For those who wish their tombstone to read ‘his/hers was a life well-lived, filled with excitement and adventure’, here is a list of 30 amazing things to do with your life before you leave the world. It features several dazzling experiences packed with adventure, wildlife, art, history, nature and a whole lot more. Rest assured, you will return a changed person.
1) Witness the Northern lights
Witnessing the Northern Lights, a spectacle put up by none other than divine hands of nature itself, is one of those surreal travel experiences that will remain etched in your mind forever. During this ethereal occurrence, the nocturnal sky is magically cast with a rainbow of swirling colours, especially green and red. This phenomenon of bright dancing lights appears above the magnetic poles of the northern and southern hemispheres.
It is believed to occur as the electrically charged particles from the sun collide when they move into the earth’s atmosphere.Be it spiritual or scientific, the entire encounter is an uplifting one. Some of the places where you can watch this seasonal miracle include Alaska, Scandinavia, Canada, Russia as well as Scotland.
2) Visit the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
Mother Earth has in its bounty some of the most spectacular treasures. One such example is the vastly untouched Galapagos Islands (an archipelago of volcanic islands) that is known for its fearless wildlife. There is a reason why this place is bucket-list worthy. This is the very destination that gave impetus for Charles Darwin’s ground-breaking theory of natural selection.Here, you will come across a staggering number of species, some which are not found anywhere else in the world.
Some of them include marine iguanas, sea lions, gigantic sea tortoises, lava lizard, waved albatross, penguins, and mockingbird. There is diversity in the landscape of the different islands as well, from stark lava formations to verdant highlands, silver sands to beautiful blue waters and steep cliffs. Nature lovers will especially be glad to know that great efforts have been made to safeguard the natural habitats and the tourists have to abide by strict guidelines.
3) Wine tasting at Napa Valley, California
As if having a glass of wine isn’t an enjoyable enough, wine tasting at Napa Valley takes the experience to a whole new level altogether. Along with its scenic beauty (that is enough to put you in a stupor), the thriving orchids and fertile soils here churn out some of the finest wines of the world. Think full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon, super smooth Merlots, and golden Chardonnays.
Luring around four million visitors annually, this world-renowned destination is home to about 522 wineries with tasting rooms, making you utterly spoilt for choice. To top it, everything about the place only adds to the whole experience. Be it the gastronomic delights, lavish resorts or quaint bed and breakfasts. Here’s to good times!
4) Visit Dracula’s Castle (Bran Castle, Romania)
Though the chances of any association with the historical Vlad Ţepeş or Bram Stoker’s fictional vampire are sparse, the Bran Castle famously dubbed as Dracula’s Castle makes for a truly bewitching experience. For one, the uncanny similarity of the castle to the fictional depiction in the novel has left many stunned.
Also, this fortress emerging out of a rocky and lush landscape makes you forget about current times, whisking you away into a bygone era of history, myth and intrigue. And while there is a room displaying some Romanian vampire lore, the structure is more an homage to Queen Maria. On the inside, the creaky rooms, ceramic fireplaces, dark secret passages, stunning Gothic furniture, eerie rooms, armour and medieval weaponry display, certainly, tell a unique tale.
5) Encounter the famous mountain gorilla in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park
The deep and tangled forests of Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park is packed with adventure and exciting wildlife encounters. One of the prime experiences, though, is being able to witness the last of adorable mountain gorillas in their natural habitat.
For many, this is a life changing experience. The place is especially perfect for close sightings and photo opportunities. Along the way, you are also likely to come across golden monkeys, Rwenzori turacos and prehistoric three-horned chameleons. Your visit will help in the conservation and preservation of the endangered species as well.
6) Trek to Machu Picchu, Peru
A trek to Machu Picchu can be considered as trekking back into history. The enigmatic ancient city in the heart of the Sacred Valley, Peru is an iconic marvel and among the noted archaeological sites across the globe.
The entire trekking experience through the Inca trail itself is eventful where you make your way through incredible nature, thick jungles, misty landscapes, lofty peaks and awe-inspiring Inca ruins before reaching the remarkable Machu Picchu.Do ensure that you are at your fittest and take the time to acclimatise as the trek can prove to be a challenging one.
7) Witness the iconic sakura (cherry blossoms) in Japan
The blossoming of iconic sakura (cherry blossoms) is a highly anticipated event in Japan and world over. And for a good reason too…come spring time in Japan and the landscape appears to turn into a beautiful canvas of an artist with trees adorned with a multitude of soft, pink flowers that welcome you. Getting wrapped up in this floral wave is nothing short of a spellbinding and soulful experience. The ideal places to witness this is the picturesque castles in Osaka or Himeji, Kiyomizu-
Getting wrapped up in this floral wave is nothing short of a spellbinding and soulful experience. The ideal places to witness this is the picturesque castles in Osaka or Himeji, Kiyomizu-dera in Kyoto or Tokyo’s Ueno Park, all of which only enhance the charm of the experienceThe season lasts for around a week, reminding you to make most of the fleeting opportunity.
