Jessie on a Journey | Solo Female Travel Blog

19 Inspiring Travel Experience Stories About Life-Changing Trips

Love inspiring travel experience stories ?

Then you’re in the right place!

Grab a snack and your favorite beverage and get ready to settle in, as you’re about to read some truly inspiring travel stories about life-changing trips.

In this roundup, some of my favorite bloggers share their best travel stories.

You’ll hear about travelers embarking on sacred pilgrimages, growing after a first solo female travel trip, deeply connecting with locals on the road, and getting out of their comfort zones in ways that completely alter the course of their life.

And if you’re looking for a unique travel experience, you’ll likely find it in the short stories about travel below.

Table of Contents

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On that note, let’s dive into the inspiring travel stories .

1. Travel Experience Stories In South America

My travel story takes place in South America, back when I used to travel solo for months at a time.

I was in my mid-20s, and even though I’d backpacked Europe, Southeast Asia, and China and had studied abroad in Australia, the mix of intense excitement and nerves I had leading up to my South America backpacking trip was different.

And despite family and friends warning me that South America wasn’t a place for a solo female traveler , it ended up being my best trip ever and one of my life changing trips!

There are so many interesting short travel stories and unforgettable travel experiences woven into this trip, like:

  • Getting invited to have dinner with my Brazilian plane seatmate and her grandma
  • Having a group of complete strangers on Couchsurfing take me out for dinner and dancing on my birthday in Mendoza
  • Attending a small house party in Argentina and learning about the tradition of mate
  • Getting stuck on a broken-down bus and having an impromptu language exchange with an elderly woman in Peru
  • Having a love interest back home break up with me via text, and then experiencing the kindness of strangers as a woman in my hostel who I barely knew treated me to ice cream to cheer me up
  • Having a romance with a hostel mate in Ecuador and then traveling through the country together
  • Living in a giant treehouse with a group of strangers during a solo trip in Brazil and spending our days exploring hiking trails and swimming and our nights drinking and exchanging stories about traveling
  • Taking a 4×4 from Chile to Bolivia across the Siloli Desert to see otherwordly sites like rainbow lagoons and train graveyards in the middle of nowhere
  • Experiencing some of the world’s most incredible natural wonders, like Iguazu Falls, Torres del Paine, the Amazon River, Uyuni Salt Flats, and Perito Moreno Glacier

At times the trip was also challenging, from dealing with long bus rides and car sickness to flipping over my bicycle handlebars in Peru and getting my body (and ego) badly bruised.

But, I was okay.

In fact, I was more than okay, as the trip showed me how independent I could be and what I was truly capable of. It also showed me the beauty of immersing yourself in cultures different than your own and connecting with locals who want to share them with you.

Years later, when people ask what my best travel experience has been this is the trip that comes to mind.

-Jessie from Jessie on a Journey

A travel experience story about Brunei

2. Traveling With An Open Mind

Many people think of travel as an experience and rightly so. Sometimes, however, you cannot choose the places you travel to.

This happened to me in 2019.

My husband found himself posted in Brunei for work.

Three months pregnant meant that I had a choice:

Either stay with him in Brunei for three months before returning back to India or remain in India, alone.

I chose the former. Not because of my love for the country but because I wanted to be close to him.

Brunei had never held any appeal to me. Whatever research that I pulled off the Internet showed me nothing other than one beautiful mosque.

The flights in and out of the country were expensive so traveling frequently out was not an option either.

I was engulfed by a sense of being trapped in a remote place.

Needless to say, I reached Brunei in a pretty foul mood. I think one of the things that struck me the most even in the midst of that bad mood was the large swaths of greenery that surrounded us.

Mind you, we were not staying in the big city but as far away on the outskirts as you could imagine. I’m not a city girl by any stretch and the greenery eventually soothed my nerves.

It took a week, but I soon found myself interacting with people around me. Fellow expats and locals all went out of their way to make me feel comfortable.

The more comfortable I felt, the more we explored. We trekked (yes, while pregnant!), we joined the board game community, and we enjoyed the local cuisine.

Three months later when it was time to leave, I found myself reluctant to say goodbye to the warmth of the country I had called home for a short while. I ended up having some of the most meaningful travel experiences there.

I think that my time in Brunei taught me a valuable lesson:

Don’t judge a place by what others say or a lack of information.

Sure, you may not always like what you see, but there will always be something that you will like. You just need to look hard enough to find it!

-Penny from GlobeTrove

A slow travel experience across the Portuguese Camino de Santiago

3. From Half-Day Hiker To Walking Holiday Enthusiast

I’ve always enjoyed walking but never in a million years did I imagine I’d end up walking over 200 kilometers (~124 miles) in 10 days, become a fan of walking holidays, and end up developing self-guided hiking routes in Portugal with a local tour operator as part of my business.

The shift from being someone who was content with an easy three-hour walk to an experienced multi-day hiker began with a brief taste of the Portuguese Camino de Santiago, an ancient pilgrim trail through Portugal to Santiago de Compostela Cathedral in Spain.

Back in 2013 I did a guided one-day hike along one of the most beautiful stretches of the Camino, north of Ponte de Lima. It’s also one of the most challenging sections so it was hard work, but the views from the top of Labruja Mountain made the climb worthwhile.

My guides were so enthusiastic about the thrill of arriving at Santiago de Compostela Cathedral after the challenges of day after day on the Camino that I began to think I might want to give it a go, despite not being religious.

Fast forward a few years and I set off from Barcelos with a friend of mine to follow the Portuguese Camino de Santiago.

Apart from suffering from chronic back pain, I thought I was quite fit but nothing had prepared me for how utterly exhausted I would feel at the end of each walking day.

This was truly a slow travel experience, as we were averaging about 20 kilometers (~12 miles) per day and by the time we reached our hotel, I would barely have enough energy to get cleaned up and find food before collapsing. I had envisioned plenty of sightseeing but that ended up being minimal.

Quickly, I realized the moral of this unique travel experience:

The Camino was all about making the most of the journey rather than the destination.

For me, that was quite a shift in thinking as I am usually all about getting to where I want to be as soon as possible so that I can start exploring. It was, perhaps, also my first step on the path towards mindfulness.

I will never forget the sense of achievement and progress at the end of each walking day, and the relief and pride I felt when we finally made it to Santiago de Compostela.

We met people who had walked the Camino several times and I can totally understand how it can become addictive. 

Walking the Camino is one of the life changing travel experiences for many people!

-Julie from Julie Dawn Fox in Portugal

A story about traveling the Banda Islands

4. A Story About Traveling & Its Ripple Effect

Tucked away in far eastern Indonesia is a tiny archipelago of islands called the Banda Islands.

Apart from world-class snorkeling and some crumbling colonial buildings, the Banda Islands are mostly forgotten and would be described as a backwater by all accounts.

However, the Banda Islands are possibly the main reason that I am who I am today. 

Well, the Bandas are the original Spice Islands.

Nutmeg used to grow on this tiny group of islands alone and nowhere else. The Dutch colonized Indonesia and promptly became the owners of islands where money grew on trees.

The only problem was that Indonesia was so far away that they needed a halfway stop to and from Indonesia.

That’s where my travel experience story comes in.

The same Dutch East India Company that traded in spice set up a halfway station at the foot of Table Mountain to break up their long journey. As a result, my Dutch ancestors arrived in the southernmost point in Africa , and generations later we are still there.

When I visited the Banda Islands, it dawned on me how something happening on the other side of the world can ripple out and affect people on the other side of the planet.

And I’m not the only one!

The spice trade was so important to the Dutch that they even traded a tiny island in the Banda archipelago for a much bigger island…Manhattan.

Yes. That Manhattan.

Before visiting the Banda Islands I never really knew about this part of my history.

Along with the spice that the ships carried back to Amsterdam, it also carried slaves. These slaves, more often than not, ended up in Cape Town.

Just like my European ancestors, they too became a part of Africa and added another shade to our beautiful Rainbow Nation.

It was in the Banda Islands that I realized how much of my culture, food, stories and even words in my mother tongue, Afrikaans, actually originated in Indonesia.

Because of these tiny islands, I am a true mix of Europe, Africa, and Asia. While I always thought I knew how all things in life are somehow connected, I didn’t really grasp it until my visit to Indonesia.

This could have been a resort travel experience story, as I went to Indonesia to swim and snorkel and relax on the world’s best beaches. And while I did get to do that, I also learned a lot about who I am as a person, my people, and my country…on another continent. 

It is a travel experience I will never forget!

My visit to the Bandas has sparked a fascination with Indonesia, which I have visited seven times since. I’m already planning another trip to this spectacular country!

-De Wet from Museum of Wander

The best trip ever in Costa Rica

5. Awakening My Spirit In A Costa Rican Cloud Forest

In February 2017, I was just coming out of a decade of mysterious chronic illness that had shrunk my world.

And one of the things that finally helped me to resurface during the previous year was an online Qi Gong course I stumbled upon: 

Flowing Zen .

To the casual observer, Qi Gong looks a lot like its better-known cousin, Tai Chi — the ancient art of moving meditation — but it’s actually energy medicine for healing.

In fact, it’s commonly used in Chinese hospitals.

My daily practice that year made such a difference for me that I dangled a reward for myself:

If I stuck with it all year, then I’d head to Sifu Anthony’s annual retreat in a cloud forest in Costa Rica the following February.

And I did! It was my first trip out of the country for more than a decade.

Just like that, I booked a solo trip — something I hadn’t done since I was an exchange student to Europe 30 years earlier — to San Jose where I met up with a dozen strangers and Sifu Anthony, our Qi Gong master.

We boarded a tiny bus and rode up, up, up around carsick-inducing curvy mountain roads into a magical cloud forest jungle where we finally arrived at The Blue Mountain (“La Montana Azul”) for a weeklong Qi Gong retreat. 

There were no Internet or distractions here — just delicious organic vegetarian meals made with love and shared with the community under a gorgeous open-air palapa.

There were also colorful tropical birds singing in the jungle, as well as the largest arachnid I’ve ever seen in my gorgeous (but also roofless) room for a little extra adventure.

I’d felt a little energy movement during my year of online practice, but during that week on The Blue Mountain, my body began to really buzz with Qi — life force energy — as I Lifted the Sky, stood in Wuji Stance, and practiced Shooting Arrows.

I felt electrified and joyful. 

And that was when everything changed for me.

At home, I had a successful career as a freelance writer, but I decided during my week in the cloud forest that I wanted more from life.

I wanted to explore the beauty, diversity, nature, and culture in every corner of the world.

And I wanted to share this intoxicating joyful feeling of life-giving freedom and adventure with anyone who wanted to come along for the ride.

Shortly after that, at age 53, I launched my travel blog.

Dreams really do come true. They are just waiting for you to claim them.

-Chris from Explore Now or Never

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6. From Rome With Love

This wasn’t the way I wanted to see Rome. 

Sure, I was happy to spend Christmas in Rome and stand in awe of the city’s many iconic attractions. But, life wasn’t meant to turn out like this.

I was supposed to go to Rome with my mom back in 2012; however, life had different plans, because a week before our trip, I got a double kidney infection. A condition that required a week of hospitalization.

Although I was annoyed I had missed my trip, it wasn’t the end of the world since I was fine and everything seemed okay…until my mom developed a cough.

A cough that later became a heartbreaking diagnosis of stage four ovarian cancer. 

My mom spent the final months of her life in chemo, desperately trying to fight a horrific disease so that she wouldn’t let her family down.

And she didn’t.

Instead, she showed us how to never give up on life, even if it was a losing battle. 

So, when she eventually passed away, I booked a trip to Rome. 

Sure, it wasn’t the trip I had hoped for. But, I knew that as her daughter, it was my job to live enough for the both of us. 

And that’s exactly what I did.

Was I an anxious, sad, angry mess of a person?

Absolutely. I was still getting used to a world that my mother wasn’t a part of. 

And honestly, you never get used to that world. You just deal with it because you don’t really have a choice.

But I also knew that I wanted my mom to live on through me and that I didn’t want to live a life where the haunting phrases “should of,” “could of,” and “would have” swirled through my head and ate away at my happiness.

So, I went. I packed a boatload of tissues, sobbed my heart out, and attended Christmas mass at the Vatican. 

I also threw a coin in the Trevi Fountain, walked through the Colosseum, chowed down on gelato, and spent two weeks doing all the things my mom and I had wanted to do. 

And that’s when it hit me. I had never gone to Rome alone because my mom had always been there with me. Maybe she wasn’t physically there, but I thought of her and felt her presence every minute of every day. 

Her presence also reminded me that life isn’t about the things we buy or the money that we have.

It’s about making memories with the people we love; people that never really leave us since they are constantly influencing our lives in countless ways.

And after my trip to Rome, I finally knew that my mom would always be there because she had forever changed my life in the best possible way. 

-Kelly from Girl with the Passport

inspiring travel stories in Finland

7. Studying In Finland

One of my major life-turning points happened during my exchange studies in Finland.

Until then, I was studying at a university in Prague, had a part-time job at a renowned management-consulting firm, and thought I was on the right path in life.

At the University of Economics where I studied it was notoriously difficult to get on an Erasmus exchange trip abroad since the demand was huge. Everyone wanted to go!

Regardless, I decided to sign up early for my last semester, just to see what the process was like to be better prepared for applying again in a year.

I did make it through all the three rounds and surprisingly got a spot at a University in Turku, Finland! I was ecstatic. The success brought its own challenges, but once you set your eyes on the goal, nothing can stop you.

And I had the time of my life in Finland. It was a fantastic personal travel experience.

I met the most amazing people, traveled a ton, partied a lot, and bonded with friends from all over the world.

Given I was one of the few people there who really needed to pass all her courses and additionally write her thesis, I managed to run on an impossible sleep schedule of four hours per night. But I made it!

My studies in Finland opened up my horizons, too.

The summer after, I wrapped up my life in Prague and went on to study in Germany and China . The whole time I traveled as much as possible, often going on solo adventures. It was only a matter of time when I’d start my own travel blog.

My Finland adventure led me to a life of freedom made up of remote work, travel blogging , and plenty of traveling. I couldn’t have asked for a better outcome. And it gave me one of my favorite true adventure stories that I can now share with others.

-Veronika from Travel Geekery

Travel experience stories in Cuba

8. How Cuba Changed My Life

One of my favorite inspiring stories about travel takes place in Cuba.

I visited Cuba in February 2013 and it changed my life — and I like to think it did so for the better.

Interestingly, I expected a completely different country and was compelled to write about it when I got back home.

But let me tell you more.

I read copious amounts of blogs and travel diaries to prepare myself for the trip to Cuba so I thought I’d go in with a fairly good idea of what to expect. Each and every post I read spoke of marvelous landscapes, pristine beaches, crumbling but charming cities, and welcoming locals.

All of it was true, in my experience — except for the locals.

I didn’t find them so welcoming. At least, not genuinely so. They only seemed to welcome me as far as they could get something in exchange: money, clothes, pens, soap, you name it. 

Each and every day in Cuba was a challenge to avoid the scams, to avoid being ripped off, to fight off each and every attempt of people trying to take advantage of me. I usually managed, but it was exhausting and it left a sour taste in my mouth.

Once I got back home I felt the urge to write about my experience — not for other sites or papers as I’d often do. This time I was afraid I’d be censored.

So I opened my own blog. With zero tech knowledge, zero understanding of online content creation and SEO, I started writing and telling people what they should really expect during a trip to Cuba.

I’d put up the occasional post, but continued with my usual job.

At the end of the year, my contract as a researcher in international human rights law at the local university ended, and I decided to stop pursuing that career for a while.

I packed my bags and left for a long-term trip to Central and South America . I started writing on the blog more consistently and learning, and eventually took my blog full-time , turning it into a career.

As of today, I have never looked back and have no regrets. This was a life changing traveling experience.

The one thing I’ll do, as soon as I can, is travel to Cuba to say thank you — because it changed my life in a way nothing else has ever done. 

-Claudia from Strictly Sardinia

inspiring travel stories in Patagonia

9. A Short Travel Story About Finding Inner Peace In Patagonia

Life in London is hard.

Life in London as a gay single brown refugee is harder.

Juggling between work, my passion for traveling, and the prejudices that I dealt with on a daily basis eventually took their toll on me and I reached a breaking point.

The fact that I couldn’t return home to see my family and being away for them for almost nine years was enough to hammer in the final nail in the coffin.

I almost had a nervous breakdown and in that moment of desperation, which I knew would define the rest of my life, I took a month off and headed to Patagonia.

It was probably the best decision I’ve ever made in my life. The 36 hours it took me to get to El Chalten from London were tiring but Patagonia blew me away.

On my first day there I did a 28-kilometer (17-mile) hike which included a steep mountain climb. It was incredible how moving through the forest helped me clear my mind. And as I stood in front of Laguna de Los Tres, the rain and clouds gave way to sunshine and a rainbow.

I felt at peace.

The countless hikes, great food, and the warmth of locals in Chile and Argentina helped me get back in my skin and find the peace I was missing in my heart.

Nature is indeed the best medicine when it comes to stress relief and I won’t be coy about hugging trees to speed up the process (it did).

Patagonia was life-changing for me.

The beauty of nature struck me at each point and every time I thought it wasn’t possible to beat the view, the next one did just that.

I came back a changed, resilient, and most importantly, a happy person.

-Ucman from BrownBoyTravels

A unique travel experience in Colorado

10. Looking Inwards & Making Connections With Strangers

It was decades before I traveled solo for the first time in my life.

This trip — a six-day escape to Colorado — was the first trip that was not for business or family reasons but just to travel and discover.

As I prepared for it, I had a strange feeling of excitement and nerves at the same time. I had all sorts of thoughts and doubts:

Would it be fun?

Would I be bored?

Would I stay in bed all day or would I bounce with excitement to do the next thing?

I wasn’t sure. Little did I know that it was going to be a memorable journey of self-discovery. 

As a good wife and mom, for me travel is always about the family; always thinking of who would enjoy what. It’s about family time and bonding. It’s about creating memories and travel stories together. It’s all so wonderful.

But on a solo trip who would I connect with? What would I say?

Well, I found that I got to do anything I wanted!

Usually when I travel with my family, if I feel like going on a drive that’s not on the itinerary or getting a snack no one else is interested in, we simply don’t do that.

So it was weird to just go do it. Really, that’s a thing?

As for making connections, it was so easy to meet locals while traveling and also to connect with other travelers. Honestly, I had conversations everywhere — on planes, while hiking, in restaurants, in the hotel lobby.

It was quite an eye-opening experience to meet a mom of 18 kids and hundreds of foster kids, a cookie baker, a professional photographer, a family of Fourteener hikers, and an internationally ranked marathon runner.

The inspiring stories I discovered were amazing and nothing like my wonderful safe life at home. 

In terms of travel safety , I got to go rock climbing, solo hiking, driving up a Fourteener, eating alone.

And it was all fine. Actually, it felt surprisingly normal.

It was was just me, my SUV, and my backpack for a week. Most of all, it was a breath of fresh air that I didn’t know existed. 

It’s wonderful to be back home and know that possibilities are endless and there is so much more out there to explore and be wowed by!

-Jyoti from Story At Every Corner

life-changing travel experience stories in Colombia

11. A Solo Hike To Find Connection

I have traveled solo many times, but I admit I was a bit uneasy booking my trip to Colombia . In part, due to the country’s dark past. But also because I desperately wanted to do the Cocora Valley hike, and if I’m honest, I was terrified.

This hike is located in the Coffee Triangle, an area recognized for its beauty as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It features both rainforest and a stunning green valley speckled with cartoonishly-tall wax palms rising 200 feet or more.

It’s incredibly beautiful.

It’s also a long hike and quite challenging — it generally takes between six and eight hours and there is a steep area with over 3,000 feet of elevation within a quarter of a mile.

I wasn’t in hiking shape, so I was a little concerned. But, worst of all for me were the seven dodgy-looking suspension bridges. 

I’m terrified of heights.

And, I’d be going alone.

I decided to go anyway and I met an incredible woman on the bus to Salento, the town near Cocora. She was also traveling solo and we agreed to hike together.

The town is a backpacker enclave and we met up with a small group of people all traveling solo. As the days passed, our group got larger and it was such a magical experience.

As much as I love city travel, this small town won my heart.

My new friend and I set off on the hike and met two other women who were nervous to do the hike. We all went together.

When we got to the first suspension bridge, I paused. I was embarrassed to admit my fear, but the bridge swayed widely and there was nowhere to hold onto.

When they realized how out of my comfort zone I was and how scared I felt, everything changed. Instead of me dealing with it alone, they were all there to encourage me.

One crossed the bridge to encourage me from the other side and they stayed off of it to limit the sway. Crazy enough, I not only crossed the seven suspension bridges, but I also crossed one an extra time when we went the wrong way on the trail.

I did it! 

I was prepared to be blown away by Cocora Valley’s beauty, but what I wasn’t expecting was what a life-changing travel experience my time there would be.

 -Sam from My Flying Leap

short stories on travel and sustainability

12. How A Pet Sitting Travel Experience Led To A Passionate Career

We wanted to go to the Caribbean but didn’t know much about the islands or how we were going to afford it.

By chance, a friend of ours in Australia mentioned “pet sitting” and that it is something you can do all over the world.

We quickly created an account on a pet sitting website and began searching for options. There were only a couple of sits available in that part of the world, but we tried our luck, sent a request, and to our surprise landed a three-month gig in a beautiful house in the US Virgin Islands — with an infinity pool overlooking the British Virgin Islands.

A month into our sit, we had explored the destination pretty well and so had a lot of time on our hands. We managed to secure another sit in Grenada, so our year was going to be taken up with Caribbean pet sits.

Inspired by a Canadian couple that had previously stayed at our Grenada housesit, we decided to start our own travel blog. We began by writing about The Virgin Islands, highlighting the beautiful beaches and funky bars.

But for every photo of a beautiful beach there were 10 photos of trash.     

It was hard to ignore the plastic pollution issue, especially on such pristine and remote beaches.  So, we began to share photos of the trash we saw and how much we could pick up on our daily dog walks.

The more we looked into plastic pollution, the more we realized the severity of the global plastic pandemic. From that point, we used our platform to create awareness and highlight ways to say no to plastic and travel plastic-free .

We changed our daily routines, our way of living, and even our diets to accommodate more organic foods and little to no plastic packaging.

It’s been over three years now and we continue to do what we can. This journey has led us to some amazing places, working with great conscious brands and even organizing a country-wide beach clean-up campaign in Grenada.

Our aim now is to keep on going.

We love connecting with like-minded people and love the shift over the last few years that brands have made towards creating more sustainable products and services.

It’s been an amazing few years that was sparked by a conversation about pet sitting. Who would have guessed?

-Aaron & Vivien from The Dharma Trails

travel for experience in Uganda

13. Learning To Slow Down The Hard Way

On Christmas of 2017, I was born again.

We like to spend our Christmas holidays somewhere warm abroad, and that year we chose Uganda.

Nature, wildlife, and sunny days were a blessing when it was so cold and dark in Europe. Life was beautiful, and we had a rental car and a busy schedule ahead to explore the country.

This is where this short travel story turns into one of my more scary travel experiences :

At Murchinson Falls National Park, we had a car accident.

I lost control of the car, and it rolled over, destroying windows, chassis, and engine.

But we were alive! My right arm was severely injured, but we managed to walk to our lodge, not far inside the park.

In the lodge, I was happy to learn that there was a pretty decent American hospital in Masindi that was just a one-hour drive from the lodge. Moreover, one of the lodge’s guests was a nurse who cleaned the wound while we were waiting for the taxi from/to Masindi.

The hospital took care of us, and after a couple of injections and stitches, I was ready to head to our new hotel in Masindi; however, my wound required daily dressing and more injections, so we were asked to stay in town for a few days.   

Masindi is the kind of place where you may want to stop to buy some food or water, but that’s it.

The town’s highlights were the market and our daily visit to the hospital, so we ended up looking for the small things, chatting with the medical staff, the hotel staff, the people in the market, and learning more about their customs.

We learned to slow down the hard way.

When we were allowed to leave, we took a road trip south through the country to see something else. We did not care about our travel bucket list anymore — we were alive, and we wanted to enjoy Uganda’s unique nature and its people. 

In the end, our Uganda trip was not about the places that we saw, but the people that we met. It was travel for experience vs sightseeing.

I hope to revisit Uganda one day, with a stop at Masindi for some food, water, and maybe something else.

-Elisa from World in Paris

short travel stories about cycling

14. A Cycling Trip To Remember

During the summer of 2019, I cycled solo from London to Istanbul. This huge bicycle tour took me 89 days and through 11 countries.

As you might expect, it was a challenging yet incredible journey, which saw me pedal along some of Europe’s greatest rivers, pass through some of its best cities, and witness some of its most beautiful scenery.

It’s becoming more and more important for us to think about the impact that travel can have on our environment. This was the inspiration for my bicycle tour; I wanted to find more responsible ways to explore the world and avoid flights where possible.

I discovered that bicycle touring is one of the most eco-friendly ways to travel, as using nothing but a bicycle and your own pedal power you can carry everything you need while covering surprising distances each day.

The simplicity of life and the sheer amount of time I spent cycling alone gave me a lot of time to just think . This really helped me to come to terms with some personal problems rooted in my past and, as a result, I arrived solo in Istanbul with newly found confidence, independence, and liberation. 

Cycling across the entire European continent may seem like an impossibly daunting task, but I assure you, it will make you feel like a new person, just like it did for me.

-Lauren from The Planet Edit

Best travel experience in Jamaica

15. How The Caribbean Shaped Me Into A Fully Sustainable Traveler

One of my first international trips as an adult was traveling around the Caribbean .

I checked into my hotel in Jamaica and asked for a recommendation for a local place to eat. The receptionist told me that under no circumstances should I should go into the town because it was really dangerous, but that — to my luck — the hotel’s restaurant offered wonderful Caribbean food.

I pondered my options:

Did I really want to spend all my time on the beach without getting to know a single local?

I was a very inexperienced traveler and very young, but there was only one answer to my question:

Absolutely not. I was not going to be visiting a new place and staying hostage in a hotel chain. So out I went.

The poverty hit me in the face. After only seeing fancy resorts, the reality was hard to swallow.

A few locals approached me and were super curious as to what I was doing there alone, since most tourists didn’t go there.

I told them I was interested in meeting them and experiencing their culture. And just like that, I was embraced.

We met more people, had some food, and then we danced the night away. They had so little, yet they wanted to share it with me. They wanted to make me feel welcome.

And they undeniably did.

The next morning all I could think about was how all the money most tourists spend goes to big corporations. The locals have to be thankful if they get a job that pays minimum wage, while foreign businesses earn millions.

I have always been environmentally conscious, but this trip made it clear that sustainability goes well beyond nature and wildlife.

It’s also about communities.

From then on I always look for locally owned accommodation, eateries, guides, and souvenirs.

Sustainability, with everything it entails, became a motto for me and changed the very essence of the way I travel.

-Coni from  Experiencing the Globe

Short stories about travel in Peru

16. Lessons From My Students In Peru

One of the most life-changing trips I’ve ever been on was a volunteering experience in the stunning city of Cuzco in Peru.

In this last travel experience, I spent a month there teaching English and Italian to a group of local adults. And even though my time there was short, the travel experience was so humbling that it changed my outlook on life.

My lessons took the form of active conversations, which essentially turned into a massive multilingual cultural exchange between me and my students. Hearing my students talk about their lives — and realizing just how different they were from mine — made me look at my own life with a fresh new perspective.

One person spoke about the three years he spent living in a jungle with his dad, where they fed off of animals they hunted in order to survive.

Another student told me about her ultimate dream of mastering English so that she could become a tour guide and have a more stable future.

For me, these stories were a reminder of just how small I am in this world and how much we can get consumed by the small bubbles we live in. 

Most of all, my students showed a passion and appreciation for life that I’d never witnessed before.

This is true for the locals I met in Cuzco in general. The quality of life in Cuzco is very modest; hot water is scarce and you learn to live with little.

But the locals there do way more than just that — they spontaneously parade the streets with trumpets and drums just because they’re feeling happy, and their energy for the simple things in life is incredibly contagious.

It was impossible to not feel inspired in Cuzco because my students always had the biggest smiles on their faces, and the locals showed me again and again that simply being alive is a blessing.

I went to Peru to teach, but ended up learning more from my students and the locals there than they did from me.

Ever since I got back from that trip, I made it a goal to slow down and not take the simple things in life for granted.

Every time I get upset about something, I think about the Peruvians in Cuzco parading their streets in song and pure joy, and I tell myself to stop complaining.

-Jiayi from  The Diary of a Nomad

inspiring traveling stories about overcoming obstacles

17. Braving Travel With Chronic Pain

Santiago de Compostela is a beautiful city with a prominent cathedral positioned centrally within the city.

While the historical cathedral attracts numerous visitors, even more well-known is the route to Santiago de Compostela, Camino de Santiago –- the world-famous pilgrimage route that has a plethora of trailheads and ends in Santiago. 

Home to locals, students, English teachers, and those on a spiritual pilgrimage, personal conquest, or a great outdoor hiking excursion, Santiago is a magical city.

My introduction to Santiago de Compostela doesn’t begin on the pilgrimage route, yet ends with a spiritual awakening analogous with those other unique pilgrimage stories.

It was my first solo trip abroad teaching English in Spain, a country that’s always been on my travel bucket list. A small town outside of Santiago was selected as the school I’d be teaching at for the year.

Unknowingly, this teach abroad program chose the perfect city for me to live in. 

A year prior, I suffered a traumatic brain injury that left me unable to function normally and complete average tasks. Migraines, headaches, and dizziness became my body’s normal temperament, a hidden disability invisible to the naked eye. 

Braving travel with chronic pain was the first lesson I learned during the trip.

The vast green outdoors and fresh dew from the morning rain enlivened me daily and reminded me about the importance of slowing down so I could enjoy traveling with my hidden disability. 

I also learned to stop often for daily tea breaks and to embrace the long lunch hour,  siestas , with good food, company, and a nap to rest.

Meeting locals , indulging in local food, and learning Spanish allowed me to connect deeply with the beautiful culture of Santiago. After all, my dream was to travel to Spain, and I more than accomplished that dream.

Difficult or not, I learned to own my dream and I was more than surprised with the results.

Who knew that a year after my injury I’d be traveling the world with chronic pain, and for that, I’m eternally grateful.

-Ciara from Wellness Travel Diaries

travel experience stories in China

18. A Blessing In Disguise

2020 has been a wild year for all of us and foreign students in China are no exception. As soon as the malevolent virus began to make its rounds in China, our university sent us home for “two weeks.”

