5 Incredible Places to Travel – OZY


Watching penguins waddle past in Antarctica, listening to the crackling of free-flowing lava in Iceland, smelling a freshly baked croissant in Paris … bucket list travel experiences look different for everyone.

“Some people want to conquer all seven continents or see all 50 states,” says Bucket List Travel Advisor Vicki Winters. “Four of my clients had staying in the Harry Potter Suite in Edinburgh on their list,” says Winters, “And recently, a mother and son wanted to have a Crazy Rich Asians adventure in Singapore.”

Here are five once-in-a-lifetime travel experiences to add to your list.

Polar Nights in Svalbard

At the top of the world, in an archipelago nearer the North Pole than mainland Norway, clouds form like a glorious ceiling. Longyearbyen is the world’s northernmost community that’s inhabited year-round: roughly 2,500 people of more than 50 nationalities live in the remote wilderness. From mid-November through January, this small settlement enters polar night season24 hours of pitch-blackness. Here you can experience something few people do: total darkness during the day and, if you’re lucky, the Aurora Borealis at noon.

When in town, stay at the four-star Funken Lodgeformer accommodation for the town’s miners turned into a cozy, Scandi-chic getaway. The staff here can provide tips for viewing the northern lights.

If you’d rather experience the midnight sunwith near 24-hour daylight, and witness the yellow-white fur of polar bears popping out against the snow-capped mountain peaks, hop aboard the Svalbard Express. Starting in June, this new cruise route from Hurtigruten, a company that sets specific goals to reduce its environmental footprint, takes passengers up Norway’s coast to Svalbard on a 10-day adventure that ventures into the High Arctic.

Zip-Line Dining in Thailand

Picture this: You’re sitting in a suspended dining pod in a lush canopy of trees. A whirring sound of metal-on-metal grows closer. Within seconds, your waiter appears through the jungle foliage, zooming parallel to you on a zip-line, to deliver your meal.

At the luxury resort Soneva Leftlocated on the island of Koh Kood in the Gulf of Thailand, guests are hoisted high up into the trees. Set menus — including charcuterie, oysters and champagne — are delivered via zip-line.

This tropical getaway is ultra-private and offers unique experiences like outdoor jungle movie screenings, a chocolate room and individual buggies for guests to navigate the expansive, tree-covered hideaway. But “treepod dining” is arguably its most popular experience.

Eco Pods In Antarctica

If you’re keen to experience the grandeur of Antarctica up close and personal, consider a stay in a private pod in the midst of the Last Continent’s spectacular natural scenery.

To reach White Desert’s three camps — Whichaway, Wolf’s Fang and the brand-new Echo — visitors depart via private plane from South Africa and arrive on the resort’s own ice-blue runway. Guests can stay in eco-pods, luxury tents and space-inspired domes, all of which rest quietly on the rugged landscape. Echo’s six sky-pods feature floor-to-ceiling windows that offer incredible views of the vast white landscape.

Guests have access to a wide array of Antarctic activities, including fat biking, skiing, ice climbing, zip lining, 4×4 Arctic truck driving, hiking and more. It’s all yours for a cool $98,500 per package.


Wombats in Tasmania

Kangaroos, wombats, Tasmanian devils, oh my. Maria Island National Park, a short ferry ride from Tasmania’s east coast, is home to adorable marsupials that live freely on the land. As you walk or bike the car-free island’s many scenic trails, you’ll see the animals grazing and hopping around just a few feet in front of you — making for a completely unique wildlife experience.

After you’ve got your marsupial fill, head back to the mainland for a stay at Piermont Retreatsituated on the rugged and windswept east coast. This bayside oasis has a variety of sustainably built standalone residences, ranging from modern timber-clad homes to traditional stone cottages with cozy fireplaces. The retreat’s owner, Marie Von Haniel, says she is drawn to Tasmania’s unique landscape and wildlife. “The water is pristine, and much of the wilderness remains untouched,” she says. “I feel a tremendous responsibility to preserve this for generations to come.”

Rafting in the Grand Canyon

Once a mandatory stop on childhood family road trips, the Grand Canyon is a must-see that’s now on many travel itineraries. The National Park Service clocked 4.5 million visitors in 2021, making it among the most visited parks in the U.S. While travelers can hike into the canyon or wobble in on the back of a donkey, the best way to explore the glory of its crevices is to witness them while whitewater rafting. Companies like CRATE and Grand Canyon Whitewater will take you on multi-day rafting trips where you can learn about the geology and history of the canyon by day and sleep under the stars by night.

Phantom Ranch is the only accommodation at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, and arriving via raft is the best way to reach its stone cabins (note: the ranch is planning renovations in 2023). Other stays in the national park include Clear Sky Resort’s skydomes, which are perfect for stargazing, and El Tovawhere guests have rim-side canyon views.


If money were no concern, what would be your bucket list trip? Share your dream travel spot with us.


OZY is a diverse, global and forward-looking media and entertainment company focused on “the New and the Next.” OZY creates space for fresh perspectives, and offers new takes on everything from news and culture to technology, business, learning and entertainment.

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