I was recently stuck in the Miami airport for 5 dreaded hours (not because of the particular airport, but because I hate long connection times) and I was talking to Maggie who runs Mighty Girl and maintains her own Life List. We were discussing top 10 life experience lists based on experts in their fields. My focus would be on travel of course; here is my top 10 list in no particular order.
Summit. Climb a mountain in the Himalayas or the Andes, the two greatest mountain ranges on the planet. See the perspective you have when you are standing on top looking out over incredible unspoiled beauty, the rawness of the rugged mountains and glaciers. While not the same as actually being there, you can peak at this inspiration now.
Special Places. Find some special places to visit and go back again. Some of our special places are Lago 69 in Peru, Petra Jordan, Milford Sound on a clear day in New Zealand, the experience of swimming and fighting your way up Wadi Al Mujib in Jordan, the eastern Sierra Nevada’s in California, exploring Matanuska Glacier in Alaska, the vastness and openness of the Desert of the Empty Quarter on the Arabian Peninsula, Oldupai Gorge in Tanzania, or motor biking around Paros in Greece with the warm air on your face as well as the wonderful smell of wild herbs.
Meet locals. Go out of your way to do this – it will make a trip more interesting. Often other neat experiences will come from this. I can’t remember all the times I’ve talked to locals and ended up staying in contact after returning from a trip or sometimes visiting with their family or staying over in their home.
Re-Connect. Take at least a month in a remote area giving up all communication technology other than your voice – good places for this are in rugged, remote river canyons. Colca Canyon in Peru comes to mind.
Be open. Be open to new things and try them, get out of your comfort zone – travel affords one excellent opportunities to have experiences you won’t find where you live; by virtue of being on the go and in new environments your senses are are forced to work overtime.
Upgrade. Extricate yourself from coach at least once for an International flight….or get lucky as we did the first time we flew business class by meeting a super nice gate agent. We walked to our seats and thought there was some mistake but after remembering that we asked the gate agent for exit seats and seeing that business class was totally empty the entire flight, we realized we were given those tickets on purpose. Use frequent flyer miles to upgrade.
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