However, within a short time, countries began to shut their borders and these “two weeks” turned into months, a full year even.

Crushed by the burden of online lectures and virtual labs, my boyfriend and I packed our bags and caught one of the first flights to his home country of Pakistan.

I had always been an over-ambitious traveler. I believed numbers were everything — the number of countries I visited, the number of hours I spent on a plane, the number of international trips I took in a year. These numbers were what defined me.

My feet were constantly itching and I never liked to spend more than a few days in a place before heading to the next country. Revisiting a place felt superfluous to me.

That’s why I was hoping to spend a month or two in Pakistan and then continue to check new countries off the list — after all, my online classes finally granted me the freedom to “work on my numbers.”

But as is usually the case in 2020, things turned out quite different from what I had expected. Borders remained closed and worldwide infections stayed rampant. At this point, I have already spent nearly half a year in Pakistan.

During this peculiar time, however, an amazing thing happened:

My mindset about travel started to change and I began to look at my long stay in Pakistan as perhaps my most valuable travel experience ever.

I may not have visited dozens of countries like in previous years but my experiences were deeper than ever before.

From trekking to one of the world’s tallest mountains to sharing tea with heavily armed officers at nearly 5,000 meters altitude to exploring hidden beaches in the most secluded regions to spontaneously being invited to village homes, my adventures in Pakistan couldn’t have been more incredible. They opened my eyes to the sheer diversity of many countries and completely transformed my idea about traveling. 

It took me nearly a full year of heavy restrictions on international travel and a few months in one of the world’s most fascinating countries to give up on my superficial ideals and become a more mature traveler.

This time will always have a special place in my heart.

-Arabela from The Spicy Travel Girl

short travel stories about life-changing trips

19. What The River Taught Me

My travel story takes place in the summer of 2017 — the final summer before I graduated university — as it continues to play a significant role in the person I’ve become.

When I say that, people ask me if it was the portion of the summer I spent solo backpacking in Europe . And to their surprise, it wasn’t. It was actually the latter portion of the summer where I stayed closer to home.

For July and August I worked as a canoe guide leading whitewater canoe trips on remote rivers in Canada. It was here that I got to canoe the powerful and iconic Missinaibi River, a river that continues to influence me all these years later.

The Missinaibi River flows from the powerful Lake Superior to the even more powerful salty waters of James Bay. Here, I led a group of eight teenagers through dozens of whitewater rapids over 500 kilometers (~311 miles).

With no cell service for 25 days, we were forced to disconnect from anything other than the river.

During this trip I learned two important lessons:

First, I learned to be confident in my own abilities as a leader and problem solver.

There were a few rapids where my campers’ boats flipped and I had to rescue the campers and the canoes. One rescue saw two boats flip on a mile-long rapid. It took six hours to make it down the rapid, and during this time I managed stuck canoes and crying campers.

And while this was one of the most difficult rescues I’ve done, I was amazed at how calm I was throughout it. I gave clear directions, prioritized effectively, and kept my campers safe throughout the entire experience. Following the rescue, I had a newfound sense of confidence in my abilities.

The second lesson I learned on the Missinaibi was the power of disconnecting from society and connecting with the people around you.

A wild river commands all of your attention. Each day, you and your group must take down camp, load canoes, paddle up to eight hours while navigating both rapids and portages, get to a new campsite, set up camp, cook dinner, and go to bed.

And without the distraction of technology, your attention has nowhere else to be. You focus on the river and your teammates.

As someone who had wrestled with anxiety and depression prior to this summer, I felt at total ease on the trip. Now I seek societal disconnection and human connection as much as I can. 

Sometimes the most profound, life-altering trips are the least expected trips closer to home.

-Mikaela of  Voyageur Tripper

More Short Travel Experience Stories

Looking for another story about travelling? Check out these short and unique travel stories!

25 Crazy Travel Stories You Need To Read To Believe

23 Inspiring Travel Stories Sharing The Kindness Of Strangers

17 True Short Adventure Travel Stories To Inspire Your Next Trip

38 Inspiring Travel Love Stories From The Road

16 Short Funny Travel Stories That Will Make You Laugh

20 Embarrassing Travel Stories That Will Make You Laugh & Blush

21 Travel Horror Stories About Scary Travel Experiences

Do you have any inspiring travel experience stories about life-changing trips to share?

Enjoyed these inspiring stories about travel? Pin this blog about travel experience stories for later!

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About jessie festa.

Jessie Festa is an New York-based travel content creator who is passionate about empowering her audience to experience new places and live a life of adventure. She is the founder of the solo female travel blog, Jessie on a Journey, and is editor-in-chief of Epicure & Culture , an online conscious tourism magazine. Along with writing, Jessie is a professional photographer and is the owner of NYC Photo Journeys , which offers New York photo tours, photo shoots, and wedding photography. Her work has appeared in publications like USA Today, CNN, Business Insider, Thrillist, and WestJet Magazine.

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These stories are so much fun to read! Thanks so much for putting a post like this together. It’s great to be able to check out other people’s blogs and read about other people’s experiences!

Always great to read about travel experiences of others. Some great stories to read over coffee. I’ve Pinned your post for future reference and to share with others. Will check out each story author’s blog as well. Great Job! 🙂

Amazing story for new traveler like me thanks for your contribution

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Best Short Travel Stories: 15+ Bloggers Share Their Favorite Travelling Story

Table of Contents:

Every tourist has at least a few interesting travel stories to share. The more you are exploring the world, the greater the chance that you have experienced something unique. We’ve asked our blogging friends to share their most memorable experiences. Check out these awesome short travel stories and get inspired!

Best Travel Stories Including Romance

Love at first lettuce.

by Juliette from Snorkels To Snow blog

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4 years later the hunky builder became my husband.

Adventure With A Stranger In France

by Barbara from Jet Settera blog

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After our short meeting, we kept on chatting for about a month on Facebook and then we decided to meet up in Florence in a hotel room and explore Tuscany together.

We agreed on the itinerary and he flew in from Vienna and I arrived from Milano. We rented a Fiat500 and we traveled all around Tuscany for a long weekend.

We visited some of the most romantic cities in Italy , such as Siena, Lucca, Pisa, and Cinque Terre. It was an amazing adventure together.

We had lots of fun on the trip and we went on more trips after that. The conclusion of the story was that sometimes it is good to come out of your comfort zone and take a chance on a stranger, maybe he will be an excellent travel partner.

Scary Travel Stories That Will Give You Chills!

Jumped by an adult puma in the bolivian jungle  .

by Aaron from The Dharma Trails blog

dream trip story

Cheap, Bolivian vodka . That’s what got me there. Isolated, deep in the Bolivian jungle, with an apex predator wrapped around my body (and hot breath on my face).  

Volunteering at a Bolivian animal sanctuary I saw all kinds of monkey bites and scratches. It was common for backpackers to show off their fresh wounds at the end of each day. But no one had a story like this…

The weekly volunteer party got out of hand (the night before). Those with the appropriate big-animal training didn’t wake up or sign in to the morning’s meeting. I was there. Hungover, but there.   So, I agreed to help out with the puma (even though it normally requires months of training and animal integration/familiarity).

After an hour of trekking through the jungle, one of the team members and I reached the puma’s enclosure. The huge cat growled at me with a distinct sense of dislike. But that didn’t stop us from continuing our task.   We entered the caged area, attached two ropes to the puma’s “collar” and begun to walk him through the jungle.   

The puma, completely unpleased with my intrusion, stepped forward hesitantly. After only a couple of minutes, he stopped, looked back at me, and growled directly into my eyes. I watched helplessly as the puma leaped 10ft into the air towards me. In a split-second, his powerful legs wrapped around my waist, arms wrapped around my throat and fangs pressed into my forehead.  

I heard my team member scream. But I couldn’t move. Completely still, I assumed the worst. Yet, somehow it felt completely natural. The circle of life. The scream faded as I began to lose consciousness. Then, all of a sudden, I was released.   The animal let me go and stepped backwards.  

After swearing profusely, my team member yelled “stick your palm out towards him”. For some reason, I did.   The huge cat stepped back towards me and licked it. And, that was it. He knew that I knew, who was king of the jungle. After that we were friends.  

Volunteering with animals is a great way to give back while you  eco travel . Just be sure to pick places with adequate training if you don’t want to have bad travel stories like mine!

Getting Arrested in Gansu, China

by Wendy from the Nomadic Vegan blog

dream trip story

My short story about my travel experience is from Asia. On our first trip to China , one of the destinations my husband and I were most looking forward to, was visiting the Labrang Monastery. Located in remote Gansu province in the west of China , Labrang is a holy site and a place of pilgrimage for Tibetan Buddhists. 

At that time, neither one of us spoke any Chinese, and we were finding it frustratingly difficult to get where we wanted to go. We didn’t understand why all the bus drivers were refusing to let us get on the buses heading towards the transport hub from where all onward transport to Labrang left.

When one of them finally did let us on, he then forced us to get out on the outskirts of town, well before we reached the bus station. Confused, and not knowing what else to do, we started walking in the direction we thought the station was in. We didn’t get far before two police cars skidded to a halt next to us, and we were suddenly surrounded by six cops wearing S.W.A.T. badges on their sleeves.

They brought us to the head of the prefecture, who luckily was a very friendly Tibetan man who spoke enough English to explain what was happening. Unbeknownst to us, the Chinese government had recently made that part of Gansu off-limits to foreign tourists in light of protests by ethnic Tibetans in the area.

After treating us to a tasty lunch of vegetarian Chinese food , the head of the prefecture drove us back across the prefecture border himself and made sure that we got on a bus back to where we had come from.

We never made it to the Labrang Monastery on that trip, but at that point, we were just happy not to be in a Chinese jail. As I write this, we are in Mongolia, planning to cross back into China in a couple of weeks. We have been told that Labrang has reopened for foreigners, so 10 years later we are going to give it another shot. Hopefully, we don’t get arrested this time and we will only have amazing travel stories to share!

Snake Attack In Vietnam

by Lina from Divergent Travelers blog

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We were just about to take a final stretch of country road and head onto highway 1 for the next leg when we saw something in the road ahead of us.

It was up ahead of Jon and it was the kind of thing you couldn’t really tell what it was until you were right on top of it. In an instant, we saw Jon whip his legs up as a huge snake lunged at his leg when his scooter sailed next to it. I was mortified as I am very afraid of snakes. The last thing I wanted was to have this thing striking at me as we cruised by.

We pulled over, laughed, and discussed the size of it while noticing a local man running down the road with a long stick. He was hollering at us excitedly and pointing at the road. Apparently, snakes of that size are worth well over 1.2 million dong and the man was bursting with excitement about catching the venomous beast.

Asking where it went, he moved into the grass at the edge of the rice field in pursuit. The movement caused the snake to flee into the rice paddies and the local man immediately gave chase into what became a dance between him and the snake. Each challenged the other until the man lept to the opportunity and seized the snake by the head with his bare hands.

He smiled proudly as he came back to the road, showed off the snake then as swiftly as he appeared, left us standing there while he made his way down the road back to his house. Snake in hand. You don’t see that every day! It was definitely one of these fun travel stories that we will never forget.

Dangerous Night Trip In Peru

by Danielle from the Like Riding Bicycle blog

danielle-ditzian

Not every travel story is fun. I have many scary travel stories to share, including the one from Peru. Many years ago, when I’d just started traveling , I took a bus going through parts of the Amazon… at night. Apparently, this wasn’t the best call. Around 3 am I was alarmed to wake up to the bus stopped, and a man in a black mask with a huge black gun pointed at us all. He yelled in Spanish and everyone’s hands went up into the air, so I flung mine up following suit. Before long the men were marched off the bus, leaving us women, hands still in the air, to wait for what would come next.

I had a moment in which I thought: “What are they about to do with the men? What are they about to do with the women? What are they about to do with me, the only foreigner on the bus?” I was far from rich, but they didn’t know that.

After some time another man came on the bus, this time with a small silver pistol which he pointed at each of us as he robbed us blind. No one was physically harmed, though I knew that people who weren’t as fortunate to be a Westerner like myself lost more than they could afford to replace, which was a hard thing to realize. I couldn’t help, only sit there with my arms in the air.

So go to Peru – it’s amazing! – just don’t take a night bus through the Amazon!

Mutant Bugs Attack

by Nathan from Foodie Flashpacker blog

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Although at the time it happened I wouldn’t have called it my best travelling story, now, looking back on it, it’s one of the best/funniest stories of my nearly three years of traveling. This all took place during my visit to Fez , Morocco in 2016.

The time I survived a direct attack to the face by killer mutant bugs from outer space. And then visited a vagina doctor with the world’s oldest x-ray machine to put my face back together again.

Long story short- one day I woke up with a face full of bug bites. The concerned guest house owner sent me to a pharmacist who then sent me to a doctor.

More specifically, I later learned, was that I had been sent to a gynecologist. We established that some large insects had attacked my face and I was in need of multiple medications. And, for reasons still unknown to me, an x-ray. At least I think he x-rayed me.

Being A Suspect In The Disappearance Of Girl In France

By James from The Portugal blog

dream trip story

One of the funny adventure stories that I have is from the time I found a 5-month housesit in the middle of the French countryside. It sounded idyllic, and perfect for me and my girlfriend at the time who had just started out as digital nomads. 

In reality, it wasn’t quite as idyllic as advertised. The biggest issue was the lack of internet; something which was supposed to have been installed by the time we arrived. But, we made do. We bought French sim cards with 3 GB of internet each (the max we could get at the time) and vowed never to look at YouTube or anything that might use lots of data for the entire 5 months.

It was all going perfectly until one day there was a knock at the door and two local French policemen were standing there. They began asking us what we were doing on the property and where the owners were. In the best French, I could manage, I explained the concept of house-sitting but I could see it wasn’t going over. 

Then, they showed us a picture of a girl who was missing. We hadn’t seen her and, in fact, didn’t know anyone in the town. We apologized that we couldn’t be of more help, thinking that was that. 

It wasn’t. One of the policemen then pulled out a printout of a forum conversation between the missing girl and someone who they believed was her biological father. Then in the forum conversation, they showed me a mobile number: my French mobile number. 

I didn’t know how to explain it apart from to say that it must be a typo, but that wasn’t good enough. They asked to see my computer and began looking through the search history. Then, obviously not buying my house sitting story, they asked where the owners were again.  

Unsatisfied, they told me to come into the station that afternoon for more questioning at 2 pm. I didn’t know what to do. There wasn’t enough time to find a lawyer or even a translator as they would probably have had to come from the nearest city. I opened Google Translate and tried to come up with as many useful sentences as I could, but it was hard to concentrate. 

At 2 pm on the dot I walked through the doors of the police station and when the policeman saw my worried face he burst out laughing. “Lucky for you, she showed up,” he said. And that, amazingly, was the end of that. I’ve never heard any more about this again. 

Lifechanging Short Travel Stories

Stepping out of a comfort zone in dubai.

by Michaela from Awe Inclusive blog

dubai-adventures

In 2014, I was scrolling through a Facebook group when I spotted a post claiming $200 roundtrip tickets to Duba (btw if you want to save on your next trip, check out this trip com coupon ). As is routine in that group, I confirmed the deal, checked my calendar, and booked tickets – no asking friends, no waiting for job approvals, and no overthinking. It would be my first trip alone.

I met Jibri during the layover. She got my attention and started chatting about travel deals and groups. During our small talk, I considered putting my earphones back in or making up a reason to excuse myself. Instead, I decided to embrace a new person and see where it could lead.

Not only did we exchange contact information to meet-up in Dubai, but we joined other travel group members who rented out a yacht for an afternoon cruise along the Persian Gulf.

It was totally outside of my comfort zone and totally what my comfort zone needed – to be stretched out of shape! I met amazing people and forged exciting friendships.

Dubai was life-changing. I learned to trust my abilities and instincts even when I had to improvise. I learned that strangers are just friends who haven’t met you. Most importantly, I learned that my suitcase was much lighter when I didn’t fill it with fear.

This year, I took a solo trip to Thailand and it was the absolute best. More solo trips are in my future as I continue to challenge myself to get uncomfortable and do more than I thought I could.

See also: Best travel stories from Thailand .

Beautiful Travel Friendship

by Viki from Chronic Wanderlust blog

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I’ve been in Playa del Carmen, Mexico for a few weeks now for my divemaster training. I spent every day in the water with customers and my instructor. I loved it! We shared the boat with another dive shop and I started to notice that they were also training a divemaster to be.

She seamed to be my age and so I started talking to her. Janice is from Canada and also madly in love with the ocean and all things diving. We started to hang out more and more and even became very good friends then.

She left Mexico a few days before I left, but we managed to stay in touch. For almost two years now we talk several times a week, she helped me through many things as a stupid breakup.

Last year I told her I was going back to Mexico for a few weeks and if she wanted to meet me there. She told me that she couldn’t manage with work. I had wanted to see her so badly! And I knew she wanted to be in sunny Mexico with me as well.

I remember the 30th of December when she told me that she had just bought the ticket and will be in Mexico the next day! I was beyond happy, I was going to see my best friend again. I was going to see her for the second time in my life and yet she knows more about me than any other person that I see more often.

I love how friendships can last over distance and time zones. Meeting Janice is definitely one of the best solo travel stories that I have.

Best Adventure Travel Stories

Hawaii adventure.

by Carole from Berkeley and Beyond blog

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Even though I have many short stories about traveling the world, I want to share the one from Hawaii. I’ll never forget the time I landed on the remote Hawaiian island of Molokai and was told, “We have a wedding and two funerals on the island, and so we have run out of cars.” It was at about the same time as a popular movie with a similar title was out, so the statement had a humorous overtone.

However, since this was hang-loose Hawaii , I was assured by a mellow employee that all would work out and so there was really nothing I could do but relax into it. The car agency arranged for (and paid for) a cab to deliver us to our condo so we could check-in, and told us that the next morning someone would pick us up and deliver us to the mule ride.

Done, though we did almost miss our morning ride due to confusion regarding the meeting spot, but the point is we didn’t  miss it, and we were told by that driver that our car would be waiting in the parking lot for us after our ride.

And there it was! Pure Molokai magic.

Visiting A Real Quechua Village

by Gabor from Surfing the Planet blog

Quechua family in a village in the mountains of The Andes over Ollantaytambo, Peru

Although Machu Picchu is simply indescribable, it turned out that a totally improvised adventure left a much stronger mark on us. When we were staying at a Couchsurfer’s place in Cusco, we asked him whether it would be possible to visit a real Quechua village.

He said we could try, although we would have to find it out ourselves since these Quechua communities live quite far in the Andes and there’s no public transport to get there.

In the end, we got very lucky, since looking for transport in Ollantaytambo, we found out that the local doctor and other social workers were going to visit some of these tribes and they let us join them.

We were really happy because we had the chance to stay in a Quechua community, learn about their traditions, see the colorful clothes they wear every day and take part in their daily routine for some time. We often had to use hand gestures to communicate, since most of these people don’t speak Spanish, only Quechua. This is one of our most interesting travel stories and a real heart-warming experience that we will never forget.

Funny Short Travel Stories

Mistaking a brothel for a massage spa in china.

by Talek from Travels With Talek blog

dream trip story

Ah… cultural confusion.  One weekend I was in a part of Beijing I was not familiar with and decided to get a massage.  I remembered what appeared to be a massage spa nearby. The location didn’t look exactly like a typical spa, but I went in anyway.

The inside of the location had all the spa-like features which reassured me.  However, when the hostess approached me, she appeared apprehensive and asked me something in Chinese. I pantomimed a massage.  She disappeared into a dark room behind a beaded curtain. I could hear her and another woman speaking animatedly.

After some uncomfortable moments, the woman returned and lead me to a dimly lit, rectangular room with a massage table in the middle. I positioned myself as I normally would. A different woman came in and gave me a lackadaisical massage for about an hour. I paid and went back to my hotel.

The next day my colleagues and I discussed our weekend. I mentioned my massage at a location next to the Wanda department store. “Oh! That’s a high-end brothel” they said. They’re probably still laughing.

Crazy Travel Stories

Free helicopter ride.

by Kris From Nomad By Trade

dream trip story

My favorite travel story is from a business trip I took to a small town in Kentucky. One morning, my co-worker noticed that there was a helicopter parked out on the hotel’s lawn, which we thought was odd but pretty cool.

That week, we ended up befriending the helicopter’s pilot and his wife and talking to them at breakfast and the evening periods of light snacks.

He somehow offered to take us up for a free ride, so one morning before work, we each took a turn hopping in his helicopter and flying up and over town. He banked, dipped, and shot up to the sky like a rocket during our jaunt through the Kentucky skies.

I still find it funny that I wouldn’t get in a car with a stranger, but I had no qualms about hopping in a helicopter with one. I’ve been traveling on an almost weekly basis for work for six years and that’s still one of the coolest things that I’ve gotten to do on the road.

My Birthday In A Private Castle Near Prague

dream trip story

Crazy Flight With A Hyperactive Child

by Alexis from World Travel Adventurers blog

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We’ve had our fair share of unforgettable and funny travel stories as parents traveling with a spirited 2-year-old and 4 years old, but this one still takes the cake. We think every parent who has ever flown with young children can relate.

We were on our way home from Salt Lake City to Baltimore, which is a 5-hour flight, so my husband had the brilliant (or so he thought) idea to sedate our energizer bunny son (whose nicknames include Taz, tornado, hurricane, wrecking ball, the destroyer) to make the long flight easier.

Having a wild toddler restricted to a seat for 5 hours is no fun for anyone, but a sleeping toddler sounded much more appealing.

We had given him Benadryl before when he was sick and it put him right to sleep like a charm, so we thought we were in the clear. It turns out, some kids have the opposite reaction to Benadryl and turn into hell on wheels.

Well, our son turned into that kid. I think everyone on the flight, especially the person sitting in front of him, wanted to kill him or at least put him in a straightjacket and a muzzle. The flight attendant, who used to be a nanny, could tell early on that something was up and had a hunch it was from Benadryl gone wrong.

In the midst of his craziness, I took him to the bathroom at the front of the plane to change his diaper. When we headed back to our seats, he took off running down the aisle full speed ahead. He was so fast and agile (being much smaller than me and able to maneuver through the narrow aisle like a star football player) that I couldn’t catch up to him until he had run the entire length of the plane.

My husband said he saw a flash go by his seat, and then saw me running after yelling my son’s name. He thought it was hilarious. I did not. We can both laugh about it today and will NEVER make that mistake again.

So to all my fellow parents of traveling youngsters, beware and never use Benadryl for a stress-free flight unless you’ve tested it a few times and are sure that your child will not turn into a Tasmanian devil. Unless you want to add something to your funny holiday stories collection, then go for it.

Meeting The President Of Ecuador

by Dane from Holiday From Where blog

Best travel stories ever

My best travel story is from a time I was in a small city called Salinas on the south coast of Ecuador . I was just hanging with a local friend and surfing every day before I started to head north. I kept hearing about this wave that was really good and you couldn’t surf because you had to sneak through an air force base to get to.

One day my friend was telling me it was going to be really good, so, we decided to try and sneak in. In hindsight, it was really stupid. We were crawling on our hands and knees through some bushes on the bad side of a shooting range while they were actively shooting. We made it to the beach got changed and ran for the ocean.

We were in the water for all of 15 minutes when two large me with AK-47s appeared on the beach and started to yell and whistle. We got a few more waves and went in. The men were extremely un-impressed and very angry.

We knew we were doing the wrong thing but obviously played dumb. As we were about to get dragged off a man and his wife came over a small dune and just walked up to us. The man asked us how our day was and if we had a good surf we replied we did and he just smiled at us and walked off.

As he did my friend informed me that it was the President. Everything happened so fast and in no time we were in the back of a military vehicle being taken to a small building. I was out a short time later with a stern warning never to return. 

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dream trip story

Did you enjoy reading this post? Share your best travel story in the comments below!

72 Responses

Love it! Thanks for including our story. Traveling opens you up to so many incredible (sometimes hilarious) experiences so it’s great to hear about other memorable moments from fellow travel addicts!

It’s our pleasure, Alexis! Your story is great, thanks for sharing it :)

Pinoy TV is one of the few international channels that provide high-quality entertainment.

These stories are great. Thanks a lot for sharing.

Thanks for the inspiration Karolina! Traveling the world is something I’ve always wanted to do, but have found it hard to make the leap.

Hey Karolina,

Very inspiring travel stories! Makes me want to book a flight now and create an amazing travel story ever told! ;) There is nothing more gratifying than traveling, yes you spend but you learn more. Been to many places and every story is just different and amazing!

These stories are inspiring and it makes me want to travel more. Cheers!

Some amazing stories in there! It’s amazing what opportunities can present themselves when you are travelling abroad.

There’s some incredible stories in there. It’s amazing to see what opportunities can present themselves to you when you are travelling abroad. We’ve got a lot of great memories and stories from our time abroad, can’t wait to get even more!

Getting arrested in China must have been an exciting experience. Luckily, no jail. So happy end.

Thanks for the inspiration Karolina!……,! great story

Glad I enjoyed the post! Thanks for sharing this.

You’re welcome!

The only way to achieve happiness is to cherish what you have and forget what you don’t have

I really liked reading your post! Very high quality content and useful information. With such a valuable blog I believe you deserve to be ranking even higher in the search engines.

Thanks for your comment, Maria.

Wow, interesting crazy stories! good stuff!

Incredible stories. Frankly, I envy people who travel freely, I hope that I succeed.

Such a kind of knowledge give by this stories.

Much Appreciated! Get your travel and tourism guide of top tourist places, attractions about travelling and exploration of the world.

Hey really Incredible stories.Appreciated your blog.Such interesting travel story.The details are very informative.I also love to travel.This stories inspires me to travel to my dream place.Looking forward to see more from you.

Thanks for your comment!

I’ve got no idea what I’d do if a snake lunged at me while on a scooter! Hopefully, I’d have the commonsense to hit the accelerator and keep going. Even non-poisonous snakes can be dangerous. And I’m guessing that the snake ended up as someone’s dinner or that seems be have been implied :/.

I also love to travel the world. Your story inspires me a lot

Your travel stories are awesome. I love to travel to other countries and experience every culture.

Wow, interesting crazy stories! good .

thanks for sharing this info superb

Wow this is very interesting and amazing article for all travellers and I hope they will get lots of information from this article. It will also helpful for all beginners. Thanks for sharing this article to us..

Hey, it’s amazing way for our time . Thanks for sharing.

These short travel stories always teach me something new.

Its really amazing post for me. Thanks for sharing

Excellent post with rich knowledge for travelers. Thanks for sharing

Amazing stories! Thank you so much for sharing them. As a traveler it is exciting to hear new stories. It certainly makes you want to go out and travel again.

It was nice to be inspired by you, Karolina! Although I have always dreamed about traveling the world, I have struggled to make this step because it seems so risky.

Hey, I think it’s a great way to spend our time these days. That’s great that you shared that with us.

I love your all content keep share with us, keep shared with us.

thanks for sharing this info, superb article

I have been wondering where to travel across Europe. And getting exposed to this amazing stories has energised my travelling plans and the countries to visit. Thanks so much for sharing such a wonder and useful stories. Looking forward for more stories.

I am really happy with the quality and presentation of the article. Thanks a lot for keeping great stuff.

Travelling is one of the best way to create memorable stories.

What a great idea for a post and a wonderful collection of stories!

Thank you for this great sharing!

Thank god! The housesitter did not have to go to a Chinese prison. The whole incident was quite amusing.

Thanks for this site i like it.

Article was very lovely and all stories are great

All stories are lovely and amazing.

There is no better way to create memorable stories than by traveling.

Traveling is one of the ways to create and be a part of stories. The travel stories in the blog are all interesting. I have also read stories on how travelers are set up by placing drugs in their luggage at airports.

Yeah however I am not sure if it’s true.

Thanks! i loved this site thanks for recommending.

Excellent post with rich knowledge for travelers.

Unforgettable

Such a great post thanks for sharing this with us and keep posting these are soo amazing.

There is no better way to create memorable stories than by traveling. :)

thank you so much

Thank you. you have explained almost everything.

Great post.Thanks for sharing. You have explained almost everything.

all the stories shared are good and well explained.

Thanks for sharing this article it was quite insightful.

Thanks for sharing such information. I appreciate your hard work

Great post, Thanks for the information provided! Your post is so awesome. Keep it work and share your amazing post with us. Thanks again!

Thanks a lot for sharing this post. Your travel story is so amazing.

Glad you enjoyed it, thanks!

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dream trip story

We are Karolina, Patryk, and Mia, the lazy traveling family. After spending 5 years as digital nomads, and living in many countries in the world, we decided to make Poland our base.

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The Ultimate Vacation to Take in Every Decade of Your Life

Your next big adventure is right around the corner.

Evie Carrick is a writer and editor who’s lived in five countries and visited well over 50. She now splits her time between Colorado and Paris, ensuring she doesn't have to live without skiing or L'As du Fallafel.

dream trip story

The definition of a dream vacation varies from person to person, but no matter how you define it, everyone deserves to go on a big, once-in-a-lifetime trip. But where to start and how to choose? Chances are the vacation you fantasize about in your 20s isn't what your 40-year-old self finds appealing — and with a world full of beautiful cultures, natural wonders, and historical sites, things can quickly become overwhelming. Do you book that ski trip to Japan or save up for an excursion through the Galápagos Islands ?

To get the ball rolling, we've curated some incredible experiences for every decade of your life. These trips take into account your wallet (here's to you, 20-somethings), mobility, and what sort of destinations tend to call to people in different phases of life . Ready to dive in? Here we go.

In your 20s: Costa Rica

Taylor McIntyre/Travel + Leisure

Costa Rica is far enough from the U.S. to feel like a true escape, yet close enough to make finding cheap flights totally doable. Plus, the relatively affordable cost of living will help ease any financial concerns. You can grab an Imperial (a popular, local beer) for just over $1, enjoy a sandwich and fries for around $10, and spend plenty of time lounging on the beach for free.

If you're traveling with friends, book a house near the ocean and spend your time near or in the water — surfing, snorkeling, fishing, and kitesurfing. When you're ready for more, a short trip inland will transport you to lush rain forests that house sloths, spider monkeys, colorful birds, and jaguars. For guaranteed animal sightings, head to Centro de Rescate y Santuario Las Pumas in southern Cañas, an animal sanctuary and rescue center. And if you're craving adventure, hike one of the country's many volcanoes or zip line through the clouds.