8) Go swimming with blue whales in Sri Lanka
Now how often have you heard someone say that they have swum with blue whales? Weligama in Sri Lanka offers you this one of a kind experience where you can be side by side with the largest marine animal known to exist. Dive into magnificent blue waters, see the wonders up-close and savour photographic proof of this life-altering episode.
Do keep in mind though, being a strong swimmer is mandatory to avail of this experience. For those who are too intimidated by the very thought of it, a whale watching experience in Mirissa from the comfort of your boat is available too.
9) Go for a luxurious island-hopping experience at Similan Islands, Thailand
Away from the concrete bustle and in the midst of dazzling blue waters of the Andaman Sea lies a secluded gem known as Similan Islands (declared a national park). The archipelago offers the allure of good times with sandy shores as well as diving and snorkeling avenues.
If you are looking more than just an island experience, a luxurious six-night island-hopping affair is perfect. Stay at the Phulay Bay Ritz-Carlton for three nights and the during rest of the nights, celebrate on a plush yacht as you discover the gorgeous Similan Islands.Do keep in mind that the park is closed from May 16th to November 15th.
10) Explore the Old Town Square in Prague
Among the biggest and most prettiest urban areas of Europe, the Old Town Square comes with a history that dates back to 10th century. It offers a captivating experience that is simply unmatched.The bustling square is considered as the heart of Prague, thriving with an array of delights.
Sip on beer at the vibrant outdoor cafes while taking in the view of stunning medieval structures, marvel at the rich Gothic and Baroque architecture, be an audience to the jazz bands, enjoy alfresco concerts or watch fashion shows, the list of things to do here is endless. Notable buildings that embellish the cityscape include the Jan Hus Memorial, Old Town Hall, Týn Church, the Kinský Palace and the St. Nicholas Church.
11) Hike through pristine mountains and glaciers in Patagonia
Patagonia is a treat for nature lovers, with its untouched beauty especially evident in the scenic national parks of Torres del Paine and Los Glaciares. The ideal way to lap up the wonder that abounds is by taking a hike through these places where Mother Earth once again casts a magical spell.
Along the way, you will come across frosty glaciers, sapphire-hued water bodies and incredible wildlife. Feel one with nature, push the boundaries of your physical limit and come back a changed individual.
12) Party in Ibiza
It is no wonder that Ibiza is often crooned about in pop songs, this is the place of legendary party venues and the best of DJs, making it the holy grail for clubbers. Case in point, Amnesia Ibiza that is equipped with a custom sound system and greenhouse terrace where you can dance away watching the spectacular sunrise ascending, DC-10 that is located just off the edge of the Ibizan airport runway, the high end Destino that sits on the cliffside and provides stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea or the popular Pacha Ibiza where the rich and famous party.
The atmosphere is filled with an infectious revelry. Enjoy partying by the pool or exclusive beachside clubs from dusk till dawn.
13) Take a camel ride around the pyramids in Egypt
The fascination with the pyramids of Egypt never ceases to exist, with these imposing structures often being a source of wonder, mystery, enigma and sometimes fear. As cliche as it may sound, exploring the golden sandy dunes on the back of a camel in true Lawrence of Arabia-style, is a thrilling experience and one of the best ways to make your way through the desserts.
It takes you back to ancient times (where the animal was a favoured mode of transport) and makes you feel like a man/woman on a quest. Certainly, an experience that will go down in the book of memories.
14) Amble through the Singapore Botanic Gardens
Sometimes in life, you have to stop along the way to smell the roses, or in this case, the orchids. A befitting place where time stands pleasantly still is the vibrant and inviting Singapore Botanic Gardens. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is among the prime attractions of the destination.
Lose yourself to this tropical paradise teeming with charming lakes, green lawns, and themed gardens as well as a unique patch of dense primeval rainforest. Especially prized here is the National Orchid Garden that delights with the largest display of tropical orchids in the world. Come back feeling utterly refreshed.
15) Go Volcano trekking in Bali
This is particularly for the adventure seekers. Volcano trekking in Bali as the term suggests is unlike any other, harbouring its own thrills and challenges. You can take a pick from the sacred Mount Batur, Mount Agung, and Mount Rinjani. The first is the destination’s most active volcano and relatively easier to conquer, rewarding you with spectacular vistas of Lake Batur and the ocean. The second is Bali’s Highest Point, beginning at as early as 2.30 in the morning and taking you through forests. Whereas the latter is the most spellbinding of them all, taking you around two nights and three days to complete.
