As humans, we're inclined to tap into our adventurous sides and try new things. Sometimes, we get hooked and develop new hobbies this way; other times, we realize that some activities just aren't meant for us. Here are some stories of people experiencing the latter. Perhaps their tales will make you consider trying something new (or avoiding it altogether):
#1 Watching The Ball Drop
Times Square, New Year's Eve. It was more like wake up at 6 a.m., eat breakfast, then stand until midnight. I tried in 2011. I wanted to see the ball. I did not get close to it. It was packed. I came as far as half the park. So many people. Then it was 00:00. You can almost not move, so saying Happy New Year to your friends feels more like a fight; pushing away other people who want to reach their friends. Besides the time I cried myself to sleep with a bottle and a kebab, that was the worst New Year's ever.
#2 Never Again
I got to land in an auto-rotating helicopter. Auto-rotation is what helicopters do when they lose power at altitude. The force of the fall spins the blades of the helicopter, giving the pilot enough control to land. The thing is, once power is lost, the blades slow down and the helicopter falls until the blades spin back up to speed. We dropped like 50 feet. It was a rush but nope... Never again.
#3 Free Falling
Skydiving. I hated most everything about it, but I can say I conquered that fear. The adrenaline and fear goes up, TERROR stepping out of the plane, but the actual freefall? It felt like my heart expanded to connect with the universe, and I could see out across the horizon. I swear I could see the curvature of the Earth. It didn't even feel like falling after the first half-second; I was just splayed out, cushioned by the air, breathless with awe.
#4 Mom's Spaghetti
Stand-up comedy at an open mic. I enjoyed writing, I enjoyed being on stage (once I got my first laugh), and I enjoyed the feeling after getting off stage. But the intense anxiety leading to being on stage was not even a little bit worth it for me. Public speaking is not my forte. Here's the thing about public speaking: everybody is nervous about it. most people, anyways. Hardly anybody is just a naturally talented public speaker. No matter how confident that person up there appears, they are at least a little nervous. The hard part is feigning that confidence.
#5 Kick 'Em Out
Living in an apartment where I'm in charge of roommates. I had to evict people who didn't pay, and I also dealt with an extreme lack of cleanliness. It's honestly just easier to live somewhere small and cheap than a nice big place with roommates. After five years without a roommate, I decided to get one because I had a room that wasn't being used. Paying half the rent was nice but then my roommate started to do small things that would get on my nerves every day. I decided that the rent didn't outweigh being annoyed every day so I decided to kick him out when the lease ended.
#6 So. Much. Rolling.
Handmade Philo dough. Everything from scratch. So. Much. Rolling. I did it. It was delicious. I will NEVER do it again. Once you've made something like that, you're entitled to buy pre-made forever, guilt-free. I help my wife with her baking adventures, and there are a few things, Philo included, that we'll never make again from scratch. We watch enough "Great British Bake-Off" to satisfy our Philo-making itches.
#7 Once Is Enough
I joined the Army. The best one-time decision I ever made. "I want to learn discipline, fulfill my duty as a citizen, become trained to prosecute a war, meet fellow patriots, and grow some damn chest hair." Then, one brain injury, busted ankle, and an episode of yearlong, psychosis-inducing insomnia later... "Well, I'm quite satisfied. I think I'll be a massage therapist for a while."
#8 Good Advice
My dad's a physician who works with a lot of people with spinal cord injuries. He took me on rounds with him when I was a kid and I remember meeting this guy who was quadriplegic and in his mid-20s. I said hi and he and my dad talked for a bit. As we went to move on to the next patient, this guy looked me right in the eyes and said: "Never jump into the water." So I don't.
#9 Not Recommended
Stock trading. I was puking my guts out from anxiety during the down days. During the down days, I was losing $100k+ in an hour. It was not fun. If anyone asks if you should do this: DEAR GOD NO. This was seriously messed up. I almost lost my life, it was insane. I was not in control of any situation at all. Why do I keep doing this?! I don't know. Maybe I hate myself. I don't know!