In your 30s: Japan

There's something for everyone in Japan , with its next-level cityscape, rugged mountains, natural hot springs ( this one in particular), and stunning beaches. All you have to do is narrow things down — which is easier said than done.

In Tokyo , a city of lights and oddities, check out the fashion at Harajuku, make your way across Shibuya Crossing, and visit the bars and cafes of Akihabara. For culture and history, head to Kyoto, where you'll find a plethora of Buddhist temples, imperial palaces, Shinto shrines, and perfectly manicured gardens.

Adventure lovers should visit in the winter, when skiing takes over the northern island of Hokkaido and the natural hot springs become a daily must. Alternatively, you can ski the Japanese Alps on the main island of Honshu, and make time to visit the hot spring-loving monkeys at Jigokudani Monkey Park . If warm, sandy shores are more your style, head to the Okinawa Islands, where you'll find clear turquoise waters and white-sand beaches.

In your 40s: Machu Picchu, Peru

Chris Marinaccio/Travel + Leisure

The sprawling agricultural terraces, mountain views, and intricate Incan citadels of Machu Picchu have captivated travelers for centuries. But sorting out the logistics takes time, and some of the best experiences involve strapping on a backpack (loaded with the right supplies ) and conquering the journey by foot. That's why this trip is perfect for adventurous travelers in their 40s who have the know-how, time, and resources to book the once-in-a-lifetime getaway.

Make time to enjoy Lima and the UNESCO World Heritage city of Cusco, in addition to the trip's main draw: the arrival at Machu Picchu. Keep in mind many trips are fully customizable and you can hike, drive, or take the train. For a classic take on the trip, stick to the Inca Trail, but to avoid the crowds (at least the worst of them), you might want to book a trek that takes you around Salkantay Mountain. There are also add-on excursions, including a visit to the Lares region. It's hard to go wrong.

Editor’s note: Machu Picchu is currently closed due to civil unrest in Peru. Visit the official website for the latest news and reopening details. 

In your 50s: Galápagos Islands

The wonders of the Galápagos are no secret, but until you visit for yourself, it's hard to know just how special the place really is. Thanks to serious protection efforts by the Galápagos National Park and the Galápagos Marine Reserve, the islands and the animals that inhabit them are still relatively untouched. You'll spot blue-footed boobies locked in a mating dance, swim with sea lion pups, and watch marine iguanas sunning themselves next to Galápagos penguins.

To experience the islands, you'll need to book a tour and spend several days living off of a boat , which is why a small-scale luxury yacht with an onboard naturalist is well worth the extra cost. Check out the offerings from INCA (International Nature & Cultural Adventures), a well-respected travel company that keeps its group sizes small and trip quality high — from multi-course meals to luxe extras like onboard Wi-Fi and a rooftop hot tub.

In your 60s: France

If you do it right, a trip to France can include all the bells and whistles of a once-in-a-lifetime trip. Start in Paris , soaking up the wonders of the city — from picnics under the twinkling Eiffel Tower to afternoons spent exploring the Palace of Versailles to dinners at one of the city's Michelin-starred restaurants.

From there, rent a car and head southwest to the coastal city of La Rochelle, where you'll nosh on freshly caught fish and explore the medieval and Renaissance architecture of the old town. A drive further down the coast puts you in Bordeaux , home to great food and even better wine. You'll want to make a pit stop in the charming surf town of Biarritz before cutting east toward the French Riviera . As you travel along the stunning Mediterranean coast, swing by cities like Marseille and Nice, glitzy communities like St. Tropez and Cannes, and under-the-radar towns like Cassis and Antibes. Before making your way back to Paris , make time to stroll the lavender fields of Provence and drive among the jaw-dropping French Alps.

It's a trip that not only exposes you to the finer things in life — architecture, art, and French food and wine — but will open your mind to the distinctly French way of living, a mindset that is perfect for your 60s.

In your 70s and beyond: South Africa

There's more to Africa than safaris — and this trip with smarTours proves it. In addition to visiting Kruger National Park, one of Africa's largest game reserves with a high density of animals (including the Big Five — lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants, and buffalos), you'll get to explore the South African cities of Cape Town , Durban, and Johannesburg, learn about the legacy of Nelson Mandela, and check out the countries of Eswatini and Zimbabwe (if you book the extension).

The trip is perfectly suited to travelers who are ready to get out and explore but don't want the stress of booking every detail or committing to a ton of physical activity. With a little smart planning (and the help of smarTours), galavanting all over South Africa and seeing incredible animals is not only doable, it's easy.

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Life-changing travel experience stories

Get inspiration from travelers’ tales. Submerge into these life-changing travel experience stories, beautiful tales of how a trip can alter the trajectory of your life – Experiencing the Globe #LifeChanching #TravelExperiences #Wanderlust #WhyTravel #IndependentTravel #SoloFemaleTravel #BucketList #Adventures #SustainableTravel #SustainableTourism

There’s nothing like other travelers’ tales to get inspiration . When you are home longing to be on the road, or when you are on a journey wondering why you left the comfort of your house, submerge into these life-changing travel experience stories, beautiful tales of how a trip can alter the trajectory of your life .

I’m sure my regular readers are used to me talking about travel experiences . But for those who are discovering this little window to my soul called Experiencing the Globe , you can see that it all started with a bucket list of all the –surprise, surprise– travel experiences I want to have around the world.

The list is my goal in life, so I’m spending as much time as I can on the road. But when I’m home in between trips I seek inspiration in other travelers’ tales. I’ve read as many books about exciting journeys as I could put my hands on. And recently I got a hold of Lonely Planet’s Travel Goals: Inspiring Experiences to Transform Your Life .

It got me thinking of my own life-changing travel experiences . Like my transformation into a sustainable traveler after fully grasping what that meant for the planet and all the life in it. I have a trip to the Caribbean to thank for that. The first trip I took alone, when I was starting to test my boundaries, empowered me as a solo female traveler, and opened my eyes to a new world of possibilities! I’m so thankful I chose Italy , an amazing destination to explore on your own! I reaffirmed my faith in human kindness after spending a month in Iran , meeting the loveliest people I’ve ever encountered.  And the most literal life-changing travel experience, moving to Croatia after meeting the love of my life in this beautiful country that now I call home.

Roatán, Honduras

The book also encouraged me to ask other travelers if they had a story in their own travels that changed their lives in one way or another. I was overwhelmed with the beautiful tales… some of the best life-changing stories that’ll inspire you to travel!

Life-changing travel experience stories that’ll inspire you to travel

Collecting memories, not counting countries.

I want to start this series of tales with my own. As I told you, many aspects of my life have changed over the years due to a travel experience, but the one I want to elaborate on is the one that defined what my life would be. Traveling hasn’t changed me, it has made me. It’s who I am. Several trips to the south of Chile showed me where I was going. This is the story of how I became the person I am today:

My parents took me camping to the Chilean Lake District every summer while growing up. This was in the dark age, before the internet. Back then we had to rely on maps and guidebooks. So through the endless hours of our road trips, I kept myself entertained glancing at a map, reading about the small towns we passed, and convincing my folks to take a detour to visit some place that caught my attention.

During one trip I told them that I have decided I wanted to go everywhere in the world. After a few laughs, my dad told me about the Travelers’ Century Club (TCC), a group for people who have visited 100 or more of the world’s countries and territories. My eyes sparkled with the thought of being a member, and I made it my goal.

Obviously, I started asking to go to another country instead of the same National Park we always visited. They laughed again –conscious of the monster they have created– and offered a compromise: they’d take me to our neighbor Argentina, my first trip abroad, but I had to see more of my own country before I embarked on my adventure of visiting another hundred. I happily accepted.

See, what I immediately realized is that –as much as I wanted to be part of the TCC– the main reasons to travel should revolve around what I’ll get out of a trip –whether that’s meeting locals, tasting the typical cuisine, exploring nature, or adventuring into an activity– it shouldn’t be just to count countries . I know the “why you should travel” is super personal, but ticking countries off a list only because you put your feet there feels meaningless to me.

Why do people travel? Well, there are as many reasons as people traveling, but even if it is to get a tan while you’re permanently sipping from a cocktail, that trip will always be part of your story, so you should make the most of it.

After visiting every region in Chile, I started to go abroad. Nowadays, getting closer to 100 countries and territories of the TCC list properly visited, what I knew instinctively, transformed into lessons I learnt during my travels … What inspires me the most to hit the road is experiences, because they feed my adventurous soul –the TCC list (and my own bucket list) became the means to guide my journey, not an end themselves.

Lake Calafquen Villarrica Volcano Chile

Spreading the word about the truth of traveling

Claudia’s life story is remarkably similar to my own. Being avid travelers changed the way we perceive a destination, and the story that should be told about it. We both left behind an academic career and repurposed our research abilities towards travel writing. Now we both blog from a distinct point of view. This is the story of how in a visit to Cuba she found her true calling:

“Cuba changed my life because it was nothing like I had expected it to be –quite the opposite, in fact. You see, being the avid traveler that I am, before my trip to Cuba I spent months reading just about anything I could put my hands on. If it talked about Cuba, I had to read it. Everything made it sound like traveling to Cuba would be easy, and locals would be generous and welcoming.

My time in Cuba was less than fabulous. Don’t get me wrong, it is a gorgeous country and now, a few years later, with much more traveling experience and understanding, I am ready to go again. But back then, it was awful. My 23 days there were a constant challenge to avoid scams –a challenge that a few times saw me succeed but that other times saw me fail miserably. It was frustrating. I felt I could not trust anybody. Where were the lovely Cubans everyone talked about in their blogs?

Cuba taught me that people lie, even (or especially) online. Because nobody really wants to say they have had a bad experience, and nobody is really interested in reading about others’ bad experiences –but is that really the case?

I decided there and then to be different. I decided that I had to warn others, tell them the truth, let them know what they should expect and what they should do to avoid scams. That’s why I opened my blog. It was just a pastime at the beginning.

Fast-forward 2 years and I realized that I did want to make an effort to make it work out. After all, what did I have to lose? My contract as a research fellow at the university had expired and I had no real prospect if not a series of menial short-term teaching jobs I was less than interested in. So, I gave blogging my heart and soul. And it worked. I’m a much happier person now. I love what I am doing. I wake up in the morning to face a long list of to-do things and I read it with a smile on my face, which is priceless.

Cuba changed my life. And despite all the frustration I felt back when I was there, it changed it for the best.”

Havana, Cuba

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Encountering wildlife to find yourself

Camilla was looking for something, but she wasn’t sure what it was. Her heart lead her to India , and after that trip her life would never be the same. Animals can have different impacts in our life, but for this former vegan chef, one particular big cat meant more than anything. This is her story:

“January 2017. That’s the date I first arrived in India. By that time, I used to work as a freelance vegan chef in the hustling city of Paris. Having attended a 4-weeks course on yoga and Ayurveda, I had planned to spend the following month exploring this amazing country.

Little did I know that a special encounter would change my life forever.

Always an animal lover, over the years I had developed a passion for the most majestic of big cats: the tiger. The striped animal had somehow summoned me. To what reason and to convey what message I do not know, but to such a call one can hardly resist.

India is home to more than 60% of the world’s remaining wild tigers. The critically endangered species is highly protected, and the country has given to many of its national parks the status of Tiger Reserve.

It was time for me to see my first one in the wild.

With zero safari experience and many hours of research, I booked 4 drives in Ranthambhore, one of India’s most famous Tiger Reserves .

I will always remember the excitement before that first drive in the jungle, and I will never forget the distress of realizing that finding the elusive cat is no easy task. 

But all of a sudden, there it was. Glorious in its fierce black striped orange coat, a killer look and an attitude to die for. My first wild tiger.

That fleeting moment was enough to make me want more. Today, I have moved to Central India, prime tiger landscape of the world, and I have seen 103 different individuals. But every time I see those eyes, I feel the same excitement that I felt as a total beginner that day in Ranthambhore.”

Ranthambhore - Tigers in the Wild

Finding love in an unexpected place

Traveling is full of surprises. A spontaneous detour can change your life forever. Don’t I know it! A quick, unplanned stop in Split after exploring Dubrovnik ended up seeing me move continents for love. A simple recommendation of a town in The Philippines had the same in store for Alya. This is the tale of the trip that lead her to her husband:

“Meeting my future husband was definitely one of the most life-changing travel experiences I’ve ever had. We met 6 years ago in the Philippines. I was traveling alone around Southeast Asia for a couple of months. After completing my dive course in Gili Air Island in Indonesia and didn’t know where to go next. I was looking for a good place to learn to surf. My dive instructor told me about a small town on Luzon Island in the Philippines. It sounded like the perfect place for me. I bought a plane ticket immediately and two days later arrived in San Fernando.

The hostel I stayed at had a big dormitory with many beds. I met many travelers including Campbell. In fact, we had neighboring beds in the dormitory. He traveled alone as well and we liked each other, so we started going together to the beach, surfing and going out at night. By chance we had very similar travel plans and decided to continue our trip together.

We both like doing the same things, like surfing, diving and hiking. We left San Fernando and traveled around the Philippines together for 2 months. From there we went to Singapore. Unfortunately, I had to go back home, my 4-month holiday was over. We arranged to meet up again two months later in Nepal since we both had trekking to Everest Base Camp on our bucket list. So we did, it was our first multi-day trek together.

We met up a couple of times on the road again in different countries. After 6 months of on and off I decided to quit my job and join Campbell on his around the world adventure. Three years later we got married and decided to start a travel blog . In the last 6 years we’ve done hundreds of hikes, spent a year hitchhiking through Latin America, drove thousands of kilometers across Africa and walked seven Camino de Santiago routes.

Now I can’t imagine how my life would look like if I hadn’t gone to that place in the Philippines and had never met my husband.”

Luzon, Philippines

Giving is better than having

A trip to South East Asia gave Corritta’s life a whole new meaning. Possessions are overrated, true happiness comes from giving. She and her family left a comfortable life in the United States behind to fill their souls while making the world a better place. This is the tale of their journey:

“My life changing experience prompted me to sell our house, car and possessions to take off on a journey to see the world. That may seem a little extreme but let me explain. My first international trip was to Bangkok in 2018. I thought this trip would be a great way to get away from the stress in my life. It turned out to be a life altering experience that made me realize I was existing, not living. 

While in Bangkok we took a day trip to Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand and it changed my life. We learned how cruel animal tourism is and how we, as tourists, are unwitting accomplices. We support illegal pouching and animal cruelty by taking part in animal tourism. This includes taking pictures with large cats or monkeys and riding elephants. When we do these things, we are not only hurting the animals, we are ensuring things will never get better. I must admit I was never an animal lover but being up close and personal with elephants changed something within me. It made me want to give back.  

So, two years later, with my partner and our one-year old baby boy, decided to take off for a  family gap year .  We sold everything and left San Diego to live a life of service. We will use this time to give back to those less fortunate. 

When I left Thailand my definition of happiness changed. It was no longer associated with material possessions, but by the quality of life I wanted to live. I realized what truly matters is the love of your family. The Thai people with their families were happier than most Americans. So I decided to take back one of the most invaluable things in the world, time. Never forget, all the money in the world can’t buy you more time.” 

Nam Fon, Thai Elephant Refuge

Small changes can make the world a better place

A trip to Australia developed plastic-issue awareness in Simona. Seeing how the tides brought tons of plastic to the shores made her change her approach to traveling. From carrying her own grocery bags and water bottle, little adjustments made her a much more responsible traveler. This is how her journey towards sustainability started:

“The first time ever I realized that plastic was a serious matter for our planet was during a road trip in Western Australia, almost 12 years ago.

We stopped at a supermarket along the Coral Bay coast to buy some groceries and the lady at the counter told us they didn’t sell any shopping bags to prevent plastic in the ocean and to help preserving the endangered turtles living in that area. After a first reaction of surprise, we gathered all our shopping in our arms and left, reflecting on what we had been told.

This was just one of the many experiences I’ve lived that made me more conscious about my impact and pushed me to adopt various habits to live and travel more sustainably. For example, after that trip, I am always carrying a cotton bag when I go shopping.

Our eco-honeymoon to Borneo was another life-changing experience that has strengthened my resolution to turn to a zero-waste lifestyle. I selected three ecotourism projects to visit. In Asia finding safe drinkable water is always a challenge, but we traveled with our water bottle, and we chose the right service providers engaged in sustainable travel so, with a little effort, we managed to avoid almost entirely the use of plastic during our trip.

However, we were seriously struck by our stay on Libaran Island, where a sustainable and turtle conservation project was launched 10 years ago. Despite the big efforts carried out by the project and the community in cleaning up the beaches and creatively re-use plastic, the shore is washed daily with tons of plastic coming from the tides. Walking on a carpet of plastic that almost prevented us from seeing the beach underneath was quite shocking.

Facing this global issue in person, raised in me a contrasting feeling of sadness and anger that soon turned into determination: to do as much as possible to reduce plastic in our life. Sometimes we may feel helpless in front of big problems, but we should be aware that small changes can actually make a difference!”

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Discovering happiness in simplicity

When her career and personal relations were failing, Soujanya decided to retreat to the mountains. The Himalayas were the perfect setting to get away from everything and regain perspective. In a small village she discovered that technology is overrated, and that what counts are real connections. This is how a trip to India changed her take on life:

“Back in mid-2019 I wasn’t in a good place in life. I was getting out of a serious relationship, I was burn out at my job, I had problems within my family, and the ever-increasing sense of loneliness had thrown me into a pit of depression. During that time, I turned to the only positive thing I had going on for myself, which was travel and blogging.

After some contemplation, I decided to quit my job to travel. I had saved up enough money that would last me 8-10 months so I didn’t give it much thought because I knew it was the only thing that would keep me from tipping over the edge.

The first thing I did after leaving my job was to head to the Himalayas in India. I spent a month in the Kinnaur and Spiti valleys in the state of Himachal Pradesh. The Kinnaur district was a breath of fresh air. The snow-clad mountain range in the distance, the lush green vegetation all around, the sparse population and the friendly people spoke to my soul.

There was one village called Chitkul , which lies on the Indo-Tibet border and has no cell connectivity, that helped heal me the most. A remote village with a population of less than a thousand people and only a handful of tourists, with nothing around it for many miles.

I spent my days sitting by the river, hiking to the nearby hills and walking through meadows. Just being there surrounded by the Himalayas, without any social media due to lack of connectivity, and making real connections with other travelers and the villagers had some sort of magical effect on me. Not only I have the best travel experience of my life, but the place also healed my mind. I came back happier than ever, with a renewed spirit, ready to enjoy everything that life had to offer.”

Chitkul Village - The Spicy Journey

Uncovering a braver version of yourself

We all have that one thing we’d love to do but we’re too scared to try. A trip to Thailand taught Allison that life is what we made of it. Pushing her boundaries not only allowed her to have a ton of fun, but also gave her a new path, one in which she gets to do what she loves. This is her story, an encouragement for you to get out of you comfort zone too:

“Shortly after I graduated from college, I moved to a new state to start a full-time job. One day at work, I found myself wanting to go traveling. As I didn’t have any friends there, I decided it was the perfect opportunity to go on my first ever solo trip. So I quickly started doing research on where I’d like to go.

I had never traveled alone before, especially overseas, so I decided to sign up for a guided group that was going rock climbing in Thailand . This gave me a sense of security, being new to solo traveling. It felt like a great way to dip my toes into being alone and meeting strangers, but also doing something that sounded really fun and engaging for 2 weeks.

The entire Thailand trip forced me out of so many comfort zones that ended up being one of the big turning points of my life. The time I spent in Thailand navigating airports and taxis alone, meeting a group of complete strangers, and spending 2 weeks climbing with them in often remote parts of the country, ended up being one of the greatest experiences of my life. Up until this point I had always considered myself a ‘shy’ and ‘cautious’ kind of person, but this travel experience lit me up to become different. It showed me a brave, strong, and self-sufficient side of myself that went on to influence my life in dramatic ways when I returned home.

When I got back, I pretty much dedicated my life to spending as much time as possible outdoors whether that be climbing, hiking, or backpacking… essentially doing things that I once thought I wasn’t ‘capable of’ or was ‘too scared of’. Today, roughly 6 years later, I’m an outdoor empowerment coach and backpacking educator.

My trip to Thailand was the spark that I needed to make that change. It showed me what was possible. I don’t know if it was the people I met, the experiences I had, or the beauty of traveling in Thailand – likely a bit of all of it– but whatever it was, it changed the trajectory of my life, and I’ll forever hold Thailand (and all the people I met) in a special place in my heart.”

Thailand - She Dreams of Alpine

A leap of faith towards a new life

Getting to visit a new place after a business trip is nothing out of the ordinary. For most people. For Derek and Mike it was literally life-changing. After a quick trip to Copenhagen , they packed up and started a new chapter of their lives as expats in a different continent. This is the tale of their journey:

“In November 2016 we had a life-changing travel experience in Copenhagen, Denmark. My partner Mike was asked to make an unexpected business trip to the city to help with a project. His company had recently acquired another company in Denmark, and he was asked to help with the integration. He flew there from our hometown, Philadelphia, with only a few days’ notice, and on his first day in the office they asked if he would stay a few weeks longer. He agreed but asked for time off during the American Thanksgiving so that I could fly to Denmark and take advantage of the opportunity to enjoy a cheap trip to Europe with no-cost lodging and some meals expensed.

We loved getting to check out a city that we didn’t have on our travel bucket list before this opportunity came about. We did a few tours, visited the Christmas markets and dined out. At one restaurant we got to try the Christmas traditional Danish meal . I enjoyed Copenhagen for 5 days and Mike remained there for work until the end of November.

On his last night in Denmark, he had dinner at his boss’ home. They shared a meal with a lot of wine and then Mike called me when he got back to his hotel. I could hear the excitement in his voice. He asked if I liked Copenhagen, which seemed odd because he knew I enjoyed myself when I was there. Then he asked if I liked it enough to move there, because on that final night, his boss asked if we would take an expat assignment in Denmark.

We didn’t hesitate to accept and our life abroad began almost right away. That trip to Copenhagen was certainly life-changing!”

Copenhagen - Robe Trotting

Learning to fully appreciate what’s in front you

No matter how much you have traveled, there are places that will bring up the best of you. No matter how much there is still to see, some places will take your breath away and will forever stay in your heart. A trip to Antarctica transformed Wendy into a student. She acquired as much information as she could to fully absorb the beauty that she was about to witness. And now she is longing to go back. This is her story:

“Before my cruise from Ushuaia to Antarctica , I was already quite well-traveled. I had visited about 75 countries and seen plenty of natural beauty before. But all of that paled in comparison to the White Continent. The Perito Moreno glacier in Argentina had mesmerized me just days earlier, but now I was seeing dozens, even hundreds, of sparkling white glaciers practically everywhere I looked. These landscapes were so different from anything I’d ever seen that it felt like I’d traveled to another planet.

On the times when the weather was bad, and on the long days of crossing the Drake Passage between Tierra del Fuego and Antarctica, I soaked up every bit of knowledge that I could about this snow-and-ice-covered land. Our ship, the MV Ushuaia, was manned by a full staff of scientists and lecturers who were experts in a number of relevant topics, from geology to ornithology. When we were out on the high seas with nothing to do, these experts held lectures on the flora, fauna, history and geology of Antarctica, and I attended every single one.

When we stopped at the British base at Port Lockroy on Goudier Island, I grilled the staff there with questions about how I too could go live and work on the island. And while that dream never materialized, my memories of Antarctica are still sharp in my mind 11 years later, and I still dream of returning one day.

Such an expensive voyage would normally be the trip of a lifetime, not a return destination. But if you’re willing to try your luck, sharply discounted last-minute deals can be found at the port in Ushuaia a day or two before departure. In recent years, these huge discounts have become few and far between, as most ships fill up months in advance. But still I’m thinking of a return trip to Antarctica for some more adventure!”

Adelie Penguins in Antarctica - The Nomadic Vegan

No matter where you go, every single place in the world has the potential to change your life! Tell me in the comments if you’ve had any life-changing travel experiences!

Liked it? Want to read it later? Pin it!

Get inspiration from travelers’ tales. Submerge into these life-changing travel experience stories, beautiful tales of how a trip can alter the trajectory of your life – Experiencing the Globe #LifeChanching #TravelExperiences #Wanderlust #WhyTravel #IndependentTravel #SoloFemaleTravel #BucketList #Adventures #SustainableTravel #SustainableTourism

Did you like what you read? A lovely way to show your appreciation is by buying me a coffee 🙂 Your support will ensure I keep bringing you stories and insights from around the world! Thanks so much!

dream trip story

16 thoughts on “Life-changing travel experience stories”

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Wow this is really amazing,I pray that I will be opportuned to travel around the world one day

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Sometimes we think it’s a far away dream because it’s dangerous, or expensive, or because we can’t take time from work. I’m aware that for some people it’s actually quite impossible due to their passport or the political situation in their country. For others, their responsibilities are far too great to leave behind. But for most of us, it’s just a matter of priorities. Don’t wait until you have all the money you think you need, or all the time you’d like to spend on the road. Just go! Even if it’s a weekend trip to your neighboring city, or to the countryside close to your place. You got to start somewhere, and every trip has the potential to be life-changing! Let me know how it goes! 🙂

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I was looking for inspiration, and inspiration I found. I can’t travel at the moment, but I’m already thinking of how to be more sustainable on my next trip. Thank you all for sharing!

That’s amazing to hear, Dani! Welcome to the sustainable traveler’s team! 🌱

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I googled inspiring travel stories to see if my day could be picked up, and I’m so glad this popped up! Lovely stories, super inspiring! I can’t wait for the pandemic to be over to create some travel stories of my own ❤️

Awww! I’m so happy to read your comment, Monty! Hopefully the pandemic will be under control soon and you’ll get to have some travel stories too. Make sure you tell me about them!

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Beautiful tales! I can’t wait to start traveling again. Travel already has changed my life, but I’d be happy living through any of the wonderful experiences described here!

When you get to travel again, keep an open mind and an open heart… amazing experiences will happen! ❤️

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Very inspiring stories! Thank you for sharing them!

It was a blast to write this, and collect other wonderful tales!

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Love all these stories! Love how travel has shaped everyone!

In one way or another, every trip makes us a bit different. It was great to get these wonderful travelers to share their stories -now I’m sure it’s not only me who is deeply changed by travel!

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These are all such inspiring stories! Really goes to show you how much travel can impact your life. Thanks for sharing!

It’s crazy how much travel can change us, and how much we can learn from it, no matter where we go!

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I loved reading this! All of the stories are such an inspiration! I can’t wait to get back on the road 😍

In times of armchair travel, nothing like beautiful stories to keep the wanderlust up, right? ❤️

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45 Funny, Heartfelt, Unforgettable Travel Stories

Adventurous Kate contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, I will earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks!

I tell travel stories for a living. I do this because I can’t NOT tell travel stories — every experience I have is shaped in the moment and waits in anticipation to shoot out of my fingertips.

And I live to share those stories with an audience. As humans, we’re hard-wired to be influenced by storytelling, and I feel like stories are what inspire people to actually book a trip.

To be honest, though, compelling stories are what’s missing from most travel blogs today, where SEO-driven travel planning posts make up the majority of the content.

We have SO many great travel stories to tell. But we’re not telling them as often as we should. So I decided to share some of the best stories in one place.

I reached out to my travel blogger friends to share their most entertaining posts of all time. Nothing travel planning-oriented, nothing keyword- or affiliate-stuffed — just fun, entertaining stories that would make a stranger smile or laugh. And did they EVER pay off!

Each of these stories is a treasure. I hope you enjoy them.

Note: Due to COVID-19 and a dwindled demand for travel worldwide, travel bloggers have lost significant portions of their incomes. Between people not researching or booking travel and advertisers reducing their spend, many travel bloggers will be making a small fraction of their usual income for months.

The best thing you can do right now is find a story you like on this list and visit several pages on their blog. It costs you nothing, but your eyes on their display ads (no clicks necessary, we get paid by views!) will earn them some much-needed cash in a difficult time.

Want to help out even more? If you love one of these blog posts, sign up for their email newsletter. You can find mine here.

Table of Contents

Kate has a worried expression in front of a giant table filled with around 15 dishes of food for her

Funny Travel Mishaps

Are you looking to read about crazy mishaps that happened on the road? Here are some good ones!

Possibly My Favorite Travel Poop Story Ever

Nomadasaurus

OMG. I had never read this one before but this is one of the funniest travel stories I’ve ever read!

Jared tells the story of when diarrhea hit at the worst time ever — on a Chinese bus — and where he ultimately ended up pooping!

Embarrassing Stories From My Travels

Legal Nomads

Jodi is well-known for being pooped on while traveling — 14 birds and one bat so far — but this post shared plenty more of those stories.

If you’ve ever wanted to know the most embarrassing way to ask where to catch the bus in Argentina, here it is.

Hooked on the Cook Islands: My Giant Wedgie

Neverending Footsteps

Lauren is well-known for her extensive list of disastrous “travel incidents” around the world.

This one involves a snorkeling trip where she accidentally flashed her vag to an entire boat of people, including a family with young kids.

I Have a Confession to Make

Journalist on the Run

Imagine being a travel writer who gets paid to stay in a luxurious resort in the Maldives. Dream job, huh?

Now imagine that you get hit by the worst diarrhea of your life while pretending that everything is normal as the staff gives you a tour! Janet lays out her experience in excruciating detail.

When a City Girl Goes Camping

Suitcase and Heels

I may be a city girl who took her first steps in a tent — but not all city girls take to camping so easily.

Melissa shares a camping adventure in Newfoundland that did not go as planned! (NEVER forget the bottle opener!)

An Ode to Señor Frog, The Worst Car in Cozumel

Emily Luxton Travels

What happens when you rent a weird pea-green car that looks like an emaciated Volkswagen Beetle? Well, you definitely get an adventure out of it, Emily shares.

Know this before you rent a tiny car on a Mexican island!

How to Have the Worst Day Ever in Phuket (and How to Turn It Around)

Why Wait to See the World

Sometimes you have a travel day when you hit disaster after disaster after disaster — and sometimes it’s when you’re on your first full travel day with your boyfriend, ever.

That happened to Steph in Phuket, but soon she found a way to turn it around.

The Time I Got Pissed On in Manila

Aussie on the Road

Continuing the bodily fluids theme, Chris shares a rather disgusting late-night incident in a hostel dorm.

This proves that sometimes fellow backpackers are the most horrifying thing you could run into on the road!

