My Top 25 Travel Experiences Before Turning 25


Christmas Eve this year saw me turn 25. I am now half way to 50, a quarter of a century old. It’s terrifying how fast time is going but I’m pretty proud of what I’ve achieved so far. I’ve graduated, built myself a career in teaching, overcome a horrible illness and have travelled more than I ever thought I would. I’ve also been lucky enough to have fantastic people around me to support me through all these events. To celebrate the wondrous moments travelling I’ve enjoyed, I have created a list of my top travel experiences undertaken before turning 25. Some experiences I’d dreamed of doing for years, others I just stumbled upon, and they completely blew me away.

  1. Skydiving over The Great Barrier Reef

Skydiving is something I’d always wanted to try yet I wondered if I’d ever have the courage to do it. Little did I realise that not only would I skydive, but that it would be from the most incredible location I could have imagined- over the Great Barrier Reef! I even landed on a beach.


  1. Hiking the Komodo Islands

It was an incredible experience seeing komodo dragons slink around in their natural habitat. I can’t believe I got so close to an animal which could have potentially killed me in an instant. Knowing that David Attenborough trekked there years ago when finding animals to film for the show ‘Zoo Quest’ was also pretty special!


  1. Learning to Ski

I don’t consider myself a particularly sporty person but I do love the outdoors. Learning to ski was one of the best things I’ve ever done. I’ve been skiing twice now and would still say I’m not far off the beginner stage but I love it all the same.


  1. Christmas Shopping in New York

For years my mum and I said we’d go Christmas shopping in New York, and on my 21st birthday it finally happened. We spent seven days in the marvellous city and managed to fit a huge amount into our itinerary.


  1. Cycling Through the Countryside of Yangshuo, China

Yangshuo, what a beautiful place. As part of a tour, whilst backpacking through China, we cycled through the breath-taking countryside of Yangshuo. I might have had a small asthma attack on the way, but with my friends’ help and a bit of rest I managed to continue and admire the scenery. We also explored some colourful caves.


  1. Walking Along the Great Wall of China

One of the 7 wonders of the world. It was more fantastic than I could have ever imagined. I could have spent hours walking along the tremendous wall but eventually we had to leave, and we left in style, tobogganing down the side of the Great Wall of China.


  1. Sleeping in Floating Bungalows in one of Thailand’s National Parks

This was probably my favourite experience whilst backpacking through Thailand. We stayed in these simplistic yet wondrous floating bungalows in the middle of Khao Sok National Park. Surrounding these bungalows laid beautiful mountains and a sparkling layer of water. Relaxing in the water with a drink in my hand whilst admiring the views around me was complete bliss.


  1. Volunteering with Wildlife in South Africa

For years I’d dreamed of volunteering abroad and supporting wildlife. Each year I would research opportunities available but I never quite got round to booking it. This year I finally did it. I volunteered on a game reserve where we undertook different tasks each day, from building roads to planting vegetables for the local school. We even got to go on a game count each day where we saw various the animals around the reserve.


  1. Shark Cage Diving

What an experience it was to see Great White Sharks up close. Surprisingly, I wasn’t the slightest bit afraid of getting in the water with these huge creatures. I was right not to be afraid, not once did they try to attack us humans in the water. I believe they are not the vicious man-eaters that some make them out to be, but instead marvellous, fantastic creatures. In the picture the shark was trying to eat the bait, not me!


  1. Walking with Cheetahs

Tenikwa Wildlife Centre are doing fantastic work to raise awareness for wildlife. Allowing tourists to walk with the cheetahs (emphasis on the word ‘with’; the experience was for them, not for us), enables many people each day to fall in love with these beautiful creatures; I certainly did. We also got a tour of the other big cat ambassadors around the wildlife awareness centre. It is something I will never forget.


  1. Family Holidays in Switzerland

With family from Switzerland, I have been lucky enough to visit the stunning country many times. In 2011 we had our final whole-family trip there with my grandparents (they are now too frail to travel). We hiked, we explored and we fell in love over and over again with the breath-taking scenery.


  1. Seeing Penguins in the Wild

Who knew that it would be possible to see penguins in the wild in Australia? Well I did and it left me speechless. We waited at sunset to see these little penguins waddle up the beach to find their mates. It was such an intimate wildlife experience that I will never forget.

penguin-2-700x476(Picture from a postcard)

  1. Walking among the Super Trees in Singapore

You can’t miss the super-sized trees here. They reminded me of something out of Avatar and I felt like I was in a magical wonderland walking among them. Returning to them at night to soak up the sounds and light show was another experience in itself. ‘Wow’ is all I can say.


  1. Climbing Kelimutu Volcano to See the Sunrise

We headed out at a ridiculous time in the morning with our torches and our hopes to see the sunrise over Kelimutu Volcano in Indonesia. As the sun rose, the beauty of the three crater lakes came to life. Despite the fog, it was a magical experience.


