Float in the Dead Sea, see a broadway musical, stand in front of the Taj Mahal or trek to Mount Everest Base Camp—What’s on your ultimate life list? It’s never too early to start a list of incredible things to do in your lifetime.
And this Life List has my favorite 100 things to do before you die.
Life List: 100 Amazing Things To Do Before You Die
1. ✦ Volunteer at a Elephant Rescue in Thailand
In Northern Thailand, an hour from Chiang Mai‘s city center, I spent a memorable day volunteering at the Elephant Nature Park. This is a special place where there was an eclectic bunch of Asian Elephants; some old, some young, some blind, some injured from working in the logging industry, some abused and some rescued from the circus. Not only will you be able to feed these majestic creatures, but you can also take them down to the river for a bath.
Related: Bathe Elephants at a Rescue in Thailand
Related: Bucket List of 18 Things to Do in Chiang Mai, Thailand
2. ✧ Sunbathe Topless on the French Riviera
3. ✧ Dogsled Through the Alaskan Forest
Alaska is home to the strenuous Iditarod Sled Dog Race, a journey that spans 1,150 miles across the rugged wilderness from Anchorage to Nome. With this life list goal, you will be able to experience the thrill of this sport first hand by meeting Iditarod racers and their powerful pooches, plus sledding along some of the mountainous terrain that their dogs train on. Read Dog Sledding in Alaska for more information.
4. ✦ Swim in Jellyfish Lake in Palau
Jellyfish Lake in the Micronesian country of Palau is home to millions of jellyfish that are deemed relatively harmless since their sting is so light. It was still frightening for the first five minutes to be surrounded by jellyfish, some brushing up against my body. But, after the panic dissipated, this was one of my all-time favorite bucket list travel adventures.
Related: Swim in Jellyfish Lake in Palau
5. ✦ Explore the Acropolis in Greece
6. ✧ Go Gorilla Trekking in Uganda
Take your life list to another level and trek through the dense rain forest of Uganda to get a close encounter with the mountain gorillas of the jungle. The fact that these species are on the brink of extinction and you need to travel to faraway lands to see them adds to the experience. A great place to see them is at Bwindi Forest National Park.
7. ✦ Volunteer at an Orphanage
There are orphanages all over the world to volunteer at, but I accomplished this “thing to do before you die” in Tanzania. Kibowa Orphanage is on the outskirts of downtown Arusha, hidden down a bumpy dirt road and painted in a friendly pale blue. There are 48 children that call it home and, after four days on an African safari in Tanzania, I spent a fun-filled afternoon with them. I chose to bring colorful balloons, which could be turned into animals or creative hats. It was a joy to watch the children smile as they each made their favorite shapes.
Related: Visit an Orphanage in Tanzania
8. ✧ Cruise on a Junk Boat through Halong Bay
A three-and-a-half-hour drive from the bustle of the city of Hanoi lays a peaceful set of 1,600 islands and islets, Halong Bay. This UNESCO World Heritage site has been the backdrop to many movies, including the Oscar-winning Indochine. Spend a day or a week cruising through the green-topped limestone islands and emerald waters on an ancient-style junk boat.
Related: Take a Junk Boat Through Vietnam’s Ha Long Bay
Book: Halong Bay Islands and Caves: Full-Day Tour from Hanoi
Book: Halong Bay 2-Day Cruise with V’Spirit Cruises
9. ✦ Hike the Active Pacaya Volcano in Guatemala
10. ✦ Take a Christmas Market Cruise Through Europe
There’s nothing that can get you into the holiday spirit quite like the Christmas markets in Europe. Between the lighted cathedrals, festive markets and abundance of glühwein, it would be hard not to feel festive!
Viking River Cruises invited me to cruise along the Rhine River to visit almost a dozen Christmas markets throughout Germany, France, Switzerland and the Netherlands. Definitely one of my favorites on the 100 things to do before you die list.
11. ✧ Sleep in an Ice Hotel in Sweden
Each year in the village of Jukkasjärvi, in northern Sweden, the IceHotel is built from natural ice and snow. It is an art exhibition as much as a hotel, where the canvases span from floor to ceiling. Spend the night in one of their negative-five-degree rooms, where you will be surrounded by artistically chiseled ice. It’s a bonus that there is also a chance of seeing the Northern Lights from their location on the bank of the Torne River.
