Is your New Year’s resolution to be more adventurous? We are already one month into the new year, but you still shouldn’t give up on your plan of living a life full of travels! Try something new this year and start planning your upcoming adventurous vacations!
Thanks to fabulous fellow travel bloggers, who told me about their favourite trips for this year, here is a list of 24 unique travel adventures for each month of the year (spoiler alert: it will be a busy year ;)). Hope you will find here an inspiration for your next journey.
01 | January
Try island hopping in Thailand
Start off the year with a Thailand island hopping adventure to some of the best islands in the world. No matter what your budget is, there is an island for you in Thailand. On my favourite island Koh Lipe I love renting a private long tail boat for $45 a day and exploring all the nearby islands. Nothing beats a beach getaway with gorgeous turquoise waters and white sandy beaches to escape winter! Put Thailand on the calendar for January, and you won’t be disappointed.
Celebrate Chinese New Year in Hong Kong
Do you want to celebrate New Year with a bang? How about celebrating it twice? That’s right; I am talking about Chinese New Year’s celebration. In Hong Kong! This three-day long festival has been named one of the “10 best festival extravaganzas in the World” by Forbes magazine. Head to Hong Kong this year to take part in the Dragon Parade, to watch fireworks display over Victoria Harbour, to join the horse race or to simply go bargain shopping.
02 | February
Dance at the Carnival Parade in Trinidad
Trinidad Carnival takes place every year on Monday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. Thousands of people join carnival bands and parade through the streets. They listen to the sweet sound of soca music over the two days. Everyone should experience this explosion of colour and culture. I took part 5 times and absolutely loved it. I ‘played mas’ with Harts Carnival, such a memorable experience.
Learn how to dive in Indonesia
Diving is one of our favourite activities, and it’s something just about anyone can do. You get an entirely different perspective on the world when you’re under the water, and you get to see, first hand, how humans affect some of the most biodiverse and important parts of our planet. The oceans are the world’s lungs, and we’ve learned so much about them from our diving experiences. Certification is not expensive, and you can often find excellent prices to do a few dives wherever you go where there’s water. Beware, though! It can get addictive!
03 | March
Spend a night on Sahara desert
March is a perfect time to go to the Sahara! It’s not too hot during the way, but beware because nights can be quite chilly. I slept wrapped up in 2 blankets, a thick pullover, and a jacket! Why I found this a great experience? Simply because of the peace you embrace. The pure sound of the grains of sand floating in the air, wind blowing in your ears. The sunsets seen from the dunes are one of a kind; I promise you will not regret! Aha, I forgot to mention the splendid atmosphere during Berber dinner and singing songs around the fire camp.
Get colourful during Holi festival in India
Photo credit: Flickr
Celebrate happiness and joy of life by spreading colourful powder all over yourself and other Holi participants, dancing under water sprinkles and joining the parties at the unique Holi festival.
Holi festival is not only beautiful to witness but also a great chance to soak in the Hindu culture. The festival commemorates the victory of good over evil and marks the end of winter and abundance of the harvest season. If you can’t fly to India to take part in the festival, check if it is celebrated in your home country.
04 | April
Witness Sakura in Japan
If you ever wondered when is the best time to visit Japan, make no mistake! May this picture be the perfect explanation why Japan is the most stunning place on Earth in the spring time – Cherry Blossoms!
In Japanese cherry blossoms is called Sakura. Late March and April are the months when Japanese celebrate blooming of cherry trees with hanami – cherry blossom viewing picnics. Witness the beauty of nature and the magic of a new season in one of many Tokio’s parks!
Sunbath with Flamingos
While doing my online destination research for Aruba and checking out Instagram pictures, I saw many pictures of gorgeous girls in bikini sunbathing with flamingos. But digging deeper, to my surprise I figured out that the flamingos don’t even live in the wild in Aruba. So all the flamingos you see on the pictures are actually living at Flamingo Beach, located on Renaissance Island – a privately owned island.
The island belongs exclusively to the Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino in Oranjestad, with guests of the hotel gaining free access to the island and If you’re not a hotel guest, you can buy a day pass to enter the beach. So you get your typical Caribbean experience with hammocks, swim-up bar, massage huts, palm trees but with a special touch of flamingos! They are pink and robust; they make a walk-around the beach every hour, and they look incredible! It’s sure one of my most memorable experiences in Aruba
05 | May
Descend into a dormant volcano in Iceland
Have you ever wondered how the volcano looks like from the inside? Wonder no further – now you can experience a volcano from the inside with Inside the Volcano trip in Iceland. Thrihnukagigur in Iceland is the only active (ok, dormant) volcano on Earth that you can visit from inside. Once you get into the lift and descend 120 m into this giant natural machinery, you will feel like one of the main characters of Julius Verne’s novel “Journey towards the centre of the Earth”. And guess what? You will see the volcano from the inside! How cool is that?
