Essential Adventures for your Travel Bucket List
A bucket list is the list of things you dream of accomplishing before the end of your life. This might sound depressing to some, but it is quite the contrary. Your bucket list reflects your innermost soul; it reveals where your inspirations lie. Traveling is on many people’s lists, and I understand why. For many, travel represents the opportunity to see the beauty that makes up our world. That is inspiring in and of itself. Travel means adventure, and there are essential adventures that belong on everyone’s must-do list. Let’s go over a dozen of them that will change your life!
- Drive the PCH: Drive the historic California State Route 1, the Pacific Coast Highway, and view the amazing California coast. The PCH, as the natives call it, is known to take its travelers along what are considered the most breathtaking coastal views in the U.S. You will also drive through many major destinations, including Los Angeles County and the Bay Area.
- See a Giant Redwood: Head inland and visit California’s Sequoia National Park. Here, you will find some of the most grandiose trees in the world: the giant sequoias. Many people call the amazing natural wonders the California redwoods, and they have been known to grow as tall as 311 feet. The oldest redwood on record is 3,500 years old.
- Pretend You’re a NASCAR Driver: Head further east to Las Vegas, Nevada, and experience the thrill of driving a race car. Las Vegas Motor Speedway affords patrons the adrenaline rush of punching a Ferrari F430 GT from zero to 60 in (yes, you’re reading this correctly) 3.5 seconds! This is the perfect adventure for any race enthusiast.
- Hit the Rapids at Equal Speed: Head north to Idaho and white-water raft down the state’s Salmon River, also known as “The River of No Return.” The Middle Fork of the Salmon River offers white-water rafters a Class III to Class V adventure. For those of you unfamiliar with the ratings, Class VI is the highest level, so this is just about as intense of a raft ride as you can get.
- Heli-Ski: This is a must-do travel adventure for extreme skiers. British Columbia, Canada, is home to some of the best skiing in the world, and its Bugaboo Provincial Park offers snow-bunnies a special treat: heli-skiing. What is heli-skiing? You’re dropped off by helicopter at the top of a treacherous mountain, and you ski back down.
- Go on Safari: Choose South Africa for your African safari adventure because you’ll see more than just the magnificent land mammals. While on safari in South Africa, you will also have the opportunity to go out to sea for whale and great white shark watching. You’ll also see penguins in South Africa, but if you are really a penguin fan, check out the last adventure.
- Experience Other Wildlife: A safari gives you a front-row seat to wildlife, but Munich, Germany’s Oktoberfest gives you a front-row seat to human wildlife. Oktoberfest is the biggest party in the world. Not even Brazil’s Carnival compares. Around 6 to 8 million beer-drinking party animals converge upon Munich annually for the two-week, centuries-old celebration.
- Find Happiness: After two weeks of beer-drinking craziness, seek happiness and inner peace in Bhutan, a Buddhist nation that measures its success by “Gross National Happiness.” Located in South Asia’s Himalayan Mountains, Bhutan is a nation set among unbelievable scenery. You can mountain-bike, hike, or simply wile the day away in deep, fulfilling meditation.
- Climb Mount Everest: This might seem like an obvious one, as I’m sure many people already have this on their bucket list, but after you’ve recovered from Oktoberfest in Bhutan, travel west to Nepal and climb or at least view the world’s tallest peak. Mount Everest is inspiring whether you choose to attempt to summit it or not.
- See “South America’s Niagara Falls”: Head back to the Americas to see why Eleanor Roosevelt even had to admit that Iguacu Falls bordering Argentina and Brazil put Niagara Falls to shame. They put Africa’s Victoria Falls to shame as well, as it takes days to see all of the falls in their splendor and glory. The surrounding national park is also breathtaking.
- Be Amazed by Ancient Engineering: Head south to Chile to see Easter Island next. You might be thinking you’d prefer to add Stonehenge to your list, but Easter Island is truly a magnificent site worthy of essential status. Why or how the Moai, as the statues are called, were carved is unknown, but the area is rarely crowded, offering you the opportunity to be awed in silence.
- Commune with Penguins: Heading further south, sail alongside humpback and minke whales and watch the leopard seals play as you are taken through Antarctica’s Orne Harbor to dock and commune with the continent’s native penguins. This once-in-a-lifetime adventure introduces you to the world’s last unspoiled territory with wildlife and land you will not see anywhere else.
This is my bucket list of essential travel adventures, each experience life-changing in its own right. My pulse will certainly get pumping as I ski down a snow-faced cliff, raft down Class V waters, and put the pedal to the metal in Las Vegas. My inner party animal will most certainly “rage” at Oktoberfest. Seeing some of the world’s most magnificent animals and relaxing in the Himalayas is sure to please. You essential list will be just as revealing as to your inner self. Maybe it’s filled with nothing but sun and sand; perhaps it’s a shopping list, traveling the globe’s best commercial meccas; maybe it’s a variety of adventures, as mine is. Whatever the adventures that make up your list, just make certain you do one thing: Get out there, travel, and cross all of your adventures off your bucket list!