I recently celebrated my 27th birthday and because I was feeling old I decided to make a list of the 27 most amazing adventures that I had before turning 27. The list was meant to remind me that I have been living my life to the fullest. And it sure did! It also reminded me that 27 is still young and that I have plenty of time to keep the adventures going.
1. New York City (My first adventure)
When I was 19 years old I headed to NYC on my first ever solo plane ride to meet my best friend from college. This was my first taste of travel as an (semi) adult. During the trip we visited Times Square, Rockefeller Center, saw Wicked on Broadway and ate real NY bagels.
2. Ocean Kayaking & Snorkeling in Hawaii
This one is huge for me. My love of the ocean started on this trip where I set out to meet total strangers who became my friends. As a kid I had swam and snorkeled in the ocean a few times, but I was always pretty scared. After this trip to Hawaii, I became much more comfortable in the ocean.
3. Studying Abroad
Many of the adventures on this list came during the time that I studied abroad in Guam and South Africa my junior year of college. Living away from home and experiencing totally different cultures was a huge step outside my comfort zone.
4. Sea Plane Ride in Canada
I’m terrified of flying. So getting on a little tiny sea plane that lands on the water was very unnerving. But I would 100% do it again!
5. Scuba Certification
While living on Guam I became scuba certified! I was freaking out at first, but diving is now one of my favorite activities. I have gone diving in four countries!
6. Cliff Diving
It was fun at the time, but is not something that I am interested in doing nowadays. I’ve done waay too many belly flops.
7. Diving in a Kelp Forest with Cow Sharks
This was my first cold water dive and my first up close encounter with multiple sharks! It was fascinating, eerie and terrifying. The sharks were everywhere; definitely in touching range.
8. Hiking Table Mountain in South Africa
This short hike is world famous and for good reason! The views are stunning thus I made the trek several times during my months in Cape Town.
AfrikaBurn is an event modeled after Burning Man which is held at the Tankwa Karoo National Park. We camped for three days in the desert where we had to be totally self sufficient. The festival was comprised of dance parties, art, the burning of sculptures, etc. Not really my scene, but I’m glad I had the experience.
10. Cage Diving with Great Whites
Cage diving in Hermanus, South Africa with great white sharks is one of the more unusual things I have done. I have always had a fascination with sharks (I have swam with 5 different kinds) so this was a very exciting day for me.
11. Bungee Jumping
At 216 meters, the Bloukrans Bungy jump is the worlds highest commercial bridge bungy. I sort of blacked out during the jump, but remember hanging upside down waiting to be pulled back up. The workers had to push me off the platform because I was too scared to jump on my own.
12. Abseiling Table Mountain
Beautiful views, but when we went it was so windy! I was holding on for dear life.
13. Safari in Kruger National Park
My friends and I did a self drive safari through Kruger National Park in South Africa. We saw four out of five of the “Big Five” including lions, elephants, buffalo, and rhinos. We also saw giraffe, zebra, hippos and countless antelope and birds. If you are interested in going on a safari check out my post How to Go on a Safari for Cheap.
14. Victoria Falls
One of the natural wonders of the world. I visited Victoria Falls from the Zimbabwe side. The view was spectacular with rainbows crossing through the falls’ mist.
15. Whitewater Rafting on the Zambezi River
They told us afterwards how many people had died….
16. Fairy Pools and Fairy Glenn, Isle of Skye
I loved these places! It really did feel like I was in a fairy tale. The water was so blue!
17. Zip Lining in Costa Rica
Over spring break of my senior year in college, my best friend and I visited Costa Rica where we went zip lining in the rain forest near Arenal Volcano. That morning I had felt really sick (and was convinced I needed to go to the hospital LOL) but once I started zip lining, it was all forgotten.
18. Helicopter Ride
For my 23rd birthday my friend bought us tickets to ride in a helicopter over the city of St. Louis, where I was attending grad school at the time.
19. The Eiffel Tower
This had been a dream of mine ever since I saw the movie Passport to Paris staring the Olsen twins. Watching the Eiffel Tower twinkle at night is something that every couple should experience together.
20. The Cliffs of Moher
I returned to my homeland! I am more than 50% Irish, so visiting Ireland was really important to me. The Cliffs of Moher were by far my favorite thing that I saw in Ireland.
21. Warner Bros. Studio Tour: The Making of Harry Potter
If you know me, then you know that I am obsessed with Harry Potter. I have read each book at least ten times. Visiting Warner Brothers Studio where the movies were filmed was a once in a lifetime experience for me. If you want to know more about the tour check out my post here.
22. Snorkeling with a Whale Shark
I was able to snorkel with a whale shark in Tofo, Mozambique. It came so close to me that the guide had to shove me out of the way so that I didn’t get hit.
23. Learning to Surf
I never thought in a million years that I would try surfing. But when you live in one of the world’s best surfing destinations (South Africa) you have to give it a try. I have now surfed in Hawaii, South Africa and Costa Rica!
24. Scuba Diving at the Great Barrier Reef
I saw a sea turtle, countless fish and a hammer head shark!!! We travelled to Australia just after a really strong cyclone so the water was a bit murky.
25. Pet Kangaroos in Australia
They were so cute! We went to Featherdale Wildlife Park outside of Sydney.
26. Show in the Sydney Opera House
Truth be told, I fell asleep during the comedy show we attended at the Opera House because I was so tired from jet lag. However, I was still really excited about the experience. I had always wanted to see the Opera House since watching Our Lips Are Sealed, again starring the Olsen twins. Who knew Mary-Kate and Ashley had such an impact on my life?? I think many other 90’s girls can relate.
27. Dive to WWII Japanese War plane
My deepest dive to date! The only “wreck” I have ever gone to while diving.
As I have gotten older, I have learned that my list of adventures will soon take a drastic turn to “marriage, children, buying a home, etc” and I have realized that I am totally okay with that. Nonetheless, I will always have an adventurous spirit and so I decided to chose three adventures (from my bucket list) to have before turning 30.
28. See Flamingos in the Wild
Flamingos are my favorite animal. I would love to see them in the wild! I have been told that they can be spotted in South America so maybe I can hit two of my bucket list items at once!?!
29. Visit Harry Potter World at Universal Studios in Florida
This one should be quite easy for me to check off of my bucket list as I live in SC. Visiting Diagon Alley at Universal Studios would be seriously awesome!!
30. Travel to South America
I have traveled to five of the seven continents and South America is the last one before Antarctica so it seems fitting that South America will be my next travel destination. The question is: Which country/countries should I visit?
What are the adventures on your bucket list? I have so many, it was hard to choose just three. I’m hoping that I will have way more than three adventures in the next three years, but I wanted to set myself up to be successful (its a social worker thing).