Here, get to experience forests, the crater, blue lake and a hypnotic view of Lombok.The ideal season for the trek is from April to September as the tracks get tricky and slippery during the rains. Either way, due to the nature of the summits, it is always advised to check the situation before you embark upon the trek.
16) Experience one of Puerto Rico’s oldest carnivals
Believed to be dating back to 1858, the Carnaval de Ponce in Puerto Rico is among the oldest and most dazzling of its kind in the region, making for a splendid affair. It is held each year with celebrations that last for a week. Take to the streets and be a part of this merry-making experience. Some of the spectacles that one can enjoy include are people dressed up in ornate masks with bright
Take to the streets and be a part of this merry-making experience. Some of the spectacles that one can enjoy include are people dressed up in ornate masks with bright coloured attires and horns, dances and parade shows, marching bands, juggling shows and a whole lot more.
17) Make way through The Drake Passage
A trip to Antarctica is something that few travellers can stomach. It is certainly not for the light-hearted but for true-blue adventure seekers. When on a cruise to Antarctica and Cape Horn, one has to pass through The Drake Passage, among the roughest of sea passages across the globe. The ‘Drake Shake’ as it is infamously called can be a gut-churning experience but also what travellers look forward to the most.
There is just something rather exciting about encountering the rolling waves when on an expedition vessel. Needless to say, the dramatic landscape the feeling of being surrounded by frosty waters is an out of the world experience altogether.
18) Be a witness to the Hoi An Lantern Festival
On the 14th day of the lunar month, the quaint town of Hoi An in Vietnam is beautifully lit up with a series of vibrant lanterns. The experience is a magical one and the air is that of festivities. Adding to the natural charm is the fact that motorised vehicles are prohibited and the usage of electricity use is very little. It is the candlelit lanterns dotting the streets and corners that are a source of light.
The ideal place to enjoy this is the area between the Japanese Covered Bridge and the Cau An Hoi Bridge, which also extends to the river banks and side streets. If you want to reveal in something even bigger, come here during the festival of Tet when the biggest lantern festival is hosted.
19) Experience Vienna’s arty trinity
Home to artistic and musical masterpieces, Vienna is an absolute treasure trove. If you are pressed for time, make sure that you do not miss out on the Museumsquartier that encapsulates the artistic glory of the region.
Here you can behold three art giants, the Leopold Museum that displays the largest collections of modern Austrian artists, the Kunsthalle Wien that showcases Vienna’s finest contemporary art and the black basalt Museum of Modern Art, MUMOK that has within it the best of 20th-century art. Be inspired by nothing but the best.
20) Explore Île aux Aigrettes, Mauritius
A renowned ecotourism spot, the Île aux Aigrette, located in the Mahebourg Bay, around 850 m off the coast of Mauritius offers a glimpse into how nature appeared here five centuries ago. It is in this place that you can witness the final remnants of dry coastal forest. This thriving untamed stretch of coralline limestone, wild orchids, and towering ebony trees is also home to several endemic and endangered wildlife species. Some of which are Aldabra giant tortoises and the endangered pink pigeon and rare birds.
This thriving untamed stretch of coralline limestone, wild orchids, and towering ebony trees is also home to several endemic and endangered wildlife species. Some of which are Aldabra giant tortoises and the endangered pink pigeon and rare birds.The tour begins with a boat ride from Pointe Jerome and proceeds with a 1.5 to 2-hour walking trail, led by an expert who enlightens you about the island’s history as well as the flora and fauna.
21) Hike up to the Tiger’s Nest Monastery – Kingdom of Bhutan
Perched atop of a sheer cliff at a dizzying height, amidst the clouds, the Tiger’s Nest Monastery (Paro Taktsang) is among the most stunning sites in the Himalayas. The structure is believed to be established in 1692 around a cave (where the venerated Guru Padmasambhava is considered to have meditated) but was also used in the 8th century as a mediation site.
It is one of the prime attractions that lures travellers to the Kingdom of Bhutan. For one, it is a highly revered Buddhist monastery. And secondly, it’s location is simply arresting. Reaching here can be challenging and requires a bit of a trek through one mountain to the next. The end though is truly rewarding with spectacular sights.
22) Take a Danube River Cruise, Budapest
While there is no denying the beauty of Budapest during the day, the night time is simply remarkable as the sparkling structures dotting the banks of Danube cast their reflection on the black waters. An evening sightseeing cruise is an ideal way to unravel the wonders of this locale.