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#10 Evaluating Risk
I have a friend who is one of those who put in a few thousand into Bitcoin. He now has a few hundred thousand in Bitcoin. He now considers that his retirement nest egg. Every time there’s a big drop in it, I ask him how he’s doing and he says you can’t have all your savings in Bitcoin and worry about small jumps. My friend and I have very different definitions of acceptable risk level!
#11 Diabetes Burger
A huge burger with two giant donuts as buns. To be honest, it wasn’t that bad, but that feeling of pure diabetes prevented me from getting another (or even finishing the one I had). It was at a music festival in California, by the way. It was about twice the size of an In-n-Out burger with Krispy Kreme donuts. I still shiver in slight disgust when I think about it.
#12 Bad Timing
It was while my ex and I were on a roller coaster that I found out we were going to break up. I was holding her phone while she was riding and she got a text from a guy. I looked at the conversation and saw her explain that she was going to break up with me. So there’s my roller coaster/girlfriend combo story.
#13 Craving Change
For the last 10 years, I've been working 9-5 in an office and I'm done with it. Whenever I think about making a mid-life change, the most appealing option seems to go back and get a second bachelor's in animal husbandry so that I could work at a zoo. I would love to hear about people's experiences in the field. I'm financially stable where I could afford to stop working and go back to school, but taking that first step scares me.
#14 Too Much Work
Building my own PC and overclocking it. It was a fun experience, especially the OC part, watching the temperature, adjusting the voltage, checking stability, getting it as fast as possible while keeping the temperature in check, and keeping it running stable. These days, I don't care enough for those extra few percents of performance, but I am glad I did it once.
#15 Mammoth Mountain
I don't know how I did this stuff when I was younger. When I was 20, I got a chance to go to Mammoth Mountain and we went through the park. I was like, "When will I ever get to ride this again?" So I hit the money booter right below the lift. Someone later told me it was like 70 to 80 feet. Now that I'm in my 30s, I get scared going over like a 15 footer.
#16 The Pains Of Service
Working at McDonald's, I now have high respect for people who work in service. I have learned to be more patient when waiting for my food whenever I’m at fast-food restaurants. I know the painful stress they’re experiencing and I won’t put them through more by being an impatient jerk. But I will never, ever work there again. The stress is horrendous and people can be real jerks to the employers for no reason whatsoever.
#17 No Manners
I worked at a fast-food chain and was emptying out and cleaning the trash cans. I had the cabinet doors of the trash can holder thing open and was kneeled by it cleaning the inside when some guy dropped his half-full large coffee into the hole in the top of the cabinet. It fell down to the empty bottom and splashed all over my face and hands and the inside of the cabinet I was cleaning. He just looks at me and goes, " Heh. Didn't see you there." And then WALKED AWAY. You put on a fast-food uniform and a lot of people forget you're a person.
#18 Acquired Tastes
All sorts of weird food. Most "weird" things I've eaten I actually like organ meat, wild game, very rare or raw meat, that sort of thing. I see something "different" on a menu and I'm freaking ordering that stuff because I've discovered all sorts of weird stuff I ended up loving. But I'll never eat bats again. Bats are NOT good.
#19 Twice The Roughness
Dating a single mother. I loved her and loved the kids but it didn't work out, and now I'm grieving the loss of not just the relationship with her but also with her three beautiful kids... You can't imagine growing very attached to someone else's kids and then essentially never being able to see them again when it all ends. Twice the roughness of a regular breakup. Sucks man.
#20 One Bad Experience
Going to Brussels. I'd always wanted to visit there, probably because I was tempted by the food. The food was nice but everything was so expensive! I think I paid €7 for an orange juice and the locals were really rude. At least I can tick it off my list but I don't think I'll ever have the need to get back there.
#21 Total Cringe
I went to a maid cafe in Akihabara. My friend (a Japanese woman) wanted to take me. Seriously... the whole experience was pure cringe. First, the maid said that I was her "master." Also, we had to say "nyan nyan" when we were ready to order. One of the drink options included a maid making your drink in front of you while chanting your name and clapping. I did NOT go for that one.
