Here are my favorite outdoor activities to do while exploring different locations.
Snorkeling and Scuba Diving
One of my favorite things to do while traveling, snorkeling and scuba diving is an amazing way to see wildlife. Whether in the Caribbean, Southeast Asia, or anywhere else in the world; observing marine life is a spectacle and you never know what you could see. Some of the most exciting animals I've swam with include dolphins, manta rays, giant porcupine fish, barracuda, and more. I'm hoping to soon have an opportunity to swim with sharks.
One of the coolest and most exciting activities I like to do is whitewater rafting. While not quite as readily available as some other activities, whitewater rafting gives you an adrenaline rush like no other. Rapid classes range from 1-5 and you can find rafting trips for beginners with easier rapids or harder routes with class three and above. Some of the best rafting I have done has been in Colorado, Tennessee, and Bulgaria.
While I have not had nearly as much skiing experience as I want, I still go every opportunity I can. As someone who loves cold weather and snow, I make it my business to enjoy the outdoors during winter as much as possible. I've done skiing in Vermont, Colorado, and North Carolina; and am hoping to do more in Scandinavia this winter. Although it's not always the cheapest activity, it is in my opinion, possibly the most fun you can have during winter.
Though not for everyone, fishing is a thrilling activity of you vs nature. For those not using lures, fishing can be relaxing and is a great way to gain patience. The thrill of fighting a fish (if big enough or with smaller tackle) is exhilarating to say the least. Both saltwater and freshwater fishing take knowledge, patience, luck, and skill. While I will bring home a fish every now and then, I try not to kill them. I only keep what I'm going to eat or what I'm using as bait which is usually only one to two fish per session. In my opinion, it's very important to release fish that are higher up the food chain. This includes all sharks, rays, eels, and other large predators.
Mountain hiking wasn't something I loved until recently. While I don't love hiking in places near me, it is an amazingly exciting activity to do in a new place. While solo traveling, hiking is a great activity to do with people you meet in hostels. In addition to being excellent exercise, it gives you the chance to see amazing sights in nature and new views of the surrounding areas.