12. ✧ Get a Henna Tattoo in India
13. ✧ Spend the Night in a Treehouse
14. ✧ Hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu is an Incan citadel that stands 2,430 meters above sea level in the mountain forest of Peru. Getting to this ancient city can be done by train, bus, or a four-day trek along the same paths that the Incans did years ago. People choose the challenging hike not only to see other ruins along the way, but for the sense of pride when reaching this UNESCO World Heritage Site by foot.
15. ✧ Stand in Front of the Taj Mahal in India
16. ✦ See the Changing of the Guard in London
The Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace is a mesmerizing spectacle where the Old Guard hands over the security responsibility to the New Guard.The guards arrive by marching pass Victoria Monument, directly in front of Buckingham Palace, and then entering through the ornate front gates of the palace. This is combined with synchronized marching, precision drills, and the band playing. It’s a show like no other, but get there early!
17. ✧ Hot Air Balloon over Cappadocia
See the surreal landscape of Cappadocia from high above in a sky dotted with colorful balloons. Cappadocia is the land in central Turkey known for its fairy chimneys (rock formations), rolling vine- yards, and troglodyte dwellings that are best seen from three thousand feet in the air. Butterfly Balloons can take you up up and away.
18. ✦ Hear the Pope Speak at the Vatican in Italy
19. ✦ Release Baby Turtles into the Ocean
While on the Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica, I spent a memorable afternoon helping Osa Turtle Conservation. A group of us were taken to their hatchery along the beach to assist them in releasing baby Olive Ridley turtles into the ocean. Not only is it incredible knowing you are helping with these endangered animals survival, but they are adorable too! Definitely top on the list of 100 things to do before your die!
Related: Release Baby Turtles into the Ocean
20. ✧ Walk the Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China winds up and down a series of fortifications, stretching from Shanhaiguan to Lop Lake in the Gobi Desert. The wall is one of the most recognizable and extensive construction projects built to prevent attacks of the Chinese Empire. Take a walk along a portion of the 13,170-mile-long wall, stopping at scenic spots that overlook flowing rivers and to view precious historical relics. See the Travel China Guide for more info.
21. ✦ Make a Wish in the Trevi Fountain in Italy
22. ✦ Get a Fish Pedicure
Fish pedicures are popping up all around the world, but mine was done in Spain. For €15,00 I had my feet nibbled on by Garra Rufa fish in the tiny Spanish beach town of Sitges, just forty minutes from Barcelona. This technique became popular as a relief for eczema and other skin disorders, but is now a trend around the world and one of the weirdest things to do before you die.
Related: Get a Fish Pedicure in Sitges, Spain
23. ✧ Drive Route 66 in the United States
Get your kicks on Route 66, the iconic 2,400-mile route from Chicago to Santa Monica. Also, known as the Main Street of America, it was one of the original US highways, a means for the nation to move about for work or pleasure. Today it keeps old traditions alive with neon-signed motels, mom-and-pop diners, and kitschy roadside attractions.
24. ✦ Explore the Ancient Ruins of Petra in Jordan
The ancient city of Petra was carved into the rose colored sandstone cliffs by the Nabataeans as early as 312BC. There are over 30 incredible sites spread over 60 square kilometers, from temples to tombs to elaborate buildings. No Trip to Jordan would be complete without a stop here.
Three days a week visitors can attend Petra at Night, where over 1,500 candles light the mile trek from the Siq to the Treasury, an elaborate two-story tomb. A group of roughly two hundred people will walk through the narrow rock fissures that are lit by candlelight. Walking through the Siq at night is a very mysterious experience. But, don’t miss Petra by day too.
During the day, you can wander way beyond the iconic Treasury building and explore trails that will pass by the Street of Facades, the Theater, countless tombs and through the Arch.
Related: Explore Petra Archaeological Site in Jordan
Book a Tour: Private Tour: Petra Day Trip including Little Petra from Amman
25. ✦ Eat Traditional Fondue in Switzerland
It’s definitely not hard to find a good fondue restaurant in Switzerland. But, if you’re in Zurich go to Swiss Chuchi. It is a well-known eatery that specializes in traditional Swiss style food. Though there were plenty of other tempting dishes on the menu to choose from, a pot of fondue sat on almost every table, a not-so subliminal message. This is where I spent lunch indulging in my very own pot of melted goodness.
26. ✧ Dive the Great Barrier Reef
Australia’s iconic Great Barrier Reef stretches for more than 1,200 miles, running parallel to the Queensland coastline. It is the world’s largest coral reef system with over 2,900 reefs, 1,500 fish species, 400 types of coral, and 900 remote islands. Scuba divers flock here to glide with hundreds of manta rays, marvel at the colorful sea fans, and swim with schools of blackfin barracudas. Ocean Free can take you under the sea.