Terrible Travel Tales: Mishaps, Setbacks, and Comical Foibles of Globe Trotting

Year of the Monkey

From missing a flight at the last minute due to a nosebleed to getting mistaken for a child at the age of 32, this is a big list of stories.

Paroma shares her favorite travel mishaps she’s collected over the years, all in excruciating detail.

That Time We Got Held Hostage by Monkeys in Ubud

Bridges and Balloons

And I thought I was terrified in the Monkey Forest in Ubud — Victoria and Steve got TRAPPED in a house surrounded by monkeys and couldn’t escape!

One of my worst nightmares. They seemed to handle it well.

My Embarrassing Driving Experience in Ourzazate

Norbert had never driven stick before in his life — so when the car he rented in Morocco turned out to have a manual transmission, he figured he could just wing it and learn to drive stick that day. NOT SO MUCH!

As a fellow driver who has never driven stick, I felt this one.

Ayurvedic Massage, Not for the Modest

Jessie on a Journey

If you had the chance to get a massage for just $16 in the heart of Kerala, India, you would go for it, wouldn’t you?

Then Jessie found out that this massage was done naked. COMPLETELY naked. With lots of oil and boob massage.

An unmarked gray van in Bushwick, Brooklyn

Scary Travel Mishaps

Sometimes mishaps can be on the dark side — though often you’ll find aspects of them humorous in retrospect. Either way, you won’t want to miss these posts.

Disaster Strikes

Escape Artistes

When horseback riding in rural Mongolia, Theodora’s son fell and severely broke his arm…in the middle of absolute nowhere.

This kicked off a breathless emergency of trying to find healthcare in one of the most remote places on Earth. It’s a gripping read.

When Traveling Sucks: A Hospital Visit in Fez, Morocco

Foodie Flashpacker

What’s worse than getting bitten by a bunch of bugs in the night? Getting bitten by giant mutant insects whose bites swell up enormously…right in the middle of your forehead.

Nathan details the story of his medical incident in Morocco and a doctor’s office that looks straight out of Chernobyl.

When a Man Comes Knocking

Borderline Crazy Bloggers

One of the scariest things while traveling is when a man has fixated on you — and because the culture is so different, you’re not sure whether you should be afraid or not.

In this story, Marieke shares the story of an Indian man who showed up at her door and kept refusing to leave.

Locks on a bridge in Amsterdam

Tales of Romance and Love

Do you love stories about love? I bet you do!! Here are three stories that will make you believe in finding love on the road.

The Last Time I Saw You (Part Five)

This Battered Suitcase

This is an ongoing series on Brenna’s blog where she tells the stories of the loves she’s met while traveling.

This is a short story that feels like it’s much longer — an incredibly romantic dalliance with a French man on a tropical island, then how it all crashes down once returning to real life.

10 Love Stories From My Travels

Adventurous Kate

It’s been years, but this is still one of my favorite posts I’ve ever written. I share ten different love stories from my travels, and tell you the ten locations where they took place — but you have to use logic and deduction to figure out which location matches with each story.

Nobody has ever guessed all 10 correctly. Maybe you will.

Nacpan and Calitang Beach: One of the Last Starry-Eyed, Lovestruck Journeys of the Previous Chapter

Nomadic Experiences

Looking back to days on one of the most beautiful beaches near El Nido in the Philippines, Marky tells the story of a special girl and the sweet moments they shared on one of the most idyllic islands in the world.

They’ve long since broken up, but he gently holds the experience in his hand, frozen in time.

Four backpackers standing on the edge facing Kaieteur Falls in Guyana, no safety rail whatsoever!

Unforgettable Travel Experiences

These are the moments that got us out of our comfort zone, introduced us to memorable characters, and turned us into better travelers — and people.

How I Met Gunther, The Best Taxi Driver in Vienna

Budget Traveller

Every now and then, you meet someone who restores your faith in humanity. Gunther the taxi driver was one of those people.

Not only did he defy the odds to get Kash to his bus on time, he was unbelievably kind about the dilemma that happened next.

The Hardest Thing I’ve Ever Done: Two Weeks Hiking Japan’s Kumano Kodo Iseji

Adventures Around Asia

The Kumano Kodo hike in Japan is one of the most famous spiritual pilgrimages in the world. Richelle was excited to get out of her comfort zone — then ended up doing the hike in convenience store waterproof pants.

Despite a very tough start, it turned out to be a fantastic experience.

Hiking in the Atlas Mountains, Morocco

Inside the Travel Lab

Sometimes the most magical travel experiences take place in the most remote areas.

Abi extols the romance and beauty and culture of these isolated villages of Morocco, yet wonders if bringing more travelers here would be a good thing.

What I Learned From Giving Up Meat, Alcohol, and Complaining in India

Ashley Abroad

When Ashley went to Rishikesh, India, for yoga teacher training, she went out of her comfort zone by staying sober, sticking to a vegetarian diet, and giving up complaining.

Did it work? In some ways, yes, and she learned a lot about herself from the experience.

The Thrilling Adventures of Super Boyfriend

No Place to Be

So your girlfriend has dropped her camera in the Nam Song river in Laos. Surely a lost cause, isn’t it?

Not for Poi — a.k.a. Super Boyfriend — who leaped to the rescue, underwater among the sharp rocks.

Alaska Road Trip: Our Top 12 Adventures

Alaska is a destination that so many travelers dream of — but the reality ends up looking different from what you pictured.

Mike and Anne share gorgeous photos and stories from their multi-year honeymoon.

Tokyo at Sunset from the Park Hyatt, lit up in lavender.

Controversial Takes

A lot of bloggers swear that controversial posts are the way to get traffic. I agree, as long as you go about it the right way. By that, I mean make a point, be fair, and defend it well. And PLEASE don’t trash the Philippines just to get crazy traffic.

5 Reasons to Stop Hating on “The Instagram Girl”

Follow Me Away

It seems so fashionable to hate the “Instagram girl” with the popular travel account — after all, who really wears a ball gown on top of a mountain?

But in this post, Victoria points out why the hate is misguided and the reasons why we should be supporting women with unconventional careers.

8 Reasons Why You Should Never Go to Wales

A Dangerous Business

Sure, Wales is beautiful and fun and interesting to explore, Amanda writes — but do they REALLY need all those castles and myths? Come on, now.

(Let’s say some people didn’t quite get the sarcasm.)

5 Reasons Travel Just Totally Isn’t Worth It

travelingmitch

I’m sorry, why are we even traveling, anyway? It’s so annoying, Mitch says!

What if people don’t speak English? What if you’re forced to challenge your preciously held views? WHAT IF YOU GET LOST AND CAN’T GET UN-LOST?! Better stay at home.

Is a Backpack Just Another Word for “Female Mid-life Crisis”?

GrrrlTraveler

Turning 40 and continuing to backpack around the world as a single woman with no kids. It’s what Christine enjoys — but is this what she really should be doing at this age?

For her, the answer is yes — and this post really shows how deep our cultural norms can set.

8 Reasons Hiking Sucks

Food Fun Travel

When people love food and wine and music as much as Tommo and Megsy, it’s not surprising that they’re equally passionate about what they hate: hiking.

Who needs to go back to nature? Who likes going somewhere without pubs? Is it a bonding experience? Bonding in misery, maybe!

A zodiac full of people in red jackets is caught by several crew members in a gray, violent surf.

How-To Guides You Never Thought You’d Need

Travel blogs are a great place to learn something new! And often it’s something you NEVER thought you needed to know…

How to Throw Out Your Garbage in Germany

Ali’s Adventures

Who knew just the act of throwing out your trash was so ridiculous and complicated in Germany?!

Ali shares what she’s learned as an expat in Berlin. Also, the comments are a gold mine.

How to Use the Toilet in India

BreatheDreamGo

Worrying about stocking up on toilet paper? Indians don’t use toilet paper at all!

India expert Mariellen shares all the tips for using the toilet in an unconventional (better?) way, and shares a hilarious video from Wilbur Sargunaraj.

How to Survive a Power Outage like a Puerto Rican

Indecisive Traveler

Reese spent years living in Puerto Rico, and during that time she went through quite a few power outages, including a four-day outage in 2016.

Step one? Immediately buy all the cold beer you can and take it home!

Big on Bidets: How Do You Use a Bidet and What is a Bidet For?

LL World Tour

Have you ever stopped in your tracks at the sight of a bidet in a bathroom in Italy or France and not known exactly how to use it?

Lisa shows you what you need to know. Because there’s nothing better than a clean anus!

Fiery Viking boat at Up Helly Aa in Shetland

Quirky Stories from the Road

All of us love to travel for the unusual things we discover on the road. Here are some of the best stories of unusual discoveries while traveling.

The Peens of Pompeii

Domestiphobia

Did you know that the ancient ruins of Pompeii are filled with penises? WELL, YOU DO NOW!

Katie visited the ruins for a day and was struck by how you can find a peen outline just about everywhere you look.

The Funniest Farm Market Sign in Southwest PA

Around the World L

Proof that there’s lots to be loved here in lesser-known parts of the US.

I love this sign that Lillie shared from a farmer with a side of sass!

Pictures of Cats and Dogs in Naples, Italy

2 Food Trippers

Naples is one of the greatest food cities in Italy — if not all of Europe — so it’s no surprise that the felines and canines of this city are as plump as they are adorable!

A cute post from Daryl and Mindi.

Sheep Driving Distractions in the Lake District

Raulerson Girl Travels

The Lake District of England is a wonderful place for a scenic drive…if it weren’t for the kamikaze sheep who leap right in front of your car!

I didn’t believe how fearless the sheep were until I saw Heather’s crazy photos.

How Creepy is the Ringling Brothers Circus Museum in Sarasota, Florida?

My Wanderlusty Life

You don’t have to be afraid of clowns to be creeped out by this weird museum, Ashley opines.

If you’re a hardcore circus fan, sure, knock yourself out! Other people? You don’t know what you’re getting into…

Lady Fails at Grocery Shopping

A Lady in London

Who knew it was so hard to grocery shop in the UK as an American? (Me. Boy, do I know that.)

Turns out none of the items are the same as what you would look for in the US (no tomato sauce ANYWHERE!) and Julie struggles to find normal items she just wants to cook.

Transportation in India: What the Tuk-Tuk?!

Traveling Canucks

Tuk-tuks are one of the most common forms of transportation in India — and they can be TERRIFYING.

Nicole and Cam vividly share every detail of a typical tuk-tuk ride, from near-accidents to carefully maneuvering around cows, and you’ll be white-knuckling it along with them.

That Time Angie Made Us Stay in a Sex Motel

Living the Dream RTW

When Jeremy and Angie had to spend the night in a Colombian border town, Angie chose a nondescript hotel.

Well. Turns out it was filled with a wide cadre of “hourly” guests all night long — and the walls were paper-thin.

Kate stands in front of a small boat on Lake Atitlan named "Titanic." Kate points to it with an incredulous expression on her face.

You know…these funny posts don’t fit anywhere else, so here they are.

50 Amazingly Achievable Things to Do Before You Die

Fevered Mutterings

Forget those usual bucket list items — go skydiving! See Machu Picchu! — and focus on things that you CAN do. Trip on a shoelace. Use a leaf as a bookmark. Walk into plate glass.

Mike makes sure you’ll finish this post with a smile on your face.

8 Places to Travel in Case of a Zombie Apocalypse

Amateur Traveler

So once the zombie apocalypse actually hits, where should people be going? Chris shares his favorite spots, including Louisville, home to the famous baseball bat.

I have to admit, the isolated Atlantic island of Tristan da Cunha is an inspired choice.

8 Funny Facts About Traveling With Your Twin

Slow Spirit

Guilherme and his twin brother Gregório are identical twins who travel together — and they are VERY distinctive-looking. They get photographed nonstop, people who meet them individually refuse to believe there are two of them, and yes, they play a lot of pranks.

I laughed out loud at their hostel prank!

Thanks for reading! We loved sharing these posts with you.

dream trip story

Which one of these stories was your favorite? Share away!

Maps & Merlot

30 Dream Travel Destinations Around the World

If you were to close your eyes and picture your dream travel destinations, where in the world would they be? Assuming money is no object (I’m still wishing for a money tree), I put together a list of dream vacation destinations to get your travel inspiration flowing. Hopefully the list will motivate you to update your bucket list and share some of your favorites with me! I love hearing about new destinations!

1 | Bora Bora

You know what I’m talking about…the gorgeous over-water bungalows and crystal clear water. I’m not sure how you leave this island off your list of dream travel destinations! Top activities (aside from straight up chilling) include jet skiing , snorkeling with sharks , and swimming with whales . Even just writing about this one has me googling flights to Bora Bora…be right back!

2 |Patagonia

Glaciers, mountains, and outdoor activities, oh my! Patagonia has so much natural beauty, plus a ton of awesome looking activities from white water rafting to hiking to kayaking .

Are these dream travel destinations on your bucket list? Discover the hidden gems that are seriously dream vacation destinations…and start packing!

3 | Hoi An, Vietnam

Hoi An has always been near the top of my list for Vietnam. As a bustling little city, I’d love to try a classic Vietnamese food tour , try out basket boating , and ride a motorbike through the Vietnamese countryside.

Are these dream travel destinations on your bucket list? Discover the hidden gems that are seriously dream vacation destinations…and start packing!

4 | Lofoten Islands, Norway

Head to Norway’s Lofoten Islands for some out of this world beauty. If you opt to go in the summer, enjoy plenty of hiking, boating, and fishing. On the other hand, the winter will offer you the opportunity to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights! I can’t wait to do this one day, but am unsure how to mentally prepare myself for a Nordic winter…

Are these dream travel destinations on your bucket list? Discover the hidden gems that are seriously dream vacation destinations…and start packing!

5 | Banff, Canada

Yes, this is where you can see the beautiful blue Lake Louise! I’d love to kayak hike, or even do a combo tour of both Banff and Jasper National Parks . In just a day, you can see icefields, glaciers, and beautiful waterfalls.

Are these dream travel destinations on your bucket list? Discover the hidden gems that are seriously dream vacation destinations…and start packing!

6 | Cartagena, Colombia

Cartagena’s colors and vibrancy know how to draw a person in. Plus, they have tapas , which makes me soooo happy! Not only could you spend days exploring the city itself, but you could also opt to check out the gorgeous Playa Blanca or the mud baths at Totumo Volcano . I’m not super into mud or being dirty, but the idea of a mud bath sounds super relaxing.

Are these dream travel destinations on your bucket list? Discover the hidden gems that are seriously dream vacation destinations…and start packing!

7 | Italy’s Amalfi Coast

The rugged cliffs and pastel colored villages have long caught my eye on Italy’s Amalfi Coast. It’s no wonder this area if one of the top dream travel destinations! Whether you opt to sail along the coast or cruise while sipping Limoncello , you can’t go wrong. In addition to sailing the Amalfi Coast, I’ve previously spent some time in Venice , Burano , Florence , and Cinque Terre (all of which I recommend!), so you might as well just block your calendar for a few weeks to explore Italy.

Are these dream travel destinations on your bucket list? Discover the hidden gems that are seriously dream vacation destinations…and start packing!

8 | Antarctica

With more and more Antarctica tours popping up, this may be the time to book your journey! Kayak past icebergs, make friends with the penguins, and watch the seal pups.

Are these dream travel destinations on your bucket list? Discover the hidden gems that are seriously dream vacation destinations…and start packing!

9 | Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

Head down to the Galapagos of Ecuador for some awesome wildlife viewing. On this 5-day tour of the Galapagos , visit the turtle reserves, lava tubes, befriend the sea lions, and check out Darwin’s research station! For those interested in evolution, science, or wildlife, this is definitely one of the top vacation destinations.

Are these dream travel destinations on your bucket list? Discover the hidden gems that are seriously dream vacation destinations…and start packing!

10 | Seychelles

A thousand miles from civilization, these islands are out-of-this world beautiful. Relax on the beaches, take a sail, and soak in paradise.

Are these dream travel destinations on your bucket list? Discover the hidden gems that are seriously dream vacation destinations…and start packing!

11 | South Africa

From Table Mountain in Cape Town to seeing a lion in Kruger National Park , South Africa has quickly jumped up my bucket list. I’ve never been on a safari, plus I hear the wine is fantastic . What more could I ask for?

Are these dream travel destinations on your bucket list? Discover the hidden gems that are seriously dream vacation destinations…and start packing!

12 | Bernese Oberland, Switzerland

I have spent 3 days in Switzerland previously and absolutely loved Lucer n e , Bern, and Interlaken and the surrounding areas. Next time, I plan to spend some additional time in the smaller mountain villages like Lauterbrunnen, Wengen, and Murren. At the top of the bucket list for next time is a glacier helicopter ride !

Are these dream travel destinations on your bucket list? Discover the hidden gems that are seriously dream vacation destinations…and start packing!

13 | Cappadocia, Turkey

Cappadocia is best known for the unique spot in Turkey with all of the hot air balloons…definitely one of my dream vacation destinations. Take a hot air balloon flight , or start in Istanbul and do a multi-day tour of the region and check out the famed fairy chimneys in Devrent Valley.

Are these dream travel destinations on your bucket list? Discover the hidden gems that are seriously dream vacation destinations…and start packing!

14 | Chefchaouen, Morocco

The classic blue houses have always tempted me in Chefchaouen. It’s probably not the only reason to fly to Morocco though…check out Morocco, Casablanca, and Fes. Then take a full day trip to Chefchaouen and enjoy this photographer’s paradise!

Are these dream travel destinations on your bucket list? Discover the hidden gems that are seriously dream vacation destinations…and start packing!

15 | Tatra Mountains, Slovakia

The High Tatras are Slovakia’s highest range and one of the most dramatic and beautiful mountain regions in Europe. Hike along the jagged granite peaks, frolic in green meadows, and take in the unique Alpine flowers.

Are these dream travel destinations on your bucket list? Discover the hidden gems that are seriously dream vacation destinations…and start packing!

16 | Grand Canyon, USA

There are so many places to visit abroad, it’s easy to lose sight of the amazing places in the good old USA. One of my all-time dreams is to go white-water rafting through the area, but I suppose I could settle for exploring the South Rim and doing some hiking too. It still blows my mind that these landscapes are in my country!

Are these dream travel destinations on your bucket list? Discover the hidden gems that are seriously dream vacation destinations…and start packing!

17 | Costa Rica

So I couldn’t narrow it down to just one place in Costa Rica because there are SOOOO many things I want to see and do there. Check out the sloths at Manuel Antonio National Park , horseback ride through the Cloud Forest , or go on an all-out adventure around the Arenal Volcano !

Are these dream travel destinations on your bucket list? Discover the hidden gems that are seriously dream vacation destinations…and start packing!

18 | St. John, USVI

A hidden gem of the Caribbean, St. John is the smallest of the US Virgin Islands (no passport for me!) The pristine water and white sandy beaches are definitely calling my name…plus, snorkeling in the Caribbean is one of my all-time favorite activities.  For more Caribbean inspiration, check out my suggestions for the Bahamas , Barbados , and St. Bart’s .

Are these dream travel destinations on your bucket list? Discover the hidden gems that are seriously dream vacation destinations…and start packing!

19 | Havana, Cuba

Havana is still a relatively new destination for most Americans, and I’m obviously still completely intrigued by it. On my ideal trip to Cuba, I’d spend some time exploring Old Havana , take a ride in those classic cars (for the Insta, of course), and visit the beautiful Viñales Valley . Now doesn’t that sound like it should be on a list of dream travel destinations? For my first trip to Cuba, I spent 3 days in and around Havana , and I would highly recommend going.

Are these dream travel destinations on your bucket list? Discover the hidden gems that are seriously dream vacation destinations…and start packing!

20 | Uyuni Salt Flats, Bolivia

The Uyuni Salt Flats have been drawing me in with their other-worldly looks, but I’d also love to check out La Paz and Isla del Sol. Spend a couple weeks in Bolivia to see the highlights of the country!

Are these dream travel destinations on your bucket list? Discover the hidden gems that are seriously dream vacation destinations…and start packing!

21 | Petra, Jordan

Petra is known for its rick-cut architecture and proximity to Wadi Rum, the largest valley in Jordan. Make a long weekend of your visit and hit up Petra, Wadi Rum, and finish it off with a float in the Dead Sea. If you have a full week, make sure you check out my bucket list of the top 10 tourist attractions in Jordan (all tried and tested by yours truly)!

Are these dream travel destinations on your bucket list? Discover the hidden gems that are seriously dream vacation destinations…and start packing!

22 | Koh Samui, Thailand

Koh Samui is definitely an adventure hot spot in Thailand, and I do love adventures. You can just lounge on the beach….but you could also hop on a catamaran , go kayaking , go fishing , or even become PADI certified and a scuba expert! This is my goal; I can’t wait to enjoy the mermaid life!

Are these dream travel destinations on your bucket list? Discover the hidden gems that are seriously dream vacation destinations…and start packing!

23 | Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Head over to Cairns to experience the majestic Great Barrier Reef. Whether you opt to take a catamaran cruise , jump in and snorkel , or go bungee jumping (my personal choice!), it will be beautiful!

Are these dream travel destinations on your bucket list? Discover the hidden gems that are seriously dream vacation destinations…and start packing!

24 | Machu Picchu, Peru

Hiking the classic Machu Picchu trail is a must, and Rainbow Mountain is on my list too! Plus, I’d love to befriend some llamas (hello llama selfies!), and explore the salt mines and hot springs.

Are these dream travel destinations on your bucket list? Discover the hidden gems that are seriously dream vacation destinations…and start packing!

25 | Iceland’s Ring Road

So full disclosure: I’ve already been to Iceland once. I explored Reykjavik , the Golden Circle , the Blue Lagoon , and Iceland’s South Coast on my 4 day itinerary around Iceland . However, Iceland was SOOO beautiful that I need to go back and follow the Ring Road around the entire country. The icebergs at Jökulsárlón and the crystal ice caves are way up there on my list of things to see next time!

Are these dream travel destinations on your bucket list? Discover the hidden gems that are seriously dream vacation destinations…and start packing!

26 | Santorini, Greece

I think Santorini is probably on everyone’s list for dream travel destinations, and for good reason. With the iconic blue roofs, sparkling Mediterranean, and delicious food, what could be better? My perfect day in Santorini includes exploring a volcano , wine tasting , and capping it all off with a sunset cruise .

Are these dream travel destinations on your bucket list? Discover the hidden gems that are seriously dream vacation destinations…and start packing!

27 | Zanzibar, Tanzania

Aside from being drop-dead gorgeous, Zanzibar has plenty of awesome activities for you. Learn about Zanzibar history in Stone Town , take a boat ride off the beautiful African shoreline, or venture into the Jozani Forest to get up close and personal with some of the native animals.

Are these dream travel destinations on your bucket list? Discover the hidden gems that are seriously dream vacation destinations…and start packing!

28 | Oahu, Hawaii

I’ve spent some time on the big island of Hawaii, but have never made it to Oahu. Not only can you visit Pearl Harbor and learn about an important time in US history, but Oahu offers plenty of fun activities too. Try going diving with whale sharks or snorkeling with turtles !

Are these dream travel destinations on your bucket list? Discover the hidden gems that are seriously dream vacation destinations…and start packing!

29 | New Zealand

From jaw-dropping mountains to beautiful lakes, I can’t help but drool over photos of New Zealand. Road tripping around the country, visiting Hobbiton , zip lining , and bungee jumping make New Zealand near the top pf my list for dream travel destinations.

Are these dream travel destinations on your bucket list? Discover the hidden gems that are seriously dream vacation destinations…and start packing!

A tiny island in the Mediterranean, the capital, Valetta, has plenty of local gems. Take a wine tour , visit Malta’s famous Blue Lagoon , or take a crazy fun party cruise , complete with a midnight swim!

Are these dream travel destinations on your bucket list? Discover the hidden gems that are seriously dream vacation destinations…and start packing!

And there you have it…the top travel destinations around this world. I hope this gave you some travel inspiration for your next trip! I know I’m currently counting how many vacation days I have left this year. What are some of your dream vacation destinations? I’m always looking for some new bucket list destinations!

P.S. This post contains affiliate links. If you click on one and make a purchase, I might make a little extra spending money, at no extra cost to you. As always, all opinions are my own.  These products/services have been useful during my travels and come highly recommended to you from yours truly!

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Discover your dream travel destinations around the world! #iceland #newzealand #zanzibar #jordan

15 Comments

I’ve been to a few of these and those which I haven’t made it to yet are on my list! Great post!!

Some interesting places here. Which would you like to visit the most?

Omg that’s so tricky! Maybe South Africa since it’s so different than anywhere I’ve been before?

Some really lovely destinations here and some that are definitely on my list too! My dream destination is Mongolia 🙂

That’s a really good one too! I’d love to see Mongolia one day

I have only been to four places on this list, looks like I’ve got a lot of traveling to do

I’m right there with you! So many places in the world to see

I’ve only been to four of these places so far! I must get a move on 🙂

I have so many places left to visit too!

I love this list. I’ve been to a few and have many of them on the “must do” list, but you gave me some new ideas. The more I travel, the longer my list gets. LOL!

Haha I have the same problem!!

We have only been to 4! Better get planning lol!

Yup! Gotta figure out the next trip 🙂

After many years of traveling, I still enjoy returning to South Africa as one of my favorite destinations.

Theres plenty of good places on this list. I’m in Hoi An now so can vouch that its certainly worth seeing!

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77 Short Travel Stories from around the World

Anna Kiefer - Hostel Expert on Hostelgeeks.com

We love good travel stories! We want to keep it simple and to the point. Therefore, every Short Travel Story is written in less than 200 words.

Real-life Travel Stories (less than 30 seconds)

Every traveler has their own unique story he or she loves to share. It is one big, important part of the travel experience.

Whether it is a funny or special story about a hostel experience, or an interesting adventure on the road. Hostelgeeks features unique stories from backpackers and travelers from around the world.

Hardcover Books with Crazy and Fun Travel Tales

A great story belongs in a book. We had a look around and found a bunch of very fascinating travel books you will love too.

  • How not to travel the world
  • A Thousand New Beginnings
  • Tales of a Female Nomad: Living at Large in the World

Especially “ How not to travel the world ” by Lauren Juliff will make you want to travel the world even more. With little to no life experience like never riding a bus or even eaten beans, she goes out to explore the world. She shares her failures, her travel mistakes of full of bad luck and near-death experiences. Lauren was scammed, assaulted, caught up in a tsunami, had the brakes of her motorbike fail.

How Not to Travel The World is about following your dreams, no matter how many curveballs life throws at you. It is about learning to get out of your comfort zone, finding the humour in messed up situations, and falling in love with life on the road.

How Not to Travel the World: Adventures of a Disaster-Prone Backpacker

Funny and Crazy Travel Stories

When travelling the world, you will live beautiful, weird, unique and other experiences you would not believe. Bring your own travel journal and take your notes. Get your own travel journal sketchbook and simply use an app like Polar steps. Find here our guide to best travel apps in 2024.

Leather Writing Journal Notebook, MALEDEN Classic Spiral Bound Notebook Refillable Diary Sketchbook Gifts with Unlined Travel Journals to Write in for Girls and Boys (Sky Blue)

And now: Keep scrolling.

Read all those great stories around the world. You can instantly share them as well if you enjoy them on facebook and instagram .

Best Short Travel Stories

From hell to heli-pads.

From monkeys climbing on my head to sleeping on train floors to cocktails on top of the world… Travelling gives you the greatest opportunities and the weirdest lessons, both teach you a lot about who you are (and what you can handle). One night it’s an overnight bus with jagged metal arm rests, A/C in your face and two Asians crammed on one seat watching you sleep and the next night you’re being taken for cocktails on a helicopter pad overlooking Kuala Lumpur.

12 hours can make a big difference .

One night we were sleeping in a floating bamboo shack on the River Kwai, no electricity and completely at peace with nature – until a cockroach crawled on my face at 4am with no light available to find it, so while my buddy Hannah is screaming I’m shooting the toilets “bum gun” blindly all around the room. The next morning and we are bathing an elephant called Wandii in the river, bliss! The Thai trainer asks me, “Are you brave?” Daring me to ride Wandii (with her permission) and I decide I am brave, and I climb into the new situation as nervous and excited as the day I boarded the plane.

Take the bad with good, it pays off as memories last longer than scars.

Monkey travel Thailand

I have been to Merlin’s Camelot – Château de Pierrefonds in France

I’m a HUGE film and TV fan! It’s why I work in the industry for goodness sake! So when I was able to visit Château de Pierrefonds  in France I was thrilled! Many of you may know it from the TV series ‘Merlin’ where it served as Camelot . Let me tell you, it is as magical as Merlin himself! I was just in awe of the castle! It’s tremendous and magnificently beautiful!

Tucked in a small town in France, it’s not a big tourist attraction so I felt as if I had the castle to myself. I’d love to go back again some day!

I have been to Merlin's Camelot - Château de Pierrefonds in France

In a Mosque we discovered the Silence of Cairo

When I first visited Cairo with an old friend of mine, I immediately fell in love with its noise, food smells, and sense of identity. But it was almost too hectic at times, and in the afternoons when we were tired from having merchants constantly calling to us and children tugging at us , my friend and I would duck into one of the many mosques in the “City of Minarets”.

Our regular haunt was the massive al-Azhar Mosque in the center of the city. We stayed out of the way, often just sitting in the shade, journaling quietly, people-watching, or praying to ourselves. I loved that the mosque was a place where people lived their everyday lives , it didn’t feel separate from daily errands or social visits. We were welcomed in the mosque, to enjoy the peace and recharge before diving back into the city.

Read: 13 Crazy Travel Stories – when the Hostel burns down

Discover quiet part of Cairo

The little Asian Spot in Orsigna, Italy – Tiziano Terzani

Tiziano Terzani was a famous Italian journalist and writer . He traveled across Asia and he witnessed important historical events like the Vietnam War and the coup d’etat organized in Cambodia by Pol Pot. Old and ill, Terzani decided to spend the last years of his life back in Italy, in the ancient town of Orsigna.

Here, in the woods, he found a big tree, decided to attach two small eyes on it and called it “ the Tree with the eyes “, in order to teach his son that the trees are alive and they have a spirit . Nowadays people come here and bring souvenirs and letters to thank Terzani for his inspiring books and teachings.

The little Asian Spot in Orsigna, Italy - Tiziano Terzani

First 24h in Hanoi – an introduction to the city by English-Students

“ Are you busy? “, she asked us, and 6 more pairs of eyes were looking at us.

