Happy New Year, Darlings!
The year 2015 is here. That means we are halfway done with the 2010s, I will have lived a quarter of a century, and it is once again time to comprise a list of places I want to go, and things I want to see. Here is my Ultimate Adventurer’s Travel Wish List for the year 2015. I’m only going to be able to do one of these this year, but that can’t stop me from hoping, wishing, and dreaming.
1) Grand Canyon
These are the things I’m looking the most forward to, whenever I head over there. I’m also nearly wetting my pants at the idea of trekking around on a mule. But I won’t be going in April-October, unless I want to join the throng of the millions of people crowding the place.
- The Rim to Rim to Rim hike
- The South Kaibab Trail
- Kayaking just about anywhere along the Colorado River
Kayak or raft, take a mule, or hike it. Seriously, this Natural Wonder is as good as it gets, no matter how it’s done.
Norway gets me so excited just thinking about it, especially western Norway, or Fjord Norway.
- Jotunheimen (“Home of the Giants” in Norwegian) National Park, full of hiking trails and picturesque views
- Fjord Norway is home to the largest amount of glaciated valleys filled with salt water. Hells yeah.
This was a close call between Costa Rica. Having already been to Costa Rica, I would say it is for sure an adventure worth embarking on. However, the Mayan Ruins of Belize and and the Blue Hole made Belize make the cut.
- Mayan ruins
- The Cockscomb Basin Wildlife and Jaguar Preserve, home to howler monkeys, toucans, and of course jaguars
- The Blue Hole, the famous circular submarine sinkhole is close to reefs and you can even scuba dive in it
- Zip lining through the ultra biodiverse rainforest
- The Northern lights, Þingvellir National Park (a UNESCO World Heritage Site)
- Hiking and ice climbing on the Sólheimajökull Glacier
- Snæfellsnes Peninsula for lava, craters, glaciers, and waterfalls
- The hot geothermal waters of the Blue Lagoon Spa.
- The fairies, the elves, and everything else.
The Serengeti of Africa is said to be perhaps the most amazing things to ever experience. If you go during the Great Migration, you may see so many animals moving that the land itself seems to be shifting before your very eyes.
- Mt. Kilimanjaro: hike up the mountain and view the Serengeti from top
- Visit the Masai Mara National Reserve in Southwest Kenya, hop on a safari and tour one of the most biodiverse and incredible Reserve’s in Africa
- The Great Migration: thousands upon thousands of wildebeest migrate, and are joined by zebras and gazelle
- Lions, elephants, and giraffes
6) Machu Picchu
The sacred site amidst the Andes is said to be one of the most breathtaking views in the world. But is it an adventure spot? Of course! This is the adventure I’m embarking on this year, so I’ll be able to see just how stunning it is.
- Take the Inca Trail: you’ll be trekking up the mountains, and into a cloud forest
- The Inca Trail also leads to the mountain pass called Abra Warmihuañusc, or Dead Woman’s Pass
7) Galápagos Islands
- Swim with sea lions
- Chill with Galapagos tortoises, the largest tortoises in the world,
- Explore the land that shaped Darwin’s theory would be one incredible journey
8) Scottish Highlands
I can check this one off my list, but I’m keeping it on here as it is so worth going.
- The Isle of Skye is drop dead gorgeous, especially Trotternish and the famous Old Man of Storr
- The Aonach Eagach Ridge in Glen Coe is also a stunning view
- Cozy bed and breakfasts, sheep, and lots of tea
9) Churchill, Manitoba
Churchill, Manitoba offers excursions out to view the local wild polar bear population. It’s supposed to be one of, if not the best way to view polar bears in their natural environment.
- Polar bears
- Polar bears eating
- Polar bears frolicking
- Polar bears sleeping
- Polar bears playing
Chris McCandless and Jack London would both tell you that Alaska is prime for adventuring. Here are a few reasons why:
- Kodiak Island: the Island is largely taken up by the Kodiak Island National Wildlife Refuge, which is home to approximately 3,500 Kodiak brown bears.
- Kayaking along the coast
- Northern Lights
- Endless summer
The tropical trails, and the comfy cottages/hotels make this seem like e a more relaxing adventure, but the little country is still on my list.
- Kinabatangan River: go on amazing boat rides, and spot orangutans swinging from the trees
- Tabin Wildlife Reserve, where you can easily spot the endangered Sumatran Rhino and the Borneo Pygmy Elephant
- Snorkel and dive in Great Barrier Reef
- Climb up Uluru
- View the Twelve Apostles off of the Great Ocean Road
- Surf at Mermaid Beach
- Explore Macquarie Island, which is home to penguins and elephant seals
- Visit the beaches of Whitsunday Islands National Park.
- Bonus: The Tasmanian Overland Trek, a 50-mile hike and World Heritage Area
13) Great Bear Rainforest
The first time I heard about the mystical Great Bear Rainforest in Canada was in an article for Nat Geo, and I was instantly hooked. Here’s why:
- The elusive and spiritually important Spirit Bear, a white (not albino) black bear
- It’s the worlds largest intact temperate rainforest
- It’s home to wolves, orcas, humpback whales, and grizzly bears
14) Ranthambore National Park, India
Really, anywhere in India would be a trip remembering (or so I’ve heard). But for the adventurer and explorer, Ranthambore is where it is at.
- Bengal tigers: This park is one of the best places to see wild bengal tigers in their natural habitat
- You can also see hyena, boar, and sambar
15) New Zealand
Just watch “Lord of the Rings” and “Flight of the Concords” for the full list of reasons.
- 10,000 miles of coastline
- Rain forests
- Hot springs
- Hobbit Holes
- The Navajo Sandstone colors: Pink, brown, yellow, red, cream, orange.
- The Virgin River and winds have cut the sandstone, carving canyons and gorges worth exploring
Many Westerns tend to think of Africa as either the desert or the Serengeti. But Uganda proves the continent is home to green, lush forests which are home to the world’s largest primates.
- The Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, home to half the world’s mountain gorilla population
- Kibale Forest National Park, where you can track wild chimpanzees
18) Adirondack Mountains
- It is the largest park in the lower 48
- Beautiful mountains, sunsets, hiking trails
- Opportunities to: whitewater raft, canoe, and kayak
- It’s a lot closer to home than the rest of the list
- Whale watching in western Maui from January-March
- Hawaii Volcanoes National Park: drive along Kilauea, one of the worlds most active volcano,
- Hike on the Na Pali Coast
- Swim with manta rays on the big island at night time. I’ve heard that this experience alone is reason enough to come here.
- Waves, the paddle boarding, and the waterfalls
20) Mt. Everest
I’ll need to climb a few more mountains for this dream to be a more likely reality, but this little adventure has been on my list for a long while.
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