11 Trips That Will Actually Change Your Life Forever

© Jess Kraft/Shutterstock
© Jess Kraft/Shutterstock
Bored of the usual soulless travel haunts? Tired of partying until 5am with the mates? Need a drastic change in your life? We’ve got you covered, because these trips will change your life for the better.

Sometimes you have to go on the right journey at the right time: a road trip after a break up, a honeymoon (even, a divorce – WHY NOT?), or a cultural tour-de-force for the mind and the senses. Epiphany trips, if you will.

Then you’ve got those first-timer trips such as thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail or crossing the ocean in a small dinky boat. The point of these trivial, albeit deathly exciting trips is that it means it’s time for a change – and a drastic one, at that.

If you’ve already reached that point, here are 11 trips that will not only reignite your passion for life, but will also make you appreciate our awesome world just that little bit more. Let the wanderlust commence.

11. Holi Festival (India)…

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In spring, the Hindu festival of colours precipitates a wealth of powdery rainbows in the Indian temple towns of Mathura and Vrindavan. While the festival has spread throughout the entire world, there’s no better place to experience it than in Krishna’s birthplace. The point? To embrace the spirit of forgiveness – of others and oneself. Bliss.

10. Gorilla trekking (Rwanda)…

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It’s a challenging experience, meandering up and down deadly mountains slopes, but the death defying experience of trekking through the bush outweighs them all. Sadly, only about 700 mountain gorillas exist in the world today. Because of their dwindling numbers, only 10 gorilla spots in Rwanda are accessible to humans. Word of advice: book way in advance as places fill up very, very fast.

9. Paris, France…

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Yes, it’s clichéd, but nowhere else in the world can you truly experience the best of art, fashion, food, romance and beauty than in Paris. Skip the Eiffel Tower and stick to Montmartre for a slice of authentic Parisian life. You’ll leave more cultured than you were before you arrived.

8. The Galapagos Islands, Ecuador…

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The beauty of the Galapagos Islands will inspire you to think very differently about our world. The vibrant, exotic creatures that have made the islands their home, (many found nowhere else in the world), act as if us humans are nothing more than annoying paparazzi. Here nature reigns supreme, and it’s you that ultimately has to respect that. Cappiche?

7. Athens, Greece…

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Athens’s history, street art, and food draw just as many tourists as the Parthenon. While the restaurants are buzzing, the galleries out of this world and the markets lively, what you really want to do is take the walk up the Acropolis and go on a pilgrimage through the evolution of human history. It was here that democracy itself was born and where the likes of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle preached in the ancient agora. But most importantly, don’t leave without eating a gyro.

6. Cape Town, South Africa…

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Cape Town offers more than just luxury hotels. There, you’ll experience a blending of cultures, cuisines and landscapes you won’t find anywhere else in the world. Crowned by the magnificent Table Mountain National Park, this is one place that deserves the top spot on your list of life-changing experiences.

5. California State Route 1 (up the Pacific Coast)…

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Two words: iconic America. Parts of this route are instantly recognisable from countless Hollywood movies. From the drama of the cliffs, to the sharp turns and twists, this is one of the most exhilarating drives in the whole entire world. Stretching to nearly 600 mi. (966km) from San Diego to north of San Francisco, expect everything from chilled out beaches to leisurely strolls in artsy Carmel-by-the-Sea.

4. Bagan, Myanmar…

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Unlike crowded Cambodia, Myanmar is blissfully quiet. When the sun sets, follow in the footsteps of thousands of other travellers and scale ancient temples to watch the sky illuminate hundreds of ancient spears. What’s even better is that there’s not a single mega hotel or dingy resort in sight.

3. The Ring Road, Iceland…

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From the splendour of the Northern Lights, to extreme nature hikes, epic waterfalls and eclectic cuisine, the ‘Land of Ice and Fire’ is unlike anywhere you’ve been before. Oh, and if you dare, experience the thrill of a volcano hike. The locals love them, and yes, we’re very serious.

2. Antarctica…

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Very few are able to plant their feet on the mammoth ice sheet, but once you do, you’ll appreciate the royal majesty of mother nature in all her ferocious power and glory. Nowhere on Earth quite compares to its elemental beauty. One minute it’s sunny and swarming with wildlife, next the wind is billowing at speeds violent enough to lift you up and plunge you into the icy abyss. If there’s one thing we do know, it’s that Antarctica is simply stunning.

1. Tanzania…

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Tanzania is where giants roam and where adventures breathe. Roaring wildlife, the friendliest of people, fascinating cultures, the Serengeti, Mt Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar – it has all these and more, wrapped up in one explosive package. There’s nowhere in the world quite like it.