Searching for endorphins?

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If you are a thrill seeker and the rush of business is not enough to fulfil your thirst for adrenaline, check out our picks for some of the world’s most exciting, unusual and downright crazy activities that will give you a buzz like no other.

Some people say that there is nothing like the adrenaline rush you get in business; sealing a deal, being awarded a new contract, meeting a target or completing a project; it is true that success in business makes you feel good. This is the same good feeling you get when you exercise or when you take part in a crazy activity and it’s all down to endorphins. When endorphins lock into special receptor cells, they block the transmission of pain signals and also produce a euphoric feeling.

So this month we are asking, what’s the best way to get a hefty dose of endorphins flowing and where can you get an adrenaline release like no other? We have all heard of the Bull Run in Spain and bungee jumps in New Zealand but our picks are rather more unknown. These four activities will undoubtedly go some way towards giving you the thrill of a lifetime while also emptying your wallet.

PILOT A FIGHTER JET

MiGFlug is a company that operates around the world and actually gives you the opportunity to fly a fighter jet with an experience military pilot! You can be just like Maverick, or Goose, and this isn’t a simulator; you take full control of the jet.

Your military veteran will help you with the basics and be there to ensure safety but you will eventually take control of one of MiGFlug’s jets, racing through the sky at extreme speeds; tumbling, twisting and turning.

Currently available in Russia, USA, Germany, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Italy, Spain, Poland and Curacao, to book a flight you need to allow time for paperwork and clearances to be completed. You can choose from a MiG-29, MiG-15, L-39 Albatros, Hawker Hunter, Aermacchi MB-326, Xcor Lynx Suborbital or a modified Boeing 727 for zero gravity experiences. Prices depend on a number of variables but it is reported that the lowest fares start at around $4000. Depending on which jet you choose, flights can last from 20 minutes upwards and you can reach supersonic speeds.

This sort of experience has long been reserved for the world’s best pilots and military personnel but now it is available for anyone, as long as you have the money!

VOLCANO BOARDING

One of the ultimate thrill-seeking activities is snowboarding but our next activity takes the idea to a whole new level. Imagine, snowboarding but with no snow and down the side of an active volcano at 50mph! This is now a reality and happens in Nicaragua at Cerro Negro or ‘Black Hill’.

The brainchild of Australian adventure enthusiast, Daryn Webb, volcano boarding involves getting to the top of the volcano and then plummeting down the slope in a sit-down, wooden toboggan made of metal and Formica-reinforced plywood; just like sledging in the winter but with volcanic rock underneath you instead of soft fluffy snow.

Trekking to the top of the volcano takes about an hour in 90°F heat, and you have to carry your board which is fairly heavy. Some operators offer two trips down the steep hill so consider whether you want to hike to the top twice or whether once is enough for you.

Cerro Negro last erupted in 1999 and since its birth in 1850, it has gone off approximately 23 times. The top of the volcano emits ash and lava erupts from fractures around the base of the slopes. You don’t want to be boarding when this volcano pops; eruptions can last over three months!

The adventure is run by Bigfoot Nicaragua, amongst other companies, and the company also has a hostel nearby from where you can enjoy hikes, drinks and other volcano related activities. At just $30, it is a bargain but of course you do have to get all the way to Nicaragua.

ANTARCTIC EXHIBITION

Not a thrill like the others in terms of speed but definitely still exhilarating, touring Antarctica is something that few people can add to their list of life achievements. But today, Natual Habitat Expeditions is now offering 17 day adventures starting from around $23,000.

With danger around every corner, Antarctica is a thrill seekers paradise. Knowing that one slip could cause certain death it makes the reward of endorphin paradise much more worth the risk.

You can explore the unspoilt wilderness in an ice-strengthened sailboat surrounded by seals, whales, penguins and icebergs but be aware, trips are only available December until March and groups can be a maximum of eight in size. This trip is classed as an extreme adventure and is for seasoned expedition specialists only.

If you are up for the challenge, you fly out from Chile or Argentina to face nothing but snow, ice, arctic winds and penguins.

INSANITY RIDE

Probably the tamest of our selections, the Insanity Ride sits atop the Stratosphere Tower in Las Vegas. This is essentially a fairground ride that people of all tastes enjoy all year round but what makes this different and really gets the adrenaline pumping is the setting.

You strap yourself in to your seat and then wait as you are hung out, nearly 300 metres above the ground and 20 metres from the safety of the viewing deck. The ride then begins to spin to around 40mph and tilt leaving riders facing almost straight down.

It’s the sort of thing that gets the heart pounding just by looking at it; it has all the stats to attract thrill seekers from around the world and it is set in the world’s biggest playground. There are three more rides on top of the Stratosphere Tower so the $18 tower entrance fee and the $15 dollar ride fee seems quite reasonable – of course flights to Vegas and hotels are where the wallet is tested.

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