This was enormously difficult for me. First of all, choosing a top five is never easy. Ranking was totally out of the question! And then condensing days and days of vivid and rich experiences into a little summarized blurb was near impossible. I could go on and on but here are 5 of my fondest travel experiences.
Montezuma, Costa Rica
Body-surfed for breakfast after having watched the spectacular sunrise through my tattered tent door then snacked on hand delivered mangoes from a nearby tree. Enjoyed a second breakfast at our choice of many funky open-aired restaurants filled with vibrant people and a super energy. Good tunes. Good eats. Good laughs. PURA VIDA. Later we wandered through the rainforest, while Howler Monkeys went wild in the canopy and enjoyed the most heavenly natural shower ever at a three-tiered waterfall.
This island is teeming with character and spirit. Die hard SCUBA divers, ex-pirates and talk of buried treasures. A crazy one-of-a-kind local accent. Awesome, cheap food. Unbeatable nightlife. NOTE – swimming with dolphins and gigantic whale sharks doesn’t suck! Go see Jungle Jim at BICD and eat as many baleadas as you can. We went for 4 days and stayed for six weeks.
Spent my birthday at this “words do not describe” site. Followed by a dip in the hot springs, dinner served in a pineapple, and boxed vino. Lush. It rivals the birthday I spent atop Kilimanjaro. I am a lucky, lucky girl.
Shining Tree, Northern Ontario
I can’t possibly list my top 5 and leave out our own backyard. We passed through this quaint lakeside town during a 50-day canoe trip last summer. The locals here (and all over Northern Ontario for that matter) embraced us like we were national heroines and at times, trudging through the wilderness, conquering all sorts of hurdles, we really did feel like heroines. Shining Tree blessed us with a new canoe (to replace the one we’d wrapped in rapids earlier in the trip), a free dinner of burgers, fries and ice cream that anyone who has spent extended time in the backwoods understands the value of. And for our viewing pleasure, a brilliant display of northern lights.
Hadd Tien, Koh Pha ngan, Thailand
This is one of the most outrageous, delectable, rich, romantic, insane places on the planet. They say there is some kind of cosmic energy vortex in this area and it shows. Beautiful jungle hut living in the oceanside cliffs where inside is outside. And outside is wild, exotic and in your face. You can do yoga, full body cleansing, meditation, and brush up on your spirituality. And by night undo all those good things you did to your body and dance your heart out at Guy’s Jungle Bar under the brilliant stars. The most kind and beautiful people live here. It’s fun, wild, inspiring and it might just change your life.
Article reprinted with permission of G.A.P Adventures
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