As I have suggested before on my blog, travelling is all about pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. Rather than sticking to tried and tested places when travelling, and rather than taking those paths well-trodden by tourists, you can spice up your life by taking on new travel experiences that may well benefit your life, giving you new perspectives of both the world around you, and on who you are as a person.
In this article, I am going to list various challenges that you might consider adding to your travel bucket list. I’m not saying they will be easy, and I’m not saying that you need to do every one of them, but if you want to make the most out of your time away travelling, and if you want to push yourself a little, then you might consider at least a few of them.
So, are you ready to take on any of these challenges? Tick any off that capture your interest…
Challenge #1: Eat foods you have never dared try before
Taking a bite of alligator meat!
Travelling is all about new experiences, and this includes trying those culinary ‘delights’ that are not part of your normal diet. Therefore, wherever you visit, don’t go to those places that are going to serve up the food you are probably used to eating at home. Make a list of the more unusual diners and restaurants, and then dare yourself to eat something from their non-traditional (to you) menus. Examples? Well, you might not want to visualise yourself eating tuna eyeballs in Japan, but you could at least try. Or how about taking a bite of of alligator meat in Texas! Perhaps you could creep yourself out eating crispy tarantulas in Cambodia. Or if you’re into your dairy foods, you might want to consider eating century-old eggs in China. Surely not something to turn your nose up at (or perhaps they are). There are all kinds of weird foods around the world, and while you might not add them to your regular dinner menus at home, for the sake of the challenge, you might dare yourself to eat something ‘different’ occasionally.
Challenge #2: Stay somewhere long-term
Travelling is often about the temporary, flitting from one town or city to the next, and trying new experiences for only a short time. And if you don’t have a lot of time to travel, then it’s understandable that you might not stick around long enough to smell the proverbial (or even real) roses for long. However, you might miss out on so much, as you won’t get to explore a place fully. Therefore, consider staying somewhere long-term. And by long-term, I’m not talking about a year of your life or more. If you don’t have anything holding you back at home, then why not rent an apartment in Singapore, or a cabin in Austria, for example. By doing so, you will get to fully explore your surroundings, get the opportunity to make long-term friends with local people, and become immersed in a culture that you might (whisper it) grow accustomed too, and grow the urge to stay even longer term. If you often bemoan the fact that you don’t have enough time to see a particular place, then this is one challenge you should consider if you’re able to adjust your life around it.
Challenge #3: Overcome your phobias
Many of us have phobias; those fears that stop us from living our lives to the fullest. Therefore, why not challenge yourself into overcoming them when travelling. If you have a fear of heights, why not consider cliff walking over a suspension bridge in Vancouver, scaling the Himalayas in India, climbing the Heavenly Stairs in China, and/or any of these vertigo-inducing experiences. Or, if you have a fear of bugs and beasties, and all things creepy crawly, why not consider an expedition through the Amazon rain forests. If you have an aversion to snakes, take a tour on Brazil’s Snake Island. And if the only water-based activities you enjoy are bathing and showering, why not go scuba diving in the Seychelles or in the waters of any other popular island resort. Madness? If you’re terrified, then maybe. But if you want to overcome your worst fears, the best way to do so is to confront them head-on. Of course, I don’t want you to do yourself any harm, but so opt for guided activities to help you face your most persistent phobias!
Challenge #4: Visit somewhere new without a map or a travel app
Imagine visiting a place and not knowing where you are, or what you should do next! Scary? Quite possibly, but to challenge yourself, you might want to do just that when you’re travelling. Of course, you do need a bit of a plan. You don’t want to take on this challenge in a dangerous country that could prove hazardous to your overall wellbeing. Rather, visit those countries that are known to be safe, and then challenge yourself to turn off your phone and put away your map, and spend time exploring new paths, eating in diners that are just off the beaten track, and taking part in any fun experiences that await you around each and every corner of roads less travelled. Travelling is about pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, as I have already suggested, so taking the opportunity to explore somewhere blindly can offer up experiences that you may never have otherwise discovered.
Challenge #5: Bucket list the world’s largest whatever
World’s largest buffalo monument in North Dakota
Finally, this challenge is less of a strain on your nerves and tolerances, but rather the opportunity to give you the incentive to explore as many places as possible. You could go for touring the world’s smallest, narrowest, or most unusual things, so research ideas if those notions take your fancy. But if you do go for the world’s largest theme, you might visit any of the places on this list, with everything from palaces, statues, and hotels to gaze and gawp at. Do whatever takes your fancy, but challenge yourself to ticking off as many of a certain thing as possible when traversing the world, as you will also get to experience so many more new places as a consequence.
So, what do you think? Have I captured your interest, or is your stomach still turning over at the prospect of eating tuna eyeballs and scaling heights you never thought possible? Let me know, and if you have any other bucket list challenge ideas, pass them onto me, and dare me to try at least one of them in my lifetime…
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*Main image copyright Kate Loves Travel, all other images provided by the client.