It’s hard to narrow down the millions of places to visit in the world, but there are certain attractions that stand out and have a common theme on people’s bucket lists. Bucket list travel experiences are a fantastic travel goal to work towards. Like saving up to buy a home or getting that dream job — bucket list travel could take years or even decades to complete, but the reward is much bigger when you finally get to tick off your long-awaited travel goal.
Check out the top 10 experiences that should be on every traveler’s bucket list:
Watch the Northern Lights
The Northern Lights, otherwise known as aurora borealis, are a natural phenomenon that vividly light up the night sky with jaw-dropping colors — think of it as nature’s own laser show and light projection.
The colors are usually bright green or yellow, but on rare occasions, you might also see reds and blues. They can be found in select locations in the northern hemisphere, including the Nordic countries, Sweden, Finland, Norway, and Greenland; as well as Russia, Canada, and Alaska.
Motorbike Through Vietnam
One of the most popular ways to see Vietnam is by motorbike, which allows you to experience the vast landscapes and local life through off-the-beaten-path roads. From the mountain villages in Sapa to the white-sanded beaches in Hoi An, the empty forests, and bustling cities, you’ll be amazed at how vast this country is.
With motorbikes going for around a couple of hundred dollars, it’s a great opportunity to explore this exhilarating country on a budget.
Safari In Africa
You’ll be amazed by the diverse and contrasting landscapes of this remarkable continent, as well as animals you can’t find anywhere else (like the gorillas). From taking a traditional canoe down the Okavango Delta to spotting lions in the wild or walking barefoot on the Kalahari Desert, each bend and turn will offer something new and exhilarating to look at.
Although on the pricier side, a safari in Africa offers different comfort levels, from sleeping on top of a van in a national park to enjoying the fancy linens in a luxurious tent.
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Cruise To Antarctica
With icebergs, penguins, and white desert for miles, this continent is one of the most unusual places to visit. Tourists didn’t begin coming to Antarctica until the late 1950s, meaning this location is relatively new to this generation.
You’ll have the opportunity to hike, kayak, and explore one of the most untouched destinations in the world. Numbers are capped, and you’ll want to make sure you’re choosing a cruise ship that is conscious of the human footprint since the icy environment is very sensitive.
Scuba Dive The Great Barrier Reef
Considered one of the seven wonders of the natural world and the world’s largest coral reef, this expansive reef system off the coast of Northeast Australia stretches over 133,000 square miles. Australia is known for its crystal blue water waters, making it a perfect viewing ground for this colorful water ecosystem.
With over 600 different types of coral in all different shapes and beautiful colors, you won’t be able to keep your eyes off this underwater world, which also provides an essential habitat for diverse animals.
Walk The Great Wall of China
This other wonder of the world stretches over 5,000 miles through grasslands, deserts, and mountains, and it would take around 18 months to walk its full length. The best sections to visit the Great Wall of China would be the north or east of Beijing, with Badaling being the most popular section due to its proximity to the capital.
This wall took over 2,300 years to build over multiple dynasties, so it’s considered a masterpiece in its creation, matched with sweeping picturesque views surrounding it.
Stargaze In A Desert
There’s nothing more miraculous than watching thousands of freckle-like stars light up the sky and make you wonder what is beyond earth. Deserts offer the perfect location for stargazing because they’re often remote, have very few clouds in the sky, and have zero light pollution.
In an urban area, you’re lucky if you can see one hundred stars, but in remote locations such as the deserts of the United Arab Emirates or the oldest desert in the world, Namib Desert, there are thousands (and great chances for seeing the Milky Way).
Hike to Machu Picchu
For those feeling adventurous, one of the best ways to get to these ancient ruins nestled in the Andes Mountains is to take the classic Inca Trail route, which is believed to have been used as a pilgrimage route by the Incas in the 15th century. The route is 26 miles long and, on average, takes 4 days to get there.
The walk can be challenging for some, especially due to the high altitude, but the breathtaking terrain and 500-year-old archeological treasures should keep you distracted along the route. When you finally make it to Machu Picchu, you’ll be rewarded with draw-dropping views.
**At the time of this writing, Machu Picchu is closed indefinitely due to civil unrest**
See The Animals Of The Galapagos Islands
The Galapagos Islands are a group of volcanic islands located on both sides of the equator in the Pacific Ocean and historically have never been attached to a mainland.
These islands are considered incredibly unique for a factor of reasons, from crystal-clear turquoise water made from three ocean currents colliding to its unique animals that have evolved differently over time compared to the same species nearby. A trip to the Galapagos Islands will be a travel experience of a lifetime that you won’t be able to repeat anywhere else.
Surf In Bali
If you’ve always wanted to understand the feeling of bargaining with mother nature and flying down a wave, Bali is one of the best spots in the world to surf. Considered the Disneyland for surfing, Bali is a year-round surf destination, meaning you don’t need to choose certain times, and you’ll find some balmy sea temperatures that make you feel like you’re floating in bath water. With plenty of beach breaks to explore, you’ll find stunning locations suited to your level.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com