That bucket list is looking mighty long, and what better time to start ticking things off. You’re young, not too tired down and that weekly pay check has you splashing out on luxuries you don’t really need. No matter how delicious your sushi train splurge may be, think about indulging in an authentic slice. So before you head into the next decade, why not spend a little more on yourself. You certainly can’t do them all, but even a single roaming can change your state of mind for the better. Solo, duo or group, it’s time to explore.
Backpack Through South East Asia
Southeast Asia is right on our doorstep, a mere uncomfortably cheap flight way. Ancient wonders, tourist free beaches and a world of tastes you’ve never tried. This trip is incomprehensibly cheap to do, and backpacking will save you even more cash. Sleep in a treehouse, party under the glow of the full moon or meets the locals, fury and not so. Don’t just stop at Thailand, forge you way into Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar, The Phillipines, Malaysia too. Just be sure to plan around the weather, the microclimates here are a force of their own.
Snorkel The Great Barrier Reef
There’s no denying our greatest home-grown natural wonder is dying, so don’t waste time going to see it. Inner reefs are already bleached but the outer reefs are a spot of immense beauty. The underwater sights are something to be believed, divers and snorkelers alike will be stunned. Base yourself in Cairns, Airlie Beach or Port Douglas and venture out on day trips. That way you’ll get to party a little too.
Hike To Machu Pichu
The Inca trail, the weaving entanglement of a civilisation gone by. Machu Pichu is one peak you need to climb sooner rather than later. Learn a little about the former inhabitants and see just how well hidden this gem was from conquerors past. Due to it’s historical significance the number of trekkers is limited, making you one of the lucky few to reach the top. Do it as you traverse the rest of South America or linger in Peru, you won’t want to leave.
The Euro Trip
Finding yourself on that Contiki tour around Europe is still a staple, just now it’s that much easier to do it sans guide. Hostels and free walking tours provided the perfect entry into meeting locals and other travellers along the way. Navigating Europe whether planned or spontaneously is an adventure in itself, a land mass filled with culture and diversity. For Aussies the Eurail pass can be a little exxy, but the experience is worth a little extra cash. Go to sleep in Berlin, wake up in Paris. Alternatively, if you’re travelling light, EasyJet is the way to go.
The Eastern Euro Trip
Once you’ve conquered the mainstays it’s time to venture east. Unsung destinations, non-touristy landmarks and dirt cheap cost of living make the other side of Europe a budget travellers delight. Revisit Dracula in Transylvania, peer over the turquoise waters in Bosnia or soak up the history of former Yugoslavia. Your dollar will stretch a lot further which leaves more money for the wild parties of these cobblestone towns. A must for those who like to stray from the path when travelling.
Volunteering In Africa
If you’re going to explore yourself, you may as well do something useful while you’re at it. It’s best to look at this one as less of a travel op and more a job opportunity. With the added benefit of immersing yourself in the culture and helping on a grassroots level. Incredibly rewarding as it can be, make sure you do your research and aim for a program where you have specific skills. Orphanages may have the adorable kids but the illegitimate ones capitalise on this appeal. Research the reach and feel the affect of helping out on the front line.
Set Sail On Yacht Week
You have plenty of time to cruise the world aboard a giant vessel, but it’s best to do Yacht Week while your liver can still handle it. Brushing along the vine Croatian coast is a myriad of yachts, so you can sunbake as you travel. Lagoons, caves and the best beach parties you’ll ever attend, Croatia’s Yacht Week is a must. All aboard.
Road Trip The USA
We’re bombarded with America, day in and day out, so its no wonder we long to see it in the flesh. No better way to see every corner of the fine country than by steering your way around. Start in LA and you’ll get to see the California coastline as you cruise, with a stop at Las Vegas for a pool party or two, a non-negotiable. Then weave your way through the country states, experiencing each identity for yourself, Kansa, Arizona, even a little slice of Texas before you reach the other side. For the food alone it’s worth it. ‘Murica!