We arrived in Hanoi, capital of Vietnam. We just slowed down from our first wander around the old town of iconic Hanoi. We got a first glance of the city, and tested the waters for buying a motorbike in Hanoi. After all, this is the plan: getting two motorbikes and drive them from the North to the South of Vietnam.

We just bought a soft drink, and sat down at the famous Hoàn Kiếm Lake, when these 7 young Vietnamese approached us.

“ Are you busy? “, she asked. “ Well… “, we replied only hesitantly, looking into the excited eyes of young men and women.

“We are students, and we want to talk with you. In English. We are looking for foreigners we can talk to.”

“ oh, yes, sure “, we replied. They sat down next to us, and we started to chat about so many topics. Hanoi, food, our heritage, their heritage, their language school, motorbikes, and they even shared the legend of the Hoàn Kiếm Lake.

Our travel tips Vietnam here: 27 Best Things to do in Vietnam – including motorbikes, tractors and monkeys

and talk to students

I found my favorite Café in Barcelona – thanks to a book!

I dislike entering bookshops . Every time I walk into a bookshop, I will end up buying one.

I entered an international bookshop in Eixample, Barcelona, while looking for some cool things to do in Barcelona . And as expected, a book named “ The dead alleys of Barcelona ” got my attention, a crime novel. Long story short: I bought it, went home, and started reading.

In this book, the author Stefanie Kremser talks about a special part of El Born, downtown Barcelona. She describes this magical square, this narrow street the main character lived in.

I didn’t know this exact street, and I was curious. I went downtown, wandered around the square and saw this café with the few tables on the terrace. Until today, 7 years later, it is still my favorite café in Barcelona – thanks to this book!

This Short Travel Story was written by Matt, the guy behind Hostelgeeks. Here at Hostelgeeks we award and collect 5 Star Hostels around the world.

Fancy more coffee?

Find the 13 best coffee shops in Barcelona here.

Barcelona is our home. You can find our best-kept secret tips for Barcelona as well as 23 fun things to do . It also includes our favorite Café in Barcelona.

We also compare the 7 top bike tours of Barcelona .

I found my favorite Café in Barcelona - thanks to a book!

The very last moment changed my Impression of Saigon, Vietnam

The city of Saigon, Vietnam was tiring to all five senses, and I was looking forward to an escape.

With a few hours to kill before our overnight bus, my friend and I wandered the streets in search of food. It wasn’t long before we were approached by two young, fresh-faces students who wanted to practice their English.

Suddenly enthusiastic Vietnamese surrounded us and the next two hours flew by so fast that we almost missed our bus. Our exchange may have been brief, but I walked away with a brand-new outlook on the city – I hope they can say the same about the UK.

The very last moment changed my Impression of Saigon

The Cathedral of Notre Dame for Two

My daughter and I spent a week in Paris together with my cousin and a work friend. We splurged on an evening boat ride on the Seine to celebrate my cousin’s birthday, we shopped, we walked, we ate croissants, and I took photo after photo of the City of Light.

On our last day, my daughter and I woke up just before dawn, so I could photograph the sunrise at the Cathedral of Notre Dame. It is absolutely my favorite spot in Paris. We arrived at 7:00 a.m. just as a janitor stepped outside the massive front door to smoke a cigarette. We chatted briefly with him, and then he just stepped aside and asked if we wanted to go in.

The church was completely empty except for a lone woman on the altar with a carpet sweeper. I was so awestruck that I forget to take out my camera.

Heading to the French capital? You can find +24 fun things to do in Paris , collected by us. Rollerblading, boat party, and pizza picnic – enjoy! Also, make sure you enjoy one of the 3 best hostels in Paris .

The Cathedral of Notre Dame for Two

Fat-Bike with Ninja – my 3h Stars Tour in the Italian Alta Badia

Spending an entire winter in the mountains has its perks; an invitation to fat-bike through the snow being one of them. Ninja, as he is known, is notorious in the Italian Alta Badia region for his outdoor skills.

During our 3hr Stars Tour, my friend and I experienced cycling on a frozen lake, holding on for dear life as we sped down a piste and learned what it takes to control wheels as thick as tree trunks. After cycling home in the thick, falling snow, we smiled and huddled up with a hot chocolate to toast our unique, thrilling experience.

Read: Short Adventure Stories from around the World – Machu Picchu to Sandboarding

Fat-Bike with Ninja - my 3h Stars Tour in the Italian Alta Badia

Our morning traffic was a herd of goats – Rural Petrich in Bulgaria

Having spent 6 weeks in the small village in Petrich, Bulgaria , I must say that it was the biggest cultural shock I have had to date. We went there (11 other students and I) as part of our university course, with the aim to create a geological map for our dissertations.

We were staying with a Bulgarian family, who didn’t know any English. Hence, the past few weeks before our departure was spent learning the Bulgarian language. The Bulgarian community in Petrich were lovely, and we were warmly welcomed upon arrival. One lady came up to us and hugged us all , which was a bit of a relief as we all felt a little nervous.

A humble, old, Bulgarian lady who we called ‘Baba’ (Bulgarian for Grandma), cooked our meals, 3 times a day for 6 weeks . We were shocked, to begin with, to learn that her house was made from chipboard, only had two small rooms, and she cooked from her stove located in her bedroom. Amazingly, she produced lavish 3-course meals for dinner and we were always full!

After a few weeks, we all felt really settled; we were used to the morning traffic – a herd of goats equipped with brass bells trotting down the road ; we had gotten used to the strong taste of the locally-made Rakia and used to the way of life in Petrich.

It was a sad day when we had to leave Petrich, but I will always remember my time fondly, with the hope of returning one day.

Our morning traffic was a herd of goats - Rural Petrich in Bulgaria

Freezing Christmas Sea Swim and I survived

The annual Christmas sea swim has been taking place for almost 60 years on Clacton beach, Essex, United Kingdom. The low mumble of excited folk, showing off their Santa hats whilst sipping mulled wine, increase the tension as everybody stands, half naked and raring to go.

Without much warning, hilarity sets in and the crowd go storming towards the calm sea’s chill – the low-risen sunshine flickering on the tide, screaming his invitation to jump right on in. Arms flail and cameras click; toes hit the water, and it is now or never, keep running or quit? Within what feels like seconds, it is all over.

Looking out to sea it’s hard to believe anybody had disturbed the water this morning. Except for that one head I can see still bobbing around, his body now comfortably numb; he must look back at me and my quick escape, and think by god how incredibly boring.

Freezing Christmas Sea Swim and I survived

The Sleeping Dragon – Dalai Lama, Salzburg, and Me

I can feel the snowflakes softly falling from the sky. They land gently on the tip of my frozen nose. At the top of this mysterious peak, famously called “sleeping dragon” by the Dalai Lama, I am alone . It is just me and the mountains. Okay, that’s not exactly true. It’s just me and a dozen yapping crows soaring through the mist. Up here on Untersberg, as I look down at Salzburg below, I know that it’s me against the world .

That it’s just me and the silence that threatens to engulf me whole.

The Sleeping Dragon - Dalai Lama And Me

Getting Lost on Purpose in Tokyo – Discover Hidden Tokyo

When we headed over to Japan, we wanted to totally immerse ourselves in this wonderful country we had traveled half the world to experience.

With awe and wonder, we decided instead of being intimidated by the complexity and challenges of this new land, that we would embrace its exhilaration.

We set off to wander, with no particular destination in mind other than exploration.

To see the details, to come across the unexpected and to embrace the idea of being totally lost and the thrill of expectation.

Getting lost is part of the adventure, it is when the city takes you on a journey where you are never sure of what you might find or where you may end up.

We wandered the winding streets, jungle crows cawing from the tangled wires above. This was a Tokyo we hadn’t expected and loved discovering.

Little electric cars buzzed around us at the beat of a monk’s drum, and the smell of incense filled the air. Amidst the glowing signs and the melody of sounds, we found the wonderful hidden world of a tiny, ancient Shinto shrine.

We watched as locals came and went, wafting themselves with the sweet smelling smoke, washing their hands and clapping before bowing in the ornate temple.

We took our own turn to pay our respects, writing out our own “Ema” plaque and sending our wishes for continued travels and peaceful wanderings up to the “Kami”.

Furthermore, we discovered the quiet passion of Tokyo beyond the technology and modern metropolis, we sat and learned the ways of a new culture and shared someone else’s daily routine with wonderment and appreciation after stepping out of the safety net of certainty.

Traveling to Tokyo? Check out 3 best hostels in Tokyo .

Getting Lost on Purpose in Tokyo - Discover Hidden Tokyo

Cycling to a hidden Waterfall in Baños, Ecuador

It was a glorious afternoon in Baños, Ecuador, so we decided to rent bikes to cycle to a waterfall. We headed out of town and turned off the main road onto an impossibly steep track, following signs to “la cascada” (the waterfall). We pedaled past tiny houses with children playing on the front steps. Furthermore, we heard the thundering sound of water falling down a sheer drop, and a beautiful waterfall cutting through the thick vegetation came into view.

We hid our bikes in some bushes, took off our shoes and climbed as far as we could up the rocks at the side of the waterfall . I love getting off the beaten path, and the views across the valley in the bright evening sun were breathtaking.

Read: best hostels in Baños

Cycling to a hidden Waterfall in Baños, Ecuador

Rishikesh, India – meat, eggs and alcohol are forbidden

Located at the foot of the Himalayas, crossed by the river of the Ganges, Rishikesh is an important pilgrimage city. From here the Ganges heads to the Himalayas, and from here pilgrims start their voyage to the holy places in Garhwal Mountains – like we did on our trip “ On foot to India” ( originally in German: Zu Fuß nach Indien ).

Like in many sacred places in India, meat, eggs and alcohol are forbidden in Rishikesh – an absolute dream destination for vegetarians and vegans.

Lakshmana, this lion among men, one of three brothers of Rama, whose deeds are written down in the epic Ramayana, once crossed the Ganges here in Rishikesh by just using a rope made of jute. At this point they built the bridge called Lakshman Jhula.

Not far from this bridge, one morning we sat down at the rooftop of a temple to eat some delicious fruits while enjoying the beautiful view to the Ganges.

Spontaneously, some gray languor joined us for breakfast, and we decided to share our food with some more primates.

We wrote up a big new guide to the best hostels in Rishikesh .

Rishikesh, India - meat, eggs and alcohol are forbidden

Trying Aperol Spritz for the first time in Venice, city of Refuge

This short travel story is an excerpt from the new novel Exquisite Hours by Joshua Humphreys. Set in New York, Bangladesh, Bangkok, Venice, London, and Vietnam, Exquisite Hours is the story of Anaïs Spencer, a beautiful young woman who travels the world lying to men.

‘What brings you to Venice, then?’

‘I, Octavian, have always felt that I would end up here. And somehow I have, ended up here. ’

‘Is this the end?’

‘Do you think it is?’

‘How should I know? Taste that.’

She pushed the skewer back with her finger and drank. ‘That’s amazing.’ Astonished, she broke into a smile. Then she moaned with pleasure. ‘That…’ she sipped again. ‘Oh. … It tastes like sunshine. You could drink that all day.’

‘And so we shall,’ he assured her.

‘What’s it called?’

‘ Spritz Aperol ,’ he said with a very attractive Italian accent.

From within was brought a large plate arrayed with every deliciousness that Anaïs had yet tasted from the lagoon. ‘The fish and chips are cold,’ she said, touching them with the backs of her fingers. Then she had some. ‘ That’s amazing. It’s delicious .’

‘You just ate mermaid tail.’

She cackled and then tucked into the grilled vegetables.

‘All mermaid stories aside, you’re in Venice, why?’

‘Yes. How did you come to be sitting at Paradise Lost? ’

‘Well you walked into that gallery today didn’t you?’

‘Not today. I mean, how have you ended up here? What have you fled? All strangers who come to Venice have fled something . The city was founded by refugees. You’ve fled something, no? Was your heart broken, Anaïs? Declare everything.’

When heading to Venice, make sure you take a look at our tips to discover the hidden Venice . Does it still exist? Yes, and we will help you find your own piece of Venice.

Here is our guide to eat on a budget in Venice .

It covers 22 restaurants to eat like a king without paying a million euros.

Trying Aperol Spritz for the first time in Venice, city of Refuge

In The Footsteps of St. Francis of Assisi and Napoleon

They say that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

When you walk the Camino de Santiago in Spain, the journey begins with a day-long hike through the Pyrenees, starting in France, ending hours later in Spain. Most pilgrims continue to Santiago de Compostela, another 790 km away.

My son and I wanted to be like most pilgrims, even though our plan was just to walk for another two days, ending in Pamplona. We climbed high into the mountains and came down through a thick forest, arriving late afternoon. But my feet were covered in blisters, and I was sunburned to a crisp . We hailed a cab to Pamplona.

Even though we didn’t keep walking, for the rest of my life I can tell people about the day I walked through the Pyrenees with my son: in the footsteps of Charlemagne, St. Francis of Assisi, and Napoleon.

In The Footsteps of St. Francis of Assisi and Napoleon

Are there wolves in Umbria? Nicola did not reply

“ Are there wolves in Umbria? ” Just silence from Nicola while the howling was still coming from the valley. We were alone, sleeping in a tiny tent in the wood along Spoleto – Norcia, Italy abandoned railway. We had been too adventurous, cycling along the hills and camping in this isolated spot. Maybe we (and by we I mean Nicola) could have learned how to light a fire to protect from the animals; maybe we were going to be attacked by a pack of wolves.

“ Nicola ?” He quietly answered, “ A few ”. Wolves sounded far from us , but I felt frightened and could not sleep for hours.

Howling stopped only before dawn when hunters started to shoot in the valley. Waking up, we smiled as we felt like little red riding hood saved by the hunter.

Are there wolves in Umbria? Nicola did not reply

10 Hours of Big Boys fighting – Sumo in Japan

Japan is not only the land of cherry blossoms and sushi: it has also the home of sumo, a traditional fight that resembles more to a sacred Shinto ceremony rather than to a wrestling sport.

We arrived in Fukuoka, Japan during the November tournament and bought a ticket to see some Sumo fights. We ended up spending a full day at the stadium and over 10 hours watching big boys practicing ancient ritual gestures and fighting against each other to be the last one standing on the Dohyo (Dohyo is the ring in which sumo wrestling bouts are hel d).

When you see them on the ring they look so cold and powerful , but if you meet them in the corridors or outside the stadium, you’ll be impressed by their humble and sweet smile more than by their physical stature.

This is exactly the way Japan looks like: strong, fierce, noble but also kind, gentle and with an unbreakable inner strength .

10 Hours of Big Boys fighting - Sumo in Japan

Travel Memories as a Child vs. Adult – different world in Milan

I’ve travelled to Italy several times with my parents as a child but, until now, haven’t returned by myself. On the plane I couldn’t wait to see it all again: the old men sitting on the street, beautifully dressed ladies strolling around, laundry drying in front of the windows, gelato everywhere.

When I reached Milan, I was confused: Where were the people who had been sitting on the streets? When did the ladies stop wearing nice dresses? All these pictures in my head – I couldn’t find them.

Then, on my third day, I walked into a supermarket to buy some water. And there they were, right next to my water in the fridge: these tiny bottles of coke I’ve never seen outside of Italy .

I saw my mother standing in front of me in her bathing suite, handing me this very special treat I was only allowed to have on vacation. Colorful umbrellas on the beach right behind her, the feeling of sand stuck to my skin with layers of sunscreen.

The Italy that probably never existed the way I remembered it, a little part of it was still there, hidden in the fridge of a tiny supermarket in Milan .

Psst! Check out our 5 Star Hostel in Milan, Combo Milano .

Travel Memories as a Child vs. Adult - different world in Milan

Hitchhiking in Fuerteventura, Canary Islands

No transport, no rush!

Hitchhiking: the golden answer to budget travel! It doesn’t cost a dime, plus you can meet interesting people, and get a sneak peek into their lives.

In Fuerteventura, we were hitchhiking from Lajares to the beach in El Cotillo. It’s only a 10 km ride, and hitchhiking is very common across Fuerteventura and the Canary Islands. However, it was our first time ever.

The very first cars had big yellow and white corporate stickers on them. The tourists that were driving them looked at us with big scared eyes…” No, dear tourists, we are not planning to kill you, we just want a ride. ”

After a few minutes, a beautiful camper van appeared. Anna said, “ This one would be fantastic! ” The camper stopped and gave us a lift . It was a woman from Berlin. Together with her two kids and husband, she was spending two weeks of holidays on Fuerteventura.

This beautiful old camper van had come with their apartment rental. They explored the island of Fuerteventura and even hopped over for a night to Lanzarote.

It’s an old saying, you always meet twice in life. The next day we ran into each other on the beach in El Cotillo . This is when we took this photo of her beautiful automobile.

Hitchhiking in Fuerteventura, Canary Islands

Meeting a new friend while Hitchhiking in New Zealand

Our first attempt at hitchhiking was from the suburbs of Wellington, New Zealand, into the city . Almost immediately, a car pulled over to pick us up and as we climbed in, full of elation, we met our (Saint) Helen; who insisted on driving us ALL the way to our destination. We left the car, thinking our paths would never cross again.

However, the very next day, on Christmas Eve, while enjoying our picnic of chips, guacamole and Pico de Gallo—along the Hutt River— when our Saint Helen strolled by! We eagerly invited her over to join our picnic. While talking naturally, as old friends would have, she invited us over to her friend Clive’s. Claiming she didn’t want us to be alone on Christmas. We sat in Clive’s Jacuzzi, drinking in the city view, and some wine! Helen came to our rescue a week later, letting us crash at her place before our 2am ferry to the south island, and even paid for our cab too!

Read: best hostels in New Zealand  

Short travel story lesbinomadic hostelgeeks

The power of spontaneity – College, friendship, and travel!

I live in Fullerton, California and attend CSUF with my friends. None of us knew each other before coming to college, but we were all brought together by sheer luck. Our friendships have blossomed, and  we have been on so many adventures together throughout the first semester of school. It was sad to be heading home for winter break, but when we returned to school it felt too good to be reunited!

Our first weekend back, we decided to take a trip to Santa Monica, which is about an hour away from Fullerton (depending on traffic). We found a parking spot, and strolled to the pier to find florescent lights and ocean smells . I am a videographer, so naturally I filmed some of the fun moments with my friends and later turned it into this video.

We had dinner at Urth Café, and took pictures at sunset with the beach in the background.

This night of spontaneity is now one of my favorite memories with the girls, and I will cherish it always.

To Lauren, Lindsey, Jessica, and Naomi – You have made my freshman year so unforgettable, and I cannot wait for the adventures and great times to come. Love Always, Nevada

The power of spontaneity - College, friendship, and travel!

We smiled and laughed with Children in Zimbabwe

Walking 1 mile down a straight dirt road in the blistering 40 degree heat would usually cause most people to grunt, especially when it had to me, trudged twice a day. But not here; not in Zimbabwe. Instead of a monotonous route where you’d expect to walk head down, hands in pockets, primary school children brought color to the picture.

Sure, they were cheeky asking for sweets and stroking my freckled skin , but all they wanted was interaction.

Each day we’d bring something new to entertain and by far the simple game of passing a rugby ball between them was the favorite – generating smiles so big, their faces could barely contain them.

We smiled and laughed with Children in Zimbabwe

A clean beach is a good beach – Nyang-Nyang Beach in Uluwatu, Bali

“ Can I take a photo ?”, I asked the street beach vendor.

“ How much do you pay me? “, he responded, smiling friendly, his white teeth showing.

“ I buy cold water from you, ok? ”

We hiked down the rocky trail to Nyang-Nyang Beach, near Uluwatu in South Bali. Only experienced surfer come here to enjoy the thrill of a wave ride.

Here, at the beach with the colorful name of Nyang-Nyang Uluwatu, we met Bagus. Since a couple of years now, he comes to the beach to sell cold drinks and snacks. The surfers trust him, leaving their belongings with him while catching waves.

We are not experienced surfers, but experienced beach-goers. So, we sit down and watch the surfers doing their job. Bagus constantly picks up the trash at the beach. Once he’s bored, he sits next to us and starts chatting.

“ I always have to clean up. Nobody else does. The trash comes from the sea, some tourists forget their trash as well. It’s annoying, but I do not want to have this beautiful beach dirty. ”

Find more than 180 Short Travel Stories with Hostelgeeks. We visited Nyang-Nyang when reviewing Bread&Jam Hostel in Kuta, Bali.

Read here our complete guide to the best hostels in Ubud .

Also, read our guide to the top hostels in Canggu with Boutique and Luxury Hostels.

dream trip story

Coronavirus Travel Stories from the Community – Hostels and Traveller

In March 2020 and during the ongoing crisis due to Coronavirus, we asked our community on how they were holding up.

10 Months Backpacking cut short – we will all be back

I was in the middle of a 10 month around the world journey when C*v** began to effect countries around the world. I was in Southeast Asia when the world began to find out about what now has become a travelers nightmare.

I somehow managed to get from Thailand to Vietnam to Trinidad and Tobago to Curacao to Colombia before the worldwide lock down and border closings. I was heading into month 8 of my journey before I decided to go back to the States.

I am grateful for all of the help I received in getting back home, only 1 day before the Colombian President decided to stop all entry and exit from the country. I hope to finish my journey one day but for now I am truly blessed to be back home with family. I will say that being on stay orders in my country was the best decision for me, but my hats go off to my travel friends who are sticking this out in other countries. The world is a beautiful place, can’t wait until we can explore again!

Stuck in a Hostel in Quito

I flew to Quito, Ecuador the beginning of March.

I was here for about a week before the quarantine started. I’m staying at this really nice hostel called Community Hostel , really great food and staff.

They kept up to date with cleanliness procedures, and always made activities so we wouldn’t go stir crazy.

Read : 3 best hostels in Quito including Community Hostel

Last Minute Flight from Bali to Berlin

We had to catch a last minute flight from Bali to Berlin. It was not easy, and the flight was full up to the last seat. We thought it would be half empty. The stewardess were our heroes. Although they were overworked and not as friendly as usual, you could tell they were giving their best.

The atmosphere at the airport was strange. People were nervous. Some were wearing masks although they are not sick at all. We are now home safe, happy to be back.

Trying to find a job in New Zealand – when C*v** hit

Hey fellow travellers,

I’m a young female from Czech Republic.

I came to New Zealand with Working Holiday Visa, thinking I’ll travel a little and then find a hostel job. I manage to do the first part and travel around the North island of NZ. While I was living in my van I was constantly dropping my CV’s around the country, but didn’t have any luck with finding any hostel position.

Another factor was that hostels in NZ are not a really big thing ’cause everyone travels in their vans.

Anyway, I decided to settle in one of the towns I really liked and admitted I might have to lower my expectations and find another job.

I lived in a hostel for while tried to impress few more mangers but no luck again. At that time things got really bad in Italy and people started to talk about C*v** much more.

I printed approx. 20 CV’s and dropped them personally in almost every cafe, bar, restaurant and diner in area I moved into. Luckily I found a job in a Burger diner just 2 weeks before the lock-down. I got a job, moved to a house and everything seem to be on a stable path at that moment. After a week working first cases of C*v** showed up in NZ and that was the start.

I just finished my second week of working when the PM of NZ announced that we will move to Alert 4, meaning everything apart essential businesses have to shut down. So after 2-month long hunt for a job and only 2 weeks working I was unemployed again. Luckily I had a house to stay in and amazing people around me.

NZ’s government also released a wage subsidy for those effected and that was another lucky moment that allowed me to stay in this amazing country. But the money I received barely covered my rent. SO job hunt again!

Before I came to NZ I said that I really don’t want to work in any kind of farm or orchard. Where do you think I work now? Yep the universe gave me a lesson again and here I am working as a kiwi picker.

Let me tell you it’s a hard job, I don’t like it at all, but what I realized is that I should be grateful for all of it. There’s so many people out there that have no chance of any kind of income that would do anything to accept any kind of job.

I complain, I cry but I also consider myself lucky at this stage.

Zagreb hit by Earthquake and Corona Crisis

by Swanky Mint in Zagreb

***Support your favourite hostel and plan your future trip now***

From now on you can buy a voucher in any amount you want and use it any time in the future. Depending on the amount chosen, we’ll give an extra thank you present – discount, swanky souvenir, free breakfast, free cocktails, free tour or a dinner at our restaurant. 🍹 🍕

HOW DOES IT WORK?

Contact us directly to mint[at]swanky-hostel.com with subject ‘ Voucher ‘ and we’ll send you info about the payment via email and you’ll get your voucher and our staff’s eternal gratitude 🤗

Airbnb in New Zealand

Currently working remotely in New Zealand, I’ve been moving between housesits, volunteering placements and hostels for the past 6 months. The day after the announcement of a 4-week ‘lockdown’ in NZ, I was set to head to a new Workaway to help build a winter veggie garden.

Luckily for me, I happened to be staying in a VERY posh Airbnb and the owners came round to offer my partner and I a chance to stay for a very reasonable price.

Thanks to the generosity of strangers, I now get to enjoy my own space and unlimited WiFi so that I can continue my online work. I am full of gratitude and have no doubt that this situation will bring people together rather than pull them apart.

Helping each other out – Free Self-Run Hostel in Iran

by Golnar from HI Tehran Hostel

This story is a bit different since we weren’t stuck ourselves. But we had many guests who were stuck in Iran. In Hi Tehran Hostels , we stopped accepting new guests immediately after hearing about the start of epidemic in Iran to play our part in reducing the risk for everyone.

Yet, we continued monitoring the new chaos, and acknowledged the remaining foreign travelers, who were confused and clueless about when and how they could fly out, were facing many difficulties.

Unfortunately, with the closure of borders, frequent cancellation of flights, and poor support from many embassies in Iran toward their travelers, we started to notice there were still numerous travelers in Iran who couldn’t fly back home any time soon and they were very tight on budget or out of money since they didn’t predict such a long stay.

Of course it wasn’t our job to take care of that and the related offices should’ve managed these conflicts to control the risks.

However, we decided to stand up and provide a help by offering a FREE SELF-RUN accommodation to tourists who were still in Iran with cancelled flights till they can fly home. There were of course, safety protocols which was and still is checked by health ministry that the residents should follow seriously.

Otherwise, staying with us would’ve been meaningless and not different from staying in individuals or Couchsurfing!

Hostel in Delhi, India helping out

by Aakash Ahuja

As part of the hostel community, we run Podstop Hostel in Delhi, India.

Due to the C*v** 19 situation all over the world, many travellers are either unable to go back to their respective countries or don’t want to move from their current location. We have hosted people from 18 countries since Delhi/India went into lockdown.

We’ve been accepting and inviting any and all travelers from around the world who need a friendly, safe and secure place to stay.

Following WHO guideline, we are monitoring, actively checking each of the hostel resident under supervision of trained staff. Although delhi is under complete lockdown, we are arranging for food and other supplies through our network to provide basic food for our guests. Please let us know if anyone in Delhi/surrounding reaches out to you.

We’ll be happy to accommodate. We do charge each guest just enough to cover our basic cost at this time. This means we put down our prices for accommodation by 30% and for food by 50%. Every 4night the travelers stay for free at the moment.

Flights cancelled

by anonymous

Our flight has been cancelled, no surprise there, but KIWI.com is guaranteeing a 20% refund on our flight costs. This is seriously taking advantage of the current events in 2020 and because of this paltry refund policy, we will never use the service again and will not recommend to friends.

Staff helped us out in Cartagena, Colombia

We stayed at Life is Good Hostel in Cartagena . All the staff members stand out as fantastic members of staff – my friend and I had a nightmare with trying to get back home due to coronavirus and they both went out of their way to do everything they could to help us – could not be happier with the service!

Our Scary and Risky 3-Day Journey from northern Philippines to Berlin

by DJ from Dreameurotrip

I am at a loss for words on how to describe what we are going through at this moment. We are currently on the 2nd day of our 3-day journey back to our home in Berlin. The riskiest part of our journey. We’re waiting at NAIA airport to board this rare direct repatriation flight from Manila to Frankfurt sent by the German government.

There are only 350 seats and almost 500 registered people trying to get  into the flight. We arrived at the airport at 1PM and got thrown into the middle of the chaotic crowd managed by only 1 guy from the embassy. It’s a super risky hot mess. I wanted to cry. Everything we planned to do to protect ourselves from being exposed is thrown out the window.

We were unsure if we will get in. The guy is using a “prioritization” system that is unclear. I don’t have a German passport. Even Filipinos holding German passports are asked to line up with other Filipinos. We worried that he would let my husband board the flight and ask me to stay.

After four hours of waiting surrounded by hundreds of people who act like social distancing is a foreign idea, we got in. Finally. A big sigh of relief. But super stressed with the hours of exposure we had outside.

We’ve been at the airport for almost 10 hours now, exhausted and a bit scared. We try to keep it positive. We talk about recipes we will cook and shows we will binge watch on our projector. We online grocery shop in Rewe to deliver food to our apartment in time for our arrival. This is happiness for us now.

We should be boarding soon. We can’t wait to sleep and recharge. Lord knows we need all our energy for this 14 hour flight and the 6 hour train ride to Berlin after.

Send us protection as we make our way back home. We hope you’re all healthy and safe at home.

Hang tight! We will survive this rollercoaster.

Update: We are safely in Berlin now and feel fine.

Coronavirus Travel Stories from the Community

Moroccan Street seller in Granada

This was a simple dialogue with a street vendor in Granada, Spain.

“Which photo do you like? I have the most beautiful posters from all over Spain!”

“I love this one with Felicidad (Happiness). How much is one photo, though?”

“Sorry, here are the prices. The police just passed, and I had to put everything away.”

Moroccan Street seller in Granada

Sharing Rum with New Friends in Cuba

I tell time by looking at the sun’s position. Spanish, Italian, French, German are my mother tongues for a beautiful moment.

An island of poetry in every wave that crashes on the Melecon. Humble and proud, humid and alive. Pilgrimage of Hemingway, home of heroes, this is Cuba. Don’t hesitate to share the shade of a palm, don’t hesitate to pass around the rum with strangers – now friends. Get on the bus heading anywhere and stop where it pleases you, you will be welcomed. I came filled with stories of precaution, and left, left my heart in Cuba.

Sharing Rum with New Friends in Cuba

What’s not to like about Texas? I laughed

I stared out the window as the bus crossed the state that had the most pride. I tried to like Texas. Not only that, but I wanted to see why Texans were so proud of Texas. But I saw nothing but empty, parched land .

I headed to the Backpacker Hostel in Irving. I saw an overweight girl with Texas stars dangling from her ears, wearing a Texas T-shirt that clung to her spare tires.

