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Top Ten Journeys of a Lifetime


Life-Changing Travel Adventures Everyone Should Take

If you’re here, you probably already believe that the gifts of Travel are endless: traveling gives you relaxation, an escape, an opportunity to reset yourself and refill your own well; traveling offers a way to connect with others, whether it’s more deeply as a family, or new connections with new friends; traveling shows you the grand landscapes and tiny corners of the world that put breathtaking beauty right before your eyes; traveling keeps your mind and heart open, so you can appreciate differences in culture and also find the common threads that weave people together; and traveling always has the unique possibility to be truly life-changing, in a way nothing else can. 

Rocket Garden at Kennedy Space Center

Those life-changing travel moments can happen anywhere you go, from your baby taking her first steps down Main Street U.S.A. in Disney, to your space-obsessed son seeing a rocket launch in real life at the Kennedy Space Center, to feeling your legs tingle as you stand near the edge of the Grand Canyon, to walking through the doorway to the house your great-great grandfather built on the other side of the world.

And while anything can happen at any time, on any trip, if you are really looking for those “Journeys of a Lifetime,” those adventures that everyone should have at least once, and that have the greatest chance of leaving a significant impact on your life, you’re in the right place. Check out our Top Ten Journeys of a Lifetime: 

Greek Temple

1. An Ancient Exploration

Imagine walking across a building that was constructed over three thousand years ago, like the Parthenon in Greece, or running your hands along the marble columns which stood around philosophers and scientists that we still quote today, as you enter the Pantheon in Rome, or staring into the carved and painted faces of gods and goddesses who were revered by the artists who made them, and the people of the time, at temples, churches and castles that have stood seemingly forever. 

Egypt Pyramids

Even when you just think about ancient structures, such as the Pyramids in Egypt, or Petra, “The Ancient City of Rock,” in Jordan, it’s incredible to imagine what it took to create such marvels without the technology we have today, so actually being in these places, walking in the footsteps of some of the most famous figures of all time, is beyond breathtaking. Seeing Ancient Wonders, and ancient structures of all kinds, in person makes you feel like, not just a witness to history, but actually a part of it, too! It is something everyone should experience in their lifetime. 

Alaska with Eagle

2. A Wildlife Adventure

An African Safari is one of those dream trips on many of our “Reach” Travel Bucket Lists, and for good reason; feeling like you’re on the inside of one of your favorite nature documentaries would be unbelievable. Did you know that there’s even a hotel where you can have breakfast with giraffes? It’s true, Ellen Degeneres went there once (so maybe very “Reach” for many of us, but we can dream, right?). 

Or maybe the lions and tigers are a little too “Oh My!” for you, and you’d rather opt for the bears. An adventure through Yellowstone National Park is the perfect opportunity to safely see and observe bears in their natural habitat, while also getting to spot a variety of other wildlife, too, including moose, bison, bald eagles, wolves and so many more. 

Canadian Inside Passage Whale

One of the most common Wildlife Adventures is an Alaskan Cruise, where you might see whales popping up from the water to say hello, bald eagles circling overhead narrowing in on their prey, and bears and moose casually hanging out along the coastline. And the best part? You can see all these animals from the comfort (and safety) of your stateroom balcony. 

Cabo Dolphin Swim

And don’t forget about a Marine Life Adventure! Scuba Diving to Coral Reefs? Snorkeling with brilliant colored fish? Swimming with dolphins? There’s nothing more up close and personal than having fish brush your leg or being nose to nose with a Dolphin. Whatever type of Wildlife interests you most, and wherever you have to go to find it, a Wildlife Adventure will stay with you forever. 

Grenada Resort Room

3. A High-End Luxury Experience

Picture this: you have the absolute BEST view offered, whether it’s an unobstructed ocean vista of blue on blue, or the Eiffel Tower twinkling right outside your window, or the iconic white and blue rooftops of Santorini, or rows upon rows of vineyard vines on rolling hills. 

Eiffel Tower View

You have the most spacious and luxurious accommodation available, maybe with your own private infinity pool, or a penthouse suite with a rooftop balcony, or a duplex suite on a cruise ship, or a coveted overwater bungalow. Your space has everything you could want, from room to stretch and spread out, to the highest quality mattress and sheets, to fully stocked snack and drink options, to a spa-like powder room. 

Disney Suite

On top of all that, you are treated to white-glove service from the moment you arrive, with everything you could ever want just an ask away. You have private attendants who bring you whatever you need, including reserving your lounge chairs on the beach or by the pool, private guides who provide the most personalized experience possible, and 24/7 room service. 

Bora Bora

These are all the kinds of experiences you can expect on a High-End Luxury Vacation, whether you have a concierge level room in a resort or on a cruise, or if you stay at a super elite hotel, or go on an exclusive and personalized private tour. While many of us may not be able to have this kind of experience on every vacation, a High-End Luxury Vacation is definitely the kind of trip that should be on your “Journeys of a Lifetime” list!

