I have always loved to travel and have been lucky enough to have visited many wonderful countries so far. But now I’m in my 40’s it has become more important than ever to get these “Bucket List Holidays” under my belt. If you haven’t been lucky enough to travel until now, there are a few very good arguments in favour of leaving it until you’ve turned 40 and I have listed 10 of the most unusual and adventure packed holidays for the over just for you!

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When 40 comes along you’re a little more immune to the pressures the world puts on you – who you should be, what you should look like… It’s experiences that become more important than anything else, and you become acutely aware of time.

You’re older, probably need to exercise more, and have some grey poking through, but you sure do make sounder decisions now. Gone are the days when you’ll book a boozy trip to Ibiza, lie on a beach and go home with nothing really to show for it but a headache and sun burn.

Your holiday choices are now based around more than just getting away, and if you are like me, you are more interested in learning something new, absorbing yourself in another culture or exploring the breath-taking natural beauty around the globe. The decisions around your travels will more than likely have more of a considered approach and be more fulfilling than the ones in your 20’s or 30’s.

These are my 10 destinations I think are perfect for both those who are looking to embark on an adventure without the kids or alternatively looking for the best family holiday you can think of. So, let’s go!!


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Bucket List Holidays

1. Follow in the footsteps of the Incas in Peru 

Peru is, and always has been, a paradise for every type of traveller that ever existed. It’s a must on everyone’s travel bucket list. From strolling through the beautiful Plaza de Armas, Cuzco’s (the capital of the Incan Empire) main square, to following the Inca trail to the iconic Incan settlement of Machu Picchu, Peru tours will fulfil all of your adventure yearnings.

Why go there in your 40’s?

It would be stupid to limit Peru just for your 40’s but it’s the recommended age due to a culmination of intrigue, the amount of information you can absorb / want to absorb and the flexibility of your financial situation which can allow you to take any Peru tour you want to go on.

 

2. Stroll the charming streets of Kyoto, Japan

What current capital Tokyo has in contemporary high-rises and futuristic gadgets, Japan’s old capital Kyoto has in hilltop temples and fascinating ancient alleyways. To stroll this network of old-world Japan will ease any pre-existing tension or stress in your life; The 1000+ Buddhist temples will alleviate all problems!

Add the excellent range of local cuisine, the most pristine gardens and the spectrum of colours that Kyoto so exquisitely displays and you have the perfect meditative, relaxing holiday (with the fundamental addition of being somewhere extremely cultural).

­­Why go there in your 40’s?

To re-ignite your inner Zen and find peace and relaxation at a time when you need it most and most importantly to absorb the cultural riches that Japan has to offer. Kiyomizu-dera Temple is one of the most celebrated temples in Kyoto. At the grounds, there is a lot to see from pagodas, beautiful gardens and Buddhist temples. If you are lucky, you will see Japanese people wearing traditional clothes. Nishiki Market has been operating for centuries and usually the people who own the shop are operated by the same families for generations. And of course, if you travel for food, this is a no brainer destination to anyone who is hungry for a food adventure.

 

3. Stand on top of the world in Nepal

It’s not only trekking Mt Everest that draws people to Nepal. It’s also the countless other trekking routes and mountain peaks, several beautiful cities and the warmer climate of the south that capture the imagination of those in need of a diverse country saturated with immaculate landscapes.

While the capital Kathmandu is energetic and loud, the city of Pokhara offers a beautiful serenity around a tranquil Lake Phewa. Those looking for a safari on the other hand should head into the Nepalese jungle in the south and go to the popular option of Chitwan National Park.

There are many great treks to take in Nepal but perhaps among the best are the Annapurna Circuit, the Everest Circuit, the Langtang trek and the Poonhill trek.

Why go there in your 40’s?

Nepal is perfect for someone in their 40’s. I have personally just turned 40 and have recently got the urge to travel Nepal and Bhutan together. Getting out there, feeling insignificant between the monstrous valleys and breathing the fresh mountain air. You’re 20’s and 30’s are filled with partying and big cities but when you turn 40 you also turn your back on that lifestyle and seek somewhere with little to no civilisation.

4. Climb Africa’s highest peak: Mt Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

Kilimanjaro is Africa’s highest mountain and the tallest freestanding mountain in the world. It’s unique in the fact that it’s peak is a magnificent volcano crater that last erupted over 150,000 years ago and the 6 most famous routes that lead up to the peak are all varied and equally impressive.

From the famous Marangu Route (“Coca Cola Route”) to the longer Lemosho Route, Kilimanjaro offers a route for those with no experience at all to those with bags of experience.

Why go there in your 40’s?

Although it’s an impressive feat to climb Kilimanjaro at any age, it ultimately is a more secure option for someone in their 40’s, looking for a new challenge and old and wise enough to go through the proper preparation and packing process.

