Some travels excite, while some are easy to forget. Some adventures make us crave for more, while some make us miss home. The most beautiful experiences, however, are those that open our eyes to different spectrums, allowing us to see the world like never before. Here are our top five life-altering travel experiences that are a must-do this year.
1. Watch the Sunrise over the Grand Canyon
There is something magical about sunrises, and even more so if you watch it from the Grand Canyon. At sunup, the Grand Canyon teems with glowing colors, looming shadows, and frolicking lights. In a matter of minutes, the landscape changes from purple to pink to orange to gold. As the sun casts its light across ravines, peaks, and valleys, some people stand still in awe while others try to capture every moment with their camera. Either way, they carry with them the warmth of the sunrise and the promise of a fresh start when they leave.
The best viewpoints to see the sunrise on your Grand Canyon visit are Hopi Point, Yaki, and Yavapai in the South, Cape Royal, and Patio of the Lodge in the North Rim, and Horseshoe Bend in the East.
2. Climb Kilimanjaro
An estimated 35,000 people venture to climb Kilimanjaro annually. Some climb the mountain to witness its breathtaking panorama – snow-capped peak rising above an ocean of green forest surrounded by parched grassland. Others ascend the summit to mark a personal accomplishment, draw attention to a specific cause, or find inspiration. Whatever your reason for climbing Kilimanjaro, the experience is guaranteed to alter the way you see the world.
Despite its imposing size and height, Kilimanjaro is technically one of the most accessible peaks to climb. At the foot of the mountain, you will find hotels and surprisingly good infrastructure, while along the main route to the zenith are sleeping huts. Guided treks, hikes, and various alternative courses are available for those who choose to forgo going to the peak. Either way, a climbing tour of Kilimanjaro brings you closer to nature and provides solace that is difficult to find elsewhere in the world.
3. Party at Sydney Pride
Sydney is a city that is proud of its diversity. One of its most famous events is the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, an annual festival that celebrates the LGBTQI community. Attended by thousands of people from around Australia and the world, the celebration includes parties, drag races, visual and performing arts, academic discussions, and social events. It peaks with the extravagant mardi gras parade that is followed by a massive party.
Participating in the Sydney Pride does not only afford you with an unforgettable adventure, but it also gives you an insider’s point of view of the continued struggle for gender equality. Moreover, the experience will fill you with pride as you witness the LGBTQI community’s achievement in promoting diversity, inclusion, fairness, and social justice.
4. Go Backpacking Around Southern India
India is home to countless phenomenal destinations, a visit of which will transform your perspective of the world. Backpacking around Southern India will tug at your heart, with its raw appeal and gritty charm.
Start your tour in Hampi to witness the temples, and the ancient elephant stables, remnants of the Vijayanagara Empire, and watch the sunset at Hemakunta Hill. Bask in the sun in the beach paradise of Gokarna or admire the architecture of the old French colony in Puducherry. Take a stroll through the coffee farms and jungles of Coorg or visit the tea gardens of Ooty-Coonoor. Then lodge in a boathouse in Kerala or go kayaking in its backwaters. India, with its beauty, mystery, and pathos, will move, inspire, provoke, and enrich you.
5. Cruise the Adriatic Sea
From the spectacular shores of Montenegro to the romantic waterways of Venice and the glorious island of Corfu, the Adriatic exudes elegance, magic, and allure, both heartbreaking and heartwarming. The Adriatic coast is a blend of contemporary life and ancient history. With its shores dotted with classical ruins, medieval architecture, walled cities, and small villages, a cruise along the Adriatic Sea is a journey to the past. With its elegant villas, magnificent esplanades, quaint shops, and busy cafes, it is a testimony of modernity.
A cruise in the Adriatic is incomplete without touring the splendid city of Split. Known for its terracotta roofs and whitewash houses, Split is home to Diocletian’s Palace and the Cathedral of Saint Domnius. Its sunny weather and pristine beaches, as well as its profusion of classy restaurants, bars, and boutiques, attract hundreds of tourists yearly. A cruise in the Adriatic will not only make you understand the past, but it will also help you appreciate the present.