#Yolo - you only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough. The wildly popular phrase making it's way around the interwebs has struck a special cord with adventure and travel enthusiasts anxiously waiting to conquer the next unforgettable experience on their seemingly endless bucket list. Take it from us though, every time you cross something off, 10 more things seem to appear. So whether your list ever gets shorter, here are some absolute must-do experiences to say you've lived life to the fullest. How many have you completed?
Skydive or Bungee Jump
There’s no greater rush than feeling the earth crashing below you during those 60 seconds of free fall. Hit epic speeds up to 120 MPH and then enjoy the 5-7 minutes breezily floating to the ground while enjoying a view fit for a king. Looking for an especially memorable landscape to make the jump? Some of the most popular places in the world to skydive include rugged Australia and New Zealand, the Swiss Alps or even off a volcano in Russia.
Forget high end hotels, bypass the luxury resorts and focus on the bare necessities as you trek across Europe. Go in open minded with an incomplete plan, flexible itinerary and just enjoy the ride. You’ll make new friends, see places you never expected and strike a balance between city and country, mountain and water.
Unlock a Wonder of the World
Watch history come to life as you unfold legends of civilizations past. While the Great Pyramid of Giza is the only true Wonder of the World still standing according to the ancient Greeks, there are many other marvels of architecture and natural beauty that are more than deserving of a visit. Unearth amazing feats of culture from the Acropolis to Angkor Wat, the Moai to Timbuktu.
Do a Major Hike
Macchu Pichu, Kilamanjaro, and Everest are all epic summits waiting to be conquered and a major milestone you can say you accomplished. Do your homework though; each mountain has its own set of weight limits, varying temperatures and trail options. Be sure to take enough time to prepare as it's a serious undertaking- start getting used to altitude, walk on the treadmill at the gym and break in those hiking shoes- it’s a great excuse to get in the best shape of your life.
Go on a Safari
The animal kingdom is calling. Hit up Africa in a big way in search of the “Big 5,” the five most allusive animals to hunt on foot (the lion, African elephant, Cape buffalo, leopard, and rhinoceros). There’s nothing more rugged and freeing than being one with nature during migration, breeding periods or just hanging out around watering hole. Sleep at one of the camps so you get to experience the nocturnal life too because it’s a whole different world when the lights go out.
Discover your Roots
Whether it be exploring the city you grow up in or tracing back the origins of your family, a journey of birthright gives you sense of who you are. Everyone should learn about their heritage to be proud of where you came from. A trip to the homeland may just be the sentimental bond you need to mend any family conflicts.
Anyone can sit on a beach, but true beauty is found in the undisrupted regions of the world like Alaska, Antarctica, Iceland and Greenland to name a few. Test your extremes glacier climbing, ice fishing or merely enjoying the wildlife of some of the most remote places of the world. There are unique treasures like the Aurora Borealis, hot springs and geysers that can only be experienced in these unique ecosystems. Just make sure to pack a parka.
Go to a Major Festival
Whether it's partying at Mardi Gras, toasting at Oktoberfest or shaking your moneymaker at Carnivale, experiencing the madness of a global phenomenon will be a once in a lifetime memory. It’s a rarity when citizens from around the world gather for no reason at all other than to celebrate life and really makes you see that we’re not that different after all.
From private islands to the stereotypical honeymoon spots, it’s hard not to let your mind escape to wild romance when among white sand beaches, flowy palm trees and the rush of the ocean. Go remote, find an undiscovered alcove, hidden retreat or secret hideaway that only you and your significant other can call your own to forever share a special moment.
When it's all said and done, we're all trying to be good people. Wherever you are, consider doing a service project or volunteer. It will mean quite a bit more to leave your mark on a community instead of sipping Mai Tais by the pool. Teach English to underprivileged children, help care for native animals, or try gardening to improve the ecostystem and undo the damage tourism has done on some of the world’s most sacred places.