20 Amazing bucket list travel experiences to have around the world

The world is full of wonderful things, and we only experience a few of them if we never venture beyond our own comfort zone. But even for the most adventurous of globetrotters, there simply is too much to visit and too little time. So what is there to do? We only live once, so lets choose to do the most meaningful things, in the most phenomenal places in the world! To help you guys get your exciting adventures going, we’ve highlighted a few items on our loooong bucket list of the experiences we loved the most. Will any of these be on your list too?

1. Dog-sledding across the Arctic landscapes

Charging across frozen lakes with just your furry friends and the sound of their paws padding across snow – it’s immersion in nature and exhilarating action both in one! Visit a sled dog ranch, or better yet, experience the full lifestyle and learn first-hand about dog-sledding with one of our hosts – such as this one in Canada . This is the perfect way to experience life in the woods, and swap the hustle and bustle of city life to live amongst Alaskan huskies – with the comfort of knowing someone has your back.

2. Go volcano boarding in Nicaragua

You’ve heard of skateboarding and snowboarding – why not take it the next level and glide across steep surfaces just above bubbling lava? Only the most adventurous among us would combine volcanoes with boarding, but we believe everyone needs to experience an act of courage at some point of their lives  – are you one of them who have the guts to try volcano boarding ?

3. Marvel at the northern lights

Yes, we know, this is basically a bucket-list staple already – but for good reason. There’s nothing quite like getting to see something after hearing and dreaming about it a thousand times, and finally understanding what the fuss is all about. The aurora borealis (gosh, it even sounds pretty) is absolutely magnificent and a reminder of how amazing nature is. Apart from the most popular Iceland, some of our favourite places to see these dancing lights are FinlandSwedenAlaska, USA and Northern Canada– where you can get insiders’ tips and even stay at the best hidden spots with local hosts without needing to be in a tourist bus for hours!

aurora borealis iceland

4. Spend a night camping in the Arab desert

Nothing between you and the desert sand but a clear sky illuminated by stars that stretches into the vast unknown. Imagine friendly camels trotting past as you pass cups of freshly boiled tea around a campfire with fellow workawayers around the world, while your host shares stories about their land and introduces you to the wonders of local life in the desert. Our favourite destinations are with the Berber tribes in Morocco and the Wadi Rum village in Jordan (sorry we just couldn’t pick between these!).

5. Live life in a bubble in the off-grid wilderness

No need to pick between immersing yourself in nature and enjoying the comfort of the bug-free, weather-proof indoors! There’s just something so magical about living in a literal bubble, and gazing at the unobstructed views of forests, mountains and clear rivers surrounding your little dome. Experience the panoramic beauty of off-grid Colombia with our host just a bit away from Bogota – for free!


6. Be a true nomad on the Mongolian plains

Following where the wind blows and where the grass is green…nomads used to build their lives around nature’s wisdom, and many in Mongolia are still choosing to keep this lifestyle over the city rush. Experience the authentic nomad life by building your own yurt – or ger, as locals call it – in the stunning highlands of Mongolia and learn what it’s like to live simply and sustainably with one of our hosts .

7. Help at an alpaca farm and take them out for walks

Alpacas have to be one of the most beloved animals of all time, because who wouldn’t wanna give these adorable floofy creatures a big hug? Try your hand with feeding, shearing and helping them build little homes at various farms while you are exploring different countries, and have a taste of rustic good life with these gentle animals by volunteering at an alpaca farm.

8. Walk on all the colours of nature in Patagonia

Stretching across both Chile and Argentina, trekking through Patagonia is the best way to experience the diverse wonders of South America’s geography from the top of the world. Snow-capped mountains, glaciers, penguin sightings – the trails here are filled with magnificent views wherever you go. Stay close to these stunning treks, drop the guidebooks and explore the lesser-known spots of the area with local hosts instead!

best hiking trekking spots world travel

9. Relax on the beach with sea turtles

The earth is 71% water, so how can we complete a bucket list without including an ocean experience? Look for amazing encounters in Hawaii, or dip your toes into the beautiful isolated beaches of Costa Rica and take it one step further by participating in the local turtle conservation efforts . Enjoy the warm breeze, see majestic turtles in their natural habitat, and witness baby turtles hatching in this nesting heaven.

solo workawayer in bikini posing with sea turtle chilling on the beach

10. Live out your fairytale dream in a traditional castle

From Disney movies to bedside fairytales, it’s no wonder that the childhood fantasy of living like royalty still lingers as we grow older. How then can we miss a chance to stay at the top of a castle in a secluded rural town? Enjoy gazing outside your bedroom marvelling at the fields of green that stretch across the horizon, and take in the magic of living in an ancient story book. “It’s a haven, it’s an oasis, it’s magical, there is so much history to explore there,” described one of our workawayers who have stayed at a historic castle in France. Now that’s an unique once-in-a-lifetime memory waiting for you to create.

birds eye view of French castle with green grassy fields

11. Get the full jungle experience in the Amazon rainforest

As one of our host says, the Amazon and the way of living there is something that can not be explained, you have to live it. And there is so much more to just living there! The Amazon is full of experiences that cannot be replicated anywhere in the world. Treat yourself with some fun adventures of jungle trekking and river excursions , swimming into waterfall ponds, and walking amongst thousand year-old trees while listening to locals explain the stories of their land. Meet, connect, share, teach and learn from  indigenous communities . Pick and hunt for your own food every day, wake up to birds chirping or to monkeys chasing after you!