27. ✧ Explore the Waitomo Glowworm Cave in New Zealand
28. ✦ Give Blood
Thanks to my fear of needles, my heart beated uncontrollably when I decided to give blood. But my mother, who had given blood many times before, convinced me that the feeling of saving lives would far outweigh the fear of that needle piercing my poor, unscathed arm. And she was right. A little pinch in the arm is worth knowing your blood donation can possibly save three lives!
Read about my experience: Giving Blood: What to Expect & 5 Benefits of Donating
29. ✧ Climb Africa’s Mount Kilimanjaro
Standing at over 19,000 feet, Mount Kilimanjaro is Africa’s highest peak. The once-in-a-lifetime trek to the summit will have you hiking through lush rainforests, over glaciers, and across the Tanzanian landscape, plus traveling through four different climatic zones. It takes roughly six days to reach what has been called “the roof of Africa,” where the stunning view will be worth the challenge. This is one of the most popular goals on the “100 Things to do Before You Die” list.
30. ✦ Visit Gardens by the Bay in Singapore
31. ✦ Go Wild Mushroom Hunting in California’s Napa Valley
Though truffle hunting is a popular foodie experience around the world (that’s #86)!, in Northern California wild mushroom hunting of all kinds in a crowd-pleaser. During Napa‘s famous truffle festival they offer a mushroom foraging excursion where three mycologists, fungi gurus, lead the pack. You can walk away with a once-in-a-lifetime experience under your belt and a basketful of bounty.
32. ✦ Eat at the French Laundry in Napa
The French Laundry is arguably the most well-known French restaurant in the world. A meal for two at this Michelin three-starred eatery will set you back close to a thousand bucks, but your taste buds will be dazzled. In order to indulge in the nine-course dining experience the chefs create, you’ll need to get a reservation—and that’s the tricky part.
33. ✧ Run With the Bulls in Pamplona in Spain
34. ✧ Adopt an Animal from a Shelter
35. ✧ Travel the Trans-Siberian Railway
For those that believe getting there is half the fun, travel the legendary Trans-Siberian railway, an epic train journey that spans from Moscow to Vladivostok. Traverse one third of the globe, enjoying the scenery from the window of your train car, plus make stops to different cities along the way.
36. ✦ Climb to the Peak of Sigiriya Rock in Sri Lanka
Sigiriya is an ancient palace built in 480 AD, located in the central Matale District of Sri Lanka. This UNESCO World Heritage site is known for its beautifully landscaped gardens, well-preserved frescos, and twelve hundred different anxiety-producing levels of stairs to reach the summit. These steps will bring you to the sky palace that sits atop the rock, a royal residence built sixteen hundred years ago.
37. ✧ Drink Steins of Beer at Ocktoberfest in Germany
Put on your traditional Bavarian outfit and drink a stein (or two) at the world’s largest beer festival, Ocktoberfest held in Munich. Each year this sixteen-day festival draws over six million people from around the world.
38. ✦ Take a Flyboarding Jetpack Flight
Flyboarding is an adventurous sport where your feet will be slipped into boots that are attached to a board, much like a snow board. A tube attached from your feet to the jet ski pushes water and propels you into the air. While in Cancun I got my shot to try this and it was beyond challenging. You definitely need to use every ounce of balance you have, but worth a spot on your list of things to do before you die.
39. ✧ See an Opera at the Sydney Opera House in Australia
There is nothing quite like the Sydney Opera House overlooking the harbor, its exterior an iconic vision from all angles. Don’t just admire one of Australia’s most recognized buildings from afar, step inside to spend a magical evening at one of their acclaimed operas.
40. ✧ Attend a Music Festival
41. ✧ Helicopter Over a Volcano in Hawaii
Feel the heat radiate when you fly over an active Hawaiian volcano in an open-door helicopter ride. Your ride will cross the Kilauea Volcano that has been continuously erupting for the last thirty years. With the doors off, there’s nothing but five hundred feet between you and this hot natural wonder of the world.
42. ✧ Soak in Pamukkale Hot Springs in Turkey
43. ✦ Rappel Down a Waterfall
From my lodging at Blue Osa Yoga Retreat, it took a short trip by jeep, a treacherous hour-each-way horesback ride and scary twenty minute hike to even get to the King Louis Waterfall. But, that added to this adventure. Once there, the group was given a very brief rappeling lesson and then left to tackle the impressive 100 foot waterfall.