Experience sleepless nights in Sankt Petersburg
You might be surprised to know that Sankt Petersburg is the most northern city with a population over 1 million people, that lies on the same latitude as the southern tip of Greenland! Thanks to its location, during late May, you could experience a phenomenon of white nights, when the sun doesn’t go below the horizon and the sky looks like a giant pink cotton candy. Lose a sense of time, walking around the city at night and watching the bridges go up as soon as the day starts.
06 | June
Smell lavender in Provence
A coastal landscape and a beautiful architecture make up for Provence’s unique charm that has attracted artist and painters from all over the World. The fragrance of lavender hovering in the air, the cobble streets and the blue shutters are so picturesque that you wouldn’t be able to put down your camera. The classic postcard view of lavender fields is Abbaye Notre-Dame de Sénanque (as on the picture above).
Come face to face with chimpanzees in Tanzania
Nestled along the Western coastline is Tanzania’s most reclusive attraction: Gombe Stream National Park. Most noted for being the site of Jane Goodall’s chimpanzee behavioural research, Gombe is now open to the public for hiking expeditions. Adventure calls for those willing to put in the miles tracking chimps and chasing waterfalls deep in this humid and lush forest. I will never forget my 2-day experience trekking through the park and coming face-to-face with these beautiful creatures!
07 | July
Walk around rice fields in Ubud, Bali
If you haven’t yet experienced the beauty of Asia, now is your call! July is a great time to go to Bali, Indonesia and see the rice fields. Lush, green terraces extending on the horizon is a must see! One of the most famous rice fields in Bali is Tegalalang, while one of the biggest ones are the Jatiluwih.
Become a horse whisperer in Mongolia
I started my Mongolia trip with a two-day horseriding adventure in Terelj National Park, which was a perfect beginning of my journey. The park is in close proximity to the capital and offers magnificent scenery – imagine high granite cliffs, rivers, forests and during summer the greenest fields.
During the day my non-English speaking Mongolian guide and I rode our famously small and stubborn horses with the famously uncomfortable Mongolian saddles through the vast open plains. I stayed with his family during the evenings, where I got to eat their local meat dishes. I was sleeping in their guest ‘ger’ (the typical tent structure used by nomads) on a few wooden planks with blankets, and at the end of a long tiring day I stayed up with the family to watch the Mongolian version of ‘Idols’ together.
Horse riding in Mongolia has been on my bucket list for a long time. Even the fact that I’m not an experienced rider couldn’t stop me from taking part in this activity. Travelling here is entirely devout of any luxury, but full of authenticity, adventure and new experiences. I felt so damn lucky to have lived this travel dream of mine. It has even exceeded my high expectations!
08 | August
Try water sports in the Cook Islands
The Cook Islands are probably what you envision when you think of a tropical destination. The islands are tucked away in the beautiful South Pacific and a far cry from the hustle and bustle of city life. Made up of a chain of 15 atolls, each surrounded by a coral reef that protects an azure and turquoise lagoon. It’s a fantastic place to relax and unwind with a drink in hand. But don’t relax too much because one of the lures of this South Pacific gem is the unique opportunities for water activities. From diving and deep sea fishing beyond the reefs to kiteboarding and snorkelling within, there’s more than just lying on the beach.
My favorite experiences in the Cooks were snorkelling and kayaking. For those with a little bit of kayaking experience, take the chance to challenge yourself by venturing out onto the lagoon without a tour group. I recommend kayaking on Rarotonga’s lagoon and snorkelling from your kayaks. You’ll have the water to yourself, which gives way to seeing an array of brightly coloured tropical fish that haven’t been scared away by others. My highlight of this adventure was to see for the first time in real life a puffer fish! The Cook Islands are a perfect place to break out of the typical sit-by-the-pool tropical vacation and live adventurously.
Trek the jungle in Borneo
Borneo has been engraved in my memory since childhood as a place full of lush tropical forests and wild animals. Thus, I couldn’t leave Malaysia without spending some time in Borneo. When I finally got the chance to go to Bako, one of the smallest national parks, I was very excited!
The moment I stepped out of the tiny boat to get there, I was greeted by wild Macaque monkeys and wild bearded (yup, they have beards!) pigs on the shore. And the wild animals encounters continued to happen as we were making our way into the jungle!
I stayed one night in Bako to take part in a night jungle trek, where our guide was revealing all the creepy crawlies and huge insects that lurk around. It was for sure an experience that got my blood pumping! The entire trip made me appreciate Borneo even more!