At the hostel, I talked about it with my new friend Gabrielle, from Holland. She pointed to signs on the walls of the kitchen: “ American by birth, Texan by the grace of God ,” and “ Texas, it just feels right ,” and “ Don’t mess with Texas .” I marveled at the attitude: it just didn’t add up with what I had seen of the state.

Gabrielle said, “You have to laugh at the Texans because they take such a militaristic pride in their state.”

What's not to like about Texas? I laughed

Stumbling across Live Piano Music in Matanzas, Cuba

There is always noise in Cuba. In the countryside cockerels crow and dogs bark, in cities drivers honk their horns and reggaeton blasts from the bicitaxis.

Strolling through the busy streets of Matanzas, I glimpsed the sparking of sun on the surface of water and I went to the bay hoping for quiet . The noise of the car engines seemed to die down as beautiful piano music drifted out of an open window . I laid on the wall, closed my eyes, basked in the afternoon sun to the wonderful sound, and said to myself again that I love this country.

Stumbling across Live Piano Music in Matanzas, Cuba

The Triangle of Life, my food in Japan

Move over, Elton John! Japan just proved that life is a triangle. Anyone who has been to Japan knows how good the food is. No matter where you go. Whether it’s a Michelin restaurant, a hole in the wall place, or a convenience store, you can never go wrong with food when in the land of the rising sun.

My three weeks in Japan were packed with travelling from one city to another, which is why I was able to see 9 different places. You know those days when you just don’t have time to sit down and eat while travelling, and you pack your bag with energy bars? Well, my three weeks in Japan were all about that, and I found this great replacement to bars – these triangles shaped rice snacks stuffed with meat or fish and wrapped in seaweed.

These triangles (I still don’t know what they are called) became lifesavers; they were quick to grab, easy to eat, and filling thanks to the rice. I may have missed out on some great restaurant food, but at least these snacks kept me on my feet in what was once-in-a-lifetime-dream destinations.

The Triangle of Life, my food in Japan

Lost in Translation? Not in Japan!

We’ve all heard about the kindness of strangers, but you’ll never experience it in quite the same way anywhere in the world as you would in Japan. During my one-week stay in Tokyo, my brother and I ended up in the over-crowded Shibuya district looking for a well recommended restaurant by our friends. Now, anyone who has been to Shibuya will know that finding a specific restaurant is tougher than finding a needle in a haystack.

Needless to say, we were lost, and what’s more worrisome in Japan is that you are always worried that your request for directions from strangers will get lost in translation.

We had no choice but to stop someone, who already seemed to be in a rush. We asked him about the restaurant, and he had no idea what we were saying till we showed him the name on our phones. He had no clue where it was or how to get there. At this point, most people would apologize and walk away, but not this stranger. He started to walk around asking people about where the restaurant was; and once he figured it out, he actually walked us to it! Only in Japan do people treat tourists like guests to a home.

So don’t worry about the language barrier if in Japan – the people there know how to break those walls.

Lost in Translation? Not in Japan! The Short Travel Story from Tokyo

Lanquín, Guatemala: Home to the Sacred Waters of Semuc Champey

We arrived in Lanquín, Guatemala, after being packed like sardines on an 8-hour bus trip from Tikal. The scent of burnt foliage from the ubiquitous slash-and-burn stung our noses as we exited the bus onto the orange mud road that had led us into the depths of the Mayan jungle.

We’d come for Semuc Champey (Mayan for Sacred Waters). The clear, turquoise lagoon flows from an underground cave in the middle of the jungle, beckoning visitors to bathe with the fish. Colorfully-clad Maya sat at the water’s edge, observing us with reluctant fascination as we graciously explored their sacred oasis.

Find all the best hostels in Semuc Champey here.

Lanquín, Guatemala: Home to the Sacred Waters of Semuc Champey

Stealing a Shower on The Roadtrip to San Francisco

It was four in the morning, my friend and I were driving through endless towns on our way to San Francisco. We had been crashing in my car the last 3 nights and at the start of our third day of driving I had only one condition.

“ Wherever we end up tonight, it has to have showers .”

My friend had begun making phone calls that afternoon. But it was a home game in San Francisco and everything was booked solid. It looked like another night of restless sleep in the car, and even worse, no shower.

Suddenly fate intervened. We drove past a sign that read “RV Park, laundry and showers.” I didn’t hesitate. Grabbing our towels, we stole like thieves across the RV Park, giggling quietly. I took the longest shower of my life that night , terrified of being caught breaking in yet reveling in my rebellion.

Stealing a Shower on The Roadtrip to San Francisco

100.000 Crosses at The Hill Of Crosses

Breathtaking. That’s the only word that came to my mind when standing on the hill of crosses in the middle of the Lithuanian nowhere. Wherever I looked, there were crosses tucked in the ground, on top of each other, with rosaries dangling from them in all colors. Not being religious, this place still overwhelmed me simply by the number of crosses people have brought there one by one. Tiny ones stacked on top of each other and huge ones, several meters over my head.

No one really knows who started it and why it’s there, but it keeps growing, and there must be a hundred thousands already on the hill and on the surrounding fields. And all I can really say is: Breathtaking.

100.000 Crosses at The Hill Of Crosses

Shooting Stars in Wadi Rum (pun intended)

Jordan is a strange country. There are big cities, forgotten majestic mausoleums, mountains and depressions, but most of all there are deserts. My boyfriend and I traveled around Jordan in August (not so hot as people said) and we lived for more than ten days in a Bedouin tent camp in Wadi Rum desert , southern Jordan.

We put ourselves in some awkward situation with our guest Kaled, who is quite a notable person in Bedouins village, especially struggling to eat with a single hand and annoying him with our Italian chitchat, but he was so kind not to kick our butts out of the house…

Anyway, Nicola is a photographer, and he immediately fell in love with desert starry nights and shooting stars. Kaled took him to a quiet place near the camp and, with his tripod, Kaled taught Nicola how to take unbelievable pictures of the night sky and stars . When we saw the photos, it was a blast! It felt like looking right into the universe! If you look closely, you can see that Nicola captured some shooting stars scratching the sky above the tents. Of course, we made a wish…but it’s a secret!

Shooting Stars in Wadi Rum (pun intended)

Welcome to Remedios, Cuba – a small Concert at a tiny Square

We trudged through the streets of sleepy Remedios*, Cuba, our rucksacks feeling heavier under the midday sun.

In search of a Casa Particular*, we stumbled onto the main plaza, where the town’s band was playing a slow march under the dappled shade of the band stand. The loud brass felt like a regal welcome, as though we were being rewarded for making it to this tiny place that tourists don’t bother with. The music was wonderful, and I smiled at the thought that some experiences cannot be planned. They just happen and you have to simply enjoy the moment.

Good to know about this Short Travel Story:

Remedios in Cuba is located in the northern east coast in the center of Cuba. This town is famous for their “parrandas”. This is Christmas festivity where – and get this – 2 different districts compete with each other showing off the best fireworks the all night long.

*Casa Particular : A Casa Particluar is the Cuban answer to a guesthouse and budget accommodation. This property is managed by a local family. Beside finding mostly private rooms, they also offer home-cooked meals, and sometimes even more like events, and tours! Staying at a Casa Particular can be easily seen as the Cuban version of AirBnb and Hostels.

Welcome to Remedios, Cuba - a small Concert at a tiny Square

We visited the old witch bath house – Miyazaki’s Animated Film

We were walking in the narrow streets of Shibu Onsen, a Japanese village in the mountains near Nagano. A lot of people going around after having thermal baths. We stopped in front of a big old hotel, with a few people taking pictures. We looked at the hotel, illuminated in the incoming night, and it was that bath house from Spirited Away anime (a famous 2001 Japanese animated fantasy film)!

Actually, in Japan it is recognized as the inspiration for Miyazaki, the director, to create the old witch bath house of the anime and you must visit it if you are a Miyazaki fan!

Here you can find the best hostels in Japan .

When a Movie turns into Reality - this old Hotel in Japan

Losing my Shared-Taxi at the Togo-Benin border

Usually, problems crossing borders involve corrupt officials, visa troubles, or unexpected closures…

I’m not sure what the locals thought when they saw a tall hairy white man running barefoot from the border in the morning sun, with no luggage, clutching his chest pocket to ensure his passport didn’t fall out – asylum seeker or drug dealer maybe.

Truth was, I’d managed to lose my shared-taxi . I was traveling from Benin to Togo, and being a ‘foreigner’, I’d had to be stamped in/out of both countries, rather than doing as the locals do & showing ‘ID’ in the form of small-value local currency. I’d left my luggage in the taxi & jumped out at the Beninese post – but by the time I’d been processed, got my Togo visa, and crossed over, the taxi had disappeared.

I wasn’t too worried at first – I hadn’t paid him yet – but it meant I had nothing on me other than a shirt, trousers, my passport, and a small amount of money; even my sandals were in my backpack. After waiting for 15min, the border officials suggested that my taxi might be waiting at the car park some 200m up the road. Turns out, it wasn’t.

Several thoughts crossed my mind; I’d lost pretty much everything – tablet, phone, clothes, power leads, debit card – & figured I’d have to go to the British Embassy in Lomé to plead my case, then realized there wasn’t one. Was I going to be stuck in a country I was only visiting because it was ‘in the way’?

Luckily, within fifteen minutes my taxi returned – he’d been waiting for me to get through immigration, got bored, & dropped off his other passenger before coming back to find me. Crisis narrowly averted, I headed on towards Lomé.

Loosing my Shared-Taxi at the Togo-Benin border

Sunrise at Worlds Deadliest Mountain Annapurna, Nepal

Full of the crowd, waiting for that moment and then finally click after click… Yes, that was the scenario of Sarangkot in Pokhara, a most popular tourist spot to view the spectacular sunrise of the world’s deadliest mountain, Annapurna.

All are looking at the sky, it was very cold. But who cares?? I have never seen such crowd and love for the sun and the sunrise among peoples before. Nobody wanted to miss a single moment of the beautiful sunrise view and capture. I was amazed, I was blessed and I was super happy for being able to view my dream mountain sunrise for the first time in Nepal. Miss you SUNRISE!

My love to Nepal I never thought and still can’t believe what happened recently with Nepal (Earthquake 2015). This natural disaster made me speechless and decided to dedicate this story to entire Nepal and people around there. I wish to see my loving Nepal once again like before. Let’s pray for the best. – Nafisa

Sunrise at Worlds Deadliest Mountain Annapurna, Nepal

Speechless in Khao Sok: No WiFi, No TV, and electricity for only a few hours at night

After spending four days in the craziness of Bangkok, we set off on the very long and smelly train journey to Surat Thani, Thailand.

I was so glad to arrive in Surat.

The smell from the toilets and even though we had pull down beds, I was constantly whacking my head off the top of the bed (if anyone reading this has done the journey and they are over 6feet tall they will understand) every time the train hit a bump. And trust me there are a lot of bumps.

When the train arrives, it is not like at home.

There was no call of which stop you were arriving at. You had to do a quick run to find a worker on the train, hoping he understood what you said, grab your bag and jump off.

After a quick snack, we jumped on the minibus and headed to the National Park Khao Sok.

On arrival, we jumped into a long tail boat, within minutes of the boat setting off I was sat there in amazement.

It’s not often I have been left speechless, but Khao Sok had done it.

While on the way to the floating raft houses I must have taken about 50 photos.

As soon as we arrived, our bags were straight in the room and we went for a swim in the fresh lake. Going from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok to this place made you appreciate it even more: no wifi, no TV and electricity for only a few hours at night.

And the food, let’s say, the fish is very fresh. A paradise!

Find all the best hostels in Thailand here . We wrote up complete guides for

  • best hostels in Bangkok
  • best hostels in Phuket, South Thailand
  • best hostels in Chiang Mai , North Thailand

Speechless in Khao Sok: No WiFi, No TV, and electricity for only a few hours at night

1 1/2 Month of Travel and Work in France

I was studying abroad in Strasbourg, France and wanted to do the travel around Europe and find myself deal. While I was planning, a friend in the programme introduced me to HelpX, a network that lets you work internationally for room and board. You typically work 4 days out of the week and travel for the rest. After some searching, I decided to go for it!

For a month and a half, I worked at an organic hotel and restaurant in the tiny village of Tichville, France. Population: 10 people and hoards of ducks, chickens and cows. I worked as a waitress in the restaurant and general garden help. I picked tiny strawberries, fed chickens, made elderflower syrup, laughed with guests as they helped me with my French and had colourful conversations drinking cider and staring at the stars.

On our days off, we could go wherever. I biked to Camembert (where the cheese is from), couchsurfed in Caen, had our hosts’ friends show us the D-Day beaches and swam in the river. I just went with the flow and it worked out fabulously! Sometimes less is more.

Read : How to work and Travel with Worldpackers

Volunteering France working eco-friendly restaurant

Walking a Waterfall and Meeting Up with Local Students

One of the best moments of our trip to China was in Dehang, a traditional Miao Village in Hunan. There we met a Chinese couple who led us along a trail to the tallest waterfall of China, and we walked behind it: so exciting!

Back to the village, we were looking for something to eat, but nobody could speak English. Seeing us in troubles, a class of students dragged us in a traditional restaurant with them: they ordered tons of food we never could have been able to, they were so friendly, and they offered us some local rice wine as well. Definitely the best lunch of our trip!

Walking a Waterfall and Meeting Up with Local Students

Warned about the Children in Cambodia

Be careful and judge each situation for yourself! We were warned about the children of Cambodia asking for hugs and stealing your watch, yet we saw none of this.

The children we’ve met so far are blind to prejudice, race, gender, religion …

They simply wanted attention, and we spent afternoons in Sihanoukville, Cambodia throwing them around the ocean, chasing them up and down the beaches, we taught them card games, and they smiled proudly as they practiced their English. They had little but were content, it was beautiful to see. I don’t know what’s next, but I’m so happy living in the moment and am very lucky to meet someone new and interesting every day.

Read : the best hostels in Cambodia

Warned about the children of Cambodia

The monk who didn’t want money but silence

We were visiting Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka, surrounded by hundreds of pilgrims all dressed in white. Suddenly we noticed a Buddhist monk staying silently close to a Stupa : he was still, his eyes to the sacred monument in front of him, at his feet a handwritten sign:

“ Do not give me money, it’s no use for me. If you want, you can take a picture, I don’t mind. But please do not speak to me “.

We had the camera in our hands but decided to turn it off and respect this monk, his silence and his faith. His message made us think about the vacuity of our lives and the depth of the message he was trying to convey.

Read : our guide to best hostels in Sri Lanka and unique things to do

The monk who didn't want money but silence

You are not a man if you haven’t been on the Great Wall

As they say in China, you’re not a man if you haven’t been on the Great Wall. In November 2011, during my honeymoon, I visited the Mutianyu site , which is 90 km from Beijing. Mutianyu is one of the best choices to see the Great Wall because it is beyond the tourist circuits, but good for everyone that would like to see the famous bastions and 22 control towers.

The part of the Great Wall in Mutianyu is 2 km long. Even if it seems to be short, it could be very difficult to climb it at all because there are a lot of steep sections. Take your time and enjoy the magnificent view (especially if you’re there very early in the morning): the Great Wall looks like a dragon hiding in the fog!

At the end of your visit, take the Toboga , a slide that runs down the mountain, to reach the end of the valley. I promise you an exciting experience!

You are not a man if you haven't been on the Great Wall

Chasing Koalas on the Great Ocean Road

We were quietly eating breakfast in the morning sunshine at a picnic table at our Great Ocean Road campsite. We’d hired a camper van for a few days, and it had been our first night on the road.

All of a sudden, a fluffy ash-coloured koala walked across the grass in front of us without a care in the world. It was our first sighting of a wild koala, so we left our brekkie and followed the cute creature across the woods, where it decided on a new tree to climb. He loved the attention!

Chasing Koalas on the Great Ocean Road

Free Henna Tattoos For 100 Dirham – Marrakesh Travel Tip

“ Lovely lady, let me give you a present from me to you. ”

I’ll admit, my friend and I were both skeptical as the two Moroccan women grabbed each of our hands and began painting. As I hesitated and attempted to pull away, she reassured me it was a gift. Within minutes, what was once plain, white skin had now been transformed with beautiful black swirls which supposedly resembled my name. It is not something I’d desired to get on my trip to Morocco, especially as I was starting a new job only one week later, but you can’t turn down a freebie, right?

As we began to walk away, the woman’s tone suddenly changed: “ That will be 100 dirhams! “

Free Henna Tattoos For 100 Dirham - Marrakesh

This Self-Educated Highway Builder in China impressed me…

While taking a 20-hour train ride on the perimeter of the Taklimakan desert in northwestern China, I had the kind of humbling, education, and above all else, wonderful encounter with a local that all travelers crave. A young Han Chinese man approached me on the train . My new friend spoke virtually no English, so I gleefully relished this chance to practice my Chinese.

Over several hours, he would tell me about how he had attended a two-year professional school to quickly find a job building highways in order to help pay for his younger sister’s school fees. She was going to start college the next year. Perhaps most remarkably, however, was the fact that this man spent hours studying every day after hard manual labor. Without batting an eye, he would quote a translated Emerson passage before asking about the literary prestige of American writers as a whole. “And what do you all learn about Russian authors?” I recall him asking at one point.

It would have been easy to rely on my preconceptions about this fairly dirty highway builder who had never been more than a couple of hundred miles from home. But this highly informed, self-educated, and admirable person prevented me from doing so, and in the course of a couple of hours showed me just how much one has to gain from traveling with an open mind, and a willingness to engage locals from all walks of life.

This Self-Educated Highway Builder in China impressed me

3 Travel Stories from the famous Camino de Santiago

What is the first thing that pops in to your mind when you hear „Santiago de Compostela“? This smallish city in the North-West of Spain, is the final destination of thousands of pilgrims every year. They walk the Camino de Santiago, the world’s most famous hike.

We, Anna&Matt from Hostelgeeks, went to Santiago de Compostela, and beforehand we were not really sure what to expect. But we knew many pilgrims will arrive at „kilometer zero“, the spot right in front of the Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela. The place where people from around the world will come together, to celebrate their victory with the new friends they found along the trail.

Update: Movie about Camino de Santiago

STRANGERS ON THE EARTH, a documentary film about the Camino de Santiago.

This “deeply moving” (NOW Magazine) and “marvelous” (Globe and Mail) documentary film about Europe’s most popular pilgrimage, el Camino de Santiago, debuts in the US after storming across the international festival circuit to much acclaim. A tapestry of pilgrim narratives, STRANGERS ON THE EARTH examines the inner life of the myriad intrepid wayfarers who walk the ancient path in search of meaning, notably including Cleveland Orchestra cellist Dane Johansen, who ventured to walk the 600-mile path with his instrument on his back, performing Bach for his fellow travelers along the way.

Wondering what is the Camino de Santiago? Here is an extended guide to Camino de Santiago .

We sat down at the „Plaza del Obradoiro“, watched and listened .

It is the end of October, and the weather is getting cooler.

This time of the year „only“ hundreds of Pilgrims arrive every single day to visit the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. It is very emotional! As we are talking with many hikers, it turns out it is not necessarily emotion brought on by religious beliefs.

Many of them teared up a little because they had succeeded in finishing a long, painful but joyful journey.

We talked to some of the pilgrims, and what we heard is inspiring and impressive .

Here we are keen to share with you three Short Travel Stories by Pilgrims from Santiago de Compostela and the Way of St. James.

Walking the Camino for the 3rd time – Alex from Montreal, Canada

3! That is the number of times Alex has done the Camino. „ Every time the path is the same, but the experience is different. “

Back in 2001 and 2009, he walked the path with a friend during summer.

This time in 2015 it has been different. Alex was not satisfied with his job in Montreal, Canada, so he quit. He needed time to slow down and to think, and before long the camino started to call.

Alex decided to go by his own, and instead of summer, it became autumn.

„When you walk, sometimes you do think a lot and sometimes you don’t think at all. Which is also a relief.“ – Alex

„ What is the difference between the other two times and now? “

„Technology! Back in 2001 internet access was very limited and every now and then you could find a computer with slow access. Nowadays it can happen that someone walking next to you calls the office giving instructions.

Also, now it is way more popular.

This time I tried to sleep in smaller towns outside the bigger towns on the trail. This way I had more time for myself. Sure there were days I joined the groups in the bigger cities, as human contact is also part of the journey.“

Walking the Camino for the 3rd time - Alex from Montreal, Canada

Changing a young life – Joao from Portugal and Holger from Germany

In front of the famous Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela we met Holger, a social pedagogue from Osnabrück in Germany.

Holger works with teenagers in the need of help due to family issues or general problems teenagers have nowadays.

The most common problem: not finding their way and place in society.

Instead of talking theory, Holger decided to take the next step. He started the initiative to walk the St. James’s Path with his teenagers . It is the perfect metaphor, and as it turns out a great way to teach teenagers valuable lessons in life.

“You have to undertake the journey on your own, nobody will walk the way for you, but many people along the way will be there to help you! You have to take different steps, face several challenges, and walk towards one big goal: Santiago de Compostela.” – Holger

One of the teenagers from Holger is Joao, 18 years old with a Portuguese heritage, speaking perfect German.

He and Holger started the Way of St. James together in Pamplona.

They hiked side-by-side for 7 days until Holger had to take a flight back to Germany, so Joao continued his journey by himself. Three weeks later Holger and two more of his teenagers took a flight back to Spain.

They walked the last part of the Camino de Santiago, and met Joao on the path.

775km later Joao stands with his certificate in front of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, clearly proud and happy.

Holger tells us the story of Joao’s biggest challenge along St. James’s Path .

The day before he had to walk up a mountain with a height of 1500 meters, he came down with a serious fever.

He was feeling weak and tired but kept on walking instead of resting.

He climbed up the mountain and prayed. A fellow hiker passed by and as Joao did not look too well, he gave him some colorful pills. Joao took those pills, and feeling better he continued his hike – but not for long.

Luckily a German bus tour came his way and helped him.

They would be happy to take Joao with them in exchange for a favour: if he would talk to the bus about his experience on the Camino de Santiago.

So, what did he do?

He took the microphone, stood up in front of a big group of strangers, and started talking about his biggest adventure of his very young life.

We asked Joao about his next plan.

He wants to do Work&Travel around Australia and maybe New Zealand.

We didn’t know Joao before, but the confidence he gained from walking the Santiago de Compostela spoke through him.

Changing a young life - Joao from Portugal and Holger from Germany

Finishing High School, and then Walk – Ireland and the Netherlands

Sitting in front of the cathedral, and enjoying the sun and view to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.

We talked to these two girls from Ireland and the Netherlands who have just finished the Route of Santiago de Compostela.

„We met on the Camino de Santiago.

When walking you keep meeting people along the trail, and the last steps before arriving to Santiago de Compostela we went side-by-side. Now that we have arrived, I feel both very happy and sad at the same time.“

„ Would you walk again? “

„For sure, but maybe not now. Maybe at the age of 50. It would be the most amazing thing if we could walk again with all the people we met this time.“

„ Why did you walk the Camino de Santiago? Are you religious? “

„More spiritual. I just finished High School in Ireland and I wanted to travel.

The trail is very safe for a woman traveling alone. All my friends are already working, or not up for this adventure. So I thought, why not go on my own?!“

„Same goes for me! I started with a friend who is currently in the Hostel. We finished High School in the Netherlands, and we wanted to travel before starting university.“

Finishin High School, and then Walk

Summary Short Travel Stories from Santiago de Compostela:

The Plaza del Obradoiro is a very emotional spot for people around the world. You will see people crying loud, crying silently, feeling sad and happy at the same time, hugging, laughing.

Every single pilgrim has its very own story, background, motivation, but they all have something now in common: they are all unique, and have found new friends whilst walking the most famous path in the world!

Keep on walking!

3 Travel Stories from the famous Camino de Santiago

Falling in Love with Paris, these moments are forever

One evening, my husband announced that we were going away the next morning. At the departure gate, people gathered for two flights: Birmingham and Paris. And then of course I knew.

We arrived in Montmartre and started exploring its cobbled streets. I looked over the Parisienne roofs, thinking about Lautrec and other artists who walked the same paths .

Around sunset, I spotted the Eiffel Tower on the horizon. The skies were cloudy and reflected the sun in shades of the palest peach and pink. I looked at the view for a long time, wanting to memorize it forever.

Heading to the French capital? You can find +24 fun things to do in Paris , collected by us. Rollerblading, boat party, and pizza picnic – enjoy!

Surprise! Falling in Love with Paris

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Essay on My Dream Vacation

Students are often asked to write an essay on My Dream Vacation in their schools and colleges. And if you’re also looking for the same, we have created 100-word, 250-word, and 500-word essays on the topic.

Let’s take a look…

100 Words Essay on My Dream Vacation

My perfect holiday.

Imagine a place with clear blue skies and warm sunshine. That’s where my dream vacation begins. It’s on a peaceful beach with soft, golden sand. I can hear the waves gently crashing and feel the breeze on my face.

Fun Activities

Every day, I would build sandcastles, swim in the sea, and collect colorful shells. I would also try to learn surfing. It sounds like so much fun to ride the waves!

Delicious Food

I would eat fresh fruits and yummy ice cream. There would be picnics with sandwiches and juices too. Tasting new dishes would be a great adventure.

Relaxing Times

After fun, I’d rest under a big umbrella, reading comics or just daydreaming. This vacation would be a time to relax, laugh, and make happy memories. It’s my perfect break from school!

250 Words Essay on My Dream Vacation

Introduction to my dream vacation.

Everyone loves to take a break from their daily routine, and I am no different. My dream vacation is a trip to Japan, a land with a beautiful mix of old traditions and new technology. I imagine spending two weeks there, exploring everything from the quiet countryside to the bustling city streets.

Exploring the Cities

First, I would visit Tokyo, the capital city. Tokyo is known for its amazing sights like the Tokyo Tower and the busy Shibuya Crossing. I would love to see the city lights at night and taste the local food like sushi and ramen from the street vendors. Walking through the city, I would see tall buildings and many different shops.

Enjoying Nature

After the city, I would like to see the countryside. Japan has beautiful mountains, like Mount Fuji, and I would enjoy seeing the cherry blossoms in the spring. The peaceful gardens and quiet temples would be a nice change from the noisy city. I could also visit the hot springs to relax.

Learning About Culture

Japanese culture is very interesting to me. I would visit museums to learn about samurai and ninjas. I would also like to see a traditional tea ceremony and maybe try on a kimono, which is a Japanese dress.

My dream vacation to Japan would be a mix of city excitement and country peace. It would be a chance to see new things, eat new foods, and learn about a different culture. This trip would be an adventure that I would remember for my whole life.

500 Words Essay on My Dream Vacation

Everyone loves a good vacation. It is a time to relax, enjoy, and see new places. My dream vacation is no different. I dream of a trip that is full of fun, learning, and adventure. In this essay, I will share what my dream vacation looks like.

The Perfect Destination

The perfect place for my dream vacation is Japan. Japan is a country with beautiful mountains, bustling cities, and amazing culture. I have always wanted to see the cherry blossoms in bloom, try sushi from where it started, and ride on the super-fast bullet trains.

On my dream vacation, I plan to do lots of fun things. First, I want to visit Tokyo Disneyland. It’s a magical place where I can meet my favorite characters and ride exciting rides. Then, I want to climb Mount Fuji. It is a big mountain, and from the top, I can see a great view. Lastly, I wish to attend a traditional tea ceremony. It is a special way to learn about Japanese culture.

Learning New Things

Vacations are not just for fun; they are also for learning. In Japan, I can learn many new things. I can visit museums to learn about history and science. I can go to a language school to learn some Japanese words. I can even learn how to make sushi!

Making Friends

One of the best parts of going on vacation is making new friends. In Japan, I hope to meet many people. I can talk with local kids, make friends, and play games. This way, I can learn about their lives and share stories about mine.

Japan is also known for its beautiful nature. I want to see the cherry blossoms, which are pink and white flowers that look like a dream. I also want to visit the beaches and maybe even see a snow monkey. Nature is important, and on my dream vacation, I want to enjoy it a lot.

Trying Delicious Food

Food is a big part of any vacation. In Japan, there are so many tasty things to try. I want to eat sushi, noodles, and try matcha ice cream. Food helps us understand a place better, and I want to try as many Japanese foods as I can.

In conclusion, my dream vacation is a trip to Japan where I can have fun, learn, make friends, enjoy nature, and eat delicious food. It is a place where I can experience new things and create memories that will last forever. I hope one day I can turn this dream into a reality and have the best vacation ever.

That’s it! I hope the essay helped you.

If you’re looking for more, here are essays on other interesting topics:

  • Essay on My Dream For My Country
  • Essay on My Dream Holiday
  • Essay on Favourite Dress Salwar Kameez

Apart from these, you can look at all the essays by clicking here .

Happy studying!

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dream trip story

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woman hiking in machu picchu

Some trips belong on the bucket list. (Photo: Getty Images)

The Art of Planning a Wish-List Vacation: 8 Steps to Make Your Dream Trip a Reality

Dreaming of someday setting sail on an Antarctic cruise? Or visiting the ruins of Machu Picchu? No matter what future adventure you’re imagining, planning is key to checking destinations off your wish list. But if you’re new to organizing a trip, navigating the logistics and budget can be complicated.

Use this guide to learn how to make your dream trip a reality in eight easy steps, then take the quiz to discover your ideal, one-in-a-million vacation.

1. Brainstorm and research.

No two travel wish lists are alike, and a dream trip for some might be the wrong fit for you. Decide what’s important by surrounding yourself with inspiration. Whether it’s reading travel blogs, following Pinterest boards, joining travel-centric Facebook groups or asking your besties about their favorite destinations, use trusted sources to vet the places you want to go.

Traveling with a crew? Use Virtuoso Wanderlist to survey yourself and traveling companions to create a potential list of destinations and adventures you’ll love. Once filled with wanderlust, make a list prioritizing the places you most want to visit.

Maybe your ideal vacation is the red rock wonderland of Zion National Park or a Caribbean beach resort with your toes in the sand. Whatever your travel fantasy is, put pen to paper (or finger to touchscreen) and start building your bucket list.

woman trip planning with map

2. Make a vision board.

Once you’ve listed your dream destinations, use a vision board — physical or virtual tools designed to corral your plans into a single resource — to narrow down your options and start trip planning.

Go old-school and make a poster board of vacation aspirations using magazine photos and a glue stick. Or use Pinterest to build a virtual vision board that goes with you anywhere.