While we were there, some other guests paid for the maids to sing a song, so we had to watch a couple of them shake streamers around and sing and dance along to a Dragonforce-style anime song or something. We also had a picture taken at the end... We had to pose like cats. Yeah... it was awful, but at least it's something to talk and complain about with internet strangers.
#22 A Woman's Turmoil
Childbirth. Although, I could argue I wasn’t particularly glad to have experienced it in the first place. The birth was not the best—it was basically labor for 36 hours with his spine resting against mine. The kid's heart rate would not go up after each contraction. They cut me so they could use forceps, and an emergency C-section was on the cards but we could have lost him in the time it took to prep for surgery. I hemorrhaged and then went septic.
#23 No More Puppy Love
Raising a puppy. She's just over a year old now and I love her to pieces, but that was some exhausting stuff. I work full-time from home, so I assumed I'd be able to attend to any need she might have (we adopted her from a rescue at three months old), but she needed everything at all times. From now on, it's older dogs.
#24 Viva Brasil!
Vacationing in Brazil. My apartment got broken into, I got a heinous sunburn, the traffic was horrible, and there was not a small chance we'd get mugged. W met some awesome people, ate a lot of really incredible food, enjoyed the views and local hospitality enormously, but also heard enough stories from locals to know I got really, really lucky.
#25 Was It Worth It?
I majored in civil engineering and I am currently working in the construction industry, but more into the project management side. What I studied in civil engineering in college is very different to what I have to use in my current day-to-day tasks. Most of the calculations that you're taught are now done by programs and you just have to input data. If I had known this, I would have probably majored in something else because four years of engineering really took a lot out of me. The constant workload and stress really made me want to quit at times. I'm glad I finished it though.
#26 Embarrassing Hypnosis
I got hypnotized by a street performer downtown. There was a point where I thought I was an exotic dancer and started pole dancing around a traffic sign. I lost my grip and fell in the road, almost getting run over. I woke up feeling really refreshed and it makes for a fun story, but I'm not going roll the dice on that again.
#27 Soaring The Skies
Piloting a plane. My girlfriend got me a Groupon for a lesson and I was super excited about it. The guy even let me take off! I was thinking, "I don't know if you should hand your life over to a stranger, man. I barely trust myself..." It was a very small plane so you could feel every bit of wind and it was stressful for me. Maybe that goes away if you do it five times or so, but I just wanted to try it once. Now I'm good!
#28 Second Time's A Charm
Mardi Gras on Bourbon Street. It was a ton of fun, but it was also smelly, sticky, crowded, sweaty, and gross. They literally have front loaders to scoop up the trash from the street each night. I went back the NOLA this year out of season and I loved the city so much more when it wasn't flooded with tipsy jerks and garbage.
#29 Dark Open Waters
Snorkeling. I’ve actually done it a few times but once I got stung bad by a jellyfish, and the other time was on the Great Barrier Reef and I was literally terrified the entire time. Turns out, I’m very afraid of open water. And sharks. But it was still quite a cool experience. I was shocked to find out that my fear of heights translated to the open sea. I know it's not physically possible, but the bottom of the ocean is so far away!! I thought I was going to fall. From the surface. Of the ocean.
#30 The Aftereffects
Waxing my back. The process itself wasn't bad, but then again I have a high tolerance for pain. The woman waxing me kept commenting on how impressed she was that I didn't cry out in pain. The smoothness was great. The worst part was when, a few weeks later, it started growing back. THE ITCHING!!! Definitely not worth the cost, but glad I know this now.
#31 A Bittersweet Experience
Teaching high school. It was the most difficult thing, emotionally, that I've ever done, and I found out I'm definitely not cut out for it. I internalized a lot of the struggles of the kids (the school was in a very poor area), and it sent me into a depression that I still have scars from today, years later. But, it gave me insight into other peoples and experiences that I never would have seen, and empathy that I didn't have before.