5. Stand under the breath-taking Aurora Borealis

The mysterious phenomenon of aurora borealis occurs when gas particles in the Earth’s atmosphere collide with charged particles released from the sun’s atmosphere. From September to April, visitors can find trips in Alaska, Canada and Scandinavian countries such as Iceland, Sweden and Finland to see the lights.

Why go there in your 40’s?

Catching a glimpse of the northern lights is one of the top travel experiences, a Discovery Channel survey back in 2014 found that witnessing the Northern Lights featured on more “bucket lists” than any other travel experience before they die. Interest in the northern lights (also known as the aurora borealis) has surged over the past few years, fuelled by travellers’ tales of the extraordinary displays of greens, yellows and reds that are involved. This is something to be seen at any age, but definitely a once in a life time experience.

6. Go Off the Beaten Path in Italy

After you’ve seen Italy’s big 3 — Venice, Rome and Florence — go off the beaten path in Northern Italy. The Cinque Terre is magical with beautiful scenery, good accommodations, easy access and several travel options between the villages that make it suitable for all fitness levels. The 5 tiny, colourful villages clinging to Liguria’s rugged coastline are a designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and very few cars are allowed, but you can easily get around by ferry, foot or train.

Why go there in your 40’s?

The Clinque Terre is a protected marine park which means that big yachts can’t dock here, so the water is clean to swim in. Also, it’s a national park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which means there are great trials to walk, and the majority of the villages are restricted to pedestrian traffic only. It’s not organized around one central square like any major city, and you have got to figure it out which the more mature and organised person can enjoy planning.

7. Make Memories on a Cruise in Alaska

Want to witness glaciers calving, playful bears, breaching whales, soaring eagles and some of the most breath-taking landscapes on the planet? There are few places in the world that remain as remote and untouched as Alaska. America’s frontier state is a land of dramatic contrasts, from the islets and intricate fjords of the coast to the snow-capped mountains, beautiful national parks and charming pioneer townships of the interior, all coupled with incredible wildlife throughout the region.

Why go there in my 40’s?

If you want options for adventures: scramble up a rugged mountain, hike gently along the shore line, hop into a 2-person kayak for a guided tour, take a ride in a motor skiff – there is something for everyone. This is about nature, about wildlife and about the destination, without any distractions. Get away from it all, take some time for yourself and indulge yourself in the natural wonders of an untouched destination.

8. Spot the Big 5 on your African Safari adventure

It’s no secret that Africa has the best collection of game and wildlife on the planet and, wow, are there some safari options for you to take?

East Africa has the highest concentration of safari National Parks and the ‘Big 5’ and it’s particularly the sensational duo of the Serengeti National Park of Tanzania and the Masai Mara of Kenya, the location where the world-famous wildebeest migration annually takes place, that form one vast area of Savannah over the border of the two countries.

In addition to these two safari hotspots, there are hundreds of mind-blowing African safaris to go on, among them gorilla trekking in Uganda or Rwanda, Kruger National Park in South Africa and the Okavango Delta in Botswana.

Why go there in your 40’s?

Going on safari in Africa is an unforgettable experience offering an exciting mix of wildlife adventure, unique cultural encounters and spectacular scenery! Get away from the hustle and bustle of daily living on an African Safari that gives you a complete change in scenery. Travel through Africa at a relaxed pace getting in touch with nature, far away from the stresses of modern life. A really great way to recharge your batteries and explore untamed places.

9. Adventures at Sea in Beaufort, SC

Find solace in a Deep South filled with towering oak trees strung with Spanish moss, genteel mansions, and tranquil waterways. A city of rich history, Southern hospitality and casual seaside charm, in the picturesque town of Beaufort, SC, known as the “Queen of the Carolina Sea Islands. Often called “a little Charleston,” Beaufort has all the allure of that city, without all the hubbub. The area’s 64 islands are perfect for exploring by boat or kayak, and the area’s plentiful population of birds and sea life make it a top destination for aviary enthusiasts and anglers. Traveler’s will encounter horse-drawn carriages winding through the downtown historic district and more than 300 acres designated a National Historic Landmark.

Why go there in your 40’s?

A National Landmark Historic District with gracefully restored antebellum homes, pristine waters, and some of the best fishing anywhere. The beautiful southern state of South Carolina has 187 miles of Atlantic Ocean coastline, known as the Low Country. Just off the coast is one of the most striking parts of the state – its Sea Islands, a long chain of barrier and tidal islands that are constantly changing with the tides and currents. This is a perfect location to go back in time to the days of refinement, elegance and romance, while exploring the natural beauty. It’s definitely a place to relax and get away from busy lives and hectic schedules.

