There are those who take a year off before venturing into university. And there are
others who just need a year away from the routines of their lives. For whatever
reason, there are more and more people digging their heels in and just doing it. Its
not an easy decision to make and much has to be thought out. You must consider
the security your current job gives you, the flat you rent, your girlfriend, pets, and
so on. But hundreds of thousands will do it this year, aged from 18 to 80.
So after reading pages and pages on travel forums and blogs, I have put together a
few stops one must make to be able to return home and proudly say “I did it”.
SMALL, YET MEMORABLE ACHIEVEMENTS
I’ll begin with the lighter options. Some will seem too simple on paper to be an
lifetime experience, but that’s only because you have yet to experience them.
Get your photo taken outside the Taj Mahal
Often labeled as man’s most impressive construction, to sit on a stone bench in
front of the Taj Mahal is much more impressive than any professional photograph
can possibly depict. A photo of you in this that is the trademark site of India is one
photo you must simply take home.
Buy some fruit in Bangkok
Bangkok is chaos, but captures each visitor with the sights, sounds and smells that
make it one of Asia’s most visited destinations. The colourful floating markets are
just one example and as simple as it may sound, to see such dazzling colours will
be one of those experiences you will not forget.
Get a massage in Goa
You’ll find a wide assortment of courses being offered in Goa for want-to-be
masseurs. It is a spiritual place where you will meet some of the most colourful
personalities. Hire a bungalow by the beach and hire a masseur. You will find many
experienced masseurs who will go to your own bungalow. You will be massaged and
washed from head to toe, and I promise you will never feel cleaner. Take your time
to shop around. The best way is to ask for recommendations, and you’ll find the
Work in the Big Apple
New York is the top US destination and consistently makes it into the top 10 most
popular destinations for young travellers; especially those taking a year off before
entering university. There are a number of organizations, such as Work Experience
USA and BUNAC, who help young visitors find short-term jobs, and allow them the
unique opportunity to live among the 7.5 million New Yorkers that make up this
Take brunch at the vineyard
A mid-morning meal in the centre of a vineyard will be the most unforgettable meal
in your life. Whether you choose Portugal, Spain, Italy or France, your feast will
include fresh bread with home-made olive spreads or fresh cheeses and of course a
selection of the vineyard’s own collection of wines. It is a sheer luxury to begin your
day in the middle of a beautiful vineyard, enveloped by the silent, sunny hills on any
HERITAGE TOURS OF THE WORLD
Be inspired to learn and experience different cultures in different ways
Go on Peru’s Inca Trail
In Machu Picchu, there is the 3-day Inca Trail to do. Group tours organized by local
tour operators begin in the Sacred Valley. It will be 3 days of hikes and camping
along the more than 30,000 marvellous hectares of the Sanctuario Historico de
Machu Picchu. With the glorious Andes as a backdrop, you’ll have the unforgettable
chance to discover the ancient city of the Incas, whose way of life is still marvelled
Cross Asia on the Trans-Siberia Express
The trans-siberian ensures a cross-cultural experience of epic proportions for 10
days on the most famous railway line on earth. Crossing China and entering Russia
through Mongolia the experience is a journey back to another place in time, while
you take in the romantic Mongolian landscape, followed by quaint old Russian
villages and their spectacular Orthodox churches. A trip on the trans-siberian is a
peaceful and inspiring adventure.
ADVENTURE SPORTS TRAVEL
And now, another selection of trips for those who wish to challenge themselves.
The Awesome Foursome in Queenstown, NZ
It is known as the adventure capital of the world. There is a six-hour available for
those who seek the challenge themselves to the extreme, known as the Awesome
Four. Beginning with a 71m bungee jump from Skippers’ Canyon Bridge, you go on
to the Shotover River for a 30-minute ride on the Shotover Jet. The 360-degree
spins and close shaves with the rocky outcrops of the canyon walls will get your
blood pumping, it is a guarantee. Next there’s a helicopter ride that will give you the
chance to take in the amazing scenery before jumping into a white-water raft ride
down the Shotover, which boasts some of the most challenging rapids in the world.
Scuba diving in Belize’s Blue Hole
Taking your PADI is one of those “must dos” for those who truly want to experience
the unique sights of our oceans. Still held as a well-kept secret, the Barrier Reef,
located off Belize, is magnificent and much quieter than other scuba diving spots. It
is also one of the more affordable options for divers. Its waters are home to an
incredible and diverse selection of species, making the Blue Hole the perfect spot
for all divers, beginners and advanced PADI. Another plus are the shipwrecks to
discover – a real adventure for the more experienced divers.
Trekking in Nepal’s Annapurna Range
In the the Annapurna Range there are different treks to choose, from peaceful half-
day walks to a 2-week challenging trek. From Pokhara you will need to take a 1-
hour bus to reach the trails, with or without a guide. Passes can be purchased in
Pokhara at accessible prices, and the price will vary on the duration of the trek you
choose to take. The Circuit is a trek that takes you to and from the base camp in
Annapurna, and is by far the most populatr, especially in October/November. From
March to April you’ll find less trekkers in the circuit, and is a time to take in some of
the local wildlife and flora.
If you have time, you should also consider doing some white-water rafting too.
There are a few smooth runs, but Nepal’s waters are some of the most adventurous
Bungee jumping in South Africa
Plunge off the world’s biggest bungee jump at Bloukrans Bridge on Storms River,
South Africa. A 180 metre, 7 second long freefall that will get you moving at a speed
of over 190kmph – even the rebound is higher than the Victoria Falls. The feeling,
as reported by those who have made it, is one of never-ending horror, followed by a
sense of greatness that will stay with you forever.
Climb Sydney Harbour Bridge
Australia’s Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb is one of the most exciting experiences. It
takes 3 hours to scale the bridge, and you will be rewarded with stunning views of
one of the world’s most beautiful cities.