44. ✧ Sleep in an Overwater Bungalow in Bora Bora
You’ve seen the photos of a string of bungalows perched atop the azure waters below. A memorable trip to Tahiti’s Bora Bora must include a night in one of these overwater hideaways where you can wake by diving into the warm water and go to sleep to the sound of the swish of the water beneath you. One of the most luxurious ones you will find is at the Four Seasons.
45. ✦ Go to a Yoga Retreat in Costa Rica
Blue Osa Yoga Retreat + Spa in the Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica is known for practicing morning silence, exercising sustainable tourism, having a secluded beachfront property, healthy farm-to-table meals and as being a place to nourish the body, mind and spirit. Those are all reasons that it made this place the perfect one for my very first yoga retreat.
46. ✧ Take the Walk of Faith at Tianmen Mountainin China
In the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park you will find a 196-foot- long see-through glass path that stands over 4,000 feet above sea level. This adrenaline-producing walkway clings to the side of the Tianmen Mountain. A stroll along this path is only for the most adventurous, who will marvel at the crystal-clear view below their trembling feet.
47. ✦ Hike to the Top of Bartolome Island in Galapagos
The peak of Bartolome Island was known to have the most perfect view of the famous Galapagos Pinnacle Rock. There was no way that the avid bucket lister in me would miss scaling the 374 steps of this volcanic cone to see a unique perspective of one of the most photographed natural structures in the Galapagos.
48. ✧ Throw Tomatoes at La Tomatina in Spain
La Tomatina is a weeklong festival in the town of Buñol thats highlight is on the last Wednesday in August, when thousands of people fight in an innocent battle using tons of over-ripe tomatoes. Trucks come to the city hauling more than one hundred metric tons of ammunition and the world’s biggest food fight begins with the throw of a single squished tomato.
49. ✦ Swim with Whale Sharks in Cancun
Don’t let the name “whale shark” scare you, these enormous fish are gentle giants. During the warm season, hundreds migrate to the waters of the Caribbean Sea. A boat ride from Cancun will take you to a place where you can swim with several of the largest fish in the world that grow up to sixty feet long and can weigh over forty thousand pounds. It is a thrill to be face to face with their gigantic mouths that can extend five feet when open. You can get up close and personal with Cancun Whale Shark Tours.
Related: Swim with Whale Sharks in Cancun
50. ✧ Walk the Spanish El Camino de Santiago de Compostela
El Camino de Santiago was originally a pilgrimage leading to Santiago de Compostela, to the tomb of the apostle St. James. Now, scores of people on a personal journey walk this five-hundred- mile network of routes across Spain and Europe. Whether the motivation is spiritual or adventurous, many choose to take this month long challenge.
51. ✦ Experience Istanbul’s Call to Prayer at the Blue Mosque
Five times a day throughout the streets of Istanbul you can hear the trilling call to prayer, also known as ezan. During this time the voice of the bellowing muezzin, the man who calls the Muslims to prayer from a minaret, can be heard over the loud- speakers at different mosques in the city. One of the best locations to witness this is while sitting on the benches between the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia as a quavering musical battle begins.
52. ✧ Attend the Kentucky Derby
It isn’t just the world-class horses that set the Kentucky Derby apart from other horse races, it’s the spectacular hats. Let your inner Southern Belle emerge, and don your most dramatic bonnet while watching what has been called the “greatest two minutes in sports.”
53. ✦ Attend Mass at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris
You don’t have to speak French or be religious to be blown away by a powerful mass at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. The sound of the preacher’s voice will billow through the cavernous cathedral and into your body. It may not be the largest Catholic cathedral in the world, but it is one of the most beautiful and famous with an estimated 14 million visitors a year.
54. ✧ White Water Raft Through the Grand Canyon
Get a thrilling perspective of the Grand Canyon by touring it from the Colorado River. In your raft, you will navigate the greatest whitewater in North America while marveling at the multicolored layers of the eroded rocks.
55. ✦ See the Mount Athos Byzantine Monasteries in Greece
Mount Athos is an UNESCO World Heritage site located on the Easternmost “finger” of the Halkidiki peninsula in Greece and there are 20 monasteries that call it home. It is 363 square miles and there are 2,300 monks who live in this place dedicated to prayer and the worship of God.
Men have to have special permission to visit this holy land, while women must keep their distance. No exceptions. But, women can take a boat ride to witness it, as long as they stay 500 meters away.