09 | September
Observe baby sea turtles hatching in Oman
Is there something cuter than baby animals? Maybe only seeing tonnes of them in one place, like on the beach in Oman where you can see hundreds of baby turtles hatching from the eggs and making their way to the sea. Each year approximately 20,000 turtles or more lay an estimated 50,000-60,000 eggs in Sultanate of Oman. Nature’s greatest spectacle!
Run in Correfoc (fire run) in Barcelona
Correfoc is a Catalan tradition, in which you can take part every year during La Merce, an annual festival of the city of Barcelona. Correfoc in exact translation means “fire run”. The participants dress as evils and dance to the sound of drums, while in the same time setting off the fireworks among spectators. Anyone can take part. During La Merce, you can also witness “Castellers” (human towers) and Pyromusical at Plaza España, all of which pays tribute to Catalan heritage.
10 | October
Watch Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
At the beginning of every October, hundreds of hot air balloons descend on Albuquerque, New Mexico to participate in the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. It is one of the most lighthearted and genuinely fun events that I have ever attended – I felt absolutely giddy the entire time we were there like I was a little kid at Disney World again! The experience of being right in the middle of the action as several hundred balloons light up at night or rise into the sky above you is something hat I haven’t matched anywhere else in the world.
Explore the remote and extreme nature in Patagonia, Chile
If you are an outdoor kind-of-type, Patagonia for you means heaven. Main attraction is Torres del Paine national park, and I recommend going there before the high season in November. It is more chilly in October, and you get to experience the nature without crowds of people.
You will not be surprised why it was named 8th Wonder of the World in 2013 – you will get blown away by nature, the mountains, the colour of the lakes and the wild Patagonian animals walking around. You can do the most touristic routes like “W” and “Macizo Paine Grande” circuits in 4-10 days, but you can as well stay a month doing hikes there! I am still exploring the park trying to get to know all its corner and secrets. My goal is to see a wild puma wandering around. Patagonia remote and extremely well-preserved nature makes every visit an incredible experience. The Patagonian weather in itself is an experience – it is the one that demands! Here the humans have no power. If you are into this – you will love Patagonia and especially Torres del Paine.
11 | November
Experience Dia de Los Muertos in Mexico
In November, many Latin American cities celebrate Día de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead), and Tijuana is no different. This two-day celebration takes place on November 1st (All Saints Day) & 2nd (All Souls Day) to honour the life of those that have passed away.
On those days many vendors sell Candy Skulls, a symbol that has become synonymous with Día de Los Muertos. But shopping isn’t the main draw during the holiday. A massive altar takes up a corner of the already overflowing parking lot of the cemetery. An altar is a place that you can leave a prayer for the deceased. At the cemetery, you can see families cleaning, decorating graves and having a mini celebration of their loved ones. You might also see little children running around with buckets and brooms offering graves cleaning services in exchange for a few pesos.
Sample different foods at Christmas Market in Germany
You truly haven’t experienced German culture until you’ve spent time at one (or more) of the country’s famous Christmas Markets. Generally running from the day after Thanksgiving until Christmas Eve, German Christmas markets are a unique window into the heart and soul of the country. Hours are easily lost wandering the stalls, sipping Gluhwein (hot spiced fruit wine), sampling bratwurst, and choosing gifts that come from the heart, not from the big box store. After you’ve finished your hot wine, don’t forget to take home one of the small mugs from each market. I lived in Germany for almost three years, and my most cherished memories come from evenings spent wandering around the Christmas markets. While the markets in Cologne, Dresden, Stuttgart, Munich, and Berlin are the oldest and largest, the smaller markets in Trier, Limberg, Wiesbaden, and Speyer are definitely worth the trip.
12 | December
See the Rockefeller Christmas Tree in NYC
Who doesn’t dream of seeing New York City on Christmas? The big apple has been featured in a countless number of Christmas movies and songs, starting with the most popular Home Alone 2, through classics like When Harry Met Sally. It is probably the most touristy point on this list, yet, if you want to experience a bit of Christmas magic this year, head to NYC and indulge yourself in the winter activities.
Admire northern lights from your bed in the glass igloo in Lapland
Is this the coolest hotel on Earth? I mean, seriously, you can watch northern lights and gaze at the starry sky straight from your bed! Kakslauttanen is a small resort in the north of Finland – Lapland. Yes, that is where the Santa Claus is from! in Kakslauttanen, you can do dog sledging, snowshoe walking, ride a snowmobile, pet a reindeer, go ice fishing, spot aurora and give your letter to Santa. In person! Seriously, do you need more reasons to visit Lapland?
Have you tried any of this unique travel adventures? Which one are you willing to try this year? Leave a comment below 🙂