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Adventurous Vacations that Awaken Your Senses

Not all travel is about sitting on the beach, being pampered at a spa, sightseeing or indulging in delicious food. Stepping out of your comfort zone not only awakens your senses but also gives you something to smile about—because a whole world awaits.

We’ve been dreaming far and wide of adventurous vacations that will take us away from the norm and out of our home offices from which we’ve grown to know oh too well.

Here are nine of the best adventures we’re thinking about that reaffirm our love for travel (and the world) plus get us exploring again. Make sure to save these adventurous vacations for future travels.

Trans-Siberian Railway

Trans-Siberian Railway Irkutsk

The thought of spending seven days in a closed train car with complete strangers trudging through Siberia probably doesn’t sound like a dream for many. However, this bucket list trip should be planted firmly in your thoughts.

One of the world’s most epic train trips is the Trans-Siberian Railway. Start in Moscow or even St. Petersburg and ride through Russia’s Ural Mountains, the tundra and magical yet equally barren Siberia. With three different routes to choose from, end your trip in either Vladivostok, Russia, or Beijing, China, via Manchuria or Mongolia and gaze out on the changing landscapes, cultures and people.

If seven days on a train doesn’t sound like fun you can break up the trip by getting off in various places. Irkutsk on the shores of Lake Baikal and Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia make fascinating stops during this once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

Patagonia

Visiting Patagonia along the southernmost tip of South America, or the bottom of the world is one of the best trips you can take if you’re into landscapes and adventure. Barren, wild and wind-swept are just a few adjectives to describe this beautiful part of the world.

A good place to start is in Chile and drive the Carretera Austral (Austral Highway) from Puerto Montt to Villa O’Higgins before crossing into Argentina and driving south to the Perito Moreno Glacier and El Chalten, Argentina’s hiking mecca. Continue south crossing back into Chile to experience Chile’s most popular national park Torres del Paine. A trip to Patagonia is South America’s ultimate adventurous vacation.

Antarctica

Adventurous vacation Antarctica South Pole

If the southern tip of Patagonia isn’t enough and crowds aren’t your thing, you can always continue on to Antarctica—the last great untouched wilderness. Sail through the icy waters, learn about the environment and how climate change is impacting it.

Keep your eyes peeled for orcas and walk along the last continent on earth. The South Pole does not disappoint.

European Road Trip

Mature Couple on a Road trip with a Vintage car in Europe

Not surprisingly, road trips are back on our radar, and a European road trip allows you to visit many different European countries in one go. Whether you choose to wind around the Balkans, Western Europe or perhaps lesser-known eastern Europe you’ll be able to explore different cultures, history and landscapes on just one cross-Atlantic trip. 

At the top of my European bucket list right now is a road trip starting in Italy’s Dolomites all the way through the Balkans and ending in Albania.

Luxury Galapagos Cruise

Galapagos Santiago island iguanas

The Galapagos Islands are best explored by boat and for those of you a fan of wildlife, the Galapagos is one of the best adventurous vacations in the world to see native species up close.

There are many types of boats—from large cruise ships to small catamarans for about 16 people—and a few different sailing itineraries to choose from which consist of different islands and wildlife.

Here you can snorkel with curious sea lions and turtles, get close to both land and marine iguanas, walk with giant tortoises and witness some of the purest sunsets around from the middle of the ocean. 

The Philippines

Landscape of Coron, Busuanga island, Palawan province, Philippines

There’s no better time to head back to Asia to explore more of its spirituality, delicious foods and delightful beaches.

The Philippines is one of those places that’s just got so many secret spots to explore. We might all already know the crystal-clear waters of Palawan from Instagram but the country is actually an archipelago with thousands of amazing islands, beaches and local culture to explore.

National Parks Road Trip

The ultimate anecdote to freedom is a road trip through U.S. national parks. Jump in your car, let the wind blow through your hair and reconnect with nature.

Choose a state or even a couple of states that you’ve always wanted to visit. Enjoy the open road, the incredible scenery, fresh air and oodles of unexplored trails. My top states for national parks are Utah, Arizona, California, Washington and Montana.

Down Under

Setting sun turns the cliffs at wangi waterfalls in litchfield national park a brilliant red

There are many reasons to visit Australia—breathtaking landscapes, cosmopolitan cities, friendly people, walks and hikes, and amazing café and food culture. But some of the most beautiful beaches in the world are found here.

Sand and sea hold a special place in Australia with more than 10,000 beaches to choose from. Perfect for a favorite activity whether it’s snorkeling, swimming, sunbathing or surfing.

Mexico City

City breaks are definitely back on our bucket list radar and with that a trip to CDMX. Mexico’s capital never fails to impress with its sprawling, colorful markets, hip neighborhoods like Roma Norte and Condesa and an exquisite food scene that’ll leave you wanting to stay longer and longer.

Located just a short flight from many U.S. cities, Mexico City is the ideal excuse for a long weekend abroad.

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