As you glide along the waters, soak in impressive sights, gorge on fabulous food, sway to the music and get an understanding of the history of Budapest and its buildings.
23) Undertake extreme adventure sports in New Zealand
Offering the ultimate escape for an adrenaline rush, New Zealand is what adventure dreams are made of. It presents to you a wide range of known and unknown sports. Adding to the experience and forming the perfect setting is the sublime nature, full of thick forests, sandy beaches, lofty mountains and rolling hills.
Pick up a sport or a combination of them that suits your fancy, such as skydiving, bungee jumping, rafting, caving, canyoning, jet boating, zip lining and more.
24) Sleeping in an Overwater Bungalow at Bora Bora
A tropical haven, Bora Bora is picture perfect, enchanting with its glistening blue lagoons, towering green peaks, and palm trees. And while you can always venture outside revel in the beauty, the experience from the overwater bungalows that seamlessly blends with the surrounding nature is quite incredible in itself. You can just step out of your bedroom and take a dip into the shallow lagoons. And many come with a lighted glass viewing panel in the floor where you can see the
You can just step out of your bedroom and take a dip into the shallow lagoons. And many come with a lighted glass viewing panel in the floor where you can see the mesmerizing underwater life of vibrant corals and tropical fish through day and night.
25) Visit the Golden Temple (Kwa Bahal) in Nepal
Reflective of stunning courtyard temple architecture, the Golden Temple (Kwa Bahal) in Nepal has remained unscathed by the earthquake. The place of worship is considered to be established in the 12th Century, though the current form is believed to belong to the 15th Century.
The outside appeals with the gilded metal plates that adorn most of the frontage, whereas inside has beautiful shrines of revered Buddhist figures such as Sakyamuni (main shrine), Green Tara and Bodhisattva Vajrasattva.
26) Stay in a Tuscan Villa in Italy
The Tuscan lifestyle has long been a source of envy for those caught up in the fast pace life. The best way to experience the leisurely and authentic way of living is staying in a Tuscan Villa rather than a hotel. It is not only about the stay per say, but everything that it embodies.
These villas make for a delightful experience, usually located in the heart of nature rich estates and farmhouses. Enjoy the sprawling space, unwind by the pool or Jacuzzi, soak in the rustic interiors, sink into the cosy furniture, take a stroll on the farm…you get the picture.
27) Go pub-crawling in Dublin, Ireland
It is time to throw caution to the wind and reveal in a true pub-crawling experience, Dublin style! It is not only about the drinking but also understanding the culture of the people, history of famous pubs, meeting locals and learning how to pull your own pint along the way.
While several of the pubs here are layered in history, there are new ones as well that are just as interesting. Some of them include the three storied Porterhouse that is Dublin’s oldest microbrewery pub, the iconic O’Neill’s Bar and Restaurant, Dublin’s oldest bar Palace, the lively Brazen Head or the trendy Southwilliam.
28) Drive along the Amalfi Coast
Known for its sheer beauty, dramatic scenery and incredible Mediterranean landscape, the Amalfi Coast whisks you off into a different world altogether. If there is any coastline that is drive worthy, it is this. Wind your way through the cliff-etched promontory and witness pastel-hued fishing hamlets, picture perfect towns, lush lands, rugged shoreline peppered with beaches and sheer cliffs that appear to plunge into the waters.
Along the way, make sure to take a stop at the renowned towns of Amalfi, Positano, and Ravello which have proved to be a source of inspiration to many great artists.
29) Experience La Tomatina, Spain
Being pelted by an endless volley of tomatoes does not sound like the best position to be in, but this lively festival is as wonderful as it is weird. During each year, the little locale of Buñol in eastern Spain becomes the setting for what can be considered as the world’s largest tomato fight.
It’s all in the spirit of fun and games, where all the woes are forgotten for the period and people participate with utmost gusto, a vibe that quickly catches on. And while the town is soaked in the red squishy delights, peace and cleanliness are restored the very next day as if nothing ever happened. It certainly makes for a stress-busting and unforgettable memory.
30) Take a Ladakh bike trip
A must in the to-do-list of every bike lover, the Ladakh bike trip is among the best adventures in the Land of High Passes, enticing people all over. The experience is a test of endurance but also equally rewarding as it takes you through some of the most scenic and unsullied places of India. Sleep in tents facing azure waters, visit the high Khardung La Pass, zip your way through jagged landscapes, witness the breathtaking Pangong Tso, unravel the unique culture of the land and return with a new perspective on life.
Sleep in tents facing azure waters, visit the high Khardung La Pass, zip your way through jagged landscapes, witness the breathtaking Pangong Tso, unravel the unique culture of the land and return with a new perspective on life.
So go ahead, take your pick and get started.