Whether you’re tracking polar bears across the tundra or the Big Five on safari, a unique journey alters your perspective of the world and your place in it.
I love lists related to travel… It’s so much fun to see what other people would consider to be their “Trip of a Lifetime” or a “Place to See Before You Die”. Everyone’s travel dreams are different, but those are the lists that can really tell you a lot about a person.
We really aim to plan the perfect bucket list experiences with our fabulous local partners, insider connections, expert knowledge, and personal insights – some of which aren’t even on the Internet…even if you knew exactly where to look! Shocking to think that, in this Information Age (which at times is really the Too-Much-Information Age) there might still be secrets in the world, but it’s refreshing to know that there are.
Here are some of the top more unusual places on our own bucket lists which sometimes surprise people. These are some of the places that not everyone thinks about…at least, not in the way we plan them. And they don’t know what they’re missing!
Let us know when you’re ready to start thinking about tackling another one on yours!
- Go on Safari…in the Arctic
When to go: Oct-Nov; Ideal trip length: 7-10 days; Avg. price: $6-10K per person (double occupancy)
This is one that a few of us on the team have actually had the opportunity to do and if you like wildlife, there is NOTHING like getting up close and personal with one of the most amazing creatures on the planet – the polar bear. The idea of an “arctic safari” may sound a little strange since the word “safari” tends to carry African connotations, but the definition of the word is more broad than that. Oxford defines it as, “An expedition to observe or hunt animals in their natural habitat.” Naturally a polar bear safari isn’t about hunting, but observing and there is just something really special about these animals and their home.
- See the Original Land of Fire & Ice
When to go: Jun-Sep (summer) or Jan-Mar (winter); Ideal trip length: 10-14 days; Avg. price: $10-15K per person (double occupancy)
Whenever anyone asks me what my favorite travel destination has been so far, I answer without hesitation. Iceland. For an outdoor lover like me who is also a sucker for beautiful scenery, diverse landscapes, and dramatic mountains-meet-ocean vistas, Iceland holds beauty that few other places do. Alaska is a close second, but there’s something about an island treasure like Iceland with its culture, people, and miles and miles of nothing but stunning gorgeousness that sort of takes you by surprise and won a piece of my heart without even trying. In the summer or the winter, this is an amazing destination and we love planning active adventures here. The best are if you connect with a small group and get to experience the country by bike, car, and foot. In the winter, it’s colder for sure, but the Northern Lights make it worth it! Definitely a must-do.
- Take Part in an Expedition to Greenland
When to go: Jul-Sep; Ideal trip length: 10-14 days; Jul-Sep; Avg price: $12-15K per person (double occupancy)
Definitely not a spot that hits most people’s lists, but if you’re yearning to really get away from the tourist crowds and see and experience things you didn’t even know you could in a land that is a paradox of itself – inviting and yet inhospitable – Greenland is it. Some see it from the ocean where they cruise from a safe distance and maybe get off the ship here or there, but if you want to really get down and dirty with the land, we can make that happen. Greenland will leave you speechless, astounded, in awe, and undoubtably you’ll be able to outdo just about anyone’s “what I did over the summer” essays.
- See the Amazing Amazon from the River Itself
When to go: Year-Round; Ideal Length: 9-12 days; Avg. price: $7-10K per person (double occupancy)
While I’ve experienced the Amazon and even been on the Amazon River, there is an expedition experience I really want to go back and do… Imagine a luxury riverboat on the Amazon where you can be immersed in your surroundings while still having all the creature comforts that you could need. Intimate accommodations, guided expeditions off the boat without leaving a trace, trekking through the jungle, and supporting the local culture through it all. Yes, please!
- Get Intimate with Alaska
When to go: Jun-Sep (summer) or Jan-Mar (winter); Ideal trip length: 10-15 days; Avg. price: $6-10K per person (double occupancy)
Once my home, no list would be complete without mentioning this massive gem of North America. Alaskans like to joke that you could cut Alaska in half and make Texas the third largest state. It’s big, for sure, and also offers so much that you’d need about a month of travel time to really fit it all in. That said, there are some highlights for sure! In the winter, Chena Hot Springs not far from Fairbanks is one of the best spots for an aurora borealis getaway along with a quintessential natural hot springs experience. In the summer, most everyone jumps on board the giant cruise ships and makes their way through the Inside Passage. Not a bad plan by any means, but as a former Alaskan, let me tell you that there are better, more intimate ways of taking in this beautiful part of the country where you can get personal with the wildlife (yes, even the Grizzly Bears!) and truly feel like you’re in The Last Frontier.
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