12. Trek along the breathtaking Himalayas

…or at least a section of it that would most suit your abilities and interests! The incredible Himalayan mountains need no introduction, but did you know that it reaches across Bhutan, China, India, Nepal, and Pakistan? All of which are amazing places to visit in their own right. Options range from conquering the mighty mount Everest, or exploring 5000-6000m peaks , to enjoying or staying at a near Nepal’s China/Tibet border to volunteer as an English teacher. Whatever route you take, it’s sure to be a rewarding adventure like no other.  

group of hikers smiling after hike in kyanjing ri

13. Gaze over Cappadocia, Turkey from a hot air balloon

What’s more magical than marvelling at Cappadocia’s spectacular fairy chimneys over the sunrise? Well, having a panoramic view of the scene while riding in a hot air balloon! These rock sites, hosted in the Goreme National Park, are protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These surreal formations are created by the natural erosion of volcanic landscapes from millions of years ago, and are definitely a sight not to be missed. If your budget doesn’t allow for a hot air balloon ride, stay with a local host in Cappadocia to save up some funds – either way, it’s still an amazing experience just to gaze at the colourful balloons rising over the rock site!

pair of travellers sharing blanket and looking over at Cappadocia balloons during sunrise

14. Go diving in the Great Barrier Reef

Get your snorkel or diving gear ready, because there’s still much to explore down below and we’re just getting started! The Great Barrier Reef is home to a plethora of coral reefs and marine life, and is definitely on most (if not all) scuba divers’ bucket list. Being the earth’s largest reef system, this dream destination in Australia is home to just about every kind of wildlife you can think of – sharks, whales, manta rays, you name it! Stay with a Workaway host in Queensland to easily access this underwater world of wonders, as well as friendly local Aussie life for free when not diving.

underwater shot of shark and school of fish in Great Barrier Reef

15. Get up close with wild animals on a safari tour

The Big Five – lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants, buffalo – are rare and precious creatures we don’t see on a day-to-day basis, but the biggest chances of encountering them have to be while on a safari tour in Africa. There’s just something so special about admiring these majestic animals in their natural habitat, while keeping a close but still respectable distance. Our favourite destinations for safaris are Botswana, Kenya, South Africa and Tanzania, all of which are countries where you can also find Workaway hosts to stay with while being up close with wildlife!

safari horseriding tour encountering giraffe

16. Immerse into a local’s life and pick up a new language

One thing we know for sure about learning something new, is that it’s more fun to do it in an intimate and interactive setting. If you’re a long-term traveller (or travel lover), chances are you’ll also wanna immerse into local culture and the best way to do it is by speaking their language! There’s so many hosts on Workaway who are happy to speak, listen and practise with you every day, such as this  who wants to practise French and teach English, or this  who offers to teach Arabic in exchange for learning your native language. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to connect with a fellow workawayer who’s keen to become your next language buddy too!

multinational travel couple host smiling at each other

17. Be a true eco-nomad and volunteer for an environmental project

Eco-warriors around the world have been making an effort to promote sustainable living and making a positive global impact in face of climate change. If you’re also a traveller with a mission to help protect the environment, there are plenty of environmental projects that are always happy to welcome helping hands, such as this  or help out at an . In addition, here at Workaway we’ve teamed up with Ecologi to plant a tree on behalf of every new member who joins our community, so that we can all play a part in giving back, even remotely! Together we’ve been able to fund sustainable projects such as rainforest protection in Brazil and Peru, and we aim to plant over a million trees with your support!

workaway tribe planting a tree together happiness giving back

18. Discover the Greek Islands on a sailboat

Sailing across the stunning Mediterranean sea while hopping around the Greek Islands on a catamaran or yacht is hands-down the BEST way to get the most out of your holiday in paradise. You’ve got the iconic Santorini, which is universally considered as one of the most romantic destinations in the world; there’s Skopelos where the gorgeous Mamma Mia was filmed (and where we’ve got an amazing Workaway host on a mission to help uncover ancient paths linking the island together); Crete, where so many workawayers have gushed about its amazing food, just to name a few. Best of all? You’ll be exploring all of these places while also swaying to the glistening waters, with sea breeze in your hair.

greek island cat encounter solo female workawayer by the sea

19. Make your favourite food from scratch

This one’s for the hardcore foodies who’ll do ANYTHING for an authentic, delicious experience. Try searching for a Workaway opportunity where you’ll get to learn to make your favourite food from scratch -- like this travel foodie who learnt to make and enjoy minestrone the traditional way, and this workawayer who was lucky enough to get involved in a complete chocolate production, from planting cacao beans to packaging! 

local host explaining cacao bean harvesting to workawayers

20. Leave your mark around the world

To us, what matters more than just visiting beautiful destinations is what we create through the experience – connections, new perspectives, and even beautiful art for your friends and new travellers to admire! How many people can say they have a mural wall on the other side of the world, or a sculpture standing in an international hostel? We have quite a few hosts waiting for you to leave your artistic creation at their place – such as this tropical  hostel in Sri Lanka  or in this artistic community in Taiwan .

And the best part of this? You don’t even need to be an artist to leave something beautiful wherever you go. Are you good at cooking? Share a great recipe with your host family so they have a taste of food from your culture. Got a green thumb? Give your host’s garden some extra love and plant something special for them to enjoy. Even if you think you don’t have any special skills, you can always share your language, interesting stories about your home country, and most importantly your friendship with all the people you meet along the way! Now go fill your bucket list with more wonderful destinations to stay at and exciting things to do, bring an open mind with you to make them last forever – in your heart and in the hearts of others!

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About Jocelyn

Born and raised in Hong Kong, Jocelyn made her first backpacking trip through Europe during her study abroad in the UK, and is now living vicariously through the Workaway experiences she reads about e... show more...

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