56. ✧ Relax in the Blue Lagoon Hot Springs in Iceland
The warm geothermal, milky-blue waters of the Blue Lagoon draws visitors worldwide. Many float in the mineral-rich waters for the reputed skin benefits, while others go there for the relaxation, ducking into a grotto with a beverage in hand from the float-up bar.
57. ✦ Stay in a Tuscan Villa in Italy
This “things to do before you die” goal was definitely inspired by the movie Under the Tuscan Sun. There are plenty to choose from, but just a few kilometers South of Siena you will find Villa Pippistrelli, a luxury Tuscan farmhouse located on the Monstegliano estate. This charming house is everything you’d expect from a Tuscan villa. It may be old in years, but the villa has been restored with present-day conveniences and elegant interiors while still keeping its rustic 17th century Tuscan feel.
58. ✧ Go Volcano Boarding in Nicaragua
The adventure starts with a rocky forty-five-minute hike up the 2,388-foot Cerro Negro (Black Hill), an active volcano just outside of León, Nicaragua. Once at the top you will sit on plywood boards, and go racing down at speeds up to 30 mph.
59. ✧ Be a Part of a Flash Mob
60. ✧ Cross the Salarde Uyuni in Bolivia
Blanketing more than forty-five hundred square miles, the Salar de Uyuni is a flat salt dessert that seems to go on infinitely. It is the remains of a lake that once covered the southwestern corner of Bolivia, but is now a vastness of white that plays an optical illusion on you. During the wet season, the shallow water that collects acts as a mirror of the sky, showing reflections of the sky and clouds, making the world seem endless. In the dry season, you can walk or drive across it, taking goofy photos that play with the lack of perspective created by the continuous sheets of hexagonal tiles. La Torre Tours have multi-day trips there!
61. ✦ Take a Helicopter Ride into the Grand Canyon
After having traveled to Las Vegas a half a dozen times in the past couple years, on this current trip I was looking for something more than sparkling lights, feathered girls and dancing water fountains. I wanted a unique “Things to do Before You Die” experience. A helicopter ride into the Grand Canyon fit the bill. Sundance Helicopters took us 45 minutes from Las Vegas and landed us right into the Grand Canyon where we had time to explore and have a picnic.
62. ✧ Kayak Through Icebergs in Greenland
Lose contact with civilization while paddling your kayak through a labyrinth of icebergs along the pristine Greenland waters. You may encounter a curious seal or giant whale, but the real treat is the peacefulness of listening to the crumbling of the icebergs in the distance.
63. ✧ Visit All 7 Continents
64. ✧ Hike Between the Towns of Cinque Terre in Italy
Cinque Terre is a collection of five charming villages that are linked by a network of picturesque hiking trails. The trails go through each town, giving you a chance to peruse through the quaint shops, drink a glass of Chianti at a café, or both.
65. ✦ See the Blue Footed Booby Mating Dance in Galapagos
There are 3 types of boobies on the Galápagos Islands: Blue-footed, Red-footed and Nazca. Though we did see them all, my real bucket list goal was to witness a Blue-footed Booby mating dance. This dance was their unique courting ritual, which included rocking side-to-side while lifting their eye-catching baby blue feet. On our last day of exploring the Galapagos Islands, on North Seymour, we saw one very popular female bird surrounded by a few male Boobies who were strutting their stuff trying to impress this desirable lady.
66. ✧ Tour the Hanging Temple of Mount Hengshan in China
The Hanging Temple is an architectural wonder, built into a cliff of Hengshan Mountain. It is said to have been built by a monk during the Northern Wei Dynasty (386–534 AD). Inside is a labyrinth of passageways connecting forty pavilions and halls, plus more than eighty bronze, iron, and clay statues.
67. ✦ Drink in a Shinjuku Golden Gai Bar in Tokyo
Golden Gai is a neighborhood in the Shinjuku ward of Tokyo that squeezes in over 200 miniature bars into a network of six narrow alleys, made only for pedestrians. Most bars in this section of town seat less than ten drinkers and cater to the locals. But, it is possible to find somewhere the travelers are welcome and will flock to. I ended up doing most of my Golden Gai drinking at Nessun Dorma, which means None Shall Sleep.
Related: Shinjuku Nightlife: A Guide to Tokyo’s Best Golden Gai Bars
Book a Tour: Kabukicho and Shinjuku Golden Gai Night Tour
Related: Tokyo Bucket List: 44 Top Things To Do in Japan’s Coolest City
68. ✧ Let Go of a Floating Lantern in Taiwan
Watch the sky ablaze as over a hundred thousand luminous lanterns are simultaneously released at the Pingxi Lantern Festival. The launching began as a means to signal refugees of the town’s safety; today participants decorate them with their wishes and release them into the moonlit sky.