Experience Sensory Overload In Japan
A country where tradition and innovation are valued equally, bright lights meet tranquil temples. Japan is worth spending time in for as long as you can. Before booking your end of year ski trip to little Australia aka Hakuba, expand your itinerary. Tokyo is an expansive spot with robots, Harajuku girls and non-stop eats. Or Kyoto where you can hang with snow monkeys and peek into how the old world looked. Japan is an explosion of colour and yet equally refinement, much more than their efficiency.
These northern neighbours often get left off the European itinerary, but this is where the magic really happens. Reindeers, The North Pole, the Northern Lights, natural spas and Vikings make the Scandinavian troupe a fine bunch in their own right. Dress for warmth and be prepared to be transported, where Iceland, Norway, Denmark and Sweden are a true delight. Different and yet familiar, this neighbourhood bunch is enchanting to explore.
Swing At The Edge Of The World At The Casa De Arbol In Ecuador
It’s not the end of the world, but you can see it from here. Ecuador is an adventure in itself but this particular spot is a real thrill. Perch yourself and push over the lush surrounds, gliding as you go. You’ll spot a volcano in your scope mid air. An thrill worth seeking.
Check Out Thy Neighbour, New Zealand
The land of hobbits is incredibly picturesque, an option Aussies often forget. It’s so close and yet just too far, but sooner rather than later you should pick an island and hop over. Ski, raft, jump for the adventure minded, the Kiwi’s have it all. Hike the coast and soak up the local fruits, by that I mean wine of course. No matter your style, New Zealand can offer you something special. So hop across that ditch.
Soak Up The Great Outdoors Jasper National Park, Canada
The locals are friendly and the nature astounding, Canada is a sweet spot to explore all year round. Waterfalls, clear lakes as far as the eye can see, canyons and glaciers maker for a winter wonderland. Choose your transport wisely, boat, kayak, motorbike or cable car, all worthy options. Your Instagram feed will be full of choice shots, for weeks.
Dive Into The Cenotes Of Mexico
The food, the culture, the coastline, Mexico is already a solid spot to soak up the sun and enjoy tequila on tap. But the cenotes are the real attraction. A cavernous hole in the earth, filled with stunning blue water making for a private swim spot. Some are open air, others are hidden beneath the ground, all are wondrous in their own right. Nearby Playa Del Carmen and Tulum, so you can soak up the fine Mexican liquor in between swims.
Experience The Spice Of Morocco
On the cusp of many a continent, Morocco is a mix of flavours. African hustle and flavour, Middle Eastern landscape; they even taught the Europeans flair for markets and trinkets. Colour fills the streets, tiles tessellate the walls, wandering is a must. The heady smell of tea, broths and incense make it a memborable walk. Head to the outer corners of this country, you’ll be able to see the Sahara in the flesh, aboard a camel no less. A mixing pot worth visiting for at least a while.
Trek Your Way Around Nepal
If conquering Mt Everest isn’t a realistic goal, make trekking Nepal your alternative achievement. Make your way to base camp or just walk amongst the villages, the Nepalese people will walk with you wherever you choose. It’s no easy slog, but the mountain landscape is straight off a postcard. And the local people are truly spectacular. A great Sherpa can make or break your trip.
An Island Party Trail From Ibiza And beyond
Make like a true reveler and skip amongst the islands of Spain for a party season you’ll never forget. Ibiza is the main spot, but Malaga and Magaluf, Mallorca and Teneriffe are all in full swing come May. A mix of beachside views, coastal hikes and partying every night of the week. If you can stomach it, it’s worth every penny to wander nomadically form party to party. Extra points if you pronounce Ibiza correctly by the end of your stay.
Behave Debaucherously At Burning Man Festival
Where the weird, the wonderful and the truly wacky come together, Burning Man’s desert extravaganza is hard to explain. Not only inexplicable but uncontainable, the party spills from camp to camp, stranger to stranger in a truly wonderful collaboration. Like Mad Max’s world come to life for a weekend, the Nevada desert will never be the same. If you can get tickets, it’ll be the best two days of your costume clad existence.
Image source: Thousand Wonders, Jolie Janine, Tales of Ardour, Hakami Mallorca, Reddit, JamieDamanPour, Hamilton Island, G Adventures, Get In Travel, Projects Abroad, Wallace Y Olicia, Metro Uk, Az Chamber, Felda Travel, Travel Rite, Miria DNA.