12 months can seem like such a long time… but not when you are travelling! This past year has just flown by. I mean, I can’t believe we made it! Be honest – you are too!
It’s hard to believe all the things we have done and seen, so when Gef asked what were our ‘Top 20 amazing experiences’ – I didn’t know where to start!
So I decided it was time for the whole family to get involved and this is the list we came up with:
20) Scootering around Yangshuo, China
A stunningly beautiful landscape next to the Li River in China. It’s the perfect place to grab a scooter and let the boys drive you around – whhhaaattt!! Yep, we zipped around the karst mountainside and through paddy fields with the boys driving at times. I mean – why not!?! It’s o.k – we’re not completely irresponsible… we brought our umbrella with us!
19) Whale Watching in Kaikoura
New Zealand was such an amazing place, with lots of comparisons with the Isle of Man, including marine life. The boys were delighted when they saw 2 Sperm Whales and a huge pod of leaping dolphins!! Great Bucket List tick – now if only I could spot a Basking Shark!! I know, I know (not officially manx until you’ve seen one)!!
18) Digging our own bath at Hot Water Beach
Another New Zealand destination with a quirky science lesson. The boys were fascinated (and obsessed) with making their own hot bath; so we had to go twice! Get it wrong and you can burn your bum! But get it right and ahhhhhhhh! Bliss. Perfect for a sundowner!
17) Boat ride in Botswana with crocodiles
We’ve done plenty of boat trips but none more interesting than the one where the croc playing with the buffalo carcass in Chobe National Park, Botswana. The boys were fascinated with the wildlife around them; Buffalo, Giraffe, Crocodiles, Monkeys and Elephants. But the story they tell the most is about the Carcass!
16) Fireworks and celebrations in Varanasi
My ears are still ringing from the noise of this lively celebration. There was colour, fireworks, firecrackers, lamps, bells and noise… so much noise! This was Diwali!! And you had to be on your toes! Wandering along the River Ganges, if you saw a group of Indian boys stood, with fingers in their ears, you knew what was coming!!
15) Sunsets & Sunrises, everywhere
Sometimes it’s the simple (and free) things which have blown us away the most. We have seen the most colourful and breathtaking sunsets and sunrises during our journey. It’s been well worth the effort to find the most stunning landscapes. Although I have to admit that Keith has more patience than us & I (like you) just enjoy the ‘after’ pictures.
14) Swimming in waterfalls, Croatia
It is an experience that none of us will forget. Mainly because I’m reminded constantly that it was the day I forgot the swimming shorts! doh! But this is quickly superseded with the experience of actually swimming in the cool waters and around the waterfalls.
13) Ziplining in Zimbabwe
Victoria falls has a lot more action packed activities than I expected! And what better way to see the falls than from a zipline! After a nervous start we soon got into the swing of things and embraced the sheer drops. *I may have screamed a little*
12) Visiting the Taj Mahal, India
I mean, one of the 7 wonders of the world – need I say more!
11) Wildlife in Borneo
One of our favourite wildlife & eco experiences. To see the orangutans, probiscis monkeys, silver leaf monkeys and pygmy elephants were just jaw dropping! Switch your TV off and get over there! Oh! and you might enjoy the snorkelling too 🙂
10) Rickshaw/Tuk tuk rides, India – no really!
This is an experience! The most crazy, hair raising, stomach lurching, white knuckle rides you will even encounter! O.k, I’m over exaggerating, but you’re so close to the action, you can’t help but laugh. We love it, ha ha!! Exits are here, here and here!
9) Hiking Table Mountain, Cape Town
A well trodden, but tough (and at times heart poundingly so) path to the top of Table Mountain. But those views…. (or you could just cheat and get the cable car!)
8) Longji Rice Terraces, China
The most peaceful and serene place we visited in all of China. To escape crowds in China is near impossible, so staying in a village in the mountains was the best decision we made during our trip. The views and the hikes were one of the best. Well, see for yourself!
7) Etosha National Park, Namibia
More wildlife adventures and seeing some of the Big 5! How we missed the Rhino I still have no idea. But as Etosha is such a compact park it makes it easier to see wildlife. When asking the boys for their most memorable experience, again it was the Hyena’s eating the Giraffe Carcass! Oh! and because it was Jasper’s birthday and we got to eat Oryx, Zebra, Gnu and Impala!!
6) Climbing the Great Wall of China
Not only did the boys walk up to, and then, walk on the Great Wall of China – but they also went caterpillar hunting too! Come on, we needed something to distract them from that humidity & walking! It was a truly amazing & humbling experience, but try to avoid Summer if you can – the heat and humidity is just draining!
5) Zookeepers at Taronga Zoo
Obviously this was just for the boys. But if you read their blog post, you’ll know it was definitely one of their highlights. A thoroughly interactive and hands on event that they still talk about. We were just happy that they were happy, and had nothing to do with the fact that we got a whole day off from them! ha ha.
4) Camel Safari in Jaisalmer
Our first ever camel ride where we trekked through the desert, sang by the campfire, watched the fiery sunset, slept under the milky way and woke by sunrise!! Just like a Princess!
3) Trekking in Nepal
Not something that comes to mind when travelling with kids. The trek to Sikles village was ruddy hard work – but sooo worth it! The boys reached a height of 2350m (Rising Dada above Sikles Village). Not bad for their first mountain climb! We dreamed the impossible and achieved it and only got 1 leech bite each!
2) Snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef
You can’t come to Australia and not swim on the Great Barrier Reef! I mean, we didn’t see a shark (thankfully for mummy!), but we only bloody well swam with a turtle – no photographic evidence because we were too excited! ha ha
1) Namibia Dark Skies
Namibia is definitely the highlight of our trip so far. It was the most unexpected, friendly and action packed country we have been to. But by far the stand out moment was dragging our chairs into the darkness (with mummy constantly worrying we were going to be eaten by lions) & counting the millions of stars we could see. And then watching a shooting star burn up into the atmosphere. Just breathtaking!
The adventures are not over for us yet. We’ve just turned our ‘Year’ travels into our ‘Don’t quite know how long it will be’ travels! Keep up to date with where we are going next at worldadventurewithfamily.com
“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us”