 

10. A trip of a life time – Explore the Silk Road

There is no single “silk road” but a network of routes connecting the edge of Europe with the eastern fringes of Asia and the Pacific Ocean, which operated for at least 15 centuries. Overland trade eventually declined because of geopolitical changes, the rise of shipping and the Black Death.

The term “Silk Road”, though coined in the 19th century by a German explorer, evokes a romantic era when caravans of camels, horses and mules transported everything from jade and gunpowder to rhubarb and, of course, silk between China and the Levant. Associated with Marco Polo, Coleridge (“Kubla Khan” and Xanadu), Western notions of the Orient, and legendary trading hubs such as Kashgar and Samarkand, it represents for modern travellers a myth-laden high road through a wild and exotic landscape.

Golden-Eagle-Trans-Siberian-Express-Interior

Yes, you could cover the Silk Road by camel, but why? Trains, planes, buses and automobiles have made it so much easier.

Why not try the Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express. The world’s longest train journey, a ride on this train spans 6,000 miles, 2 continents and 8 time zones! Equipped with plush, red-velvet seats, Champagne-topped tables and TVs in individual railcars, it offers a seamless journey between East and West. Take a 21-day trip toward Beijing, or enjoy shorter excursions to destinations in Mongolia, Kazakhstan or Russia.

Or, you could travel to the Silk Road’s highlight city, Samarkand, Uzbekistan. Until recently, it took hours of travel on a bumpy highway or on a very uncomfortable train from Uzbekistan’s capital city, Tashkent, to Samarkand. Now, a fast, comfortable high-speed train, the Afrosiab, whisks travellers 214 miles to the fabled oasis of Samarkand in just two-and-a-half hours.

Why go there in your 40’s?

This once in a life time trip is full of adventure and new experiences. Now that it is easier than ever to explore the silk road it’s time to add it to that “Bucket List”. I can’t think of a better adventure to discover the old world’s treasures, folklore and traditions that have been handed down for generations. Or venture up and over the Pamir Mountains, some of the most rugged and beautiful on Earth, soaring upward where the Himalayas, the Tien Shan and the Hindu Kush meet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now that you are in your 40’s, I think you deserve it!

 

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8 unusual and adventure packed trips to consider in your 40’s.

Costa Rica: For Outdoor Adventurers

Whether you’re gliding through a cloud forest on a zip-line, whitewater rafting or rappelling down waterfalls, there’s plenty of adventure to be had in Costa Rica. If you’re looking for “pura vida” (the good life), stay at a luxury eco-lodge, soak in natural hot springs and stroll by an active volcano.

Indonesia: The Life Aquatic

If you live for underwater adventures, imagine scuba diving in paradise — or in this case, Raja Ampat, in Indonesia’s West Papua province. Sail routes once reserved for intrepid explorers and scientists to discover untouched coral, wildlife like the impressive Komodo dragon and breathtaking Hindu temples.

Timbuktu, Mali

The 3 mosques of Timbuktu in Mali, built during a golden age between the 14th and 16th centuries, are UNESCO World Heritage sites. Their walls are mainly built of mud, and any increase in temperature or rainfall could spell disaster for these incredible pieces of history.

Maldives

Located southwest of India, this archipelago of 1,190 tiny islands and atolls is the lowest-lying country in the world, making it particularly susceptible to a rise in sea levels. Roughly 80% of the country is less than 4 feet above sea level, and many inhabitants live along the coast. If sea levels continue to rise, the Republic of Maldives will be the first nation to disappear into the ocean.

Great Barrier Reef, Australia

The world’s biggest structure made by living organisms, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef can be seen from outer space and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. But the survival of the reef is threatened by rising ocean temperatures and mass coral bleaching, and it could be completely gone in our lifetime.

Victoria Falls

One of the 10 Wonders of the World, “The Smoke that Thunders”, is a waterfall in southern Africa on the Zambezi River at the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. Victoria Falls is roughly twice the height of North America’s Niagara Falls and well over twice the width of its Horseshoe Falls.  Scottish missionary and explorer David Livingstone, who is believed to have been the first European to view the falls, named the site in honour of Queen Victoria.

Perast, Montenegro

Perast, a quaint coastal town on the Bay of Kotorin, Montenegro, is still relatively undiscovered. The tiny town is rich in Venice-like architecture and home to 17 churches.

Salzkammergut region, Austria

Lake Hallstatt, dubbed the “Pearl of Austria,” is nestled in the heart of the Salzkammergut region. It is served by a mountain railway which connects Hallstatt to a salt mine.

Mdina & Zebbug, Malta

Malta is rich in medieval heritage. Mdina offers grand palaces and baroque architecture, while the city of Zebbug has an Arabic influence and is famous for its spectacular celebrations — a “festa” that can last three days.