College Fjord Alaska

4. An Arctic Adventure

Have you ever dreamed of sleeping under the stars in a glass igloo? Or how about spending the night in a hotel made of ice? Maybe your greatest dream is seeing the Northern Lights in all their electrifying, technicolor glory, or maybe it’s taking a once-in-a-lifetime expedition to Antarctica.

Northern Lights

What do you think it would be like to visit a place that gets 24 hours of sunlight, or conversely, 24 hours of darkness? Or how about seeing penguins waddle around in their natural habitat, or going for a ride on an authentic dog sled, or even helping to feed some magical reindeer on a snowy day in December? Surely, these moments would be like nothing you’ve ever experienced before. 

Lapland North Pole

Plus, your definition of “Arctic” doesn’t have to be based on official markers; instead, your “Arctic” Adventure could just be to a place that is colder than where you live, or much farther North, or much, much farther South. You don’t have to go all the way to Antarctica, but Alaska could be your Arctic Adventure, or the Fjords of Norway, or the volcanic landscape of Iceland. Wherever you choose for your Arctic Adventure, the cold temperatures will be worth it for all the warm memories you’ll have thereafter. 

Jamie and Fam at Colosseum

5. An Educational Immersion

Travel is always an educational experience, whether that’s the goal of your trip or not; learning new things is what naturally happens when you visit different places. At the same time, building a trip around a workshop or retreat centered around a topic of interest to you provides a level of educational depth that few other educational experiences can. While most people think of college and “studying abroad” in relation to educational travel, there are a myriad of options for workshops, retreats and other Educational Immersions that are available for anyone to attend. 

Bora Bora Overwater Bungalow

Would you consider a yoga retreat in Bali, or a wellness workshop in the desert? What about a photography class in Norway, or a cooking class in a small Tuscan village with a little Italian grandma? How about studying Shakespeare at The Globe Theatre? Whatever your interests are, there is sure to be a class or workshop somewhere in the world to deepen your knowledge of it. Because there’s a huge difference between reading Romeo & Juliet in some classroom with no windows, and bringing it to life yourself in the same theatre where it was played over 400 years ago. And because sometimes, it really is the place, and where you are, that makes all the difference in how much and how deeply you can learn. 

Camper on winding road

6. An Epic Road Trip

There’s just something about an open road, am I right? The spark of adventure, the endless possibilities, the inherent belief that it’s about the journey as much as the destination. Plus, of course, the inevitable connections and revelations that occur between the people traveling together. An Epic Road Trip almost feels like a rite of passage no matter when you take one, because it doesn’t have to be a rite of passage into something like adulthood, but instead it’s a rite of passage into a new version of yourself. 

Family Road Trip

One of the best parts about a road trip is that the open road in front of you can lead you anywhere, up or down a Coastline, from one Coast to another, and anything in between. Cross-country Road Trips are a great way to see parts of the country that you may have otherwise just flown over without stopping, such as where that famous groundhog, Punxatawny Phill, lives, or the world’s largest ball of…paint (it exists, in Alexandria, Indiana). Of course, a Road Trip along the famous Route 66 is a classic option, and a “Must-Do” for fans of the Cars movies! Personally, I’m partial to a Road Trip along the Coast, whether it’s the East Coast, the West Coast, or a Coast in another country, nothing beats a scenic ocean drive!

River Cruise Boat with Castle

7. A River Cruise

While Ocean Cruises are certainly amazing, there is definitely something special about being able to cruise through a country (or countries) along a grand and winding river. River Cruises take you right into the heart of a country and city. Life and civilization grew around rivers because of the need for water, and also for trade access, so the ports that River Cruises can access often offer incredibly immersive experiences that give you a true picture of life in each destination.

River Cruise Deck

In addition, River Cruises offer the unique experience of going through locks. Not sure what I’m talking about? Locks are systems used to raise and lower boats and ships between stretches of water on different levels of river and canal waterways. Since not all water along an entire river will sit at exactly the same level, locks were designed to allow boats and ships to pass through differing water levels safely. Although most River Cruises pass through locks at night, there are some evening or morning opportunities to catch the process, which is absolutely fascinating. 

Christmas Market Germany

Furthermore, while many “All-Inclusive” experiences tend to be at one resort, and usually somewhere tropical, River Cruises actually offer an “All-Inclusive” experience that is completely culturally immersive, as well, giving you the best of both worlds when it comes to everything being included in the up-front price, and also, just how much you get to see and do throughout your cruise. 

Monument Valley

8. A National Park Expedition

The National Park Service is one of the most incredible treasures of this country. Although it was created by President Wilson, most people will agree that it was President Theodore Roosevelt who had the greatest impact on the National Parks throughout the country, and what they have become today. In addition, it was the National Park Service of the United States that inspired many other countries throughout the world to adopt similar services and create National Parks of their own, which is definitely something Americans can be proud of. It would be such a shame to live your life in the United States, and never take advantage of the incredible amount of protected and preserved land we have.  

