By Joel Furches

Mortality is a sad but inevitable fact of existence. You only get one life, but that is no excuse for not making it an epic one. One does not, however, need to seek out exotic destinations or have vast sums of money in order to set lifetime goals for significant experiences and then achieve those goals before the end. There are adventures and experiences in the Baltimore area which can enrich your world and create stories for your future. Here are a few lifetime experiences which you may easily achieve.

Skydive Baltimore
3536 Aldino Road
Churchville, MD 21028
(410) 734-4888

It’s hard to top the experience of a skydive. First, there is the sheer adrenaline rush that comes from free falling from a mile in the air. There is the unmatched opportunity to see the world stretch out below. Then, of course, there is a story one can tell their grandkids, a right to brag about a tale of excitement, adventure and bravery. If this experience is not on someone’s bucket list, it ought to be.

While there are one or two skydiving opportunities in the Baltimore area, Skydive Baltimore has its own airfield. You will participate in a bit of training, board the plane, fly across the state with trained instructors and then tandem dive – drifting across one of the more scenic landscapes in Maryland, and down to the ground with a helpful instructor at the reigns, doing all of the work for you, while you enjoy the ride. When the experience is over, you will have a filmed chronicle of the dive to retain as a souvenir for the rest of your life.

Friendship Hot Air Balloon
12465 Barnard Way
West Friendship, MD 21794
(410) 442-5566

There’s definitely a difference between a controlled fall from heights, and a casual drifting across the landscape in one of the most harmonious and blissful areal experiences one could imagine. This is the experience offered by Friendship Hot Air Balloon. Board your colorful vessel and then relax as you see where the breeze takes you, and you look down as Maryland drifts by. It is a very safe experience, with all precautions taken by Friendship, so you may enjoy and let them do the worrying.

Maryland Space Grant Observatory
3400 N. Charles St.
Baltimore, MD 21218
(410) 516-6525

With a half-meter reflecting mirror gathering light, the Morris W. Offit Telescope at Johns Hopkins University may be one of the best viewing instruments in Baltimore that is open to the public. Every Friday evening when the weather is clear, the telescope is open to the public for no charge. Want to observe the stars, planets, galaxies and nebulae with your naked eye? You may never have access to the international observatories, but the Space Grant Observatory is very close.

See the rings around Saturn, the red spot on Jupiter, and the birth of stars in a nebula light years away. After having a cosmic experience, your life is just that much more complete.

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Baltimore Marathon
725 Santa Barbara Court, Suite 114
Elkridge, MD 21075

Finishing a marathon or 5K is something everyone should be able to say they have done at least once in their lifetime. The Baltimore running festival is open to all, and is one of the biggest races on the East Coast. However, Baltimore Marathon has more than just one event. Go to the website and select from a variety of 5Ks and fun runs, relay races, marathons and half-marathons. Participate in the race of your choice and be able to say you went the distance in your lifetime.

MSP Polar Bear Plunge
3701 Commerce Drive, Suite 103
Baltimore, Maryland 21227
(410) 242-1515

The Polar Bear Plunge is a challenge with international participation. Every winter, hundreds of people brave the freezing water to prove their resilience, gain bragging rights and even improve their health. This challenge is undertaken by the young and the old alike, and it is done here in Baltimore, as well. Participate in this bracing event, and have an experience few others have as you tell the tale, thereafter.

Related: Best White Water Rafting Near Baltimore


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