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7 Extreme Summer Activities To Remind You That You’re Alive

7 Extreme Summer Activities To Remind You That You’re Alive

There’s nothing like a little adrenaline rush to bring perspective to your life! Here are 7 things (ok, technically way more than 7) you can do this summer if you’re feeling adventurous, extreme, or just plain out of your mind.

1. I Feel the Need, the Need for Speed!

Whether you’re like Ricky Bobby and just want to go fast, or if you’ve ever wanted to be a race-car driver for a day and try out a high performance Formula One car, there are plenty of driving experience facilities and schools where you can push Porsche, Ferrari, and BMW automobiles to the red line. Of course, if you’re already the proud owner of an exceptionally speedy vehicle, you might try taking it down to the Mojave Mile and push 200 mph in the desert.

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    2. Extreme Distance Under Extreme Circumstance

    Nothing says extreme like running the equivalent of five and a half marathons through a 100 degree desert over a 6 day time span. The Marathon Des Sables in Morocco is one such foot race. It requires competitors to train for years to compete, lest they become casualties in the Sahara heat.

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      For those who aren’t quite as keen on the life-and-death aspect of racing, there’s always the Sopelana Naturist Race in Spain, where you can run a nude 5k at whatever pace you like.

      3. Sharks, Bulls, and Crocodiles, Oh My!

      For those that really want to get extreme with animals, riding an eight-second bull is always a thrill, but running from them instead is even scarier. This is what thousands of people do in Pamplona, Spain every year from the 6th to 14th of July.

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        If The Running of the Bulls isn’t your cup of tea, maybe fishing for bulls is – bull sharks that is. It will sate your appetite for large animal encounters. While there’s nothing quite like shark fishing to make you really appreciate the power of these animals, only the most extreme will swim in a cage with them in the open ocean. Shark-powered surfing would be at the top of the list, if it weren’t fake.

        What’s not fake is the 16 foot long crocodile that you can get face to face with when you enter the Cage of Death in Australia. If you can handle 15 minutes with nothing but a couple of inches of glass between you and these prehistoric beasts, you’ll survive the once-in-a-lifetime experience. If you’re too afraid, well, just don’t let them see your crocodile tears.

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          4. Bugs, Blood, Poison, and Devil’s Water

          Maybe live animal experiences aren’t your thing. Perhaps you prefer them dead and on a plate in front of you. Japanese wasp-filled crackers are just one delicacy to try this summer. While you’re in Asia you might also check out balut, a half-developed bird (usually duck), that is boiled and slurped out of the shell.

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            If you’re feeling really extreme, find somebody that knows how to prepare the dangerous pufferfish, Fugu, considered a dangerous delicacy. You have to have a license to serve this fish, and the only way to obtain it is to prepare and eat it yourself. If you survive, you get your license. If you find yourself fixated with poisonous delicacies, you might try a cobra blood and heart shooter, which is exactly what it sounds like. Because the heart is served still beating, certain animal rights groups deem the practice inhumane.

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              If animals are out of the question for your extreme summer dining experiences, then maybe the world’s spiciest tequila will do the trick for you? Devil’s Water is a seven pepper tequila infusion that includes the spicy habanero pepper. This drink will make you cry if you’re not prepared for it, so make sure to pick out a tequila you enjoy and stock up on tissues to wipe your nose and eyes with.

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                5. There Ain’t No Mountain High Enough…

                What’s more extreme that conquering a mountain by climbing to its summit? Climbing five in a row, of course. The Mt. Huashan peaks rise up 7000 feet above the Shaanxi Province in China. They are littered with Taoist temples, and are only accessible by treacherously narrow planks and stairs carved into the cliff face. If you can get over the heights, the range is a beauty to behold.

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                  While you might expect to see Everest on this list, climbing mountains is tough work. Why trek up to the summit when instead you can just skydive past it? Forget expending the effort climbing up and down, just let an airplane and gravity do all the work.

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                    Speaking of gravity, those that prefer keeping their feet firmly planted might want to try Nicaragua’s hottest new activity, volcano surfing (pun absolutely intended). Cerro Negro is an active volcano outside of Leon, Nicaragua. Somehow, that doesn’t stop visitors from hiking and boarding down its slopes!

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                      6. Going Crazy in City Limits

                      The outdoors might not be for everybody trying to get their thrill seeking fix. For those that find comfort among the glass, asphalt, and metal of city skyscrapers, the Edge Walk in Toronto might just be the ticket for a good time. The CN Tower stands 116 storeys above the ground. Participants are encouraged to push their limits and lean back, allowing nothing but the tether to keep them from falling to the street below.

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                        While many enjoy going to the intense Electric Daisy Carnival festival in Las Vegas every summer, few will have the guts to hang suspended off the side of the stratosphere while they spin around for the Insanity Ride. While you get a full view of the Las Vegas lights, the sounds of your own screaming may be slightly distracting.

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                          7. Cool Off In the Ocean

                          There’s nothing like catching a little sun by the pool during the summer, unless that pool is a deep dark tunnel that extends roughly 666 feet into the ocean. Dean’s Blue Hole is the world’s deepest known seawater tunnel. The world’s unassisted freediving record holder, William Trubridge, conquered 100 meters of it in 2011.

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                            For those just trying to beat the summer heat, a quick kayaking trip to Antarctica may be in order. Paddling through frigid waters and floating ice might seem like a chore at first, but the unique sights of glaciers and marine life like seals and whales make this experience worth it.

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                              Just Remember…

                              While living life on the edge can be exhilarating and produce unique, once-in-a-lifetime experiences, nobody wants to begin a summer that they won’t come back from. Even those who plan on a relatively mundane season would do well to brush up on and observe summer safety protocols now and again.

                              That said, don’t let anything stop you from going out and having the summer of your life. Sometimes getting your blood pumping and your adrenaline flowing in the sunshine are just what the doctor ordered to remind you what it is to be alive!

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                              Andrew Heikkila

                              Owner-Operator of Earthlings Entertainmnet

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                              Last Updated on September 28, 2020

                              The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

                              The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

                              At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

                              Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

                              One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

                              When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

                              So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

                              Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

                              This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

                              Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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                              When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

                              Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

                              One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

                              Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

                              An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

                              When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

                              Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

                              Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

                              We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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                              By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

                              Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

                              While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

                              I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

                              You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

                              Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

                              When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

                              Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

                              Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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                              Con #2: Less Human Interaction

                              One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

                              Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

                              Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

                              This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

                              While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

                              Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

                              Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

                              This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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                              For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

                              Con #4: Unique Distractions

                              Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

                              For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

                              To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

                              Final Thoughts

                              Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

                              We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

                              More About Working From Home

                              Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

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