Between 1999 and 2013 I have been fortunate enough to visit 50 different countries and see some really amazing things. Yesterday I was asked what was my favourite place and it took my a while to gather my thoughts but I enjoyed the trip down memory lane so I decided to make a top 5 list of amazing experiences.
1 – Sleeping under the stars on Antarctica
During my 2012-2013 trip I got to camp overnight next to a colony of penguins. The entire trip to the southern continent was memorable but this was the highlight. The weather was extremely cold, I slept in about 5 layers of clothing, but the air was amazingly clear, we camped near a glacier and we had seals and penguins for neighbours.
2 – Machu Picchu (Peru)
Machu Picchu was stunning the day I visited in 2009 one day after my birthday. It might have been that the 4 day hike at high altitude which early starts and occasion rain had an effect on my mind but standing on the Sun Gate overlooking this ancient city is something I think I’ll never ever forget! The weak tourists caught the train in and complained of all the ‘hiking’ they had to do to reach the city. The real adventurers who hiked for four days just enjoyed the site and sights as the clouds rolled in.
3 – Iguassu Falls (Argentina)
One of the seven wonders of the world and somehow I didn’t really know about it until my visit in 2009-2010. I spent two days here but the best day was on the Argentinean side. When I visited it was very hot and humid but a visit on a speed boat and a trenching under a couple of the water falls fixed that up real fast! There seemed to be hundreds of different waterfalls and most seemed to fall a hundred metres in different points with spray everywhere. Differently better than Niagara Falls.
4 – Sailing down the Nile on a felucca (Egypt)
There is so much history in Egypt to see during my 2009 visit. The pyramids and temples are amazing especially the ones reached by military escort visit to Abu Simbel but for me it was sailing down the Nile in a felucca with on the wind to move us. I even got to swim in one part where we were assured the water wouldn’t kill us
Sitting under the stars and moon in the middle of their summer and falling into a blissful and relaxing sleep only to wake up a see the sun rising over the water, glass and sand is something to experience!
5 – Grand Canyon (USA)
Way back in 1999 on my first major world trip I was fortunate enough to visit the Grand Canyon. This was the first time in my life that I could grasp what I was seeing. Arizona in winter is amazing enough but you add in the Grand Canyon and your mind will struggle to take in all the colours and the size of this place. It was like an artificial screen saver but better. Now hiking along one side for a few hours and climbing down into a small Indian Camp in the rocks certainty helped my appreciation somewhat. A bald eagle sighting was a good way to end the day as well!
It’s hard to believe I couldn’t fund a place for the glaciers in Iceland, the Giants Causeway in Scotland, anywhere at all in Costa Rica or Cuba , the Actun Tunichil Muknal caves in Belize, the World Cup match I saw in Munich back in 2006, the Winter Palace in St Petersburg, The Great Wall of China, or even my favourite city in the world New York.
The world is a big place and there is lots more to explore. What’s Next???
Argentina; 2009-2010, 2012-2013
Canada; 2006, 2009
Costa Rica; 2012-2013
Czech Republic; 2006
England; 1999-2000, 2009, 2012-2013
Germany; 2006, 2012-2013
Hong Kong; 2006
New Zealand; 1999-2000, 2007, 2009-2010
Northern Ireland; 1999-2000
Republic of Ireland; 1999-2000
South Africa; 2006
Spain; 2006, 2012-2013
USA; 1998, 1999-2000, 2006, 2009, 2009-2010, 2012-2013
The Vatican; 2006