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Experiences to try in 2014

Travel is about so much more than just the destination. T.S. Eliot was famously quoted as saying “The journey not the arrival matters.”

We quite like the arrival ourselves, but we do like to try new experiences along the way, and we know you do too. From trying new sports to climbing mountains and eating adventurous foods, there are so many experiences to try when travelling that writing a bucket list can be a daunting task. To make it a little easier for you, we have picked the top experiences to try in 2014, from Thailand to South Africa and a few in between.

Eat Thai street food in Bangkok

We love Thailand, and needless to say we also love Thai food. It’s aromatic, spicy, sweet, fresh and delicious; we’re so besotted with it that we've even written about it before (take a look at our posts here and here). We believe that eating local food is one of the best ways to really experience a new destination and its culture, and for those brave enough to try it, street food is often the most authentic and tasty fare around. Street food in Thailand ranges from the familiar (such as Pad Thai) to the highly unusual (like fried insects). We’re not sure how we feel about trying the latter, but we’d definitely like to sample some of the other mouthwatering food on offer.

Try the thrilling rides on Las Vegas’ Stratosphere

The city of Las Vegas offers a sensory overload, with endless bright lights, glitz, glamour, music, partying and any form of entertainment you could ever wish for. If gambling isn’t really for you, venture to the top of the Stratosphere hotel where you’ll be greeted with panoramic views across the world-famous Strip and to the desert and mountains beyond. Thrill seekers can get their adrenalin fix here too, as perched on the top of the 350m tower are the world’s highest thrill rides; a hair-raising handful of rides appropriately named things like ‘Insanity’ and ‘X-Scream’. Try them if you dare.

Climb Lion’s Head

Table Mountain may be Cape Town’s most famous landmark, but prowling in its shadow is the smaller Lion’s Head; at half the elevation of Table Mountain it's perfect for hiking. The hour-long trek is relatively easy, with the option of making it more adventurous by scaling up some small rock faces with the help of chains. The views from the top of Lion’s Head stretch over the Atlantic Ocean, Table Bay and Robben Island, known for it’s most famous prisoner, Nelson Mandela. The best part about climbing Lion’s Head is that the majestic Table Mountain remains in sight, making it a breathtaking view you'll never forget.

Scuba dive on the Great Barrier Reef

Australia is home to a myriad of exciting adventures, but one that we would love to try is scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef, one of the seven natural wonders of the world. There are plenty of places along the 2,600km-long reef where snorkelling and diving can be enjoyed, but some of the best can be found just off the coast of Cairns. Diving here will allow you to encounter some of the most vibrant and majestic wildlife found under the water, from Nemo-lookalike clownfish to sea turtles, manta rays and even the timid black tip reef shark.

Take a look at our Australia sale to book an amazing experience such as diving the Great Barrier Reef.

Bungy in New Zealand

Bungy jumping is one of those experiences that truly falls under the category of ‘adventurous’. We purposely placed this one at the end of our list because it may take us a while to work up the courage to fling ourselves headlong off a bridge or building. Still, it’s one of the most popular activities in New Zealand’s Queenstown and Lake Taupo areas, and at least before jumping you’d enjoy beautiful views across the lush countryside.

Have you done any of these things? Which experiences would you like to try in 2014?

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Written by Elle Croft

When Elle is not travelling, she's blogging about it over at A Bird in the Hand Travel. She believes that you don't have to look like a backpacker to travel, and writes about the stylish side of wanderlust, from stylish destinations to packing tips.

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