If checklists are your jam, hang a scratch-off map in your home and mark where you’ve been so far and where you want to go next.

3. Prioritize your top trip pick.

Just because a destination is number one on your must-visit list doesn’t mean it’s the right time to go. Shift your dream trip target based on your budget, health and availability.

Want to cycle around Europe? Consider booking that trip when you’re in great shape. Ready for a South African safari ? Make sure you have the time off and funds for this big experience.

Another route for prioritizing trips is around airfare. Create a top-five list, and when you see a screamingly good deal for airfare, use that as your opportunity to book.

4. Create a budget and a timeline.

When you’re ready to start planning your first bucket list trip, determine when you want to go and how much it will cost. Divide that cost by the number of months before the trip to decide if you can save enough to make it happen.

If you can’t, consider traveling later, taking on extra work or choosing a more affordable destination. Create a travel-specific savings account and start saving now for future adventures. Track your savings in a budgeting app like Mint to ensure you’re on track with your timeline.

5. Hunt for travel deals.

While saving for travel matters, it doesn’t have to break the bank. Deals abound, but you must know how to find them. Even if you hate promotional emails, sign up for members-only deal digests to find weekly deals, from flights to vacation packages to experiences.

If your travel is date-specific, use Skyscanner or Google Flights to enter your travel time frame and find a bucket list option with the best flight pricing.

woman planning a bucket list trip at laptop

6. Find “app-spiration” from mobile apps.

Living in the digital age has its perks: You no longer have to scour guidebooks for vacation ideas. Instead, turn to the wide world of mobile apps for trip recommendations and tools to manage your travel bucket list from anywhere.

Using Soon or iWish , add experiences near and far to your must-do list. Soon’s buddy bucket list tracking helps find a like-minded friend for your next road trip to Ireland or beach vacay.

7. Book in advance (when necessary).

If you’re tempted to wait for a last-minute deal on a spontaneous getaway, remember that advanced planning is required to save your spot for some destinations. From total solar eclipse cruises to tours of the Galapagos Islands, for areas that restrict tourism or date-specific travel, book way in advance.

Even if you don’t need to book far in advance, getting a trip on your calendar is one way to turn vague travel ideas into concrete plans and make your dream a reality. Plus, researchers say planning a trip makes you anticipate the excitement ahead and may make you feel even happier than taking it.

8. Be flexible.

Sometimes even the best-laid plans don’t work out. Whether a hurricane heads for Florida or a ski resort closes early due to a lack of snow, you may have to change or cancel a trip. But that doesn’t mean your whole vacay is a bust!

Protect yourself from unexpected cancelations and changes by checking your hotel, tour operator and airline’s policy. If they don’t offer free cancelation, add travel insurance, or use a credit card with trip protection to guard your investment.

When big plans change or get canceled entirely, pivot to a road trip or weekend getaway. Be a tourist in your local area and see close-to-home sights you’ve always missed out on. Use Google Maps to save must-visit locations and you’ll have ideas at the ready when a spontaneous adventure calls. Now grab a pen and paper (or the Pinterest app) and start planning your next dream getaway.

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Away With Maja

New york city: my trip of dreams.

dream trip story

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

-Mark Twain

dream trip story

Last year, I booked a short 3-day trip to New York City. It was one of the best things I’ve ever done.

dream trip story

Despite traveling all over Europe, I’ve seen very little of my home country. Which in many ways is understandable—the United States is absolutely massive, and there are so many different places to see and visit.

dream trip story

When I knew I would be moving abroad to the UK soon, but with no idea when that would be (#visaprobs), I saw cheap flights from Minneapolis to NYC on one of my favorite travel blogs, Thrifty Traveler , for less than $200 round-trip. So I thought, why not just go to New York City for a few days by myself?! I had some credit card points (my Chase Sapphire Preferred ) I could redeem, and the flights I found through my rewards program would cost just less than $200 and were actually direct.

dream trip story

So I booked them.

dream trip story

The trip was just 3 weeks away, probably the most spontaneous trip I’ve ever done.

dream trip story

I didn’t want to sit around on my ass, waiting for a visa to arrive, having no idea when I’d be moving abroad.

dream trip story

And out of every single destination in the country, New York City was the dream. It was the top of my bucket list.

dream trip story

I wanted to stand in Times Square, I wanted to see the Statue of Liberty, I wanted to stroll through Central Park, I wanted to see the sunset over the Empire State Building and the city skyline .

dream trip story

For the most part, it worked out well: 4 days after booking my flights, I received my UK visa in the mail (so much for thinking I’d be waiting on it forever!!). I had just one month (30 days!!!) in which to organize my life, pack up everything I own, and move to another country. I planned my big bon voyage party for the afternoon/evening after I got back from NYC. And luckily, my flight wasn’t delayed and I made it to my own party on time!

dream trip story

In terms of logistics, my last-minute trip worked out perfectly. I was able to stay with my cousins (for free, thanks Karl and Emily!), who live outside of NYC. Going solo, I had a fabulous time doing whatever I felt like.

dream trip story

I saw so many iconic sights, and fell in love with New York City. The city never sleeps, and there is such an addictive atmosphere around the city. NYC will draw you in and keep you fascinated forever.

dream trip story

It was the perfect goodbye to the USA before I moved abroad for good. It was the best trip I could ask for. And all of it stemmed from a leap of faith—and booking those tickets.

dream trip story

Mark Twain once said, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.”

dream trip story

I love this quote. To me, it means taking chances, following your heart, and making your dreams happen.

dream trip story

Dreams don’t just come true. You make them come true. Someone does something to make them happen.

dream trip story

You’ll always regret the shots you don’t take, and life is short. Don’t spend your life playing “what if?” What if you had applied for that job, what if you had told that person you liked them, what if you had booked those tickets. You don’t want to live a life of “what ifs.”

dream trip story

If you’re on the fence right now, I hope this quote encourages you to make an action. Book those tickets. Take that trip. Go see the world.

dream trip story

No, it’s not always as simple as that. There will always be more things to take into consideration. But for me, making my dream trip to New York City finally happen was just about as simple as booking the tickets.

dream trip story

I haven’t regretted my trip to New York City for a single second. It was definitely the right choice for me in that time of my life, and I can’t imagine my move abroad without going on that trip.

dream trip story

Explore. Dream. Discover.

Have you ever taken a leap of faith, to travel or otherwise?! Share your story in the comments below!

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The Best Places I Visited In 2017

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2 thoughts on “ new york city: my trip of dreams ”.

Great post, I love NYC! Hate to burst your bubble but that quote is very likely not Mark Twain. I love that quote and actually have thing on my wall at my office attributing it to Twain, then I did some research one day and found out its probably not from him. Sure, he may have said something like it, but he never printed it and the only accredited time it was printed was by H. Jackson Brown when speaking of things his mother said. See page 13 in Brown’s 1991 book: P.S. I Love You: When Mom Wrote, She Always Saved the Best for Last.

You can google the quote and find countless sites talking about the it being one of the most discredited quote of all time…. doesn’t make it less awesome and inspiring though!!

Good resource on it: https://quoteinvestigator.com/2011/09/29/you-did/ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/cindy-lovell/thats-what-he-said-quotin_b_4282800.html

Glad you liked it! Huge bummer about the Mark Twain quote… it’s attributed to him everywhere! I guess it’s just another good example of doing your research first!

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35+ Dream Destinations You Need to Add to Your Bucket List

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As an avid traveler, I am constantly dreaming up my next trip – oftentimes even before I’ve finished my current one! My dream destination list is ever growing, and I am never happier than when I get to check another exciting new place off my bucket list. If you are newer to traveling, however, you might not know quite where to begin. That’s where I come in!

In this post, I’m going to walk you through a whole host of dream destinations that you need to add to your bucket list, pronto! No matter what kind of travel you like, from tropical to snowy and everything in between, I have destination ideas that will rock your world and give you a major case of the travel bug. Are you ready? Keep reading to feel the wanderlust!

MY TOP DREAM DESTINATION TRAVEL LOCATIONS

I have always loved to travel. There’s nothing more exciting than packing your bags and heading somewhere new. There’s so much to see and experience in the world – so many natural beautiful and stunning cities, so much great food and so many interesting people to meet. I’m passionate about seeing as much of the world as I can, so I am always adding new places to my bucket list of dream travel destinations. If you find yourself also wishing to see more of the world, I’d love nothing more than to help you make that happen. That’s why I’ve put this post together – to give you a starting point as you begin planning your future adventures.

Curious about where to begin? Read on for travel tips, packing tricks, and a list of some of my own dream destination travel locations.

TRAVEL MUST-HAVES

The more you travel, the more comfortable you become, but the first few trips can be a bit nerve-wracking as you try to make sure you are packing smart and have everything that you need. That’s why I want to make sure to share a few essential items with you that will make your travel experience so much better and more comfortable. I never leave home without these items, and you shouldn’t, either.

First up, you want to find a reliable and versatile travel backpack for your adventures. It’s best to choose a backpack that is durable yet lightweight. You also want to make sure that the backpack you choose has plenty of compartments to keep you organized throughout your travels. There’s nothing worse than having to dig around for ten minutes to find a single item that you need. Good pockets keep you organized for your whole trip. You want a backpack that is spacious and big enough to carry everything you need, such as a change of clothes, toiletries, electronics, and even a first-aid kid. Additionally, choose a backpack that is well-designed for even weight distribution, making it comfortable to carry. Your backpack will be accompanying you on many adventures – take the time to choose one that will last!

Next, invest in a quality camera for your travels. Whether you’re a professional photographer or influencer or you just want to document your adventures, a good camera will help you capture memories in a high-quality manner so that you have those priceless memories for the rest of your life. I always suggest looking for a compact, lightweight option so that you aren’t hauling around heavy equipment for your whole trip, while still choosing an option that provides high quality and versatile shooting modes. With a good camera in hand, you can capture stunning landscapes and moments with the ones you love in places you never want to forget.

Finally, I never leave home without a portable power bank . Our devices are a lifeline, and the last thing you want to worry about when traveling is whether or not you’ll have enough battery to get through the day. You’ll be using your phone not only to navigate around the area but also to stay in touch with travel buddies and take photos throughout the day. Snag a power bank that has a high-capacity battery and multiple charging ports to keep your devices charged all day long. You never know whether or not you’ll have access to power outlets when you travel, but with a portable power bank, you don’t have to worry. It’s a small investment that will be so worth it.

CREATING YOUR DREAM DESTINATION TRAVEL BUCKET LIST

Ready to start dreaming? Creating your travel bucket list is such a fun and exciting process, as it gives you the opportunity to picture all of the incredible destinations you could see. I always suggest adding both classic, well-known locations to your list as well as more unique, off-the-beaten-path stops and hidden gems for the most well-rounded list.

As you create your list, think through what’s important to you. What about traveling do you love? What are you passionate about or interested in? What do you look for in a trip? Are you wanting to go somewhere to relax, or somewhere with a million things to do? Do you prefer cities or more natural landscapes? Are you passionate about history, or do you prefer more modern destinations? No matter your travel priorities, there are places to go that you will fall in love with, so take the time to decide what matters to you.

Take the time to truly research and dig into the places that you want to go. Travel is an investment, and you want to make sure you’re investing in something that you will love. Dive into travel blogs, online forums, and travel influencers to learn what the places you want to go are really like and get great recommendations and travel tips. And don’t be afraid to check out lesser-known areas! They will likely be less crowded, and filled with so many incredible experiences that might not be as well-known by the tourism masses.

Also, don’t be afraid to say yes to things that might be a little outside of your comfort zone. Prioritize authenticity and cultural immersion, embracing a spirit of adventure. Explore natural wonders, hike mountains, and visit towns that might not be on the tourist map. Look for opportunities to interact with locals and see what life is really like in the place you’re visiting. By doing this, you’ll create lifelong memories and really get to experience a new place for all it’s worth.

Dream Destination

MY TOP TRAVEL TIPS

Do your research.

The more prepared that you are, the less you will have to worry about on the spot decisions and instead will be able to truly enjoy your trip. By researching and preparing ahead of time, you’ll have an idea of the area before you arrive, and also can discover lesser-known experiences that might be a highlight of your trip! I always suggest checking out online travel forums, reading travel blogs, looking at guidebooks for the area you’ll be visiting, and watching content from travel influencers. You will get so much valuable insight, and find some great recommendations to make your trip even better.

KNOW WHAT matters TO YOU

Travel is only enjoyable if you do it in such a way that prioritizes your needs and the needs of your traveling companions. If you have physical limitations, booking a trip that is heavy on physical activity will quickly exhaust you, and you’ll end up frustrated when you’re not able to do everything that you hoped. If you’re traveling with small children, you have to factor in things like naptime or accessibility to food they will eat. If you know yourself well enough to know that you don’t function well on minimal sleep, you wnat to make sure that you’re adding time into your itinerary to rest up for the upcoming day, and you might want to think through your flight times and how they relate to the time zones you’ll be traveling to. It’s easy to ideaize other people’s travels without thinking through whether or not they’re actually attanable and sustainable for you personally. The best trip is one that you can enjoy, not one that your favorite influencer went on. By prioritizing your needs and making sure that you are at your best when traveling, you will have a much better experience overall than you would otherwise.

EMBRACE local culture

It’s easy to get lost in the traditional tourist destinations of a location, but I would always encourage you to really embrace the local culture and experiences available to you. Engage with locals, try the local cuisine (you just can’t beat authentic food from the area!), and immerse yourself as much as possible in the customs and traditions. You’ll come away from your trip with a new appreciation for the area that will be deeper than if you just visited the standard tourist spots.

BE flexible

You never know what’s going to happen when you’re traveling. Transportation can be delayed, the weather can be unpredictable, and plans can quickly change unexpectedly. Don’t let it frustrate or frazzle you – instead, embrace the spontaneity. If your initial plan doesn’t work out as you’d hoped, take it as a sign that you’re meant to try something new instead. And if you struggle with spontaneity and fear being disappointed at changes in your plans, I always suggest padding in some spare time to your itinerary so that you have wiggle room in case things do go a bit haywire. If everything goes smoothly and you don’t need the padding, it just gives you the opportunity to breathe a bit easier, feel less rushed, and squeeze in a power nap.

LEARN local lingo

If you’re traveling to a location where the primary language is not English, studying up on a few local phrases ahead of time can be a huge help for your travels. Showing that you’re trying to connect to a different culture shows locals that you respect them and their home. Even just a few greetings, basic questions, or expressions of gratitude can go a long way, and you’ll breathe easier knowing that you can connect easier despite a language barrier. And hey – if you’re an overachiever, it never hurts to spend a little extra time on Duolingo in the weeks leading up to your trip!

PACK light and well

When traveling, you don’t want to have to worry about lugging around pounds and pounds of stuff. Besides, that gets pricey with air travel very quickly. Learning to pack light is a skill, but an important one. Work to pack versatile clothing and shoes that will keep you comfortable, prioritizing pieces that can be layered for different weather conditions and can easily be swapped around to look good together no matter the situation.

PRIORITIZE sustainable travel

No matter where you’re going, you want to make sure that you are being as respectful as possible when traveling. Many dream destination locations on your dream travel bucket list may not be huge tourism destinations, making it even more crucial to preserve their cultural heritage and wildlife. It’s vital to respect the environment and follow designated trails while traveling. Additionally, try as much as you can to support local businesses while you travel, so that you’re giving back to the community you are visiting. Listen to locals, and do everything you can to travel in a way that is respectful to them and their home.

Travel can be an overwhelming thing, especially when visiting a place that might be outside your comfort zone. Many of my top dream destinations are places that I know will push me in ways that other trips have not pushed me before. That can be more than a little daunting! But travel is all about saying yes to new things and new adventures. You learn so much about yourself when traveling, and will quickly discover that you are capable of so much more than you ever thought you were. Take a deep breath, let go, and say yes to things that scare you as you make your way down your travel bucket list. Whether that’s a longer flight than you’ve ever taken before, hiking a mountain, snorkeling, trying new foods, wearing something outside of your comfort zone, or just navigating a new place that you don’t know well, you can do hard things! Embrace the unknown and the frightening and let yourself be excited for all that there still is to see and experience. There’s a whole world out there waiting for you, friends. Don’t live behind a screen forever. It’s time for you to go see it for yourself.

DREAM DESTINATION TRAVEL BUCKET LIST INSPIRATION

There are so many places to see in the world, it’s impossible to encompass them all in a single blog post. That being said, I want to give you a list of a few of my top travel destinations to give you some inspiration as you being to build a list of your own. There’s so much to see, and so many places to go – choose a few that light you up and start planning! You, my friend, have a whole lot of traveling to do. 

Curacao Island Curaca Travel

Often an underrated Caribbean island, Curacao is one of my all-time favorite travel destinations. This Dutch Caribbean island is known for gorgeous beaches, crystal clear water, and bright, colorful buildings. You can go on snorkling adventures, immerse yourself in fascinating local history, and enjoy delicious local cuisine. My family had a fantastic time visiting Curacao, and I would highly suggest putting it at the top of your travel bucket list.

Curacao Island Travel Guide: How to Spend Your Curacao Vacation

Nassau Bahamas Family Vacation Itinerary

NASSAU, BAHAMAS

Oftentimes, when I talk to people who are planning a dream destination trip to the Bahamas, they say they are planning to avoid the capital city of Nassau in favor of going to more secluded areas. But don’t let the popularity deter you – Nassau is a gorgeous city, filled with a charm of its own and so many hidden treasures. Explore the pastel buildings in the Old Town, visit the brilliant coral reefs, or enjoy the legendary beaches that Nassau has to offer. On a recent trip with our son, we enjoyed visiting museums and a local wildlife conservation center. Trust me – you don’t want to skip Nassau!

Nassau, Bahamas Family Travel Itinerary

Jamaica Beach Fun

My husband and I went on a romantic getaway to Jamaica a few years ago because it has been a dream destination of ours for awhile, and we have been dreaming of going back ever since! It’s one of the most stunning, relaxing locations I have ever had the privilege of visiting, and I immediately felt so at home on the island. There’s nothing like the gorgeous blue waters, and Jamaica is home to so many resorts and spas that give you the chance to finally unwind from all of the stressors back home. Many people refer to Jamaica as the land of year-round sunshine, making it one of my favorite places to escape to.

Parent’s Getaway to Jamaica

Ruins At Costa Maya

Say hello to tropical paradise dream destination! Costa Maya, Mexico couldn’t be more stunning, and how can you say no to the opportunity to explore ancient Mayan ruins? With so many gorgeous natural places to explore, a dreamy, crystal-blue beach, and history all around, it’s a must for your travel bucket list. Explore dense jungles, and enjoy world-renowned diving opportunities. Costa Maya may offer the perfect environment in which to relax, but it also is the perfect spot to head out on an exciting adventure. You don’t want to miss it!

London LivingLesh

If you don’t already have London on your list of dream destination locations what are you thinking?! One of the most iconic European cities, London is a must for every traveler to see. There are so many sights to see, from Buckingham Palace to the Tower of London, and you simply have to be able to say that you’ve had tea in London at least once in your life. Enjoy world-class theatre, fantastic shopping, and so many incredible museums, along with historical landmarks all around.

Sintra Castle Portugal

One of my most recent adventures was to Portugal , and I haven’t been able to stop dreaming of it since I arrived back stateside. I visited both Lisbon and Cascais, and fell in love with both cities.

Lisbon, the capital of Portugal , is a bustling city that is old and new all at once. I loved wandering the beautiful neighborhoods and exploring the city. Carmo Convent and Carmo Archaelogical Museum are two incredible historical visits to add to your list, and I was fascinated to learn the history of an area that I didn’t know a lot about previously. I had to go to the iconic Lisbon Square to see all of the bright yellow buildings, and Rossio Square, which has some of the grandest architecture that the city is known for and a magical fountain. Lisbon Cathedral is a true sight to behold, and Saint George Castle is a stunning medieval castle that takes you back in time. Additionally, we took a boat tour of Lisbon, and loved getting to see this beautiful city by boat.

I also fell in love with Cascais, a hidden gem of a fishing village on the coast. It was one of the most inviting places I have ever been, and I already want to go back! We took a walking tour of Cascais City Center, and visited Casa de Santa Maria and the Santa Maria Lighthouse. The Boca do Inferno viewpoint has a stunning view, and I loved walking through the   Condes de Castro Guimarães Museum mansion. Nearby is Sintra – a fairytale city that houses enchanting palaces and feels as though you’ve stepped into a story. There are several palaces to explore that will leave you wondering if you really have ended up in a fairytale. And in addition to the pristine beaches of Cascais, be sure to visit Roca Cape at sunset – it’s the westernmost part of Europe, and you will be amazed by the colors that are painted across the sky when the sun goes down.

Paris France Dream Destinations Edited Scaled

It may be a stereotypical choice for a list of dream destinations, but it’s a classic for a reason – everyone needs to visit the City of Lights. From seeing the Eiffel Tower in person to wandering the streets of Paris in search of fresh pastries and coffee to exploring the Louvre or seeing the Arc de Triomphe, there are endless things to see and experience in Paris. Whether you’re wandering with friends, go on a romantic trip with your love, or decide to explore the city solo, Paris is an ultimate dream destination that should be on every traveler’s bucket list.

Italy

Whether you dream of exploring Venice by gondola, visiting the gorgeous beaches, or are just on the hunt for the perfect scoop of gelato, Italy is the kind of travel destination that dreams are made of. Rich in culture with gorgeous sights as far as the eye can see, Italy is a perfect destination for sightseeing, shopping, exploring, and splurging on the most delicious food. It’s a city filled with history, and you can visit ancient ruins across the country, see the Leaning Tower of Pisa, or visit the Roman colosseum. Beautiful art and stunning architecture will leave you feeling inspired in every way. With so many things to see, you can bring your partner to see all of the romantic places in Italy , or maybe even take a girl’s trip and find unique hidden gems to have a great time while making new memories with friends.

Dream Destinatioin Tokyo

TOKYO, JAPAN

One of the busiest and yet safest cities in the world, Tokyo is known for both tradition and innovation. Stunningly modern with a rich history, Tokyo will amaze you with its beauty. Visit both neon skyscrapers and ancient temples, and be sure to set aside time to see the beautiful nature offerings as well, from gardens to Japan’s iconic cherry blossom trees. Tourists always remark on Japan’s cleanliness, saying that it tends to ruin travel as a whole for them, because there is nowhere in the world that makes traveling as easy and pleasant as Japan!

Dream Destinations Turkey

Exciting and intoxicating, Turkey is a country you might not think of off the top of your head but don’t want to leave off your list. Enjoy the natural saunas and Turkish baths, explore stunning national parks with vast rock formations, and visit ruins and temples that will leave you breathless.

Dream Destination Iceland Edited Scaled

Visiting Iceland can feel like stepping into another world. The natural world feels a little extra magical in Iceland, a country filled with wonders. From volcanos to glaciers, waterfalls to bubbling hot springs, make sure that you bring a camera with you to Iceland, because you’re going to want to capture the sights for all they’re worth. Plus, time your trip carefully and you’ll be able to witness the incredible phenomenon of the Northern Lights, with colors lighting the sky in a way you won’t find anywhere else in the world.

Dream Destination New Zealand

NEW ZEALAND

Feel as though you’ve stepped straight into Middle Earth with a trip to dream destination location – New Zealand. An island country located in the southwestern Pacific Ocean off the coast of Australia, visiting New Zealand is an otherworldly experience. With gorgeous fjords, stunning beaches, and the spectacular Southern Alps, you have to visit this magical land. The locals are kind and friendly, and it’s a country that will truly capture your heart.

Dream Destination Canary Islands

THE CANARY ISLANDS

Located off the coast of northwest Africa, the Canary Islands are a Spanish archipelago of rugged, breathtaking volcanic islands. Famous for their unique black sand beaches in addition to white sand beaches, the Canary Islands are perfect if you’re looking for a blend of relaxation and adventure. Hike volcanos, lay in the sun by crystal clear waters, and catch views that will blow you away from the famous Tilos Bridge. The Canary Islands are known as the Sunshine Centre of Europe, so you know that you’ll have a beautiful experience year round.

Dream Destination Egypt

One of the most iconic countries in the world, Egypt is a true dream destination for many. We’ve all grown up hearing stories of mummies and pharaohs, but what would it be like to see the great pyramids for yourself? To ride a camel through the Egyptian desert? To cruise along the Nile? Experience it for yourself with a trip to this country of ancient wonder. Visit historical sites from the ancient wold that you read about in history books growing up and see them come to life before your eyes. Marvel at the pyramids, visit Egyptian markets, and see the Nile at sunset for a trip you will never forget.

Dream Destination Greece

Greece is easily one of the most stunningly beautiful travel destinations on the globe. This dream vacation spot will leave you feeling as though you’ve just stepped into the film Mamma Mia as you explore islands surrounded by turquoise waters. See the ancient history of Athens, enjoy delicious Greek cuisine, and hike to stunning views. There’s a reason that all of your favorite influencers always seem to be visiting Greece. The beauty is unmatched, and trust me – photos will never be able to capture what it’s like to be there for yourself.

Ireland Dream Destination

With rolling greens as far as the eye can see, you’ll be hard pressed to find a destination more tranquil and beautiful than Ireland. Whether you want to explore historic castles or adventure along the cliffs and the coast of Galway, there is more breathtaking scenery than you could ever hope to see on a single trip in Ireland. Kiss the Blarney Stone for yourself, and let the Cliffs of Moher take your breath away. Be sure to stop by an Irish pub while you’re there for a true, authentic Irish experience!

Israel Dream Destination

Israel is a small but mighty country, filled with incredible sights and a whole host of historical spots to visit and explore. If you’re fascinated by religious history, Israel is one of the most fulfilling and interesting trips you will be able to take. From Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, you can explore the cities and markets, try delicious food, and visit beautiful beaches. It’s a cultural experience you don’t want to miss.

Dream Destination Croatia

Visiting Croatia is definitely one of the top items on my bucket list. Its historic Old Town is one of the most well-preseved Medieval cities in the world, and you’ll feel totally transported as you wander cobblestone streets and see the incredible old buildings. It feels like you couldn’t possibly still be in the 21st century! This seaside town has some of the most beautiful ocean views in Europe, and makes for a perfectly picturesque getaway.

Dream Destination Amsterdam Edited 1 Scaled

Have you dreamed of seeing the tulip fields of Amsterdam for yourself? I’m with you – it’s one of the top dream places on my dream destination list to experience firsthand. It’s a small city, so you could pair it with a few other European destinations, but it’s very worth the time to experience it for yourself. Known as one of the safest cities in Europe, the “city of canals” offers beautiful biking opportunities, unique coffee shops, and Holocaust remembrance through the eyes of Anne Frank.

Dream Destination Maldives

A tiny south Asian island, the Maldives is one of the most luxurious spots in the world. The island is beautifully warm and sunny year-round, so prepare to spend nearly all of your time outdoors when you visit this island paradise. Experience world-class snorkling (the Maldives are surrounded by rare and delicate coral reefs!), swim with sharks, and simply bask in all of the beauty that the area has to offer.

Belize Dream Destination Edited Scaled

Belize is diverse, exotic, and unforgettable. A land of dense jungle rainforests and sunny, beautiful beaches, Belize has a rich beauty and culture all of its own. Visit ancient Mayan ruins, or wander stunning seaside National Parks and marine biology nature reserves. Learn, adventure, and explore when you visit beautiful Belize.

Prague Dream Destination

The medieval-style capital of the Czech Republic, Prague will take you back in time with its beautiful architecture and old-style streets. The colorful buildings couldn’t be more charming, and you’ll love walking by the Vltava River. Nicknamed “the City of a Hundred Spires,” you won’t be able to help yourself from falling in love with the city of Prague.

Banff Dream Destination Edited Scaled

BANFF, CANADA

The beautiful resort town of Banff is known for its stunning scenery and countless opportunities for adventure. Visit nearby Lake Louise, enjoy the hot springs, and, most of all, the rugged natural beauty of Banff National Park. You can’t beat the incredible views of the Canadian Rocky Mountains, and don’t miss stopping by the nearby Banff Park Museum National Historic Site.

Bali Dream Destination

A beautiful Indonesian province, Bali is one of the most dreamed-of travel destinations in the world. This magical island is nearly unmatched in its beauty, cultural opportunities, and experiences. Explore the beautiful natural and historical sights, bask in the tropics, and splurge in fabulous dining and nightlife. Relax courtesy of incredible spas, learn traditional yoga practice, and spend time learning about this exotically stunning part of the world.

Machu Picchu Dream Destination

MACHU PICCHU, PERU

What’s a travel bucket list without a trip to one of the wonders of the world? This hidden city in the clouds is unlike anything you’ve ever seen. The buildings are stunningly well-preserved, and you feel tucked away in the middle of the mountains, surrounded by fog with the roaring river below. It’s truly like stepping back in time to another world – although if you’re afraid of heights, you might want to leave Machu Picchu off your list.

Bora Bora Dream Destination Edited Scaled

Who hasn’t dreamed of running away to Bora Bora? With utterly unrivaled beauty, you can’t find a more beautiful place than these white sandy beaches. Relax in above-water accommodations and explore the natural beauty of the island. It’s one of the few places where the reality is even better than the expectations. Once you go, you’ll find yourself dying to go back.

Dream Destination Tanzania

Have you always wanted to experience the wild of an African safari for yourself? In Tanzania, you can. Witness elephants, lions, leopards, buffalo, and rhino up close and personal in their natural habitat. Plus, see Africa’s highest mountain, Mt. Kilimanjaro, at Kilimanjaro National Park. This vast wilderness is a beauty you have to see to believe.

Dream Destination Antarctica

If you’re building out your dream travel bucket list, why not shoot for the stars and include Antarctica? There’s truly nowhere in the world like it – but this remote winter wonderland can, in fact, be visited and explored, no matter how far away it may feel. See penguins for yourself, and explore a world of ice, snow, and unique beauty. This dream destination is one you’ll want to explore through a cruise since it allows you to explore the area, take little stops off the boat, and gives you a place to just wake up in the morning and see wildlife just swimming by. Many people are often hesitant about visiting Antarctica because of Drake’s Passage, but don’t let that deter you, it’s just one moment in time for more moments of beauty.

Dream Destination Cambodia

Cambodia: where the ancient world meets the modern world, and unique beauty blossoms. One of the most fascinating spots in Southeast Asia, Cambodia is the best of both worlds. Experience the electricity and excitement of the big city, but be sure to take time to explore the quieter parts of the country and see the marvels of ancient ruins for yourself. The largest religious monument in the world, Angkor Wat, can be found in Cambodia – a Hindu temple transformed into a Buddhist temple, huge, sprawling, and stunning despite its crumbling.