69. ✦ Get Spooked at the Catacombs in Paris
The Catacombs is a labyrinth of caves underneath the heart of the city and the resting place for the bones of six million Parisians. Starting in the late eighteenth century, remains were transferred to the ossuary as overcrowded graveyards were closing due to the risk to the public. Though the underground maze is extensive, the portion that is open to the public is an eerie two-kilometer-long walk filled with skulls, bones, and stones (www.catacombes.paris.fr)
Read More: Get Spooked at the Catacombs in Paris
Get Tickets: Paris Catacombs Skip-the-Line Ticket
70. ✧ See the Northern Lights
The Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) are mysterious twists of multicolored lights that can only be seen in a handful of locations in the world, mostly in the Arctic Circle. To witness them is a once-in-a-lifetime experience whether you do it while relaxing in a thermal spa in Iceland, cruising on a yacht through Alaska, or night dogsled-ding in Norway. Check out the Aurora Zone for help.
71. ✦ Ride in a Gondola in Venice
72. ✧ Watch the Grand Prix in Monaco
Each year the ritzy streets of Monaco are turned into a challenging Formula 1 circuit for one of the most prestigious races in the world, the Monaco Grand Prix. It’s one of the slowest tracks, but probably the most glamorous, bordering the yacht-filled harbor and studded with movie stars.
73. ✦ Visit a Maasai Tribe in Tanzania
On the way back to the city of Arusha, after a long day on safari at Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania, our Shadows of Africa driver took us down a dusty, bumpy road to get to a Maasai village. We were greeted by the chief’s son and he welcomed us into the inner circle of their living quarters, which consisted of about eight small huts. There was one for each wife and their children, plus one for the husband who alternated which woman stays with him each evening. Not only was their polygamist lifestyle interesting, but so was their farming capabilities, minimalist living and culture.
74. ✧ Attend Burning Man in Nevada
For one week each year over sixty thousand dreamers, artists, and partygoers converge at Black Rock City in Nevada for the ultimate desert art festival—Burning Man. This bash is not for idle spectators, it is expected that you participate by creating art, performing, volunteering, and dressing up. The hedonistic homemade community centers around “The Man,” the sixty-foot-tall mascot who is burned to the ground on the final days.
75. ✦ Skydive
76. ✧ Zip Line through the Rain Forest of Costa Rica
Imagine the thrill of gliding along the treetops in the Costa Rican rain forest attached to cables. The zip lines bring you to different height platforms, crossing an extraordinary landscape on the way. You will find adrenaline-pumping zip lines all across the country that will fly you next to a waterfall and through the forest with the monkeys, giving you a different perspective from the air.
77. ✦ Visit All 50 States
78. ✧ Trek to Mount Everest Base Camp in Nepal
At over twenty-nine thousand feet, Mount Everest soars above Khumbu in northeastern Nepal. Though a rare few attempt to reach the summit, the trek to Everest Base Camp at 17,590 feet is still a challenging adventure and an achievable goal for the rest of us. Along the way the stunning Himalaya views, hospitability of the village people, and spectacular glimpse of its peak will take you aback.
79. ✦ Get a Natural Mud Bath in Palau’s Milky Way
While boating in and out of Palau’s 300+ islets in search of the best snorkeling spots, we had found some spectacular sites loaded with colorful fish, gigantic clams, whitetip sharks and intricate coral. But, we also found a spot to slather the white limestone mud all over our bodies to get a natural mud bath.
80. ✧ Attend the Palio Horse Race in Siena
Twice a year, the central piazza (Il Campo) of Siena is turned into a track for the most important event in the city—Palio. The Italian town is stuffed to the brim as ten of the neighborhoods (contrades) each compete in a bareback battle of the best racehorse. The event is just as much about the thrill of the seventy-five-second race as it is about the pageantry and pride.
81. ✦ Explore the Depths of a Cava Cave in Spain
The cava caves of Spain feature dark narrow tunnels, steep spiral staircases, a labyrinth that would challenge anyone’s sense of direction, and are filled to the stone ceiling with a winemaker’s dream. Some cava caves would make the perfect location to film a horror flick, while others could be used as a skilled mathematicians puzzle. Exploring the seemingly endless channels can only be topped by tasting the bubbly at the end.
