The world is full of wonderful things, and we only experience a few of them if we never venture beyond our own comfort zone. But even for the most adventurous of globetrotters, there simply is too much to visit and too little time. So what is there to do? We only live once, so lets choose to do the most meaningful things, in the most phenomenal places in the world! To help you guys get your exciting adventures going, we’ve highlighted a few items on our loooong bucket list of the experiences we loved the most. Will any of these be on your list too?
1. Dog-sledding across the Arctic landscapes
Charging across frozen lakes with just your furry friends and the sound of their paws padding across snow – it’s immersion in nature and exhilarating action both in one! Visit a sled dog ranch, or better yet, experience the full lifestyle and learn first-hand about dog-sledding with one of our hosts – such as this one in Canada. This is the perfect way to experience life in the woods, and swap the hustle and bustle of city life to live amongst Alaskan huskies – with the comfort of knowing someone has your back.
2. Go volcano boarding in Nicaragua
You’ve heard of skateboarding and snowboarding – why not take it the next level and glide across steep surfaces just above bubbling lava? Only the most adventurous among us would combine volcanoes with boarding, but we believe everyone needs to experience an act of courage at some point of their lives – are you one of them who have the guts to try volcano boarding?
3. Marvel at the northern lights
Yes, we know, this is basically a bucket-list staple already – but for good reason. There’s nothing quite like getting to see something after hearing and dreaming about it a thousand times, and finally understanding what the fuss is all about. The aurora borealis (gosh, it even sounds pretty) is absolutely magnificent and a reminder of how amazing nature is. Apart from the most popular Iceland, some of our favourite places to see these dancing lights are Finland, Sweden, Alaska, USA and Northern Canada– where you can get insiders’ tips and even stay at the best hidden spots with local hosts without needing to be in a tourist bus for hours!
4. Spend a night camping in the Arab desert
Nothing between you and the desert sand but a clear sky illuminated by stars that stretches into the vast unknown. Imagine friendly camels trotting past as you pass cups of freshly boiled tea around a campfire with fellow workawayers around the world, while your host shares stories about their land and introduces you to the wonders of local life in the desert. Our favourite destinations are with the Berber tribes in Morocco and the Wadi Rum village in Jordan (sorry we just couldn’t pick between these!).
5. Live life in a bubble in the off-grid wilderness
No need to pick between immersing yourself in nature and enjoying the comfort of the bug-free, weather-proof indoors! There’s just something so magical about living in a literal bubble, and gazing at the unobstructed views of forests, mountains and clear rivers surrounding your little dome. Experience the panoramic beauty of off-grid Colombia with our host just a bit away from Bogota – for free!
6. Be a true nomad on the Mongolian plains
Following where the wind blows and where the grass is green…nomads used to build their lives around nature’s wisdom, and many in Mongolia are still choosing to keep this lifestyle over the city rush. Experience the authentic nomad life by building your own yurt – or ger, as locals call it – in the stunning highlands of Mongolia and learn what it’s like to live simply and sustainably with one of our hosts.
7. Help at an alpaca farm and take them out for walks
Alpacas have to be one of the most beloved animals of all time, because who wouldn’t wanna give these adorable floofy creatures a big hug? Try your hand with feeding, shearing and helping them build little homes at various farms while you are exploring different countries, and have a taste of rustic good life with these gentle animals by volunteering at an alpaca farm.
8. Walk on all the colours of nature in Patagonia
Stretching across both Chile and Argentina, trekking through Patagonia is the best way to experience the diverse wonders of South America’s geography from the top of the world. Snow-capped mountains, glaciers, penguin sightings – the trails here are filled with magnificent views wherever you go. Stay close to these stunning treks, drop the guidebooks and explore the lesser-known spots of the area with local hosts instead!
9. Relax on the beach with sea turtles
The earth is 71% water, so how can we complete a bucket list without including an ocean experience? Look for amazing encounters in Hawaii, or dip your toes into the beautiful isolated beach on the Caribbean coast and take it one step further by participating in the local turtle conservation efforts. Enjoy the warm breeze, see majestic turtles in their natural habitat, and witness baby turtles hatching in this nesting heaven.
10. Live out your fairytale dream in a traditional castle
From Disney movies to bedside fairytales, it’s no wonder that the childhood fantasy of living like royalty still lingers as we grow older. How then can we miss a chance to stay at the top of a castle in a secluded rural town? Enjoy gazing outside your bedroom marvelling at the fields of green that stretch across the horizon, and take in the magic of living in an ancient story book. “It’s a haven, it’s an oasis, it’s magical, there is so much history to explore there,” described one of our workawayers who have stayed at a historic castle in France. Now that’s an unique once-in-a-lifetime memory waiting for you to create.
11. Get the full jungle experience in the Amazon rainforest
As one of our host says, the Amazon and the way of living there is something that can not be explained, you have to live it. And there is so much more to just living there! The Amazon is full of experiences that cannot be replicated anywhere in the world. Treat yourself with some fun adventures of kayaking down the rivers, swimming into waterfall ponds, and walking amongst thousand year-old trees while listening to locals explain the stories of their land. Meet, connect, share, teach and learn from indigenous communities. Pick and hunt for your own food every day, wake up to birds chirping or to monkeys chasing after you!
12. Leave your mark around the world
To us, what matters more than just visiting beautiful destinations is what we create through the experience – connections, new perspectives, and even beautiful art for your friends and new travellers to admire! How many people can say they have a mural wall on the other side of the world, or a sculpture standing in an international hostel? We have quite a few hosts waiting for you to leave your artistic creation at their place – such as this tropical hostel in Sri Lanka or in this artistic community in Taiwan.
And the best part of this? You don’t even need to be an artist to leave something beautiful wherever you go. Are you good at cooking? Share a great recipe with your host family so they have a taste of food from your culture. Got a green thumb? Give your host’s garden some extra love and plant something special for them to enjoy. Even if you think you don’t have any special skills, you can always share your language, interesting stories about your home country, and most importantly your friendship with all the people you meet along the way! Now go fill your bucket list with more wonderful destinations to stay at and exciting things to do, bring an open mind with you to make them last forever – in your heart and in the hearts of others!