolivia, USA, Spain, Scandinavia
Cycling around Western Europe is quite popular with students, professionals and adrenaline junkies, though you shouldn’t overlook great countries like Spain and Sweden, as their panoramic views of moutains, greenery and vast plains make for great trips. The USA has the Adventure Cycling Association, a huge community with tips, routes and maps of some of the best trails to take part in (San Diego to Canada take your fancy?). The world’s most dangerous road, located in Bolivia, is bound to tempt the more adventurous of you - and with a backdrop of jungle and steep hills, you can easily see why!
SnowboardingItaly, Canada, France, USA, Switzerland, New Zealand
Whether you’re after the glimmering peaks of the Alps, shaking some moves out in Canada or the USA or fancy taking a break further afield towards New Zealand, there are loads of really good places to go for a spot of skiing/snowboarding. The issue, with most, will be cashflow: though France may seem expensive, it can be a darn site cheaper than forking out for a stint in Canada or Switzerland during peak seasons. Having said that, if money is no object, you can take your pick from some of the best, plushest and most sociable resorts across the Atlantic. Australia, with New Zealand, both offer some awesome pistes - just make sure you pack your swimming costume, too, as you’ll be dying to make the most of ALL the sports on offer.
TrekkingPeru, Tajikistan, Colombia, Slovakia, USA, Brazil, Tanzania
Trekking along mountain peaks or in the depths of the Amazonian jungle will rile your friends back home with jealousy! Imagine taking in those spectacular views, breathing in the humid air of rainforests or taking in the plight of the Incas along the remains of Machu Pichu? Tanzania, with the impressive Mount Kilimanjaro, offers trekking enthusiasts the chance to trek without oxygen or special training - just set aside a week for the 19,000 ft climb!
And on the off chance you’re still looking for more, why not try bungee jumping, somewhere like here (excuse the music but loving the mullet):