82. ✧ Drive Maui’s Road to Hana
With flowing waterfalls, picturesque hiking, and a black sand beach, the fifty-three-mile Road to Hana drive is one of the most popular in the world. Most travelers will take the road to the town Hana, then turn around and head back the same route they came. For the more adventurous traveler, do the continuous loop, which takes you over the unpaved, bumpy part of the road with the zigzagging turns that tour books warn you about.
83. ✦ Watch Wrestling Practice at a Sumo Stable in Tokyo
You can’t fully understand the intensity of this sport unless you are up close and personal at a sumo wrestling practice to witness the panting, grunting and dripping sweat. The practices are not attractions created for tourists, they are serious and you need to show respect while you are there. Though there are several other stables to visit, at Hakkaku Sumo Stable in Tokyo you can spend the morning watching an intense Sumo wrestlers practice. This was one of my favorites on the things to do before you die list!
Read More: Watch Wrestling Practice at a Sumo Stable in Tokyo
Read More: Tokyo Bucket List: 44 Top Things To Do in Japan’s Coolest City
Book a Tour: Watch a Morning Sumo Training
See: More Sumo Related Experiences
84. ✧ Wear a Mask at Carnival in Venice
Each year the Venice canals come alive as roughly three million visitors flock to this colossal masquerade party. The Carnival in Venice is one of the biggest celebrations in Italy that starts two weeks before Ash Wednesday and ends on Shrove Tuesday. Partygoers parade through the city donning elaborate bejeweled masks and costumes while enjoying an array of festival events.
85. ✦ Eat at a Themed Restaurant in Tokyo
At the Alcatraz ER themed restaurant, you can eat a plate of beef shaped like a brain on the floor of a jail cell while sipping cocktails out of a dummy’s head, which is exactly what I did. If a gothic cathedral environment is more your thing, try Christon Cafe or opt for The Robot Restaurant in Shinjuku that takes dinner and a show to another level. There will be loud music, dancing and robots fighting, plus a little sushi to dine on if you should choose.
Read More: Eat at a Themed Restaurant in Tokyo
Read More: Tokyo Bucket List: 44 Top Things To Do in Japan’s Coolest City
Get Tickets: 15% Off the Robot Restaurant
86. ✧ Go Truffle Hunting in Tuscany
Traveling to Italy is absolutely about the pasta and the wine, but it’s also about the truffles. Walk through the Tuscan forests with a Lagotto Romagnalo breed of dog sniffing out a culinary treasure—the white truffle. Though there are over sixty varieties of truffles worldwide, this is the most coveted, at times bringing in over $800 per 100 grams. Giulio the Truffle Hunter will help you find your prize.
87. ✦ Go on an African Safari
There are plenty of places in Africa to go on safari, but mine was done in Tanzania with the Shadows of Africa tour team. For four days we explored the surreal Ngorongoro, Tarangire and Serengeti National Parks. Though we missed out on spotting the big five, because of the elusive rhino, it was still one of the most memorable travel bucket list adventures on my list of things to do before you die.
Related: Go on an African Safari in Tanzania
88. ✧ Get Scrubbed at a Hamam in Turkey
The hamam has been popular in Turkey for thousands of years, not only as a relaxing bathing ritual but also as a social center. Today the healthy hot steam bath, followed by a body scrub and massage, is still a major part of the Turkish culture.
89. ✦ Eat Insects at Chiang Mai’s Sunday Night Market
While exploring the plentiful booths of Chiang Mai‘s Sunday Night Market, there was one stall that caught my attention. It had all sorts of varieties of edible bugs; crickets, cicada, mealworms and whirligig beetles. How do I choose? I opted for the insect sampler pack for 20 baht ($0.65 usd), a little of each. I like variety.
Related: Eat Insects at Chiang Mai’s Sunday Night Market
Related: Bucket List of 23 Bugs Around the World to Eat
Related: Bucket List of 18 Things to Do in Chiang Mai
90. ✧ Float in the Dead Sea
The Dead Sea is a salt lake over thirteen hundred feet below sea level, making it the lowest elevation on Earth. Nestled between the country of Jordan to the east and Israel to the west, the unusually high salt concentration (8.6 times saltier than the ocean) causes a natural buoyancy that makes people float. Many people use this oasis as a chance to aimlessly drift while reading a newspaper.
