Unique bucket list ideas and experiences that you should add to your list if you want to get out of their comfort zone. If you’re looking to challenge yourself and make the most of life, you need an adventure bucket list, so check out my recommendations for the ultimate bucket list of cool and unique ideas. This is my bucket list before I die, and I think it should be yours too.
Everyone has a bucket list of some sort, whether it’s jotted down on a piece of paper, an organised list that gets ticked off or just a few ideas in your head. Mine has always been the latter. My adventure bucket list keeps changing and evolving, but there are a few items that do not change and I’m slowly working my way through them. So I decided to put them down in writing and encourage you to do the same and even add these items to your own list. These are my top 10 unique bucket list ideas and experiences.
Table of Contents
- 1 Doing a road trip with a camper trailer through Australia
- 2 Sea kayaking in Antarctica
- 3 Witnessing the Great Wildebeest Migration in Kenya or Tanzania
- 4 Crossing the vertigo-inducing Gokteik Viaduct in Myanmar by train
- 5 Swimming with humpback whales in Tonga
- 6 Visiting Svalbard, the northernmost inhabited place in the planet
- 7 Volunteering at the Libearty Bear Sanctuary in Romania
- 8 Walking the Great Wall of China
- 9 Like this post? Pin and save for later
Doing a road trip with a camper trailer through Australia
I think of Australia and what comes to mind are long endless roads that take you through incredibly beautiful landscapes – along the coast, through cities and the nothingness of the outback. Of course, being such an enormous country, cities and towns are really far away from each other, so the ideal way to do this road trip would be with a camper trailer. The idea of exploring a country with such unique nature and wildlife and being able to stop overnight wherever takes your fancy really gets my wanderlusting mind going. So I’ve already done a little bit or research about this and found this website where you can buy a camper trailer and sell it back when you’re done!
Sea kayaking in Antarctica
Doing an Antarctica expedition is already one of the top things to put on your bucket list, but I am a big fan for deep travel and adventure. Getting up close and personal with nature as well as local people and their culture is something that I tend to put a lot of emphasis on when I travel. So what do you think of when you want to get up close and personal with Antarctica’s icebergs and marine wildlife such as humpback whales, penguins and leopard seals? Well, I don’t know about you, but I think of jumping (carefully as I wouldn’t want to fall in the icy waters!) into a kayak and explore the cold continent from the water. Anyone else wants to join in?
Witnessing the Great Wildebeest Migration in Kenya or Tanzania
As nature spectacles go, the Great Wildebeest Migration has to be one of the greatest shows on earth. Every year 1.5 million wildebeest, along with 200,000 zebras and 350,000 gazelles gather on the plains of the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania to begin a race that will take them to greener grazing lands. They head to the Maasai Mara Natural Reserve in Kenya following the rain before turning back to the Serengeti. Witnessing such an incredible feat of nature is right at the top of my bucket list of travel adventures. I can just imagine the thundering sound of millions of hooves racing across the savanna. Or can I? No, I don’t think I can. That’s why I need to be there!
Crossing the vertigo-inducing Gokteik Viaduct in Myanmar by train
Ok, I must confess – I’ve already done this one. But I’ve left it in as one of my cool bucket list ideas, because crossing the Gokteik Viaduct is a pretty unique and hair-raising experience that everyone should try. The Lashio Line in Myanmar goes from Lashio, in the Shan Estate in the north west of the country, to Mandalay 200 kms away. The route to Pyin Oo Lwin, one stop before Mandalay, takes around 7 hours and goes through breathtaking scenery. But the most breathtaking section is the one that crosses the Gokteik Viaduct, Myanmar’s tallest and most spectacular railway bridge. The train doors are open, and right outside there is a sheer drop of 100 metres into the valley. Not for the faint-hearted!
Swimming with humpback whales in Tonga
Did I mention that I am scared of water? Ok, I am but I’m trying not to be. In fact, I became a diver a few years ago to face my fear of water and totally fell in love with the underwater world. But this doesn’t mean that I don’t get anxious just before I get in the water… or even just thinking about it. However, I try to overcome it because the rewards of seeing what lies under the surface are so worth it! And one of the underwater experiences on my adventurous activities list is swimming with humpback whales in Tonga. Why Tonga? Because it is one of the only places in the world where you can experience this extraordinary thing. From July to October the whales complete their migration from Antarctica to the warmer tropical waters of Tonga where they give birth to their calves and also perform their courtship. It would be a dream to swim next to these majestic creatures.
Visiting Svalbard, the northernmost inhabited place in the planet
I am a person of extremes, so it was a given that my unique bucket list ideas would include visiting the northernmost inhabited place on Earth. Svalbard is technically part of Norway but it is an autonomous territory. Here you can experience things that you would never be able to find anywhere else on the planet. Pitch dark days in winter, the midnight sun and bright nights in summer, the spectacular Northern Lights show and, if you are lucky, you may even see polar bears in the wild. I mean… who would say no to all that?
Volunteering at the Libearty Bear Sanctuary in Romania
It was not that long ago that I visited the Libearty Bear Sanctuary in Zarnesti, Romania, voted the most ethical animal sanctuary in the world by National Geographic. I’ve always been a bit of a cynic about animal sanctuaries that operate as tourist attractions and moneymaking enterprises, but there are signs you can look out for to identify a true sanctuary. This visit really opened my eyes to the great work that Cristina Lapis, the founder of the sanctuary, and her team are doing to save all bears from cruelty and exploitation and to ensure the welfare of the rescued bears is as good as it would be in their natural environment. And one day I really hope I can make my own contribution as a volunteer in this fantastic project.
Walking the Great Wall of China
I find hiking meditative and it recharges me when I need it. Plus I love being surrounded by nature, so I try and hike in places with great landscapes or where there is access to nature. I do try and learn about the history of a destination when I visit too. I believe having a bit of a historic background helps you understand the local culture and psyche of a country. So if you combine great landscapes with one of the wonders of the world, you have a winner. Would you walk the Great Wall of China or would you just visit a small section? I can just imagine myself walking it thinking about all the people who defended the country for centuries on that wall.
Do you have any unique bucket list ideas?
Let me know in the comments!
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Teresa is an award-winning travel blogger based in London. She’s on a mission to explore the world through responsible cultural and adventure travel, and through deeper, more meaningful local experiences. She’s a lover of adventure, the outdoors and everything food related, and she’s always looking for ways to make a positive impact through sustainable travel.