I’m not huge on chasing ‘once in a lifetime’. Because a) if something’s super awesome I want to do it MORE THAN once, and b) I’m a big fan of enjoying the everyday, be that people watching along city streets. I don’t crave the hugely life-changing experiences, because experiencing other cultures and places are kinda life-changing experiences in themselves to me.
Having said that. There are a few ‘big deal’ travel experiences that I can say made a big impact on my memories. Some are big deals by anyone’s standards, some are just personal fangirl moments, and some are just memorable for more unusual reasons…
(That, and the fact I really wanted to take part in this month’s travel link-up…!)
The first time I saw the Grand Canyon
Seeing the Grand Canyon for the first time is a moment that sticks in your brain. I’ll probably actually visit it quite a few more times in my life, but the first unveiling is a true once-in-a-lifetime. Our Trek tour leader parked the van, and we walked around the corner to one of the most epic sights I’ve ever seen in my life – photos just can’t do seeing it with your own eyes justice.
Getting up close and personal with a wild croc in Mexico (by accident)
I don’t have a picture of the actual croc for this one because I was so HOLY SHIT I NEARLY USED IT TO STEADY MYSELF WHILE I CLEANED MY SNORKEL MASK freaked out I messed up the buttons on my GoPro. It all started quite casually, snorkelling our way through a beautiful cenote in Mexico, looking at all the fishies, complaining that my flippers were too tight…then my mask was getting a bit cloudy and I was about to grab onto a rock and give it a clean but just as I was about to put my hand down on the rock I spotted the HUGE-ASS CROC perched on it.
Kinda cool, but also terrifying.
Taking a backstage tour of London’s O2
When I got the email about this, I sort of squealed a bit and had to close my Gmail and reopen it to check it was for realsies. Thankfully, it was. So me and Charley got to have a nose around backstage at the O2. The last people to perform there had been Blink 182, and I fangirled over the fact that there’s about a 1 in 3 chance that Matt Skiba had been the last person to use the dressing room loo.
Staying in a hut in the middle of the jungle in Palenque, Mexico
On my November trip to Mexico, I stayed in perhaps my favourite location on my travels to date – a jungle lodge in Palenque. It wasn’t the most luxe of hotels, but the beds were comfy and the location was unlike anywhere else I’ve stayed.
I was woken up at 5am by the sound of howler monkeys, which I initially thought was a pack of tigers coming to kill me.
I admired a lovely decorative gecko on the wall and had to check every belonging when I realised it wasn’t decorative after all.
And the hotel also had a lil’ massage hut, where I got my achy back rubbed while surrounded by the sounds of the jungle. Special.
Writing a song with one of Nashville’s most prominent songwriters
This is a BIT AWESOME for music fans. Thanks to my pretty cool job, I accompanied some fantastic bloggers along on a Deep South tour last May, and for some VIP treatment we spent some time with Billy Montana, who’s done songs for the likes of Garth Brooks and Tim McGraw.
I’m not sure if our epic tale of Kristabel getting lost offered quite the same commercial appeal but still. Super cool.
Flying a stunt plane
If you told little Milly while she was gawking up at the Red Arrows that one day she’d get to do her very own loop-the-loop, she’d have probably laughed in your face. And then went to get ice cream. She’s not that much different from older-but-still-quite-little Milly of now, really.
But adult Milly got the chance to go to Peterborough Airfield last year, and have a full-on flying experience. And it was EPIC. Even if I did almost leave my stomach up there in the process.
Going to the wrong airport on my way to Iceland
This better be once in a lifetime…because I swear I’m not THAT stupid enough to do it twice.
What are your once-in-a-lifetime travel moments?