No matter your style of travel, transportation is a big part of the experience for all of us. There’s nothing better than a great flight, train ride or other fun way to see the world. But among the many transportation options we have to experience the world, there are a few that rise above the rest. They are special, they are exceptional and they are truly bucket list transportation experiences everyone should try at least once in their lives. I’ve been privileged enough to enjoy quite a few of these adventures around the world, but these are my own personal favorites and as a group I think are among the most extraordinary transportation experiences in the world.
One of my favorite travel experiences of all time, this floating safari should be on everyone’s bucket lists. Getting up before dawn is never easy, but I knew it would be well worth the momentary pain, I just didn’t expect it to be as remarkable an experience as it was. An option offered by Abercrombie & Kent, as soon as I saw it listed I knew we had to do it and almost as soon as the balloon left the ground I knew it was the right decision. Floating high above the mighty Serengeti, we saw a different side to the African bush impossible to otherwise replicate. Mere feet from the road, yet invisible thanks to the tall grasses, was another world hidden in plain sight. Lions devouring breakfast, hippos sleeping in the water and more zebra and wildebeest than I ever thought possible to exist were all right there, unknowingly providing a show to the people flying over their heads. The hour flew by, but in those 60-minutes we enjoyed a collection of memories so powerful and so vivid, I know I’ll never forget them.
A couple of years ago I decided to try something a little different while in Iceland, snowmobiling. Normally when we visit the country, we drive around different regions, stopping periodically to explore and sightsee. Wanting to be a little more active than normal though, we booked an afternoon snowmobile tour on one of the country’s glaciers and the experience is certainly something I’ll never forget. Bundling up in more layers than I thought possible, the tundra buggy took us up to the hard to reach glacier and the freezing ice sheets of Iceland. Glaciers are strange things, always cold and always inhospitable, but possessing a type of beauty that is unrivaled in nature. That was our snowmobile course for the afternoon and while I’m not really a fan of the machines themselves, I can’t deny that the experience was exciting and fun. Would I do it again? Probably not, but it was a great way to experience a different side to a country I have come to love over the years.
Although I’m a luxury traveler and flying in Business Class or checking into some of the world’s top hotels is something I truly enjoy, my favorite style of travel is the road trip. Maybe it’s the American in me, but there really is nothing better than exploring a new place with the unbridled freedom that only a car can provide. Remote spots, quirky sites and who knows what else are all available to us on a great driving adventure. We can stop when and where we want with nothing limiting us except our own free time. The road trip is an amazing way to explore the world, but not all drives are made the same. Some rise above the rest and we would all do well do enjoy them at least once in our lives whether it’s Route 66, the North Coast 500 in Scotland or the Wild Atlantic Way in Ireland, amazing driving routes can be found around the world and provide us with an intimate way to discover a new destination.
Tucked away in the Alps bordering Switzerland and Italy is one of the most beautiful scenic train journeys in the world – the Bernina Express. Starting in Tirano, Italy and finishing in Chur, Switzerland, the journey takes passengers through some of the most jaw-droppingly gorgeous landscapes in the world. It wasn’t the beauty that piqued the interest of UNESCO though, it was the engineering involved with creating this industrial masterpiece. The two railways include 42 tunnels and 144 viaducts and bridges, impressive given the snowy, mountainous terrain the train journeys through. The train didn’t start out as a tourist experience though, it had real importance in linking small, isolated communities with the rest of the world. Thankfully, these villages are still isolated and their beauty has been well preserved through the decades.
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A luxury adventure traveler at heart, Matt Long shares his experiences with thousands of readers every day through his travel blog, LandLopers.com. As someone who has a bad case of the travel bug, Matt travels the world in order to share tips on where to go, what to see and how to experience the best the world has to offer. Matt is a Washington, DC based travel writer/photographer and has been featured on many other web sites and publications including BBC Travel, CNN GO, Huffington Post, AFAR Magazine and National Geographic Intelligent Travel. His work is also syndicated on the Flipboard and Pulse apps. Follow Matt on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and Google Plus.
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