The best thing about traveling is that you can enrich your life by discovering new ways to live. Whether you are visiting a beach paradise or the coldest, most northerly reaches of the planet, what you see and what you learn will have a lasting impact on the way that you perceive the world and your place within it.
Of course, for most people, traveling is almost always within the confines of a holiday. While you might dream of traveling as a lifestyle choice, the reality is that, unless you are willing to work as you go, you will inevitably have to make do with snatches of travel. And, it has to be said that if you are planning a holiday, you are much more likely to want to relax in Libjo than go somewhere freezing!
But before you close your mind to alternative options, think about what you want from a holiday. To relax is definitely one of the reasons we go on holiday but we tend to travel because we want to be diverted by the new. So, instead of lying on a beach for 2 weeks, reading trashy novels and occasionally looking up at the view, here are a few more active holidays you might like to try in between.
Image Credit: Pixabay
Enter the Ice Caves
Iceland is a fascinating country, cold and ice-covered throughout much of the year and yet the active volcanoes that form the island provide hot springs just perfect for bathing and swimming. Weirdly, this geothermal activity means that the people of Iceland don’t need to heat their water for use at home, they actually need to let it cool. As geology goes, this is the kind of island you can definitely get on board with!
The landscape of Iceland is incredible. Not only are the glaciers simply stunning but the ice caves are certainly worth exploring. Taking a day to take a tour with Katlatrack is a really good way to see some of the more exciting areas as well as get to know other tourists if you are traveling alone.
The ice caves are, as you would expect, made with ice but what you might not realize is just how unbelievable they are inside. As the ice shifts and changes, the light alters too bringing a kind of ethereal energy to the caves. Of course, the ice is melting and reforming all the time so while you are perfectly safe to enter with a guide, you will never see the same cave twice.
Every day is a new experience here.
Image Credit: Pxhere
Walk the PCT
The Pacific Crest Trail has gained a lot of popularity as Wild, a memoir written by Cheryl Strayed, opened up the idea of walking as a means to heal oneself. Her idea was that if she walked the trail alone, she would have the time to come to terms with herself and her life as well as learn what it really means to be independent.
Though you probably aren’t looking for answers to such fundamental questions, the trail is still an extraordinary opportunity to get into the wilderness. Reaching all the way from California to the Canadian border, the PCT offers everything from icy mountains to dry desert. While you may not be up for spending months walking the whole distance, there are plenty of day trip options and equestrian routes that may appeal.
Taking some time away from society and entering the wild doesn’t appeal to everyone but if you are willing to rough it, you will be rewarded. Here on the trail, the stars are clear and beautiful and, without the constant noise of roads, you will hear so much more of nature. This can be quite an addictive space so do give yourself time to enjoy a new perspective. And if you do want to go for a longer period, do read up on a few tips before you get started.
Image Credit: flickr
Dive the Red Sea
SCUBA diving is probably the only way to truly explore a world that would otherwise remain completely hidden from view. The ocean is full of life that can astonish us and fill you with a sense of wonder from the fish that swim around the reef to the bioluminescent plankton that look like fireworks when you wave your hands.
There are a few locations you really should visit if you are a competent diver interested in the Red Sea. To get to some these locations you will need some experience and a few qualifications but this is well worth the extra effort. While there is plenty to see in the first few meters of water, if you want to see a wreck like the Thistlegorm or dive the Blue Hole, you will need to go deeper.
The Thistlegorm is a shipwreck from the second world war. The ship went down almost vertically with its anchor leaving a wreck that has remained almost intact. What is amazing about this particular site is the insight it provides to that particular time. The ship contained tanks, motorcycles and even rubber boots intended for the troops on land. Seeing all the materials of war on the sea bed where there is such peace is a strange contradiction – as are the moray eels and octopi hiding in the wreckage!
Another must-see site is the Blue Hole near Dahab. This collapsed sea cave is incredible and, descending down El Bells and gradually swimming up next to the reef wall is an unbelievable experience. Larger fish sometimes come to play with divers from the open ocean to one side but do keep an eye on the wall for brightly colored nudibranchs.
Wherever you go, you must allow yourself the opportunity to see and do something that will change your perspective. Whether you intend to find peace or be amazed by something, any of these places should be on your bucket list. Actually, scratch that – put all 3 on your bucket list. Now you just have to decide which one you are going to do first!