STRATEGY

Living Like Indiana

Advertisement

He's only a fictional character, but Indiana Jones has the kind of existence many of us envy. By day, he's a respected intellectual, but after hours, he pulls off his spectacles and throws caution to the wind. He jaunts to exotic destinations, where he dodges booby traps, dukes it out with the bad guys, unearths ancient ruins, hacks through jungles, and constantly confronts danger. As Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull hits theaters this month, we've put together a list of our favorite escapades from the first three installments and explained how you can live out your own Indiana Jones fantasies. Like Indy, you can plunge into a pit of snakes, cruise around on elephants, hitch a ride in a zeppelin, and even hunt for the Holy Grail.

Travel to Petra

Movie: The Last Crusade
Indiana's hunt for the Holy Grail landed him in Petra, a nearly 3,000-year-old city in Jordan with buildings carved out of the sandstone hillsides. Travel consultant Bear & Bear arranges tours of Jordan, with a private guide. The trips include a visit to Petra and the rock formations of Wadi Rum, a plunge in the Dead Sea, and a stay in the desert as guests of the Bedouin. From $20,000 for seven days; 212-592-1234

Play With Snakes

Movie: All three
Despite his hatred of snakes, Indy had run-ins with them in every film. Dare to interact with venomous reptiles? Outfitter Asia Desk offers two options in Bangkok. The tame version: Visit the Red Cross snake farm, which has dozens of cobras and other lethal varieties that are used to develop snakebite treatments. You will learn how to milk poisonous snakes for their venom. More intrepid types can visit private snake farms in the area and immerse themselves in the snake pits. From $5,000 for a 13-day trip; asiadesk.net

Eat Bizarre Animal Parts

Movie: Temple of Doom
In this film, Indy and his friends were presented with a dinner of monkey brains, beetles, and still-squirming baby snakes. If that sort of meal sounds appetizing -- or at least intriguing -- read on. Though you can't sample monkey brains (at least not at any place we found), in Laos it's possible to dine on exotic dishes such as grilled black cobra, whole frogs in red curry, and fried silkworms topped with soy sauce. North By North East arranges for private tours to markets and restaurants in Laos where these delicacies are served. From $150 for a one-day tour; north-by-north-east.com

Explore Egyptian Markets -- and Tombs

Movie: Raiders of the Lost Ark
Hit two movie adventures in one trip with a journey through Egypt. You'll get to wander around the Khan el-Khalili bazaar in Cairo and shop among giant woven baskets similar to the one that Marion, Indy's companion, hid inside to avoid the bad guys. Then, in a journey down the Nile, stop in Luxor and tour the tombs of the pharaohs. Travel consultant Abercrombie & Kent will also customize a one-day trip for you to Tanis, the former capital of Egypt, where many of the kings are buried -- and where Indiana discovered the Ark of the Covenant. From $4,400 for 10 days; abercrombiekent.com

Ride an Elephant Through the Jungle

Movie: Temple of Doom
If wandering through Thailand's tropical jungles on the back of an elephant is your idea of fun, the Four Seasons Tented Camp in the Golden Triangle has three- and four-night all-inclusive packages that let you do just that. Before you're let loose on your own, you get a day of mahout training, which is basically Elephant Riding 101. Skip this trip if you're looking for an adrenaline rush; the elephants move at 5 miles per hour. From $2,140; fourseasons.com

Trek Through South America

Movie: Raiders of the Lost Ark
Though there aren't any golden idols up for grabs, you can experience a thrill traveling through the Brazilian Amazon. The custom trip, put together by International Travel Management, includes crocodile spotting, crossing paths with 30-foot-long anacondas, and running into thousand-year-old tribes (whose members may or may not own blow darts like the guys who chased Indy, so don't tick them off). From $2,500 for seven days; internationaltravelmanagement.com

Search for the Grail

Movie: The Last Crusade
Go on your own hunt for the Holy Grail. Some enthusiasts claim it's in the Rosslyn Chapel near Edinburgh, Scotland. Others say that Joseph of Arimathea buried the Grail in England's Glastonbury Tor. Then there's Axum, Ethiopia, rumored to be the resting place for both the Grail and the Ark of the Covenant. Bear & Bear creates custom trips to these destinations. Prices vary; 212-592-1234

Take a Zeppelin Ride in Germany

Movie: The Last Crusade
Indy and his father attempted to flee Germany in a zeppelin. Some of the German-made ships are still around. Deutsche Zeppelin-Reederei GmbH offers trips of 30 minutes to two hours leaving from Friedrichshafen, in the southern part of the country. You can also catch a ride from Munich or Stuttgart. And don't worry: Unlike the Hindenburg, these zeppelins are filled with nonflammable helium. From $307; zeppelinflug.de

Dine With a Maharaja in India

Movie: Temple of Doom
There's no such place as Pankot Palace, but Mehrangarh Fort, a spectacular fortress situated on a hill in Jodhpur, is right out of the movies. Arrive in style in a palanquin and with a procession of camels, horses, and dancers. Then, feast on royal dishes as a three-hour meal unfolds, complete with entertainment and, if he's available, the company of Maharaja Gaj Singh II. This is an example of the many royal visits that travel consultant Our Personal Guest can arrange throughout India. From $15,000 for the evening with 20 guests; ourpersonalguest.com

Cross a Rope Bridge

Movie: Temple of Doom
The rope bridge in Temple of Doom was built for the set, but the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge in Northern Ireland is the real deal. It connects a mountain ridge to Carrick Island. Don't look down: There's an 80-foot drop. Below? Gushing water and black rocks. If you can stand to make the unsteady crossing, you'll be rewarded by views of the Scottish islands. Kathleen Sheridan of Altour creates bespoke trips to the area. From $4,000 for a seven-day trip; altour.com

Visit a Holy Shrine in India

Movie: Temple of Doom
Our Personal Guest arranges for an evening pooja, a prayer ceremony, on the banks of the Ganges in Varanasi While a priest gives you your horoscope, hundreds of candles float in the water At your request, he will give you blessed Shiva lingam stones, which inspired the movies's Sankara stones. From $500 for two people; ourpersonalguest.com

Dig Up Artifacts

Movie: Raiders of the Lost Ark
You won't be outrunning boulders, but if you'd like to try your hand at some real archaeology, spend two weeks in South Shields, England, an area home to pre-Roman and Roman remains. Working alongside real archaeologists, you will dig through soil looking for artifacts such as pottery and jewelry and learn about site surveying. The trip is offered by Earthwatch Institute, a nonprofit environmental organization. $2,646; earthwatch.org

Last updated: May 1, 2008




Register on Inc.com today to get full access to:
All articles  |  Magazine archives | Livestream events | Comments
EMAIL
PASSWORD
EMAIL
FIRST NAME
LAST NAME
EMAIL
PASSWORD

Or sign up using: