I think by now we all have discovered that travel rejuvenates the soul, broadens our minds, and just generally makes us happier people. But occasionally, you take a trip that leaves a permanent mark on your heart and your mind. It changes your life forever.
Of course, what is considered life changing will vary from person to person. For me, it was my very first trip to Europe when I was 18. I had just graduated high school, and my grandmother gifted me a trip to France with a student group. I still vividly remember the tour from Malcolm Miller, the world’s foremost authority on Chartres, and how he had us building a gothic cathedral out of our bodies, meeting French cousins from my father’s side for the very first time, my first time seeing the Eiffel Tower, fireworks over Paris on Bastille Day… It was this trip that didn’t satiate my thirst for travel but only increased my desire for more.
But in case you are looking for a little inspiration, here are 5 trips everyone should consider if you are looking for an experience that will change your life and make you just a little bit worldlier and introspective.
Embrace the Mana of Tahiti
Located halfway between California and Australia, the 118 islands that make up the Islands of Tahiti are known for their pristine white-sand beaches, crystal clear blue waters, coral atolls, and volcanic mountains. But more importantly, what they have is mana – a life force and spirit that the Tahitians say surround and connect all living things. They say you can see it, touch it, taste it and feel it through authentic experiences you can’t find anywhere else in the world. And once you have immersed yourself in the culture of Tahiti, you will understand the meaning of being embraced by mana.
Hike the Inca Trail
Hiking the Inca Trail is not for the faint of heart. It is both a physical and spiritual journey and those who have done it have been awestruck at the sight of Machu Picchu, one of the true wonders of the world, laid out before them. Whether or not you take a luxury tour or a hike with a lone guide, retracing the steps of the Incas will not fail to leave a lasting impression in our hearts and mind.
Experience the power of Victoria Falls
Sitting on the border between Tanzania and Kenya, Victoria Falls is the world’s largest waterfall. They drop 550,000 and 5 million cubic meters of water every minute (compared to the 168,000 cubic meters that flows over Niagara Falls). If you are a thrill-seeker or someone who just wants to experience the unique and exhilarating, then this is the trip for you. Swim to the edge of the falls in Devils Pool in Zambia, take a sunset river cruise on the Zambezi River which is the source of all that water, or capture your trip in an art safari – the possibilities are endless.
Witness the vastness of Australia by rail
Australia is vast, but it’s hard to get a handle on just how large it is without traversing it. The best way to see the whole country and understand its vastness is by train. Take the Ghan Rail Journey, an epic 1,851 mile, 54 hour trip from Adelaide in the south to Darwin in the north through the heart of the country. It’s a luxurious hotel on wheels and one of the world’s greatest train trips. Break up the trip with tours to places like Alice Springs and Uluru, the sacred site where ancient spirits rest, Kings Canyon, and Darwin. Once you experience the sheer size of Australia, you’ll understand just how insignificant we are in the grand scheme of things.
Discover Beijing’s Forbidden City
Again, this is a trip about sheer size. Beijing’s Forbidden City, closed to the public for about 600 years until 1925, is the world’s largest palace at 7.75 million square feet and 1,000 buildings, and separated from the rest of the city by a 171 ft. wide moat and a 33 ft. high wall. A visit here will remind you of the scale of China’s history, from the 24 emperors that sat on the throne to the rise of Communism. Through all the changes, war, fires, and power struggles over the centuries, the complex has remained intact even though there is little reason that it should have survived.
Is there a trip that you have taken you considered to be life changing? If not, are you ready to plan one? One World Family Travel, LLC can help with that wherever you want to go. Just give me a call and let’s get started!
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