I recently published a post on My Bucket List Top 5 Cities to visit… While I adore exploring cities, the natural beauty of our planet also captivates my imagination and inspires my wanderlust! As such, there are several unique activities/experiences which certain (more remote) destinations offer that are also top of my travel bucket list:
1) Authentic Horse Ranch experience (Canada) –
I’ve had a passion for horse-riding as long as I can remember! If not travelling or working on my blog, you’ll more than likely find me down the yard trying (in vain) to keep my lightly coloured palomino pony clean…
It was reading a book series (Heartland, by Linda Chapman) as a young girl which sparked a desire to explore Canada’s wilderness on horseback:
The story is essentially that of a teenage girl who has to take over the running of a family ranch following the sudden death of her mother…. Its since been turned into a TV series which can be found on Netflix (you’re welcome).
Ever since my discovery of this series, I’ve been fascinated with the authentic lives of those who own ‘working ranches’ and still farm cattle on their seemingly endless expanses of land in the traditional manner: using horses on epic ’round up’ trips to bring the cattle in to brand, calf and sort them.
Accompany an experience to live and work with horses and these amazing people with untouched vistas, towering pine forests and billowing mountains and a trip to a working Canadian ranch in Alberta (or the equally as beautiful British Colombia) is right at the top of my travel bucket list!!
2) Seeing the Aurora Borealis –
This is a bucket list activity which actually requires very little effort! All one has to do is look up at the night sky and be amazed by a beautiful display of colliding gasses. The visual flourish that this causes appears mesmerising, almost a gift from god himself or an idea plucked from a child’s dream.
Its no surprise then that witnessing the northern lights, is at the top of most travellers bucket-list, mine included.
I’d kill to see the dancing lights with my own eyes! And its an experience I’ll be saving to do with my mum, whose talked about wanting to see a perfectly clear nights sky for as long as I can remember… Getting to show her the Aurora Borealis would simply be the cherry on top of the icing (excuse the corny phrase).
3) African Safari –
The third activity on my travel wishlist is another I’ve dreamed of doing since childhood: an African Safari!
Africa (as we all know) is home to masses of wildlife and many of the planet’s most recognisable mammals. For me, there’s something thrilling about the prospect of heading out into the bush to see what magical creatures can be spotted!
Further, I believe it’s tourism done right! Rather than spending their whole lives in cramped cages, Elephants, Giraffes, and Lions remain in their natural habitats while we hunt the landscape for a glimpse into their worlds. Isn’t this the way all animals should be seen?
More than this, I want to learn more about the constant threat of poaching within reserves. As an animal lover, it breaks my heart to see images and videos of mauled rhinos and elephants – whose wild numbers have hit crisis point. It in fact won’t be long to the face of the much loved safari changes dramatically…
Thus any trip I take to Africa will be coupled with a quest for knowledge: why do so many people turn to poaching? Whats the true extent of the problem? And how can it be improved?
4) A Hike to Machu Picchu (Peru)
One of the seven wonders of the world and a true sight to behold – hiking to the ancient structure of Machu Picchu has to make my Top 5!
Usually, I’m underwhelmed by ruins. However, over 500 years old, 7,000 feet above sea level and deep in the Andes Mountains, this Inca city appears unique. Despite it’s age its structures remain as bold and impressive as the day they were built.
The intricate placing of the bricks outweigh any skill or knowledge shown by westerns during the same period! To this day, experts are still baffled by how this well deserving wonder of the world was built. There’s no evidence to suggest wheels were used to transport the rocks to their resting places. Thus, much like the Ancient Pyramids of Egypt, Machu Picchu remains largely a mystery.
This unknown enigma fascinates me and inspires my imagination. In this way, Machu Picchu truly is one of Earth’s Magical Places that I can’t wait to explore!
The addition of a hike through the Peruvian Jungle to uncover its magnificence only adds to the sense of adventure this ‘activity’ holds and my excitement of eventually being able to tick a visit off my list!
5) Searching for Mountain Gorillas (Rwanda) –
The final ‘activity’ at the top of my travel bucket list sticks with the jungle terrain of Machu Picchu. However, it moves back to the continent of Africa and an emerging theme of experiences with our planets wildlife.
Mountain Gorillas, as our closest relatives, have long intrigued me… Their human like behaviours, family bonds and humours characters transfix my imagination and establish a strong desire to observe them up close!
More than this though, its largely the trek/adventure into the Rwandan jungle to find these breath-taking Apes which inspires my wanderlust! There’s something exhilarating about the prospect of heading deep into the unknown.
I like to imagine myself slicing through the undergrowth like an early explorer. Or, more poignantly, like David Attenborough off to film another documentary….
For some context David Attenborough is the ‘grandfather’ of Britain. He’s made more nature documentaries than I can name.. He’s amazing! (take my word for it)
Either way, stepping out of my comfort zone into the unknown would be a once in a life time (and certainly unforgettable) experience. Even if the truth of such a trek means being wet through, bitten alive and covered in mud… But lets stick to the positives shall we!
Time, money and accessibility has meant I have not yet been able to complete these travel ‘activities’. Thus, they remain top of my bucket list! Yet, the more I travel, the list simply gets longer…
Whats top of your bucket list? I’d love to hear in the comments below 🙂