Related: Float in the Dead Sea
91. ✦ Take a Junk Boat Ride Through Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour
While in Hong Kong I checked off seeing the Symphony of Lights and riding on a traditional Chinese junk boat in Asia of my bucket list in one shot. A twofer. The Symphony of Lights laser show does a display that runs throughout the skyscrapers along Victoria Harbour, the same body of water that an ancient sailing vessel, a junk boat, tours.
Read More: Take a Junk Boat Ride Through Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour
Read More: Bucket List of 17 Things to Do in Hong Kong
Book a Ride: Enjoy Stunning Views of HK’s Skyline on Aqua Luna
Book: Hong Kong Harbor Night Cruise and Dinner at Victoria Peak
92. ✧ Visit Dracula’s Castle in Transylvania, Romania
High above the valley of Romania, in the principality of Transylvania, there lies an unusual castle that is said to have once been occupied by Count Dracula himself. You will find the gothic Bran Castle near the town of Brasov, which has long been linked to this ancient vampire, though Dracula probably won’t be there when you arrive. There is a mystical atmosphere surrounding Bran Castle; it looks like the perfect setting for a vampire novel, perched on top of a hill and filled with dozens of tunneled stairs, dark wood paneling, and stark white walls.
93. ✦ Eat at the Cheapest Michelin Starred Restaurant
Tim Ho Wan is a hole-in-the-wall dim sum restaurant in Hong Kong that gained recognition after receiving a coveted Michelin star and therefore being known as one of the cheapest Michelin starred restaurants in the world. And it is cheap. Really cheap. Though they are well known for their pork buns, all their food is quite tasty, especially their chicken feet.
Related: Nibble on Chicken Feet at the Cheapest Michelin Starred Restaurant
Related: Bucket List of 17 Things to Do in Hong Kong
94. ✧ See a Broadway Musical in New York City
Along and nearby Broadway, in the heart of New York City, between Forty- second and Fifty-third, people have been dazzled by gleaming lights, powerful voices, and some of the world’s best theatrics. There’s nothing quite like a Broadway show. The theater district has also been called “The Great White Way,” because of its flashy marquees that light up the sky. Many Tony awards have been earned on these streets.
95. ✦ Have a White Christmas in Yosemite Valley
Yosemite Valley is the centerpiece of Yosemite National Park in California with grand waterfalls, flowing creeks, picturesque hiking and monumental granite cliffs. During the holiday season it turns into a Winter wonderland with plenty of snowy activities for the entire family.
96. ✧ Interact with the Penguins of Antarctica
A highlight to any trip to the chilly continent of Antarctica is interacting with the many penguin colonies; Adélies, emperors, chinstraps, and gentoos. Watch as they clumsily waddle to the sea, slide on their bellies and curiously approach you, sometimes coming so close they shuffle right over your feet.
97. ✦ Swim with Sea Turtles in Hawaii
Olowalu is just five minutes South of Lahaina in West Maui, the location where the kayak/snorkeling tour we had signed up for took place. This snorkling spot had been the center of numerous turtles sightings and the day we were there was no different. We were able to swim alongside several of these amazing creatures.
Related: Search for Sea Turtles & Sharks in Olowalu
Related: Maui Bucket List: 24 Best Things To Do on the Coolest Hawaiian Island
98. ✦ Walk through a Rice Terrace in Indonesia
99. ✦ Attend a Proper British Afternoon Tea in London
A proper Afternoon Tea in London is a British tradition that I had no intention of missing out on. I like tea. And tiny little sandwiches. The Royal Garden Hotel set up a traditional Afternoon Tea in London at their Park Terrace restaurant for us. Here we indulged in Pear Caramel and Chocolate Chip Truffle tea, along with sandwiches, sweets, scones and curd.
100. ✦ Participate in a Japanese Tea Ceremony
The refined Japanese Tea Ceremony is the ritual of preparing and serving the powdered green tea, matcha. This warm, thick beverage is served with sweets to balance the bitter taste of the tea. The host may spend years mastering this art, learning every detail from utensil placement to the perfect angle for the tea bowl.
In Tokyo, go to the Happo-en Japanese Garden that sits in Shirokanedai district. It is an exquisite example of natural beauty with its ancient bonsai, koi pond and blanket of cherry blossoms in the Springtime. Not only is it a beautiful representation of a Japanese garden, but you can schedule to participate in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony where you will be drinking Matcha in their wooden Muan tea house.
Related: Participate in a Japanese Tea Ceremony in Tokyo
Related: Tokyo Bucket List: 44 Top Things To Do in Japan’s Coolest City
Book Tour: Experience a tea ceremony or wearing kimono at Bonsai Museum
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