This isn’t a pedestrian bucket list, so prepare yourself for exhilaration. Warning: reading this post may cause you to feel the wind in your hair, sun on your skin and bring a tear to your eye (see #5).
Float the Canyon: ARIZONA
You may have already seen the Grand Canyon, but have you rafted it? This adventure is geared for the wild thangs out there, but if you’re willing to shatter your comfort zone, get after this. These trips range from 3-18 days and careen down the Colorado River, taking in side canyons, Native American ruins, waterfalls…basically everything magical in this world.
Guided experiences are available for the newbies, but they tend to be pricey. If you’re a full-fledged rafting legend who eats white water for breakfast (and has the cred to back it up), you can enter a weighted lottery. The process can be lengthy and requires planning ahead. If you don’t have a flexible schedule, this is a quit-your-job-once-in-a-lifetime type experience, so count yourself #blessed if you get in!
Defy Death on Angel’s Landing: UTAH
Zion National Park became Insta-famous seemingly overnight. More photogenic than Ryan Gosling, its soaring walls of Navajo Sandstone bow away from the Virgin River to offer phantasmagoric views. This is truly a choose-your-own-adventure landscape – canyoneering, climbing and backpacking abound. Angel’s Landing has become the poster-child hike for Zion, featuring as one of the 25 most dangerous hiking trails in the world. You get bad ass points for this one, but you MUST explore the rest of the park. Check out the National Park Service’s website for some inspo (Insider’s Tip: plan to do the Narrows).
Huts in the Backcountry: NEW ZEALAND
Ready to cut your teeth on the next level of backpacking? Get your booty to New Zealand – the birthplace of Kura and impetus for upping your ante. Coming from the United States where the majority of backpacking is done with no shelter other than…well…what’s on your back, New Zealand offers up an interesting twist. Plan your hikes around backcountry huts located on the South Island. After a long day, these little jewels are typically found nesting in the epicenter of beauty. Be sure to pop into one and become part of this super-tramping antiquity.
photo: Elsa's Wholesome Life
Indulge in Vegan Ice Cream: BALI
You know your girl had to add a food-related adventure. So hypothetically, you’re in Bali – you’ve spent a long day surfing, holding monkeys and visiting ancient temples. With no blender on hand, your Kura smoothie craving has run rampant into a deafening crescendo of “NEEEED FROZEN TREATS.” No fear, Bali is home to a vegan ice cream called Kokolato. With a coconut base, you can indulge without disturbing your lactose stomach demon. Plus vegan ice cream is a solid excuse for booking a trip to Bali.
photo: turtle lover
Turtles: COSTA RICA
Do I even have to explain this? Have you ever watched a baby turtle flop its way to the ocean for the first time? Watch this National Geographic video, and you can thank me later. I’m going to do you one better with this adventure suggestion – visit Costa Rica to see turtles make their maiden voyage…IN PERSON. Costa Rican beaches are a hot spot for arribada, or the annual arrival of turtles to lay their eggs. Once these buns in the oven hatch, you can choose a little guy and accompany him on his walk. If you put animals on a pedestal (as we all should), book your flight now.
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