In the words of Ferris Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” With so many jaw-dropping and mesmerising places to visit, it’s time to start crossing some of these travel destinations off your bucket list.
The world has so many incredible destinations, and sometimes I’ll find myself somewhere and actually have to take a second and ask, “Really? This is exists?” This has happened to me on a few occasions; camping in Sossusvlei and Deadvlei and Spitzkoppe in Namibia, exploring the Grand Canyon, snorkelling in Bali, staying at Gili Lankanfushi and eating in the underwater restaurant at the Conrad hotel in the Maldives. But there are still so many experiences left on my list that I’m dying to experience! Like swimming with pigs in the Bahamas, or with humpback whales in Tonga, eating with giraffes at Giraffe manor or watching the sunset from a hot air balloon in Turkey. Have you ticked any of these off your list yet?
Whatever your age or current situation is, it’s never too late to plan a once-in-a-lifetime travel experience. Get your passport ready because this will kick your wanderlust into high gear. It’s time to say “Yes Please!”, and cross these off your bucket list!
1. Road trip through Namibia
I’m going to have to kick this list off with one of the most breathtaking trips I’ve ever taken – camping and road tripping through Namibia.
Our trip was during the month of February which is a low tourist season as it’s known as the “wet” season but we were lucky in that it never rained during the day and had some thrilling thunderstorms at night.
We flew into Namibia, rented a 4×4, stocked up on food, beer and water, then drove off into the Namibian dessert.
We camped out under the stars in Sossusvlei and Deadvlei, walked over the dunes at sunrise and experienced some magical sunsets at Spitzkoppe.
It was wonderful having the freedom of being able to drive around and stop when we wanted to, and it was a wonderful experience camping out in the middle of nowhere in complete silence (other than inquisitive animals), cook a BBQ every evening and camp under the stars on the roof of the car.
I found Namibia to be breathtakingly beautiful and it was the best time of year to go as there were so many wild animals everywhere, attracted by the water (wet season).
To get a better picture, watch my video!
2. Giraffe Manor in Nairobi, Kenya
Giraffe Manor in Kenya is a small hotel which is home to a number of endangered giraffes – many of who will often poke their heads through he windows of the hotel to see what guests are up to and sometimes grab leftover food!
These inquisitive guests, whose necks alone can measure more than two metres, frequently pop their heads over by the tables throughout the day, and will even peek through the windows of guest’s bedrooms!
3. Visit glowworm caves
One of the most jawdropping natural wonders, the world famous Waitomo Glowworm Caves sit in the heart of a lush New Zealand rain forest. The tiny glow worms produce a myriad of tiny bright lights that dot the cave ceiling. It’s no wonder they are one of New Zealand’s most celebrated tourist attractions!
4. Hot air ballooning in Cappadocia, Turkey
Cappadocia, in central Turkey, is known for its valleys and unique rock formations shaped centuries ago by erupting volcanoes. The gorgeous pink-hued rocks are best seen from a hot air balloon, which is why hundreds of them drift up into the sky at sunrise each morning. Across the valleys, hundreds of orbs glow gold against the dark sky, like countless flickering fireflies.
The International Hot-Air Balloon Festival in Château-d’Œx is also a stunning spot for hot air balloon watching.
5. Swim with wild pigs in the Bahamas
Who knew pigs were such good swimmers? Nobody knows how the pigs ended up in Exuma in The Bahamas, but it’s not hard to understand why they’ve never left.
The island, called Big Major Cay but known as ‘Pig Island’ by locals, is completely uninhabited except for these 20 pigs. People say that the pigs must have survived a shipwreck and managed to swim to shore, now living the life and permanently on holiday!
6. Visit an underwater city
If you only ever visit one museum in your life, make sure it’s MUSA, the world’s largest underwater museum, near Cancun, Mexico. Composed of over 500 life-sized sculptures, MUSA is hidden 28 feet below the ocean’s surface – that means that the only way it can be explored is by diving or snorkeling.
Some of the sculptures are a satirical commentary on humanity. For example, “The Banker” is a series of men in business suits submerging their heads in sand, after attending a climate-change conference in Cancun. “It represents the loud acknowledgment made about the issue, but when it comes to taking action nobody wants to stick their neck out and do something about it,” the artist said about the work.
7. Explore Iceland’s Crystal Cave
For such a small country, Iceland sure has its fair share of must-see natural phenomena – one of the most striking being the infamous Crystal Cave.
The Cave of Skaftafell is formed where the Vatnajökull Ice Cap (a glacier) meets the Icelandic coastline.
The ice dates back centuries, and its weight has pressed out all remnant air, so the resultant formation’s texture and colors are both brilliant and otherworldly.
8. Sleep in an igloo
There are many ice hotels (Sweden’s being arguably the most famous), but the Igloo Hotel in Kakslauttanen, Finland really looks out of this world. Visitors to Igloo Village in Kakslauttanen can choose between a glass or a snow igloo; the snow igloos are proper igloos made entirely from snow, while the glass igloos, with an amazing frost-resistant thermal glass, provide amazing views of the northern lights and starry sky. Guests can even book reindeer-drawn sled rides.
9. Try a guided river cruise
Experience a city in a different light by traveling via the rivers. Prague is one of the most beautiful and picturesque cities in Europe, full of amazing architecture, towers, spires and hills. But seeing it from a guided river cruise will provide a different view and perspective of the city – plus having a an organised trip means you’ll not only end up learning lots of interesting facts about a city’s history, but you’ll be guaranteed to be shown the best spots.
10. Swim with wild whales
And finally, if swimming with pigs doesn’t quite do it for you, you can swim with wild humpback whales in Tonga. There is something purely magical about whales. So just imagine swimming with them? The charming remote island of Tonga is a sanctuary for these gentle giants who migrate there annually to mate and bear their young. Tonga is one of the few places in the world where you can swim alongside the humpback whales, and the high number of whales visiting Tongan waters at this time of year means there are plenty of opportunities to see and swim with them!