There are some destinations and experiences in life that are etched into your memory and looking back at the photographs tends to rekindle the wanderlust that’s burning in your soul!  It may have been the exotic aromas wafting through the air, the peaceful and serene feelings evoked, the indescribable beauty of the landscape, or the delightful people; most likely a fusion of these will forever blaze in your heart and soul.  Here are 15 of my extraordinary travel experiences to add to your bucket list:

Bucket List 1Okavango Delta, Botswana, Africa

Ears tuned to the varied wildlife within the Okavango Delta, leaning against a pillow in a traditional dugout mokoro canoe, transported through the shallow waters with the lulling sound of poles dipping in and out of the water, I was living in the moment.

Bucket List 2Petra, Jordan

Emerging from the mile long narrow “Siq” trail with rocks towering over 250 feet on each side, the stunning “Treasury”, carved into the sandstone cliff face dating back to the 5th century, leaves you breathless!

Bucket List 3Sossusvlei Dunes, Namibia, Africa

Ready for adventure?  Try walking the spine of Dune 45 in the Namid Desert at sunrise.  It’s only 557 feet tall and you’ll be tromping through sand that is 5 million years old.  The views are otherworldly!

P1013514Deadvlei Salt Pan, Namibia, Africa

Believed to be about 900 years old, the dead skeleton trees are set off by the contrasting colors of burnt orange sand, biscuit cracked earth, and cobalt blue sky!

DSC_9914Gudvangen Fjord, Norway

Quaint fishing villages nestled within pristine valleys along the Norwegian fjords are some of the incredible scenery of this marvelous area.

Bucket List 6Lake Malawi, Malawi, Africa

Captivated by the brilliant sunrise at Lake Malawi, I noticed a man and his boat, enveloped by the sparkling water.

Bucket List 7Olympic National Park, Washington

On a glorious day in August of 2011, my husband and I took a short hike on the Hurricane Hill trail in Olympic National Park.  The fragrant scent of wildflowers and the view of frosted snow-capped mountains in the distance were intoxicating!

Bucket List 8Pyramids, Egypt

Most everyone has seen images of the Pyramids in Egypt, but until you’ve visited, you have no idea how massive they really are.  Located only 11 miles from Cairo, they’re also quite accessible.

Bucket List 9Machu Picchu, Peru

After 3 ½ days of hiking the 50+ miles along the undulating Inca Trail, with altitudes ranging from 9,000 to almost 14,000 ft. and differing habitats including a cloud forest and a lush jungle like region, to reach the iconic Machu Picchu, I felt a sense of accomplishment and reverence for the Incan culture.  If you’d prefer to take a short-cut, a 3 ½ train ride regularly departs from the charming cobblestoned town of Cusco.

Bucket List 10Halong Bay, Vietnam

Sipping a glass of wine from the top deck of the boat I’d be spending the night on, gazing at the blue green waters of Halong Bay and surrounded by hundreds of islets (small islands); What can I say…it doesn’t get much better than this!

Bucket List 11Wat Rong Khun (aka White Temple), Chiang Rai, Thailand

During my 18-day tour of Southeast Asia, visiting the White Temple, a contemporary Buddhist temple, proved to be a spectacular stop.

Bucket List 12Lake Crescent, Olympic National Park, Washington

With a depth of 600 to 1000 feet, Lake Crescent’s brilliant blue color is caused by a lack of nitrogen in the water, and was formed by glaciers during the last ice age.  You’ll find a number of hiking trails in the area and a lodge for accommodations.

P1013841Etosha National Park, Namibia, Africa

Peering through the window of the Overland truck that carried me through six African countries in 35 days on safari, my fellow adventurers and I would periodically shout “Zebra to the left”, or “Giraffe to the right”, and everyone would dart to the appropriate side.  It was exhilarating!

Bucket List 14Uros Floating Islands, Lake Titicaca, Peru

In the mood for a magical experience?  Stepping onto one of the forty-two man-made islands that the Uros (pre-Incan) people sustain and live on, your feet sink a couple of inches into the reeds that form the floating islands.  They’re about six feet deep and the residents place new reeds on top as the bottoms rot.  Even their boats are made from reeds!

DSC_0971 2Red Rock Amphitheater, Denver, Colorado

The premier place to listen to live bands is Red Rock Amphitheater.  My friend and I saw Local Natives and The Nationals on a lovely starlit night in September of 2013.  Located 16 miles from Denver, once the sun sets and the music begins, you’ll realize what you’ve been missing out on!  The people next to you may even share their homemade cheese and bread with you, like ours did.

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This guest post was written by Sherry Hopkins.  Sherry Hopkins has moved over 40 times in her life, perhaps that’s why traveling is her greatest passion.  Having slaved always for 30 years in the corporate world, she changed directions and chose to make a living doing the things she loves: travel, photography, and writing.  Purchasing her first DSLR camera in 2013 and taking some classes enabled her to become a freelance event photographer for Cincinnati Refined, a local news channel’s online magazine, and has written numerous travel articles for them. Her photography business, “Sherry Lachelle Photography” focuses on senior portraits, family, and real estate.  She also leads people on trips around the world through her online site,” Travel Spirit Meetup”.  With 42 countries under her belt (not that she’s counting), her next two adventures to Europe and Central America will bring the count up to 48.  Stretching her travel dollar by utilizing Airbnb and Couchsurfing, she’s comfortable spending 35 days on an overland truck bumping through six African countries while camping, or being pampered at a Spa Resort.  You can visit her blog at Fabulous 50’s.