While we all wish we could quit our jobs and travel the world with reckless abandon but most of us just do our best to squeeze in travel between those family christmas obligations and whenever the boss is feeling extra benevolent.
And when it comes to staying sane after a holiday, it’s all about what we do in the those in-between moments that makes all the difference.
We say book those well-deserved globe-trots as soon as you accumulate the annual leave, even if it means being out of pocket for a week or two.
So in the spirit of making your next annual leave break epic, here are few of the crème de la crème of bucket list cry-if-don’t-make-it-destinations and once-in-a-lifetime experiences that are bound to leave a mark on your soul before you have to crawl back behind the desk.
You know that the change of scenery will do you good and sometimes it’s cheaper than therapy…
FLOAT IN A HOT-AIR BALLOON ABOVE CAPPADOCIA, TURKEY
Be swept up in awe while floating in a hot-air balloon over the fairy chimney rock formations of the Cappadocia region.
For maximum build-up – including a 4am wake-up call, boarding in the pitch black darkness to the momentous take-off – take flight at sunset to see a rainbow of balloons soar the saffron-coloured sky.
DIVE THE GREAT BARRIER REEF, AUSTRALIA
The largest coral reef on the planet is home to countless marine life, from tropical fish and ancient sea turtles to dugongs.
Dive into head first at your first chance, widespread coral bleaching within the reef means that this kaleidoscopic natural wonder sadly won’t stay that way for long.
CAMP IN THE SAHARA DESERT, MOROCCO
A camel-chauffeured ride into the midst of the Sahara Desert will give you an idea of the scale of this arid land.
One of the world’s greatest desert adventures, an overnight stay features a Moroccan feast, a campfire performance of traditional Berber folk music as you gaze at the twinkling stars overhead.
TREK TO MACHU PICCHU, PERU
The original trail walked by the Inca people takes you from Sacred Valley to Machu Picchu, but it’s best to opt for a less-trodden path if you’d rather avoid the crowds.
An exhilarating journey, regardless of which route you take. All treks heave with views of the mountain ranges and showcase the distinct the flora and fauna of the Andes, including the ultra-fast hummingbird and alpacas that feed on native ichu grass.
GAZE UP AT THE NORTHERN LIGHTS IN ABISKO, SWEDEN
Surrounded by mountain and filled with roaming lemmings and reindeers, but Abisko isn’t just your average Swedish village.
Abisko’s unique microclimate offers more clear nights than anywhere else under the auroral oval, which means this point of call almost guarantees a sighting of the dancing multicoloured phenomenon, the Northern Lights.
RIDE THE TRANS-SIBERIAN RAILWAY, RUSSIA
The steel-ribbon tracks of the Trans-Siberian Railway run from Moscow, through the Ural mountains and Siberia before reaching its final destination in Russian Far East.
The epitome of travelling in luxury, the Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express gleams with decadence that we’ve only read about in a Tolstoy novel. Y’know, minus the whole spiritual suffering stuff.