#32 Vroom, Vroom
Riding motorcycles. I wrecked at 75 mph in a turn on a back road... riding solo, no one around to help. I almost got hit by a car as I slid across the pavement, tore up my knee pretty good, and had to call an Uber to get me to urgent care. I think I'm going to take the "you didn't break a single bone or get too hurt" as a sign that I should stop riding.
#33 Down Under Blunder
I went horseback riding in Australia once. It started raining 20 minutes into the two-hour tour. It finished raining five minutes before the tour ended. The car I was driving home in then broke down, so I had to spend an hour in a hot car seat, wearing soaking wet clothes. The horseback riding was decent, even though I'll never do it again after that experience. I'm glad I tried it.
#34 Losing Magic
Conventions. The first one I went to was a lot of fun and I had a blast throughout, but going to it the year after... It didn't really capture the same magic as last time. That was seven years ago and I've not been back since. Nothing against the convention staff themselves—huge credit to all involved making both of them wonderful experiences and mini-vacations—I just won't be going again, I don't think they're really "for me." At the very least, I can say I've been to one. It's been crossed off the list.
#35 Outback Adventure
I campervanned around the Aussie outback in the midst of summer. It was a beautiful journey treading the razor line between life and death. Lonely desolate scenery, the friendliest locals (when you found them) and every town seemed to have its own specialty in biting insects (mosquitos, ants, flies). It was so hot in the middle of the day that if you made the mistake of walking around, your feet would literally begin to cook in your shoes.
We stayed in a converted campervan and pretty much roughed it except for one day in actual accommodation. It was fun to do once, but getting into our home shower after a week of public toilet sink baths was heaven. Just once, but never again.
#36 Temporary Fun
I took a break from my long-time girlfriend to party because I thought the grass would be greener on the other side. It both was and wasn't. It clarified a lot about who I was and how I felt about my partner. It lasted one year and we both had fun, but we eventually found our way back to each other. We are now married with two kids. Wouldn't have it any other way now. No regrets, right?
#37 Choking Hazard
Raw octopus, in a back alley food shop in Beijing. They chopped the tentacles like noodles, put them in some hot broth in a bowl, and that was it. I could feel the tentacles gripping my mouth and throat. Probably a massive choking hazard. I had one mouthful and had to stop. I saw some little girl, maybe six years old, happily slurping away. That was her KFC or McDonalds.
#38 Best Sleep Ever
Hiking while badly out of shape. I was way over my head in terms of the ascent and difficulty of the hike, and I could swear that I used every muscle in my body. I came out of the hike scraped, super sweaty, and muddy. I slept the best that I ever did that night and had endorphins shooting out of my eyes the next morning—I felt like I had superhero powers.
#39 Bad Aftertaste
A century egg. I was on a work trip to Singapore and I ate almost everything different I could while there. I had a century egg one night and it wasn’t bad, but nothing I would order again. I love trying new foods and I had been wanting to eat one. Then, hours later, I could still taste it. I woke up in the middle of the night and could still taste it. I downed mint after mint trying to get rid of the taste. I don’t know if the taste eventually went away or I just became numb to it after a few days.
#40 The Champ's Downfall
I ate a dried ghost chili while camping with my school in Grade 10. It burned like heck at the time, but after drinking a gallon of milk, it wasn't too bad. I was even playing frisbee about an hour later. My friend wanted to one-up me though, so he ate a ghost chili with no milk or anything, just to be the bigger man.
He took it like a champ, made it look easy. But he paid for it big time that night when he woke up at three in the morning with heartburn, palpitations, and this hardcore panic attack thinking he was going to lose his life. He ended up staying up all night alternating between softly weeping, chugging Pepto Bismol and going to the outhouse.
#41 A Freak Accident
I tell everyone to avoid hot air balloons for very good reasons. My mom, two aunts, and grandfather fell out of one at the 1998 New Mexico Hot Air Balloon Festival. They all survived, thankfully; but one lady who they didn't know did lose her life. The balloon got caught up in a huge gust of wind, hit two sets of powerlines and then the basket separated from the balloon. They fell 30 feet to the ground. My mom shattered her pelvis, my aunts both fractured parts of their spines and broke their feet, and my grandfather broke his neck. Thankfully they all made full recoveries (my mom limps, but that's it).
