In between eating crayons and nonchalantly crowbarring the word “toilet brush” into as many conversations as possible, everybody’s childhood was spent dreaming of going on amazing adventures.
All empty boxes were space ships or submarines. The fold-down dining table was a fortress. The yucca plant by the front door was the entrance to a jungle inhabited by the wildest of wild animals.
But then, in the blink of an eye, you find yourself all grown up and at a point in your life when society deems in strange if you sit in an old Walkers box and bellow “3…2…1…BAST OFF!” in the middle of Aldi.
But all is not lost for your inner adventurer. In fact, life couldn’t be better. All of your wildest childhood adventure fantasies are now at your fingertips. Here’s our guide to making your childhood dreams come true.
Who, at some point, hasn’t looked up at the stars and though “yeah, I’ll have some of that”? Space travel has long been a dream of us regular folk, but it’s always been the preserve of a select few people. Oh, and the odd Russian dog.
But that glass ceiling is about to be shattered. Well, in theory at least.
Back in 2004, Richard Branson unveiled Virgin Galactic, the first commercial space flight service. Operating from the very swanky sounding Spaceport America (that, in reality, is probably a load of concrete and flashing lights somewhere in a desert), Virgin Galactic promises to take regular, everyday folk into space.
The plan is to take paying punters in a specialy designed shuttle, 65 miles in the air – the conventionally accepted border between earth and space – and orbit the earth for a while, before returning back to the safety of the landing strip.
While it may not quite be bouncing around the surface of the moon, or fooling about on Uranus, it’s definitely bona fide space travel, and the opportunity to put a tick next to one of the most exciting childhood dreams any of us had.
However, with flights supposedly around about $200,000 (£127,677) a pop, you may need to start saving pretty hard. Handily, the first flight keeps getting put back, so you might just have enough time to scrape the cash together.
With a shatter proof rule used as an imaginary machete, battling through a dense jungle has been a dream of most kids ever since man discovered such exotic places existed. The thought of either petting or fighting the creatures and beasts that call the jungle their home was as exhilarating as life gets to the average seven year old.
But now you can make that leafy fantasy a reality. Numerous specialist tour operators are now offering adventure holidays in the jungles of Borneo, Madagascar, Costa Rica, The Amazon and more.
While you may not actually be slashing away at the native flora and fauna with an oversized hunting knife, just in case you accidentally behead an endangered Tarsier, you can usually do a number of activities that will keep you inner childhood adventurer grinning from ear to ear.
From hanging out with orang-utans, discovering crumbling tribal temples, or just perving at majestic waterfalls, the jungle is closer than it’s ever been.
Granted, you’re going to need at least £2,500 burning a hole in your pocket to experience all this, but given that people flog handbags for £750 now, it’s not really that much. Just say it quickly.
Exploring The Sea
Ever since our species crawled out of the oceans squillions of years ago, we’ve looked back at the sea as a place of mystery and wonder.
And as a kid, you had the envious carte blanche of pretending the sea was your personal playground, as you dreamt of exploring the deep blue in a submarine, or living under the water as a mermaid.
But now you’re all grown, you have the opportunity to act on these aquatic ambitions and see what the sea has to hold.
Submarine tours are relatively commonplace now, and probably cheaper than you think. Granted, we’re not talking about 50,000 Leagues Under The Sea stuff, but small, tourist friendly subs can be chartered all over the globe, giving you a chance to see the mysteries of the deep up close.
For about £80 a dive, you can take a ride on a sub in Waikiki. Granted, you have to sump up the cash to get there first, but when you’ve landed, the sea’s your oyster.
“Submarine? Schubmarine! Mermaid me” you cry, weirdly. You’d be forgiven for thinking this is a little trickier, and you’d be right. But just because it’s tricky, it doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
A little while ago, we told you that the boffins at the University Of Southern Denmark had discovered a crystal that could allow humans to breathe underwater.
The so-called Aqua-man Crystal absorbs oxygen from it’s environment, stores it, and releases it when needed at a later point.
Just a few grains could be enough for somebody – including would-be-mermaids – to stay underwater and still have enough air to not sink to Davey Jones’ locker. If progress continues at the same pace as it has, it cant’ be too long before your Little Mermaid fantasies become a reality.
Soaring Like A Bird
Despite the cautionary tale of Icarus following his satnav too closely to the sun, we all dreamt of flying when we were little kids. To soar through the sky, to play in the clouds, to have the freedom of the skies. It was truly enchanting.
But, just as you tried to climb onto you garage roof to give it a crack yourself, an adult would quite sagely suggests “If humans were meant to fly, God would have given them wings”.
But now we’re older, and we know that this suggestion is utter rubbish. The reality is, if humans were meant to fly, we’d have invented wing suits. Hang on… we did!
All of your flying aspiration can now become a reality. All you need is a wing suit, a good few hours sky diving experience, and the balls to actually throw yourself off a cliff and fly.
Wing suit flying really is the art of flight. It allows humans to fly, fuelled only by gravity, and be as free as a bird. Check this out to see what we mean…
And, of course, if wing suit flying is a little gnarly (we wont judge you, honest), you can still get that avian feeling. All you need is a garden lounger, a shotgun, and a big old bunch of helium balloons. It sounds like something from Up, but Erik Roner proved it can be done.