Dream Destination Galapagos Islands

GALAPAGOS ISLANDS

600 miles off the coast of Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands are a natural beauty unlike anywhere else in the world. Largely untouched by human life, the Galapagos are a magnificent place where plants and animals truly are the stars of the show, and we humans are merely there to observe and learn. This once-in-a-lifetime trip is an experience you’ll never forget.

Dream Destination Australia

If you have the time to take a longer trip, I would highly recommend visiting Australia. There’s so much to see and do that you could truly stay for weeks on end and still feel like you didn’t make it to everything on your list. There are so many fun day trips to go on across Australia, and everything is pretty spread out, so be prepared to build in travel time throughout your trip. See friendly wildlife at the Australia Zoo, experience the gorgeous scenery and pristine white sand beaches, and visit the exciting city of Sydney. There are so many sights to see, you’ll find yourself wishing you never had to go back home.

Dream Destination Cape Town

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA

The beautiful city of Cape Town is unique in that it’s a modern city surrounded by gorgeous, wild natural beauty. At the center of Cape Town is Table Mountain, one of the seven New Wonders of the world. Visit some of the most beautiful beaches, road trip along the scenic coast, hike to sunset views or even go on a safari, all while staying within access to great food, shopping, and nightlife. Cape Town offers the best of everything, and makes for a perfect destination.

Dream Destination Petra

PETRA, JORDAN

This famous archaeological site in southwest Jordan is unlike anywhere you’ve ever seen and it’s a dream destination for almost any person that I speak to. . Ancient tombs and temples have been carved into the sides of pink sandstone cliffs – which is why Petra has been nicknamed the Rose City. This archaeological park spans 2,640 acres, so there is so much to see and explore. You’ll quickly understand why Petra is one of the seven wonders of the world – there’s simply nowhere else like it.

Dream Destination Nepal

See the magic of the Himalayas when you visit this dream destination – Nepal. Some of the most incredible hikes in Asia can be found in the Himalayas, making for a truly unforgettable experience. Plus, in addition to gorgeous views, explore beautiful ancient temples that will leave you speechless.

Dubai Dream Destination

Traveling to Dubai will be an experience you’ll never forget. Dubai is incredibly unique in that most of the city was just built in the past 50 years. It boasts the world’s biggest shopping mall, as well as the world’s tallest skyscraper. It’s a luxurious and ultra-modern city, and you’ll be amazed at all of the incredible things you can do – from water parks to skiing to scuba diving in a giant fish tank! It’s a city unlike anything you’ve ever seen before.

Dream Destination Argentina Edited Scaled

Argentina – a city of art, music, and adventure. One of the best South American cities, Argentina is a thrill to the senses. Dance and enjoy delicious food in the city, and explore lakes, jungles, and wetland outside of the city that will leave you breathless at its beauty. See colorful mountains, salt flats, and charming colonial architecture. Be sure not to miss Iguazú Falls – the separation point between Argentina and Brazil and Paraguay, these wildly stunning falls are one of Argentina’s top landmarks.

Costa Rica Beach

Ruggedly beautiful, Costa Rica is a true tropical paradise which why it makes it a great dream destination. Experience wildlife like toucans and monkeys in the wild rainforests, walk beautiful beaches, and explore the nightlife of the city. Costa Rica isn’t a place to visit if you aren’t ready for a little bit of adventure – take the time to go ziplining or white water rafting, or experience the thrill of chasing a waterfall. You will be amazed at the natural beauty awaiting you in Costa Rica.

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10 Exotic Dream Trips You Can Take in 2018

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Josh Roberts

Josh Roberts believes the best trips involve long hikes and muddy boots. His life goals haven't changed much since he was a kid: He still wants to be Indiana Jones when he grows up.

Follow him on Twitter ( @joshwhowrites ) and Instagram ( @joshwhowrites ), and visit his website ( joshrobertsbooks.com ) or Goodreads page to learn more about his forthcoming novel.

Josh joined SmarterTravel in 2001, and is an active member in both the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) and the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).

In addition to SmarterTravel, he has written for USA Today, The Boston Globe, Yahoo! Travel, The Huffington Post, Airfarewatchdog, TripAdvisor, Jetsetter, ABC News, Oyster , and Business Insider . His travel photography can be seen in Britain and Ireland's Best Wild Places , published by Penguin UK.

The Handy Item I Always Pack: "A lacrosse ball. It's small, lightweight, and works wonders on loosening up tight muscles."

Ultimate Bucket List Experience: "Being the first to discover an ancient lost city. Failing that, visiting as many of the already-discovered ancient ruins as possible."

Travel Motto: "Not all those who wander are lost." -J.R.R. Tolkien

Aisle, Window, or Middle Seat: "Aisle."

Travel Smarter! Sign up for our free newsletter.

For many of us, the new year brings dreams of new travel destinations. And even if your other dreams and resolutions for 2018 have already fallen to the wayside, it’s not too late to make this the year that your dream trip becomes a reality. Whether your ideal getaway involves sun-soaked beaches, fairytale castles, epic long-distance hikes, or exclusive safaris, there’s an adventure for every taste and budget.

The Best Dream Trips for 2018

Here’s a sampling of the best dream trips you can take in 2018—many of them newly designed for the year ahead.

Visit an Exclusive Private Game Reserve at Thanda Safari in South Africa

dream trip story

Imagine a place where Africa’s famed Big Five game animals—lions, elephants, rhinoceroses, leopards, and Cape buffalo—roam freely in a spacious natural habitat, protected from hunters and poachers yet easily accessible to curious travelers. Imagine yourself there in the foothills of South Africa’s Drakensburg Mountains, led by a seasoned tracker and armed not with a hunting rifle but a camera. Now imagine you have an expert wildlife photographer at your side to teach you the secrets of capturing these magnificent animals up close in the African Bush.

At Thanda Safari , a five-star World Tourism Award-winning private game reserve in South Africa, you don’t have to imagine it. You can live it with a stay at the luxury reserve’s upscale lodge, luxury camping tents, or private villa. This African outfitter combines all of the traditional elements of a once-in-a-lifetime safari with a commitment to supporting the local Zulu culture and caring for the environment. There’s no better time to visit than in 2018, when South Africa celebrates Nelson Mandela’s centenary.

Important Information: Local staff and guides enhance the experience and provide cultural immersion opportunities. Guests can opt to stay in a traditional safari lodge, a luxury safari camping tent, or a private villa.

Provider:   Thanda Safari Private Game Reserve

Price: ‎$687 to $1,389 (based on average rates for a standard room)

Sail the Coast of Sri Lanka with G Adventures

dream trip story

Sri Lanka, an island nation in the emerald waters of the Indian Ocean, is the up-and-coming destination for international travelers in Southeast Asia. But more interest naturally means bigger crowds, too, which is why G Adventures ‘ intimate new seven-day sailing trip around the southern coast of the island is a perfect way to discover this rising destination in 2018. In addition to exploring ancient forts, remote beach towns, and tiny fishing villages, you’ll also have ample time to relax, surf, and snorkel.

This is a brand-new itinerary for G Adventures in 2018, making it a must-book dream trip for avid travelers who want to be the first to see a hot destination that’s high on rewards and low on crowds.

Important Information:  Travelers must be at least 16 years old to book this trip. Light physical activity, including hiking, kayaking, rafting, and walking, is required. This is a small-group trip with a maximum group size of eight people.

Provider : G Adventures

Price: Starting at $1,359 from G Adventures

Hike Japan’s Long-Distance Paths with Walk Japan

dream trip story

Beyond the bright lights and sensory overload of Tokyo, Japan’s rural past lives on in its serene long-distance walking routes, many of which are offered as guided trips by tour operator Walk Japan . Nakasendo Way, one of the five established routes used during the Edo period, once connected Edo—modern day Tokyo—to Kyoto for pedestrian travelers. Today you can take a guided walking tour of Nakasendo Way for a taste of old Japan—while still benefitting from a few modern amenities, like baggage transfers between stops.

Important Information:  Walk Japan’s five-day guided tour of Nakasendo Way: The Kiso Road can be booked for travel in March, April, May, June, September, October, or November. A longer and more strenuous alternative is also available.

Provider:   Walk Japan

Price:   Starting at 216,000 YEN (about $1,900 USD at time of publication) from Walk Japan

Uncover the Mysteries of Easter Island at Explora Rapa Nui

dream trip story

A far-flung and mystical destination hundreds of miles off the coast of mainland Chile, Easter Island (called Rapa Nui by its indigenous people) often finds its way onto the bucket lists of passionate travelers. Just 63 square miles in size, Rapa Nui packs a lot of adventure into its small stature: Think volcanos, beaches, wild horses, and of course moai statues—the famous “Easter Island heads” that have confounded explorers and archeologists for centuries.

There’s no better way to see all of Rapa Nui than with a stay at the famed Explora Rapa Nui lodge, which celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2018. At Explora, you can select from more than 30 guided explorations of the island based on your personal interests and fitness level. And at the end of the day, you’ll return to the lodge for a glass of Chilean wine or a frisky pisco sour, or perhaps indulge at the spa amid a luxe environment with waterfront views.

Important Information: Local staff and guides enhance the experience and provide cultural immersion opportunities.

Provider:   Explora Rapa Nui

Price: $996 to $1,754 (based on average rates for a standard room)

Animate Your Summer at Disney’s New Toy Story Land in Florida

dream trip story

Last year it was Pandora—The World of Avatar . Next year, it will be Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge . But don’t overlook this summer’s big Disney Parks reveal: Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Featuring new rides like the Slinky Dog Dash and Alien Swirling Saucers , as well as a carnival-themed 4-D arcade, Toy Story Land is primed to be the hottest ticket in Orlando this summer.

Important Information: Final dates have yet to be announced, but Toy Story Land is expected to open in time for the summer travel season. Some Disney hotels will also feature Toy Story décor this summer.

Provider:   Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando

Price: Starting at $99 for a one-day pass to Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Relax at a Floating Hotel Off the Coast of British Columbia

dream trip story

Located in the Haida Gwaii archipelago off the coast of British Columbia, the spectacular Ocean House floating hotel offers isolation-seekers the ultimate opportunity to experience a remote part of the world in virtual solitude.

Newly opened in 2018, the Ocean House offers three-, four-, and seven-night adventure travel packages highlighting the culture and natural environs of the local Haida people—all with unexpectedly luxurious touches. Activities include guided rainforest hikes amongst old-growth forests and up-close explorations of ancient Haida villages now returning to wilderness. Pair a stay at the Ocean House with the floating hotel’s sister property, the Haida House, located in the village of Tlell on Haida Gwaii’s east coast, for even more opportunities to explore and relax.

Important Information: Packages include return flights to Vancouver, as well as helicopter transfers to and from Ocean House. Meals, snacks, non-alcoholic beverages, and adventure activities are also included.

Provider: Ocean House in Haida Gwaii, British Columbia

Price: Starting at $4,410 per guest

Discover Cyprus, a Mediterranean Alternative to Croatia, with Intrepid Travel

dream trip story

Tourists love the Mediterranean Sea so much that Europe’s most popular coastal countries become a sea unto themselves every summer—a sea of tourists, that is. But that’s not the case in sunny Northern Cyprus, a dream trip candidate that remains gloriously unspoiled by mass tourism. One of the best kept secrets in the region, Northern Cyprus delivers peaceful beaches and plenty of sunshine, sans crowds.

Intrepid Travel ‘s new eight-day Northern Cyprus guided trip lets you explore ancient monasteries and fairytale castles (including Saint Hilarion Castle, said to be the inspiration for the castle in Disney’s Snow White and Seven Dwarfs) , swim along the coast, and relax against an idyllic Mediterranean backdrop. It’s relatively inexpensive, too—especially considering what you get for the price: private transportation, seven nights’ accommodations, bread and cheese making experiences, a day cruise, and multiple castle and monastery visits.

Important Information: This eight-day trip runs four times between May and October 2018. The minimum age of participants is 15 years old. Maximum group size is 12 people.

Provider:   Intrepid Travel

Price: Starting at $1,054 from Intrepid Travel

Witness Iceland’s Northern Lights with Wilderness Travel

dream trip story

Once ignored considered more of a stopover than a destination in and of itself, Iceland is now among the top dream trips for adventure seekers and casual tourists alike. Yet even with its recent surge in visitors, the country shows no hint of being spoiled by its popularity. Perhaps that’s because the best parts of this sparsely populated island nation remain inaccessible except to the hardy few who venture into its vast and icy wilderness.

New for 2018, upscale adventure outfitter Wilderness Travel has assembled what might be the ultimate Icelandic experience: eight days of hiking, snowshoeing, and star gazing during the darkest months of the year in search of the elusive Northern Lights. If snowshoeing across lava fields and spelunking through lava tubes is your jam, this is the trip for you.

Important Information:  This eight-day winter trip is recommended for those who are physically able to complete all excursions. Departures are offered in February, March, and November 2018.

Provider:   Wilderness Travel

Price: Starting at $7895 from Wilderness Travel

Explore the Galapagos by Catamaran with Exodus Travel

dream trip story

The Galapagos Islands need no introduction, but this new-for-2018 dream trip offers a whole new way to see this remote archipelago with popular adventure travel company Exodus Travel : onboard the Nemo II , a First Class Motor Sail Catamaran with room for the whole family.

This brand-new itinerary is the perfect trip for those looking to bring a dream family vacation to life. The itinerary includes snorkeling, guided walks through the islands, and plenty of up-close photo opportunities in Exodus Travel’s trademark responsible travel style .

Important Information: This is a leisurely trip appropriate for most fitness levels. The minimum age for participants is eight years old. Maximum group size is 14 people. Departures are available in April, July, and August 2018. A local leader accompanies travel parties on their adventure.

Provider:   Exodus Travels

Price: Starting at $5,655 for adults and $5,385 for children from Exodus Travel

Experience Europe’s Last Great Adventure with Wild Frontiers Adventure Travel

dream trip story

You have to be a certain kind of traveler to hear about a place called the “Accursed Mountains” and think to yourself, “Yes, that sounds like a dream trip to me.” If you’re just such a traveler, then a) we are kindred spirits, and b) get yourself to the Albanian Alps—the so-called Accursed Mountains—to discover a seemingly endless wilderness of alpine lakes, rugged river valleys, secluded villages, and staggering limestone gorges.

This is, in many respects, the last underexplored wilderness in Europe, and Wild Frontiers Adventure Travel ‘s eight-day guided trip takes you there for a week’s worth of hardcore hiking against an indescribably spectacular backdrop.

Important Information: This trip requires a high level of physical fitness. All breakfasts, lunches, and dinners are included. You will spend five nights in hotels and two in local guesthouses. Departures are available in June and September 2018.

Provider: Wild Frontiers Adventure Travel

Price: Starting at $1,349 from Wild Frontiers Adventure Travel

More from SmarterTravel:

  • 11 Epic Hotels You Can Plan Your Whole Trip Around
  • 6 Destinations on the Rise in 2018
  • 9 Secluded Destinations You Can Have All to Yourself

Josh Roberts believes the best trips involve long hikes and muddy boots. His life goals haven’t changed much since he was a kid: He still wants to be Indiana Jones when he grows up. Follow him on Instagram at @jauntist and on Facebook @JoshRobertsBooks .

We hand-pick everything we recommend and select items through testing and reviews. Some products are sent to us free of charge with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions and do not accept compensation to review products. All items are in stock and prices are accurate at the time of publication. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

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‘It was our dream vacation and it lasted 18 hours’: Versailles woman shares story for other travelers

VERSAILLES, Ky. (WKYT) - After his retirement, Rick and Barbara Smith spent their years traveling. This May, the two set out on what was supposed to be an eight day American Cruise Lines river trip starting in Idaho.

“It was our dream vacation and it lasted 18 hours,” Barbara Smith explained.

Rick woke up that first night unable to breathe. He would spend the next six days in a hospital in Washington where he learned he had a leaky heart valve.

“My husband was absolutely the best. A sweet, kind, caring man.”

Rick became stable enough to be flown to UK Hospital. He came through his open heart surgery, but died 24 hours later. While her husband was fighting for his life, Barbara was battling the cruise line company.

“I appealed to their good will. I appealed to their mercy, and I said my husband is in the hospital, his health is deteriorating. I don’t know how I’m going to get home. Please just consider us with compassion and sympathy and respond. And they didn’t.”

Barbara said she understands the two didn’t have travelers insurance.

“That’s a bad thing. But we were always healthy. We never thought we needed it.”

Barbara said she never asked or expected her money back. She asked the company for help rebooking new flights, finding hotels or just some type of response, acknowledging her pain.

“I’m still getting questionnaires about how was our trip. I’m still getting brochures in the mail from them for future trips. It’s like everything I wrote about Rick to them just went down some black hole. I can’t get mad at anyone because Rick died.”

But Barbara is disappointed in the lack of empathy shown to a woman who just lost her best friend.

“People ask us how long we’ve been married. I say not long enough. It could have gone a lot longer.”

WKYT did reach out to the cruise line for a response, and had not heard back yet.

Copyright 2024 WKYT. All rights reserved.

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‘The Price Is Right’ Fans Ask if Show Is ‘Rigged’ After Contestant Wins Dream Vacation

I s The Price Is Right host Drew Carey playing favorites? That’s what some viewers think after a contestant won a dream trip to Morocco on a recent episode of the long-running game show.

As first reported by The U.S. Sun , fans took to social media after The Price Is Right Instagram page shared a clip of contestant Letitia playing the Balance Game. And some are questioning if it was all too much of a coincidence after she won a vacation to exactly the place she was planning to go for an emotional family reunion.

“I’ve been planning a trip to Morocco with my daughter. She lives in Spain, and we’re gonna meet up soon,” Letitia told Carey before taking on the game.

“So, this is meant to be, maybe? Good luck,” Carey said.

For those unfamiliar with how the Balance Game works, a contestant is shown four bags filled with various amounts of coins. One of the bags is placed on an oversized scale and then the contestant must place two of the three remaining bags on the same side of the scale to form the price of a prize.

A bag containing coins equal to the prize’s price is then placed on the other side of the scale, and if the scales balance, the contestant wins the prize.

Letitia picked the $6,000 and the $4,000 bags to place alongside a $625 bag, making the total $10,625.

Model and assistant Rachel Reynolds then put the Morocco bag on the other side of the scale and Letitia held her breath as the scales moved up and down. Eventually, the scales stopped and were perfectly balanced.

“Yes! You got it!” Carey exclaimed as a shocked Letitia started running around the stage. She then hugged Carey, who said, “She’s going to see her daughter in Morocco. That’s amazing.”

Despite the feel-good moment, some viewers felt like the game was rigged.

“Sometimes I think they just give people they like the win,” wrote one commenter on Instagram.

“Funny because I think the same way also,” replied another fan.

Another simply wrote, “WTF,” with a thumbs-down emoji.

This comes after another recent episode where a contestant won the Dice Game by incredibly rolling three sixes and a one, bagging himself a brand new car.

“Those dice were definitely rigged. No way he rolled that,” one viewer wrote at the time.

When Is the 'Price is Right' Season 52 Finale?

However, others were happy for Letitia, regardless of whether it rigged or just pure luck.

“Meant to be,” wrote one fan, while another commented, “I got the chills!! How wonderful!!!!!”

“I love it!!! #DESTINYFULFILLED Congratulations!!” added another.

Another said, “I was so happy for her!!!!”

What did you think of Letitia’s win? Does Carey let the people he likes win? Or is it all pure luck? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

The Price Is Right , Weekdays, 11a/10c, CBS (streaming Paramount+)

Read the latest entertainment news on TV Insider .

Drew Carey on Price is Right

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J.Lo is Living the Under the Tuscan Sun Dream on a Solo Trip to Italy, and I Couldn’t Be Happier for Her

By Emma Specter

Image may contain Jennifer Lopez Face Head Person Photography Portrait Clothing Dress Blouse Adult and Blonde

Celebrities respond to relationship rifts in myriad ways, from propagating the term “conscious uncoupling” to smoking cigs with Paul Mescal , but I have to say that I’m particularly fond of Jennifer Lopez’s response to her alleged marital strife with Ben Affleck: refusing to talk about it publicly ( as she should ), canceling her tour , and jetting off to Italy for a solo vacation. Nobody has ever been less bothered!

Obviously, the mere fact of being in Italy doesn’t mean you’re not still Going Through It on a personal level (for evidence, see the last season of The White Lotus , or, more anecdotally, the time I cried so consistently and loudly about a breakup during a trip to Rome in my early 20s that the proprietor of the Airbnb I was staying at quietly reduced the price of my room by half). But personally, I’m beyond thrilled to see J.Lo queening out by the sea in Positano—and all while clutching a Dior handbag, no less. Who says you have to stay in Los Angeles and rot in bed when relationship stuff isn’t going so well? (Granted, Lopez probably has minimal rot time, but I’m sure she has her own hyper-famous version of lying in bed with unwashed hair for a week and watching When Harry Met Sally on repeat.)

Obviously, the easy filmic comparison to invoke in Lopez’s situation is Eat, Pray, Love , but since Lopez’s solo trip doesn’t appear to involve any cringe appropriation of Indonesian spirituality , I’d prefer to liken it to another movie about a woman setting aside her less-than-fun pile of romantic trials and tribulations to enjoy la dolce vita in Italy: Under the Tuscan Sun. No, Lopez doesn’t appear to be accidentally embarking on a gay tour of Tuscany, as Diane Lane does in the movie (which also stars Sandra Oh and Kate Walsh as one of the most iconic onscreen lesbian couples ever), but there’s still time for that, right?

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Attention road trippers! These apps play vacation planner, make life on the road a dream

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For many people, the classic American road trip is a rite of passage.

The 48 states on the continental U.S. are home to rolling hills, mountains, rivers, oceans and countless other attractions. And thanks to modern technology, planning the perfect road trip is easier than ever.

Just juice up your phone, make sure your car is ready to roll , grab your go-to road snacks, and let your smartphone do the hard work.  

Apps, like Roadtrippers or InRoute, can do most of the route planning for you.

Begin by inputting your starting and ending point, then let it suggest fun places to check out, whether you're taking the direct route via the highways or the winding roads less traveled.

Learn more: Best travel insurance

Watch this video to learn more about some of the apps you need for your next road trip.   

Roadtrip essentials

A good road trip needs these three things: Good snacks, an excellent playlist, and plenty of gas. 

If you’re driving through an unfamiliar area, fill up your gas tank sooner rather than later to reduce the risk of getting stranded on empty.

Check out these apps to keep your car juiced up along the route: 

  • Gas Buddy  

Gas Buddy helps you find gas stations near you and tells you how much the gas costs. 

Prices are put in by other users, so there is a chance prices may have changed by the time you arrive. If that happens, you can report the price change in the app. 

PlugShare helps you locate EV charging stations that are compatible with a variety of electric vehicles. 

And just in case you need it, because you almost certainly will, Toilet Finder can help you find a nearby facility to take a comfort break.

The app also tells you if the toilet can be used without charge and if it's wheelchair accessible. 

Taking a road trip with a pet

If your copilot has fur and paws, BringFido will help you find dog-friendly places to stay, eat, visit, and more. 

It even includes reviews from other users to help you make the best decision for you and your pet. 

On the road again

By the way, before you hit play and take the wide-open road, download your car insurance app on your phone.

Hopefully, you won’t need it, but it can make it much easier to file a claim or call for roadside assistance. 

Reviewed-approved car recommendations 

Purchases you make through our links may earn us and our publishing partners a commission.  

Reviewed helps you find the best stuff and get the most out of what you already own. Our team of experts test everything from waterproof speakers to air purifiers so you can shop for the best of the best. 

  • Customer-loved portable car vacuum: ThisWorx Car Vacuum Cleaner  
  • Durable phone car holders: Beam Electronics Phone Holder  
  • A clutch jump-start box: N OCO Boost Plus GB40 1000 Amp UltraSafe Lithium Jump Starter Box  
  • This well-reviewed dash cam: RedTiger Dash Cam  
  • A handy USB C charger: Anker USB C Car Charger  

More problems, solved

  • Breeze through security: 6 tips to quickly get through airport security
  • Expand workspace: Transform your iPad into a second monitor
  • Pre-travel checklist:  4 things you need to do before your next trip
  • Fly easier: 4 travel tips to make flying easier
  • Get inspired:   3 tips to plan your next trip using social media
  • Be prepared:   3 travel apps to download before your next trip
  • Carry on:   5 tips to travel safely with your tech like phones and laptops
  • Easily get around:  4 tech tips to easily explore a new city
  • Stream offline: How to watch TV shows, movies offline
  • Speak in any language: 5 ways to use Google Translate on your phone

Their trip to Bali was going to be a month long. But they fell in love with the island and built a house near the sea, giving up city life for good.

  • Tanguy and Lucie Yu gave up city life in Paris to move to Bali in 2019.
  • Their house, located amid rice paddies, took 4 months to build and has a garden indoors.
  • They say they are less attached to material things and want to focus on what truly matters to them in life.

Insider Today

Tanguy and Lucie Yu first visited Bali together in 2018 for a monthlong vacation.

That year, Lombok, a neighboring island, experienced a 6.9-magnitude earthquake that could be felt even in Bali, which was 40 minutes away by plane.

"We couldn't travel much to the other islands because the boats weren't working, so we rented motorbikes, and we did road trips to see all the different parts of the main island," Lucie, 35, told Business Insider.

The couple, who was living in Paris at the time, was blown away by the simplicity of life on the island and the generosity of the people they met.

"Farmers whose houses were damaged by the earthquake still invited us over for coffee. They had a smile on their faces and were just happy to be alive," Lucie said. "It was a sign that this place had some magic."

A year later, in September 2019, the couple packed up their lives and moved across the globe to Bali.

Finding land

Initially, they planned to use Bali as a base to travel around Asia. But six months later, the pandemic hit and derailed their plans.

Around then, Tanguy cofounded Astungkara Way , a regenerative travel company. That spurred the couple's decision to put down more permanent roots in Bali, so they started looking for land to build on.

During their first year in Bali, the couple lived in Kerobokan, an area sandwiched between the bustling, tourist-filled neighborhoods of Canggu and Seminyak.

"It was very busy, very loud, and a lot of traffic," Lucie said.

They knew they wanted to be somewhere quieter, and a friend introduced them to the property 10 miles north in Kediri, where they now live.

The only criterion they had was that the land couldn't be a rice paddy since part of the travel company's mission is to protect rice paddies.

"We thought that it was too far from things like hospitals and shops. But when he took us here, and we stepped on this land, we felt this was the place we wanted to be," Lucie said.

They had viewed three other plots of land before they found this.

"The land was basically the village dump and the soil was full of trash. It took us two weeks to clean everything up," Lucie said.

She added that back in 2020 , there was only one local village in the area, although things have changed since.

"We were like the last point before the rice paddies started and we were promised that it would stay that way," Lucie said. But two months later, a new 160-home development broke ground on the land just beyond their property.

Building a low-impact house

In local measurements, their land spans 15 are — about 16,145 square feet.

The couple says they paid 4.5 million Indonesian rupiah per are each year for a 25-year lease, which amounts to about 1.687 billion Indonesian rupiah in total, or about $103,500 in today's currency.

Building the home took about four months, and they estimate they spent about $70,000 on the build.

The couple's house is surrounded by their lush outdoor garden. A dirt pathway with an overhead trellis covered in creepers leads from the gate at the edge of their property to the couple's front door.

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The entire front section of the house is shielded by a giant insect net — meant for greenhouses — to prevent mosquitoes from entering.

"You get sun, you get wind, you get rain in the house as well, which is really nice, but you don't get bugs," Tanguy, 40, told BI.

There's even a garden inside the house, which helps keep their home cool even without a cooling system.

The couple's home was designed and built by the late architect Tony Gwilliam, a close family friend. The inspiration behind its design was another similar building prototype that Gwilliam had constructed in the Bloo Lagoon Eco Village , a resort located along the east coast of Bali.

"We went for a road trip during our first week in Bali, and we stopped by the Bloo Lagoon Eco Village because we wanted to see their permaculture garden. In the middle of the garden was the first prototype of our house, and we just fell in love with its concept," Lucie said.

It was a six-meter cube made from steel, and the couple liked the idea of incorporating that material into their build.

"If you're using steel, you can have very small foundational elements," Tanguy said.

For instance, the couple's house is supported by six steel pillars and made from local brick. Because it's light, the house can also be taken down and fit in a container to be moved if required.

"It doesn't take much space, and it doesn't require many materials," Tanguy added.

As he explained, Gwilliam and the couple were inspired by architect R. Buckminster Fuller's ideas about the weight of a house , which is related to its environmental impact.

"How much material was extracted from the ground, transported, and transformed? When you have a big concrete villa, the impact of those is colossal," Tanguy said.

Even the home's interiors are fairly minimal, with each piece of furniture designed by the couple and made by local craftsmen.

"Maybe we're getting older, we're less attached — and this is also what the idea of coming here was about, to be less attached to material things and more attached to how we feel, how we live, how we are as a couple, as parents, and just focusing more on life," he said.

Now, even with an infant son in tow, they have a slower pace of life.

Every day, they spend time as a family and walk their three dogs along the beach, which is less than 10 minutes away on foot. The couple also has two cats, and they rear chickens and grow their own produce in the garden.

"The only thing that we didn't think about when we were creating the house was that we were going to have a baby, so it's not very baby-proof," Lucie added.

That said, the layout can be easily adjusted because of the house's design and materials.

"If we want to add two more rooms, we can still do it within the space," she said. "We can improve it as we grow according to our needs."

Be part of the solution, not the problem

Tanguy acknowledges that mass tourism has greatly impacted Bali and its natural ecosystems. He points to the island's ongoing water crisis and the destruction of Bali's natural landscapes for materials as examples.

"I think people should move here if they want to contribute, but if they are here to just extract value from the people, from unregulated resource management, then they should reconsider," Tanguy said. "It's a pretty fragile part of the world."

He added that there are plenty of eco-tourism alternatives that are now available on the island.

"There are a lot of hotels that are trying to do better, who are growing their own food, doing wastewater treatment or sourcing their food locally," Tanguy said. "If you come to Bali, go there and support. The same thing for restaurants."

"Make sure to be part of the solution," he added.

Have you recently built or renovated your dream home? If you've got a story to share, get in touch with me at  [email protected] .

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