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Have a ball: Go zorbing in New Zealand

These unusual forms of transportation may not be as convenient as your typical planes, trains and automobiles, but they’re definitely more memorable.

If you’ve ever wanted to combine the health benefits of biking with the comfort of sitting on your couch, then Toronto’s Couchbike is just the thing for you. Designed to fit a variety of sofas, the Couchbike is an adjustable frame with four wheels and pedals that you can secure around your furniture. If you don’t have a couch handy they can loan you one, but you’ll need to bring a friend because it’s a tandem operation. You may scoff at the idea of sofa transport, but the creators of this contraption took it for a weeks-long journey through the Canadian Maritimes. And yes, they used a slipcover.

Zorbing, also known as globe-riding, involves climbing inside a giant, transparent orb and rolling downhill or floating on a body of water. These human-sized hamster balls were invented in New Zealand but have become popular around the world, including at family-friendly destinations like the Wisconsin Dells and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Keep your eyes peeled for the giant balls during the 2014 Olympic opening ceremonies: inexplicably, Zorbs are one of the official symbols of the Sochi Olympics.

Before those newfangled Zorbs or even old-fashioned bicycles, humans used animals for transportation and there are many parts of the world where you can still do just that. In Jaipur, India, you can ride an elephant to visit some of the area’s holy sites. In Jordan, camelback safaris are one of the most popular activities for visitors who want to explore the country’s desert regions. For more active animal transit, head to Alaska where you can learn to mush your own team of sled dogs.

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Jamie Smith

Jamie Smith

Jamie Smith is a writer, traveler and lover of cities currently living in Austin, Texas. Follow her on Twitter at @shameonseamus.
Jamie Smith

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