Wrangell Alaska

Of course, some of the most popular National Parks to visit are Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, and Yosemite, and for good reason, with their incredible landscapes and wildlife. However, there are literally hundreds more (424 National Park Sites, to be exact, with 63 sites that have “National Park” in their official title) that offer landscapes just as beautiful and wildlife just as fascinating, such as Zion, Arches, Glacier, Joshua Tree, and Shenandoah, just to name a few. There are even a number of days each year that the National Parks Service offers FREE admission! These are perfect days to check out some of the lesser known Parks, such as Voyageurs, Wrangell-St. Elias, Cuyahoga Valley, and Congaree, again, just to name a few. 

National Park

With so many National Parks throughout the United States, everyone should plan to visit at least one in their lifetime, though hopefully many more; some people even make it a life goal to visit all 63 (or for the really ambitions, all 424) National Parks! Talk about a Journey of a Lifetime!

Cinque Terre

9. A Heritage Exploration

While ancestry is sometimes a casual subject at dinner parties, with questions like, “Oh, you made the sauce yourself, are you Italian?” or, “Your freckles and red hair are a gift of the Irish, right?” or, “Was it your great-grandmother from the Philippines who taught you how to make this?”…often, heritage is a great source of pride and identity. Genealogy and tracing back our roots has become increasingly popular over the years, with many people curious about who they came from, and also where they came from, as well. 

Mexico paper colors

It’s one thing to see a name on a chart a few generations back, and it’s something else entirely to walk the same cobblestone streets that your great-great-great grandparents walked every day, or to walk through the doorway of the house your great-grandfather built by hand, or to run your hands over the glass countertops of the village grocery store your family owned almost a century ago. No matter how strong your sense of self may already be, if you walk in the footsteps of your ancestors, and see with your own eyes where you came from, your cultural identity is sure to deepen as you feel the roots of where you came from deep in your bones. Trust me, I’ve walked through the doorway my own great-grandfather built, and it sent shivers down my spine. 

Tahitian Beach Hammock

10. A Solo Adventure

Traveling alone can be one of the most freeing and exhilarating experiences of your life. While it’s true that there are some places you shouldn’t go alone, and there are definitely some extra precautions to be taken, depending on where you go, if you plan knowledgeably (with the help of your favorite Love of the Magic Travel Advisor, of course), you will undoubtedly have a life changing experience. 

Exumas water view

A Solo Adventure can seem daunting to some, but as they say, sometimes you have to leap and find your wings on the way down. And, traveling alone doesn’t mean everything about your trip has to push you out of your comfort zone; you can travel to a place you’ve been a dozen times, and it will be a completely different experience if you are alone instead of with family, children, or friends. In fact, Solo Travel often leads to great friendships from people you meet along the way. Solo Adventures not only boost your self-confidence, but they remind you who you are, while revealing new layers of yourself at the same time. 

Neuschwanstein Castle Germany


Each of these “Journeys of a Lifetime” is unique and life-changing in its own way, and it would be incredible to be able to dedicate a full vacation to each one of them throughout your life! However, as I’m sure you noticed while reading about each Journey, one of the great things about this list is that you can combine some of these Journeys if you don’t think you’ll realistically be able to get through all of them! 

Machu Picchu Peru

An Arctic Adventure can totally also be a National Park Expedition, especially if you choose somewhere like Alaska! And a River Cruise can certainly be a High-End Luxury Experience, depending on the Cruise Line and destination you choose! And that Educational Immersion you’ve always wanted to do might be even better as a Solo Adventure.

Disney Castle at night

And, as a Super Bonus, if you are a Disney Enthusiast, as so many of us here are, there are even ways to incorporate some Disney Magic into these Journeys, too! Your Solo Adventure could be to experience the Disney Parks on your own (totally worth it, especially during the Food and Wine Festival), your Arctic Adventure could be on Disney Cruise Line to Alaska, you can absolutely plan in a Disney stop on your Epic Road Trip, and of course, you can choose Concierge Level Accommodations with VIP tours to make Disney your High End Experience. 

As always, your favorite Love of the Magic Vacations Travel Advisor will be able to help you pick and choose the best Journey of a Lifetime for YOU. 

Halsatt, Austria

Ready to Plan?

Now that you’ve gotten a taste of what these ten “Journeys of a Lifetime” can offer, are you ready to start planning? Whatever Journey you’d like to take, I would love to help you choose and plan the perfect Journey of a Lifetime! Email me today at to get started planning, or click here for a free quote from me or your favorite Love of the Magic Vacations Travel Advisor!

Top Ten Journeys of a Lifetime




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