The 30 Best Travel Experiences in the World

My 30 best lists have been so successful that I keep producing more of them. From the 30 best cities in the world to the 30 best islands in the world to the 30 best countries for food, they have done extremely well. They all derive from my own travel experiences from traveling to every country in the world and also doing a lot of really cool things. My experiences have left an indelible mark on my life and I want to share the 30 best travel experiences from all around the world with you!

Lee Abbamonte, South Pole, ceremonial South Pole, Antarctica, White Desert

Kneeling in exultation at the famous ceremonial South Pole after a grueling time getting there on the 2nd try!

My criteria for the 30 best travel experiences in the world is simple:
Mount Kosciuszko, Australia, seven summits, Lee Abbamonte

Standing on the roof of Australia atop Mount Kosciuszko, the highest peak and one of the seven summits.

– I have to have experienced it
Lee Abbamonte, Alberta, hike

Hiking in the glorious Canadian Rockies of Alberta in Banff National Park.

That said, I originally was going to do a list of the 100 best but narrowed it down to these; the 30 best travel experiences in the world! What do you think?
Lee Abbamonte, Pyramids, Cairo, Egypt

Protecting the Great Pyramids of Egypt from meteors in Cairo!

30. Dive in the amazing waters of Micronesia and Palau
29. See the mysterious Moai on Easter Island
28. Experience Carnival in Rio de Janeiro
27. Go to Paris with someone special
26. Hike to Machu Picchu
25. Run with the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain
24. Party in Las Vegas
23. Stay in Overwater Bungalows in Bora Bora
22. Reach Timbuktu
21. Go to Bhutan
20. Sail to Pitcairn Island
19. Camp in the Sahara Desert
18. Eat your way across Italy
17. Live in New York City at some point in your life
16. See Iguassu Falls
15. Go gorilla tracking in Rwanda
14. See Cuba before it’s too late
13. Go to the Galapagos Islands
12. Hike in Norway
11. See the Pyramids and other ancient wonders of Egypt
10. Travel Around Australia
9. Go to a Great Global Sporting Event
8. Road Trip the Western US and Canadian National Parks
7. Study or Live Abroad
6. Go to Antarctica
5. Go on an African Safari
4. Backpack Southeast Asia
3. Travel Europe by Train
2. Climb Mount Kilimanjaro
1. Reach the South Pole

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  1. For me it’s definitely Machu Picchu. That was something I’ll never forget but I also haven’t traveled nearly as much as you. Great list, it gives me stuff to shoot for.

  2. Jenny Heggs says

    Wow – so many to choose from – I have done:
    Eat my way across Italy
    Travel Europe by train
    Road trip Western USA and Canadian National Parks (camped under the stars, dawn at Grand Canyon – the list is endless)
    I live in Australia so guess I am pretty lucky
    Global sporting event / does the Sydney Olympics count
    Party in Las Vegas
    I haven’t lived in New York but I have been many times (it was the first place of any o/s destination I ever went solo so it is pretty special
    I have been to Paris a few times – mainly in groups but they were special and I made lifelong friends

    Thanks for making me realise how much I have actually achieved

  3. I’ve done 8 and it is now my goal to do all 30! Thanks for some inspiration!

  4. I’ve slept on a boat on a hammoc for 3 weeks going up the Amazon river, starting in Belem and ending in tabatinga. Did it with 3 other mates that I met backpacking. An Ozzie, a South African, an Italian and myself a Canadian.
    We stopped in tiny villages along the way, saw unreal scenery, met amazing people, fished piranha, saw crocs, partied hard, danced with locals on the top of the boat, sunsets were unreal…
    Give it a shot, it was one of the best experiences of my life

  5. I went to the 2009 Champions League Final. The best sports experience of my life and I didn’t even like football at the time.

  6. Lee, I secretly hate you because you distract me from what I should be doing at work because I research all these things you list! I secretly love you though because you make me want to quit my shitty job and travel the world! So thanks-I think!

  7. This is a great list. I’m still a novice at 21 but I would like to do all of these experiences.

    Reading your South Pole story really gets my blood pumping! I would love to do that but I don’t know how I’ll ever come up with that kind of money. Hopefully I can get a good job out of college for starters!

  8. Such a col list! Sadly I can only say I’ve done 5 but they were a great 5!

  9. Bucket List right here!

  10. My sister and I climbed Kili last year and it was the greatest moment of my life so I am so happy to see you rank it so highly. I actually read your Kili journal and that helped inspire me to do it. So thanks Lee!

  11. It’s honestly so amazing that you’ve been able to do all the things you’ve done buddy. Good for you for living your dreams, working hard to make it happen and not giving a shit about what others think. I wish I had the balls.

  12. Some of my dives like Sipadan in Borneo comprise my own list, though the one I’m dying to add to it is trekking from Moscow to Mongolia on the Trans-Siberian Express!

  13. Please in your own opinion, what makes traveling very memorable? Thanks for your reply.

  14. Great list! I’m at 11 out of 30 so far.

  15. Wow, you are so lucky! You have completed 30 best place? By the way, I really enjoyed your 30 best travel experience. And all the best for next time.

  16. Hot Air-ballooning in Cappadocia, Turkey is at the top of my list. Followed by perhaps Petra?

  17. Your list is wonderful. I’m very jealous of the South Pole, (only a trip to space could beat that), and the Galapagos legs you mention. I was interested to see you had Pitcairn Island. What a weird and wonderful place.
    My top 10
    1. See the Serengeti Migration……..Wildlife to the horizon. It was like stepping back to a time before man stalked the plains of Africa.
    2. Sail around Svalbard and the Arctic. Everywhere you look is a postcard picture, The opportunity to see polar bears truly in the wild is a privilege.
    3. Trek Kamchatka. I have to admit, climbing Killi was cool, but crossing hot lava fields and climbing 13000 feet live volcanoes in Kamchatka is awesome. Not to mention the majesty of seeing 50 brown bears gorging themselves on tundra berries around Kurilskoye lake.
    4. Attend opening night of the MASS Games, Pyongyang, DPRK, (celebrating the 70th anniversary of the formation of the DPRK). Simply the most spectacular show you could witness. 130K North Koreans weeping uncontrollably during the re-unification scene was spine chilling. Fellow travellers said it made Olympic opening ceremonies they’d attended seem pedestrian.
    5. The tombs of the Valley of the Kings. The tombs look as if they were painted yesterday. More poignant than the pyramids in my opinion.
    6. Tour the Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia. When you discover it has 50 entrances and 3M works of art, (the Louvre has 380K), you get a feeling of just how epic this museum really is.
    7. Hike Patagonia. Mountains, glaciers, glacial lakes, hmmmm, the serenity.
    8. Wadi Rum camping. The eerie silence, reading by starlight at 3am. The stillness after a sandstorm. Camping in the desert is one of the most peaceful things you can do.
    9. Visit the Grand Canyon. If you’ve been there, this has to be in your top ten. How can it not be?
    10. Visit / trek / tour – Petra, Angkor Wat, and Machu Picchu, (equal 10th). All magnificent tributes to man’s ingenuity.
    To do (top 5) –
    Given space may be a little beyond my means,
    1. Antarctica
    2. Sail the North Passage and visit Wrangel Island and Franz Josef Land
    3. Galapagos Islands
    4. Carnival in Rio
    5. Snow Leopard tracking in Ladakh

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