Here at Go Ahead, we believe that everyone is an explorer at heart, and the new year is the perfect time for you to embrace your daring side. The year ahead is full of opportunities to challenge yourself, discover new experiences and tap into your brave, adventurous spirit. Here are five ways to step outside your comfort zone and create unforgettable memories during your best travel year yet.
Go snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef
One of the best ways to see the Great Barrier Reef’s stunning coral and varied sea life is by setting out on a boat from Cairns Marina, putting on a snorkel and diving into the Coral Sea. A snorkeling experience allows you to truly immerse yourself in the beauty of this UNESCO-recognized site, and it’s a sure way to make lasting memories on tour in Australia. If you’re hesitant to get in the water, don’t fret—you’ll be provided with noodles and life preservers if you want them, and guides will be out with you to demonstrate breathing techniques and educate you on the reef and surrounding animal life.
Take a cable car to the top of Mount Pilatus
Central Switzerland is home to one of Alpine Europe‘s most scenic mountains: Mount Pilatus. The breathtaking pinnacle rises almost 7,000 feet and looms over the Swiss capital of Lucerne, and a trip to the top is an ideal opportunity to take in awe-inspiring views. It can be reached by the Pilatus railway, which is distinguished as the steepest cogwheel railway in the world. The trip down via cable car and gondola is just as exhilarating. Even if you’re not a fan of heights, the experience is most certainly worth it. From the top of the mountain you can marvel at views of distant, snow-capped peaks, enjoy the sight of bright Alpine flowers blooming on dramatic slopes and take in bird’s-eye views of Lake Lucerne. On a clear day, you can see almost 200 miles of awe-inspiring scenery.
Ride a hot air balloon over Cappadocia
The intrigue of Cappadocia lies in the region’s vast subterranean city, which is carved into a high plateau of volcanic rock in Turkey’s Anatolian plains. While living quarters, chapels and stables from the Bronze Age can be found underground, one of the best ways to marvel at this ancient site’s topography is from the sky. A hot air balloon ride over the region allows you to truly appreciate Cappadocia’s surreal beauty and pocked, lunar landscape, which is dotted with soaring rock formations known as “fairy chimneys.”
Trek along the Great Wall of China
Although miles apart, eastern and western China are linked by one of Asia‘s most impressive feats of engineering: the Great Wall, which has origins dating back to the fifth century BC. This UNESCO-listed structure is more than 5,000 miles long and was originally built as a defense against Manchurian and Mongolian raiders. It’s considered one of the world’s largest architectural undertakings, and is one of the country’s most notable draws. A walk on this ancient structure allows you to step back in time, reflect on the unnamed laborers who built the wall and marvel at views of China’s rolling hills and vast countryside.
Head out on an African safari
From spotting impressive wildlife as you cruise along the savannah to meeting local tribes such as the Kikuyu and Masai, an African safari is a life-changing experience. And, while it’s fun to keep an eye out for the “Big Five“—the lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and African buffalo—it’s also amazing to immerse yourself in a totally different way of life. The Masai warriors still practice traditional dance and women adorn themselves in tribal clothing and hand-made jewelry. See it all as you zip along the sweeping plains of the Masai Mara and marvel at the Serengeti in Tanzania.
Ready to find your next adventure? Tell us where you’re headed in 2016 and beyond!