I don’t really have a bucket list for my travel destinations; I just plan my travelling around things that inspire me at that moment. In the past years I did some fun and crazy stuff around the globe. So here are few things, in random order, that I think anyone should do once in a lifetime.
You might think “Seen it, done it, loved it!” or if you haven’t done it yet, you might consider putting it on your bucket list (if you have one of course)
1. Paw power! An overnight husky safari Finland
If you love dogs, this is a must do! If you don’t, you’ll love them from the moment you set off with your sledge through the snowy landscapes of Finland. I came back to Finland last season, especially for an overnight husky safari. Despite of all snow scootering, skiing, ice fishing, snow shoe trekking, really the dog sledding is the the most fun activity and a lifetime experience everybody should put on their bucket list. An overnight husky safari consists of mushing a dog sledge for 35 km per day, including a night in a wilderness hut with sauna (cool down in a frozen lake!), no running water, arctic toilet, reindeer stew and lots of dog love.
2. Balloon flight over the Masai Mara, Kenia
Nothing beats the lights over the Masai Mara when the sun hits the horizon; elephant herds from the sky, hyena’s complaining to the balloon and even an attempt to kill by the cheetah brothers on some wildebeests (they missed!). This particular flight ended with a champagne full English breakfast in the middle of the savanna. A champagne with those two hungry cheetah brothers in the neighbourhood…
3. Diving in cenotes, Playa del Carmen Mexico
I’m not an experienced diver, but this is probably one of the scariest things I have done underwater. If you are an experienced diver or not, bear in mind that all you once learned at your diving course, does not apply here… Main obstacle in comparison with diving in the ocean: there is a roof. And during the whole dive I realised that! (especially when my tank hit the ceiling…). But once underwater, the views and light in the caves are breathtaking. The choice of place to stay…. I would recommend to look for some place less crowded and touristic than Playa del Carmen.
4. Dancing with seals, Simon’s town South Africa
Okay, you dive… they dance… As I only had some easy touristic diving experience in the past, this is not an easy dive because of my first introduction to quite some swell. All this was forgotten when the first dancing silhouettes appeared from the troubled water, checking out those strange creatures with bubbles. My stress was instantly replaced with joy and adoration. Seals are so gracious and playful in the water, swimming in circles over and over again. If your lucky you will get their full attention; up side down, looking strayed at you with those big eyes. And yes they can bite! Onces my fin was the target and another one tried to get hold of the cap of my diving suit 🙂
5. Cage diving with the great whites, Gansbaai South Africa
That moment when you see the Great White for the first time within a few meters, while you are in a cage half underwater. Just wow! Is this kind of entertainment harming the animals? I can’t tell. At least Marine Dynamics is handling it professionally. You don’t need a diving experience for this one, just a snorkel and don’t complain about that it is cold.
6. Canopy tour, Rincon de la Viajes Costa Rica
Flying through the trees is a must while you are in Costa Rice. This trip was in Rincon de la Viajes in the North of Costa Rica, including a horse ride to the starting point of the canopy tour. Just fun! Keep in mind where to put your hand on the cable… (I did not at one point… ouch!)
7. Horse ride to Lago de los Condores, Leymebamba Chachapoyas Peru
An overnight trip, in the provence of Chachapoyas, North-East Peru. A horse ride through the Andes and staying in a cabin in the middle of nowhere, close to the tombs where 219 mummies were found, which now are saved in the museum of Leymebamba. I I really believe this trip should be awesome… outside the raining season! You probably already guessed, we where horse riding all day and it never stopped raining… If local people seem worried about the trip before you leave, it’s probably better to take that into account. They where right; it was steep, slippery and therefore quite dangerous (and tiring for the horses as well). After 9 hours on a horse back, with no horse riding experience, I really could not figure out how to get my legs back together again. And just a minor detail: the cabin was nothing more than an old stable. Although a physically exhausting trip, an experience I will never forget.
- Tour operator Nuevos Caminos Travel: Trek Laguna de los Condores (the one with the camera in the photo is me…)
8. Solo selfdrive, Patagonia Chile
With all the jaw dropping landscapes around and bearing some bad weather, this is experiencing total freedom! It is safe and roads are quite good, so no problems doing this part of the world by yourself.
9. Spent a few days a by yourself at “The Neck” Saunders Island
The Falkland Islands are a remote destination, on top of that try to spent some time alone in this isolated place! In the early season I was dropped off with a food package at “The Neck” Saunders Island. Just you, staying in a furnished shipping container, a few Johnny Rooks (Caracaras) and a few thousand penguins. You will start talking to yourself, have conversations with the birds and do some other crazy stuff which I’m not going to tell, but who cares; no one is watching. Best thing: I realised I am totally comfortable with myself in those solely days.
10. Volunteering in a game reserve, South Africa
The last one of this list: Spend a few months in Wild Africa. A good way to do that; volunteering in conservation for a longer period while staying in the wild. I joined a photography project in a game reserve in South Africa, great opportunities for photos every day! Besides that you learn a lot about the wildlife while supporting the local researchers with footage and doing hands-on conservation tasks, like clearing a boma before a new group of lions arrives. After a few months the African wilderness runs through your blood.
- Blogpost about volunteering in Africa
- African Impact – Volunteer Projects – Conservation Volunteering