  1. Walking through Majorelle Garden

One of the world’s great gardens and my favourite thing we did in Marrakesh. The gardens were created by the French painter Jacques Majorelle and were famously owned by the designer, Yves Saint Laurent. Walking through the gardens, I was overwhelmed by the beauty and the fantastic pops of colour


  1. Hiking in and exploring the Azores

Seeing Instagram pictures of these islands inspired me to vidiot them and, even then, I was still not prepared for the beauty that laid before my eyes. Considering the heavy fog, we were very lucky to see each of the fantastic main three lakes on Sao Miguel island, and they were spectacular.


  1. Hiking 2 wonderful national parks in Croatia

Two of the most beautiful national parks I have ever visited happen to fall in Croatia: Plitvice Lakes National Park and Krka National Park. Plitvice Lakes National Park is like a whole other world. From the pure turquoise colour of the water to the stunning views, it felt like paradise. Krka National Park was nearly as beautiful as Plitvice; it had mighty waterfalls which amazed me.


  1. Entering the Vatican

I was disappointed that on my first trip to Rome I didn’t get a chance to visit the inspiring Vatican but the next trip I finally entered it. I will never forget the experience of walking inside the overwhelmingky beautiful building. It took my breath away.


  1. Climbing Kotor Wall

It was a cloudy start to the day which led to thunder and lightning but my boyfriend and I didn’t let this stop us from climbing the Kotor wall. Even with dull skies the view was wonderful. One of the best parts of the climb was near the top where we stopped to eat our packed lunch inside an archers viewpoint in the wall. Sailing through the bay was also stunning.


  1. Walking though Mykonos

The Greek island was not the most anticipated stop on the Mediterranean cruise with my boyfriend, but it turned out to be our favourite. Mykonos itself is not very big but I could easily have spent days wandering the streets and admiring it’s charm. Each corner truly looks like a scene from a postcard.


  1. Walking Around Dubrovnik City Walls

On my first trip to Dubrovnik I fell seriously ill and did not get a chance to see much of the city. I visited again on a cruise this year and finally got to see what I’d missed. walking around the city wall overlooking the orange-rooftops on one side and the glistening sea on the other was an experience like no other.


  1. Visiting Bruges Christmas market

I surprised my boyfriend with a trip to Bruges Christmas market this year and the experience was magical. Soon after he found out where we were going the taxi to the station arrived and we were off. 6 hours later and we found ourselves in the wonderland that is Bruges at Christmas.


  1. Enjoying a City Break with Mum Each Year

For the last 4 years mum and I have made it a priority to go away with each other once a year. One thing I love about going away with her is that we have the same attitude towards travel. We want to see as much as we can and really make the most of our time wherever we go, waking up early in the morning and spending most of the day exploring. So far we’ve visited New York, Budapest, Marrakesh and the Azores.


  1. Traveling Solo

Okay, so it wasn’t completely solo, but for me it was the most solo thing I’ve ever done. I travelled on my own to join a group of volunteers on a game reserve in South Africa. I was incredibly nervous about my first solo flight (I hate flying at the best of times) but I’m proud that I went for it and subsequently had the experience of a lifetime.


  1. Starting a Travel Blog

I started writing travel blogs in order update my friends and family of my different adventures, but also as a way for me to remember them myself. I don’t expect a huge amount of people to read my blog but that doesn’t matter to me, I enjoy writing it and reliving the moments again in my head. That’s satisfying enough for me.




  1. December 30, 2016 / 8:09 pm

    You’ve done so many amazing things! What a great post to look back on and remember them all. So jealous of most of these. Good for you!

    • December 31, 2016 / 10:01 am

      Thank you! I’m always thinking about what I want to do next and trying to book my next trip so it’s nice to look back and appreciate what I’ve done already.

  2. December 31, 2016 / 10:09 pm

    Wow you have accomplished and seen many amazing things! St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City was number one on my bucket list and I was so happy when the day came that I could cross it off. Good luck with your future travels in the New Year!

  3. January 1, 2017 / 7:25 am

    What an amazing first quarter-century! Seeing the penguins at Phillip Island is also one of my top travel experiences ever, and I’d love to read more about your experience volunteering at a wildlife sanctuary in South Africa!

  4. January 2, 2017 / 2:03 am

    #1: Who did you dive with? We’re hoping to do it later this month! You’ve been to some incredible places. Over how long a time period have you been to these places?

    • January 3, 2017 / 11:57 am

      I’ll have the name of the company we dived with. It was in Mossel Bay and we did an excursion from Plettenberg Bay.
      Thank you. Most of these experiences happened over past 6 years but some, like Switzerland, I did a lot earlier in life.

    • January 3, 2017 / 12:03 pm

      Thank you, I’m so pleased I’ve tried to travel as much as I can over the last 6 years or so. I would definitely recommend skydiving there! It was magnificent. I love travelling with my mum too, it’s so nice to share a passion with her 🙂

  5. January 5, 2017 / 11:54 am

    H-O-L-Y SH** Is that shark picture your own?
    I had a mini panic attack behind my computer screen!

    • January 7, 2017 / 8:26 pm

      Haha yes it is, my friend took it for me on my phone. I weirdly felt completely unafraid doing it!

  6. January 7, 2017 / 7:35 pm

    How great that you’ve seen and done so much. I love that you make it a priority to travel with your mum, that’s so special!

    • January 7, 2017 / 8:12 pm

      Thank you, I’m glad I’ve made it a priority 🙂

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