Was your New Year’s resolution to see the world and go on a travel adventure? Or perhaps have a life changing experience and create lasting memories while trotting the globe? To keep that aspiration going, we’ve compiled the ultimate travel bucket list for you to tick off. From the adventurous to the zen, the awesome to the inspiring – we’ve got you covered.
1. Go wild with the Safari adventure in South Africa
Photo: Luxury Trips
Experience wildlife encounters and get up close and personal with the “big five” – buffalos, lions, leopards, elephants and rhinoceroses. Embark on an adventure trail of activities like elephant bush rides, sunset cruises, bungee jumping or even white water tours. Compared to other safari destinations, South Africa has an amazing amount of diversity in an easily navigated country, along with five star lodging, wine and cuisine. But before booking a trip, you may want to consider researching animal migration predictions for the season. That way, you’ll be guaranteed not to miss out on any wildlife action!
2. Soak in the natural goodness of Onsens in Japan
Hot springs bubble up almost everywhere across Japan. With over 2,500 over onsens across the country, locals have enjoyed them for relaxing and socializing. Going for a dip in these natural hot springs is not only a great way to experience quintessential Japan, but also a fantastic way to savour the natural surrounding while reaping its reputed benefits. With an array of colored onsens available, each with its own unique properties, these waters are thought to help smoothen the skin or relieve back pain. There are a variety of hotels and traditional inns to choose from, but for a unique experience, check out the Shibu Onsen located in Nagano. Amidst the snowy mountains, you’ll find the only hot spring in the world where you will find wild Snow Monkey enjoying a relaxing dip, just like you.
3. Set yourself free with horseback riding in Mongolia
Saddle up and set off on a trek across the unspoilt wilderness, riding through fields of wildflowers across the vast steppe to sacred Mandal Mountain. Known as one of the best ways to experience Mongolia, horseback riding across the terrain offers an intimate way of getting to know the Mongolian nomad’s timeless way of life. Spend time exploring the lush, beautiful valley on visiting nomad families and enjoying the gentle rhythms of nomadic life. Go fishing in nearby rivers, or even try your hand at Mongolian archery. With its vast, remote and striking beauty, Mongolia is an untouched passage of time that one should definitely walk through.
4. Diving in the Great Barrier Reef in Cairns, Australia
Hugging the east coast of Queensland is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the world – the Great Barrier Reef. Extending from Cape York in the north all the way to Bundaberg in the south, it is easily the biggest reef system in the world and can be seen from outer space. Home to roughly 3,000 coral reefs, 600 islands and 1,635 species of fish, it’s definitely an experience for those who love life under the sea. But even if you aren’t gazing at marine life through a scuba mask, you can sail through the tropical breeze or plane glide above its pristine waters – it’s definitely a place you don’t want to miss!
5. Star gazing in Tuscany, Italy
Photo: Amazing Telescopes
Everyone knows about Tuscany and its incredible landscapes, but very few people are aware that the region offers some superb stargazing opportunities. Apart from food, wine and its rich culture, Tuscany hosts one of the most amazing stargazing and cosmic themed events during the months of April to December. As the home of Italian astronomer and physicist, Galileo Galilei, tours are available to view some of the very space phenomena that the genius himself first observed – such as sunspots, the mountainous surface of the moon, and Jupiter’s four moons (now known as the Galilean moons). So while you learn to appreciate “La Dulce Vida” (The Good Life) under the Tuscan sun (or moonlight), why not start an astronomical adventure?
6. Enjoying the he Northern Lights in Scotland, United Kingdom
It may be a surprise to you, but northern Scotland actually lies at the same latitude as Stavanger in Norway and Nunivak Island in Alaska – which is where you can also spot the ‘Mirrie Dancers’. Autumn and winter seasons, with their long periods of darkness and the frequency of clear nights, are probably the best time of the year to experience the auroral displays, so make sure you plan your trip around them. With the Northern Lights expecting to appear less frequently over the next decade, this definitely something you ought to tick off your list this year!
7. Sky-diving in Taupo, New Zealand
Known to be the sky diving capital of the world, Taupo, is greeted with nearly 30,000 people during the months of summer for an epic flight (or fall). With snow tipped peaks and a spectacular fresh blue lake around, the view as you sky-dive from 15,000 ft is probably nothing like you’ve ever imagined. Not daring enough to jump alone? Tandem jumps are always available, where first timers leap from a plane while harnessed to a skydiving professional. With or without an instructor, it will definitely make an adventure of a lifetime!
8. Stay in a cave house in Santorini, Greece
In the deep blue waters of the Aegean lies one of the biggest jewels in the world. An ancient island that has endured one of the largest volcanic eruptions in history, Santorini feels like no other place on earth. With cave houses built atop the Caldera (volcanic crater), guests will be treated with one of the most breath taking views. Naturally acclimatised to be cool in the summer and insulating in the winter, these cave houses are equally gorgeous inside and out. For leisure, visitors can take daily boat trips to visit and walk on the volcano, snap photos and take a swim in its hot spring waters. From a luxurious cave house hotel to a warm home stay, it’s definitely one of the most captivating experiences not to be missed.