5 Travel Experiences to Include on Your Bucket List

Classic tourist photo in New Zealand

5Often when you see a travel bucket list, every single city in every single country is included on the list. This isn’t exactly a bad thing, there are after all 195 countries in the world and thousands and thousands of cities to explore. My only issue with this is a list of countries to visit sounds a little superficial, and I’m saying this knowing full well that my bucket list contains a number of countries I would like to visit.

Rather than giving you a list of countries to visit, I want to instead give you a short list of unique travel experiences to include on your bucket list.

Visit an ancient ruin

Karnak Temple
These amazing pillars at the Karnak Temple Complex were a photographer’s dream

If you are anything like me, you are absolutely fascinated by history. I am always awestruck by the history of civilization and how we have managed to achieve so much in a relatively short period of time. I am also always surprised by how much of our own history we have forgotten. When I was in Egypt I found it entirely incomprehensible how these giant, awe-inspiring temples were swallowed by the desert sands and wiped from human memory.  

Every year we are re-discovering lost settlements and tombs, and if you consider what we are finding below the waves the world of possibilities for this bucket list item continues to expand.

I checked this item off my bucket list when I went to Egypt and explored the Luxor and Karnak Temple sites, and even got to go INSIDE one of the Pyramids of Giza! There are so many ancient ruin sites around the world for you to explore. Check out this National Geographic photo slide show or this Guardian article on ancient ruins you’ve probably never heard of for more inspiration.

Read: Best Bucket List Experiences in Egypt

See all 7 Wonders of the World

The original list of the 7 Wonders of the World was created by Philo of Byzantium in 250 B.C., and unfortunately, the only structure from that original list that is still standing today is the Great Pyramid of Giza (side not: if anyone finds the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, let me know). Lucky for us however, a new list was created in 2007 and consists of 7 UNESCO World Heritage sites located all around the world. Each of these 7 wonders was built by ancient or medieval civilisations and are awe-inspiring architectural marvels. These 7 wonders are:

  1. The Great Wall of China
  2. The Taj Mahal, India
  3. Petra, Jordan
  4. The Colosseum, Italy
  5. Christ the Redeemer, Brazil
  6. Machu Picchu, Peru
  7. Chichen Itza, Mexico

Checking each of these sites off your bucket list would be an amazing bucket list accomplishment, but what if I told you there was another 7 wonders list: The 7 Natural Wonders. This list was created in response to the New 7 Wonders of the World list to bring awareness to the majesty of the natural world. This list consists of:

  • The Aurora Borealis (The Northern Lights)
  • The Grand Canyon, USA
  • The Great Barrier Reef, Australia
  • Harbour of Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
  • Mt Everest, Nepal
  • Paricutin, Mexico
  • Victoria Falls, Zimbabawe

 By why stop there? The Seven Natural Wonders website also provides individual lists for each continent. This means you can be a little selective…or maybe just really ambitious!

Read: Exploring the Devil’s Marbles

Holiday with a family member

Glamping tents at Kings Canyon

I completely admit that this is a really cliché one, but I think it’s really important. Going on a epic holiday with your father, a sister, brother or cousin is a great way to bond with them, and share your passion for seeing the world and pushing your limits. And I’m not talking about that family road trip you took with your family every year to complete the required ‘rellie run’ when you were a kid. I’m talking about a holiday to a place you have never been before.

I have one of these holidays planned with my brother for the middle of the year and we are both beyond excited. We will be going to Hungary, Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, and the Netherlands. We don’t get to spend as much time together these days, so I’m really looking forward to the experience.

Explore a Glacier

Here’s something a little unique. Glaciers are heavily compacted snow and ice that slowly move like a river down a mountain passage. Don’t be fooled by their slow, meandering ways, glaciers are responsible for creating much of the landscapes we know and love today. For example, did you know that glaciers created the Loch Ness? It’s true!

You can explore glaciers in many different ways, whether it’s buy hiking on a glacier, flying over one in a helicopter or kayaking in a glacier lake. The options are endless. I had planned to check this item off my bucket list in New Zealand at Franz Josef Glacer with a Heli Hike guided tour, but the weather just wasn’t in an agreeable mood. Instead I had to settle for a kayaking experience in an old glacier lake which was no longer fed by an active glacier. Oh well, there’s always next time provided global warming doesn’t beat me to it!

Get Your Adrenaline Pumping

Parachuting over Lake Taupo in New Zealand

This one is a pretty obvious inclusion on any bucket list, but there’s a reason for it. Bucket lists are all about facing your fears and drawing every possible experience from life you can possibly get. However, this doesn’t mean that you need to include every possible adrenaline junkie activity that you can think of. You can limit it to as few or as many activities as you want.

You should also keep in mind that what gets your adrenaline pumping can be different for everyone. For some it might be skydiving out of a plane, while for others it might be indoors sky diving. Yes, you want to push your limits, but you definitely shouldn’t feel pressures to include anything on your list that you aren’t actually passionate about or actually interested in doing. Do you, and be bad ass while you’re doing it. R

Are there any bucket list travel items that I’ve forgotten to include? Let me know in the comments.

Read: Best Bucket List Experiences in New Zealand

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