(CNN) — It’s easy to travel the world and feel oddly at home, particularly if you’re in one of the planet’s 24,000 Starbucks.
But it’s still possible to break loose from the rut and get experiences that are beyond the ordinary. (Indeed, some of these are arguably insane.)
Spanning multiple continents and oceans, these adventures will make you feel alive… albeit in some cases terrified you might not be among the living much longer.
Most extreme experience involving livestock
THE RUNNING OF THE BULLS: SPAIN
While deaths are relatively rare — there have been an estimated 13 in the last hundred years — the risk of getting injured is very real, with more than 100 in 2016 alone.
Most extreme experience involving man’s best friend
Mushers race through 1,000 miles of beautiful Alaskan landscape in the annual Iditarod Sled Dog Race.
JIM WATSON/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
It takes at least eight days to complete the 1,000-mile journey which generally features falling snow, high winds and temperatures dropping to -50 C (-58 F).
For the canines completing it, never has “Good dog!” been so earned.
Most extreme experience involving radiation
Three decades after the nuclear disaster there, guided tours take increasing numbers of tourists deep into Chernobyl’s Exclusion Zone. Pripyat, the town built near the Chernobyl power plant, lies abandoned. This ruined swimming pool stands empty under rotting wooden beams.
Courtesy Anita Isalska
Bizarrely, one of its chief pulls is a chance to see an array of wild animals ignoring the after-effects of nuclear tragedy to thrive in humanity’s absence.
Most extreme experience involving an inferno
THE DOOR TO HELL: TURKMENISTAN
Also known as the Gates of Hell or, less colorfully, the Darvaza crater. You won’t find anything else like it in Central Asia (or anywhere else on Earth for that matter).
It was created more than 40 years ago when the ground collapsed in the desert during a Soviet drilling mishap.
Then scientists set the gas cavern on fire.
Decades later, it still burns like… let’s just say the name is apt.
Most extreme experience involving hanging ten
A must-surf for any brave wave riders.
GREGORY BOISSY/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Considered to be home to both the world’s heaviest and deadliest wave, it’s the ultimate in high-risk, high-reward surfing.
To ride these waves is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but to fail is to risk a truly horrific wipeout.
Most extreme experience involving high temperatures
DEATH VALLEY: USA
If you insist, “It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity,” this may put your belief to the test.
Which is frankly warm enough.
Most extreme experience involving low temperatures
Once you’ve handled the heat, why not try the other end of the spectrum? Five hundred incredibly hardy residents make this Siberian destination the coldest community on Earth — it averages -50 C (-58 F) in winter and has reached -67.8 C (-90 F).
And yes, this is the place to make the Iditarod seem balmy by comparison.
Most extreme experience involving kayaks
THE INGA RAPIDS ON THE CONGO RIVER: DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO
Nat Geo describes them as a “50-mile section of waterfalls, whirlpools, and kayak-eating hydraulics.”
Most extreme experience involving moisture
Mawsynram receives about 20 times more rainfall than London annually.
ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
This village in Meghalaya is the world’s wettest place, averaging 467 inches of rain annually.
It’s made all the more intense by the fact the rain isn’t evenly spaced out, with the result that villagers have experienced more than five feet of rain in just 24 hours.
Most extreme experience involving spelunking
The United States Deep Caving Team (USDCT) is carrying out another expedition to Chevé Cave in 2017.
CHEVÉ CAVE: MEXICO
If you suffer from claustrophobia or a fear of the dark, head elsewhere. Spelunking, since you ask, is the exploration of caves.
Most extreme experience involving theme parks
It falls just short of 150 mph, clocking in at 149.
Riders are whipped around a 1.3-mile course in a mere 92 seconds.
LESS EXTREME ALTERNATIVE: If you try hard enough, Disneyland’s spinning teacups can cause light-headedness, too.
Most extreme experience involving dairy
Thousands gather to watch a group chase a cheese as it rolls down the hill, continuing a tradition that’s lasted 200 years.
OK, not as glamorous as some events on this list but that’s a lot of history and it’s both unexpectedly exciting and dangerous.
Indeed, it was canceled over safety concerns in 2010 before resuming.
Most extreme experience involving robot athletes
The race between camel-riding robot jockeys is a highlight at Al Marmoom Camel Racing.
Francois Nel/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
AL MARMOOM CAMEL-RACING: DUBAI
Camel-racing is big business in the Middle East, with winners commanding prizes in the millions. Even so, it’s more about the experience than the stakes.
Even in races with humans, it’s a revelation when you realize the camels’ trainers and owners are speeding along next to them in 4x4s, yelling at them to go faster.
Most extreme experience involving the beautiful game
River Plate players were pepper-sprayed by Boca Junior supporters in a game in 2015.
JUAN MABROMATA/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
THE SUPERCLÁSICO: ARGENTINA
It’s more than a game when two legendary teams from Buenos Aires, Boca Juniors and River Plate, play. (Their alumni include Diego Maradona and Alfredo Di Stéfano, two of the greatest players ever.)
On a personal note, a friend attended one installment and had a great time until he realized a man in the upper tier was urinating on rival fans below.
Most extreme experience involving dropping and rising up again
THE CONTRA (VERZASCA) DAM 007 BUNGEE JUMP: SWITZERLAND
Your opportunity to plummet 220 meters (over 720 feet) in Ticino, much like Mr. Bond did in “GoldenEye.” You, however, will probably not end up with Famke Janssen, who played Xenia Onatopp in the film.
Most extreme experience involving an unforgettable view
RIO DE JANEIRO HANG GLIDING: BRAZIL
You’re already used to seeing aerial views of this remarkable city, watched over by the statue of Christ the Redeemer.
What better way to experience it personally?
Most extreme experience involving 12,000-pound athletes
THE KING’S CUP ELEPHANT POLO: THAILAND
The elephant is at the core of Thai identity. (Example: The hit Thai film “The Protector” revolves around Tony Jaa avenging his personal elephant.)
While this sport is not without controversy, it does provide a novel alternative to the horse version.
If you’re in Bangkok, check it out.
Most extreme experience involving Jaws
South African great white shark expert Chris Fallows takes CNN’s James Williams cage diving with sharks in Cape Town
GREAT WHITE SHARK DIVING IN GANSBAAI: SOUTH AFRICA
It fully blurs the gap between a dream and a nightmare, as you sit in a cage underwater — which, when you think about it, is fairly terrifying itself — and then Great Whites enter the picture.
Most extreme experience involving sand
The stunts from “The Fast and the Furious?” Picture those done in the dirt.
That’s off-roading in the desert, as drivers leap dunes or sometimes fishtail down them.
Sean Cunningham has written for and served as an editor for a variety of publications and websites and conducted interviews with everyone from Oscar winners to Wu-Tang Clan rappers while occasionally appearing on radio and television shows.