#42 Not For Everyone
Working at a haunted corn maze. It's hard to scare people and people are jerks to actors. I've been punched, kicked, spit on, pushed down, body checked, and grabbed by my hair and dragged down the hallway. I'm a 5'6" girl and at the time I was 16. I hit the guy who was dragging me, went into fight-for-your-life mode and was kicking, scratching, punching anything I could reach. I almost got fired for it because we aren't allowed to touch customers. He claimed that I "scared him so bad he felt he needed to protect himself." Right. Don't go to a haunted house then.
#43 Havana, Oo-Na-Na
Going to Havana. I always had this ridiculously romanticized idea of what it would be like—sunshine, cool old cars, dapper gentlemen, exotic women, etc. Turns out that, no, it really is pretty much what you'd expect from a communist dictatorship that was forced to live under a massive trade embargo for decades. The food is terrible. The drinks are really nothing to write home about, except maybe to your dentist.
The architecture is varied and wonderful but unfortunately, it's also either in the process of collapsing or has had scaffolding around it for the last 25 years. Everybody wants your money and will follow you down the street to get it. Every restaurant, bar, etc. will endlessly try to up-sell you things you didn't ask for. Everywhere you go a band will turn up unbidden, play Guantanamera, then ask for a tip.
#44 Too Flashy
Wearing a Rolex. My dad gave me his shortly before he passed away. I felt like an ostentatious fool wearing it. On top of that, it did not keep time as accurate as a quartz watch. I mean, Rolex are mechanical watches. Mechanical watches are less accurate than quartz. But you can appreciate the genius engineering that it needs to make mechanical watches. And something about that smooth sweeping of the hands instead of ticking makes it feel so much more than just a time-piece.
#45 Snow Plowing Sucks
All my friends who work in construction are laid off during the winter and make tons of money plowing snow, I decided to try it. The first winter I ever plowed, we had a blizzard every single Monday for five weeks. The snow was so heavy and came down in such volume I couldn’t keep up. I even destroyed a snowplow on a curb. I used half the money I made to replace it. Long story short, snow plowing sucks.
#46 Fancy A Scorpion?
I ate a scorpion at a street market in Beijing. The scorpion itself wasn't awful and I'd recommend the experience to any adventurous eaters looking for a fun story, but I wouldn't do it again. What really turned me off was the three hours of gut-wrenching food poisoning that followed. I can only assume the one I got just wasn't cooked thoroughly enough. Two others in my group had one each and didn't have any problems. The weirdest part of it all is that the scorpions are still moving on the sticks...
#47 It's A Full-Time Job
Progression raiding in an MMO. It's great fun and an awesome rush of satisfaction when you master the encounters, but at some point, you realize what you're doing is paying a subscription fee in order to work a full-time job. When you start playing a game to unwind from playing another game, it's time to cut out the middleman and just go do something fun.
#48 Sharks Smell Fear
Shark diving. I absolutely hate sharks but I absolutely love scuba diving. My dad convinced me to do a shark dive. During the dive as the sharks are being fed by guides, they just swim by and casually a fin will make contact with you. I’m pretty positive they could smell the fear on me. Also, I used the old tactic of if I don’t move they can’t see. I don’t think that works with them.
#49 Not A Fan Of Caves
I went spelunking 45 stories underground. It was terrifying. Crawling through tiny passageways, sliding down holes, and generally damaging my body the entire time. I was in pain for days afterward, with bruises and cuts, and even developed a weird lump on my leg that lasted for months. There was no way to “turn back” so completing the two-hour excursion was the only way out. I’m glad I did it, but never again!
#50 Feelin' Hot, Hot, Hot
I ate a Carolina Reaper. Lava fills your mouth and fire fills your stomach. An experience to be sure, but not ever again. A friend of mine resorted to chugging coffee creamer. I made a bowl of hot oatmeal for some reason thinking it would help. Looking back on it, I may have been slipping into shock. It's really not worth it, not even for the fun.