2 years ago
Everybody’s got a bucket list (i.e. all the crazy things they want to do before they die). And travel expert Kath Stathers has given the average traveler a jump start in her new book The Bucket List: 1,000 Adventures Big and Small. It’s a guide to wanderlust and self-fulfillment, catering to all ages and interests. Bucket List not only includes standard travel to-dos like kayaking through Vietnam’s Ha Long Bay or visiting Petra at sunrise; but also localized experiences, such as sipping tea with Bollywood stars in Mumbai or helping conserve the Arabian oryx. Check out RealClearLife‘s favorite adventures, as suggested by Stathers, below.
Go Hunting With Eagles
Altai Mountains, Mongolia: The best way to immerse yourself in a foreign culture is to share a meal with a local family. In some parts of Mongolia, this involves getting the ingredients for a meal in a unique way: using golden eagles—which have a life-long bond with their caretakers—to hunt wolves and foxes. Hunting with eagles is certainly a dying tradition, but a visit to the Altai Mountains gives tourists a glimpse into a vanishing nomadic practice and offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to try an ancient Kazakh art.
Swim Into the Blue Cave
Vis, Croatia: Sunlight reflecting off the seabed via an opening underwater gives this grotto an electric blue glow. The aptly named Blue Cave can be found on the east side of the Croatian island Biševo. The cave is extremely popular among tourists, and is visited by 10,00 annually. Despite being about the size of a large swimming pool, there’s plenty of room to float or swim around—even at noon, when the crowds reach their peak (and so does the cave’s blue hue).
See Where the World’s Coming Apart
Lake Naivasha, Kenya: Our planet is constantly in a state of flux, as tectonic plates shift. The Arabic and African continental plates abut each other at the Great Rift Valley in East Africa. Each day, the two plates pull apart very gradually (less than an inch per year). Lake Naivasha (below) is one of several bodies of water that have formed in the flat-bottomed valley where the two plates divide. It’s the perfect place to sit back and take in a front-row seat to our planet cracking at the seams—in a beautiful and nonviolent way, of course.
Ride a White Horse
Camargue, France: A wild stretch of marshland, Camargue is a nature lover’s oasis in Western Europe. It’s also home to a population of white horses, one of the world’s oldest breeds. Many Camargue horses are raised in semi-feral conditions and are allowed to roam with a free-running herd. Though its origins are disputed, the white horse breed is now used to herd bulls exported to Spain for bullfighting. The region is home to many riding schools that cater to visitors eager to ride the stunning beasts. Tourists can take a lesson in the morning, and by noon, be trotting in shallow waves along the beach.
Swing Over the Edge of the World
Baños, Ecuador: Nestled into the foothills of the Tungurahua volcano, Baños serves as the “gateway to the Amazon” for many tourists looking to explore the expansive river basin. Head up into the mountains, however, to find Casa del Arbol, a tree house with an unusual installation: a swing that juts out over the valley below. Aside from the adrenaline rush, visitors to this picturesque spot are treated to an awesome view of Tungurahua, which spews lava and ash periodically.
Take in Seven Scenic Lakes in Patagonia
Patagonia, Argentina: Patagonia is home to some of the most stunning mountain vistas in the world. In fact, there’s almost too many. The Road of the Seven Lakes is the best way to explore the region’s astounding natural beauty. Starting in San Martín de Los Andes and culminating in Villa La Angostura, the trip can be done in a day by car. For those looking for a physical challenge, riding the 60-mile Seven Lakes route on a bicycle can be completed in three or four days, giving cyclists time to stop and soak in the views.
The Bucket List: 1,000 Adventures Big & Small (cover above) is available in March for $35. Order a copy here.