How many travel adventures are on your bucket list? Alan and I have quite a few that we’d like to try. But we aren’t interested in quickly checking items off a list. It’s the experience that matters most to us.
For me, there are a few non-negotiables when it comes to choosing travel adventures. I like my comfort—a little luxury is nice, preferably an indoor bathroom in a cozy cabin at an adventuresome destination. But more importantly, the activities must be within my capabilities. While I like to push myself, I’ve discovered that venturing too far outside my comfort zone turns a strenuous trip into a miserable one.
And it goes without saying that Alan and I want to travel with an experienced company that puts safety and responsible tourism first—a company like World Expeditions. Browsing their website, I noticed that trips are rated from 1 to 10 on a scale of easy to hard. That sure makes it easy for me to find adventures that fit my capabilities. In fact, I’ve just added ten more travel adventures to our bucket list.
Gorilla Adventure in Rwanda
Seeing gorillas in Rwanda has been on my list for a long time. I’ve even daydreamed about it:
I’m hunkered down in a bamboo thicket on the slopes of Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park when out of the mist a mother gorilla lumbers by with her baby. It’s all I can do to keep from reaching out to touch her. Instead I follow the guide’s instructions—thankfully he speaks good English—to quietly observe this shy member of the animal kingdom. On a Gorilla Adventure in Rwanda, my group has been walking for most of the day to spend our allotted hour with these gentle creatures. Tomorrow, we’ll go looking for endangered Golden Monkeys.
Desert Rivers and Wildlife Safari in Namibia and Botswana
When I think of a desert adventure in Namibia, I see sand dunes rippling on the horizon as a custom-designed safari vehicle approaches Sossusvlei. But I won’t be roughing it. World Expeditions offers a 15-day adventure to explore the vastness of Namibia and Botswana while staying in three to four-star hotels and lodges. That meets my need for comfort. But it’s the wildlife and varied landscape that I’ll rave about when reaching Victoria Falls as the journey ends in Zimbabwe.
The Best of Both Worlds in Nepal
I’ve dreamed of hiking to Everest base camp in Nepal. But that dream turns into a nightmare when the trail reaches a long swinging bridge over a deep gorge. Yes, I’m afraid of heights. However trekking in the Annapurna foothills is doable. And I’d have the best of both worlds—majestic views of the Annapurnas combined with a Chitwan safari where I’m likely to see Asiatic rhino and Bengal tigers. Eco lodges and good quality accommodations complete the picture. Will I have to lower my luxury standards a tiny bit? Perhaps but this travel adventure will be worth it.
Backroads of Japan
For quite some time, Alan’s been on the hunt for an adventure that explores the culture and landscape in off-the-beaten-path Japan. Doing it on our own is overwhelming, which is why the Backroads of Japan tour seems custom-made for us. The forest walks, mountain hikes and ryokan accommodations are just what Alan has in mind, not to mention the small-group size.
Irrawaddy River Cruise in Myanmar
There aren’t many countries left in the world where isolation has kept the culture frozen in time. Until recently, Myanmar has been such a place. I want to visit before tourism forever changes the country. But exploring a destination with a limited infrastructure is challenging, which is why I’ll choose a luxury cruise along the Irrawaddy River. For 15 days, from Yangon to Mandalay, the river reveals monasteries, pagodas, long forgotten forts, and villages with people who might be as curious about me as I am about them.
Desert Walking in Australia
Exploring Australia’s Red Center often means long backpacking treks. But there is a better way, especially for those interested in a sampling of the Larapinta Trail. This short walking tour reveals an Australian landscape that’s as old as time. Walking from eco camp to eco camp as support vehicles transport the gear is just my style, especially when those eco camps come with raised beds and hot showers. Imagine the star-studded night sky. I can do it! And so can you.
Kimberley Explorer Walking Adventure
The Kimberley is another Australian destination that’s calling my name. And one of the best ways to see the remote region’s wild nature is on foot, with some help from a luxury four-wheel drive vehicle. This is one adventure where I’ll break my no camping rule if it means seeing waterfalls, the Bungle Bungles and Emma Gorge. I wonder if crocodile sightings will be part of the 10-day walking adventure from Darwin to Broome?
Haida Gwaii: The Canadian Galapagos
Ever since Alan and I cruised on the ferry to Prince Rupert, B.C., at the beginning of our Alaska Highway road trip, I’ve been anxious to explore Haida Gwaii (formerly Queen Charlotte Islands). Imagine traveling through the 100-island chain—some call it the Canadian Galapagos—looking for whales, bears and bald eagles. Yes, I’m attracted to remote destinations and unique cultures, especially if I can explore them in comfort. With six cabins, this luxury yacht provides an intimate expedition experience. I can’t think of a better way to meet the Haida people or walk in the remote wilderness of Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve.
Rocky Mountain Winter Adventure
I’m past the point of challenging my boomer bones with downhill skiing. And snowboarding? Who am I kidding? Snowshoeing is my preferred winter activity. And I’m thinking that a week in the Canadian Rockies that includes three nights at Shadow Lake Lodge would be fun. Yes, we’ll have to snowshoe to the lodge, but that’s part of this Rocky Mountain Winter Adventure. A cozy cabin—washroom facilities are located close by—gourmet food and spectacular setting complete this wintry travel adventure.
Patagonia Parks and Wildlife
Do you see a common theme in my bucket list? Yes, I’m attracted to mountains and wild places. So is Alan. And ever since we cruised the coast of Chile and Argentina, we’ve talked about returning for a land tour of Patagonia. And why not throw in the prolific wildlife of the Valdez Peninsula while we’re at it? An 18-day tour of Patagonia Parks and Wildlife covers everything we’d like to do and more.
Although this list reflects ten adventures that Alan and I would like to do, any fairly fit boomer can participate in these tours. Looking for a more challenging trip? World Expeditions offers bicycling, advanced hiking and expedition-type travel adventures too.
Disclosure: World Expeditions has sponsored this article. However the opinions are my own.