For most of us, travel is often a chore — a series of things that often start with picking a location, booking flights and hotel rooms to taking photos, do some shopping and return home. But for others, it’s more of visiting, but rather experiencing.
So for those who don’t settle for simple selfie shots at famous attractions, here are some unique travel experiences
Swimming with Blue Whales (Weligama, Sri Lanka)
Photo credit: Tripnino
One common item on the bucket list of people is to experience nature, and there are few things more exhilarating than being with nature and its wildlife. Weligama in Sri Lanka offers the opportunity to see blue whales, dolphins, turtles and other sea creatures. Don’t forget to bring sunblock lotion and Dramamine in case you easily get seasick.
Breakfast at Sahn Eddar Burj Al Arab (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Photo credit: Booking.com
Booking a room at an iconic Dubai landmark such as Burj Al Arab is limited to the very wealthy but it should not prevent you from getting an experience beyond just a short hop and take a selfie. Breakfast costs much less than lunch or dinner at Burj Al Arab and gives you the chance to take a brief perspective of the rich and famous who may eat the same breakfast and enjoy the same view at Sahn Eddar. Make sure to turn on the panorama setting on your phone camera to capture a wider view of its interiors.
Korean Demilitarized Zone in South Korea (DMZ, South Korea)
Photo credit: Funtastic Korea
Though it sounds a scary idea, knowing that occasional verbal tussle between North Korea and its enemies appears in the news, DMZ tours have been going on for decades and has allowed tourists a first-hand look of how the tense standoff between North and South Korea is manifested. Day-long tours often include free pickup, lunch and entry fees.
Walk on water in Salar de Uyuni (Andes Mountains, Bolivia)
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons
To many people, a tour at Salar de Uyuni is the highlight of a Bolivian adventure. With its otherworldly features — white salt scenery, colored lakes and other geologic features seemingly unique in its own right, to describe it as a breathtaking visit is simply an understatement.
Dip at Blue Lagoon (Grindavik, Iceland)
Photo credit: Gaia Institute
In a country that’s often associated with its closeness to nature, Iceland’s Blue Lagoon geothermal spa is indeed a great example of how to enjoy such therapeutic experience. Warm waters ranging from 35C to 39C are rich in silica and sulfur, believed to possess treatment for people suffering from skin diseases such as psoriasis. Liberally applying lagoon’s mud on your skin for a deep cleanse and revitalizing feeling.
Stargazing at California Desert (California, United States)
Photo credit: Viestra Magazine
A road trip away from the blinding city lights is a welcome treat especially those who wish to look up in the skies. California covers a wide area suitable for stargazing enthusiasts. Top spots for stargazing the Milky Way Galaxy includes Amboy Crater at Mojave Trails National Monument, Joshua Tree National Park. Just don’t forget a portable fan, plenty of water and wear comfortable clothing during travel or stargazing activity.
Skydiving in Australia (Melbourne, Australia)
Photo credit: RTW Backpackers
Tandem skydiving has always been a dream of thrillseekers, and Australia offers a variety of choices: the city jumps into the heart of Melbourne, beach landings in Sydney or other places like Queensland and Western Australia. Dropping off from 15,000 feet, the freefall of 200 kilometers an hour at a mere 60 seconds is a thrill of a lifetime. Then, in the next five minutes, enjoy the breathtaking scenes as you slowly float under a canopy.
Hot Air Balloon Ride in Turkey (Cappadocia, Turkey)
Photo credit: Curiosity
View this spectacular and surreal landscape that lies below as you, and your travel companions gently drift over the fairy chimneys, through valleys scattered with pigeon houses, over orchards and vineyards. All these majestic views at just about sunrise adds charm to the experience.
Swing at “End of the World” in Ecuador (Baños, Ecuador)
Photo credit: Trover
With only a seat belt to hold you in, take a ride in a swing hanging from the skinny branches of a tree deep within the Ecuadorian wilderness. It is located at a small park at Casa de Arbol, where a seismic monitoring station observing Mt. Tungurahua has been setup. Swingers of all ages are welcome to take the ride, at their discretion. These days though, guides assist to buckle you up, push your swing and take your photos, of course.
Witness the Great Wildebeest Migration (Serengeti, Tanzania)
Photo credit: Timbuktu Travel
Each year, a massive migration involving wildebeest, zebra, antelope and their young take place from Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park to Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve in search of greener pastures. As an observer, you’ll be presented with multiple options where to witness this dramatic encounter with wildlife. From Tanzania’s Western Serengeti, banks of Grumeti River to Kenya’s Mara River, these places are dotted with safari lodges for you to choose from.
Sleep Under the Stars in Sahara Desert (Merzouga, Morocco)
Photo credit: Top Desert
Ride the camel en route to a camp located in a desert oasis. Along the way, you may want to choose a faster — but much more expensive — helicopter ride to the camp, allowing you to pass through mountain passes, lush valleys, Berber villages clinging to the mountainside, dilapidated kasbahs, and reach your destination faster. Later at night enjoy local Berber food, sing local music and gaze at the stars.
Sleep Inside The Bubble (Finn Lough, Northern Ireland)
Photo credit: Sarah Fyffe
Immerse with the wild surrounding while inside your deluxe bubble accommodation in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. With en suite bathrooms, Nespresso coffee machines, comfy beds and telescopes for your curious observation skills before you sleep, you got everything covered under the protective cover of transparent domes.
These bucket-list-worthy experiences can be costly but they offer fulfillment, new perspectives in life.