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The Top 10 On My Bucket List For Adventure & Travel

The Top 10 on my Bucket List for Adventure & Travel

I’m already thinking a year out about what where I’d like to travel and what kind of adventure I’d like to have. I thought as I grew older the list might shorten but the more I read and more I want to discover. Here’s the top 10 on my bucket list for adventure & travel.


Note: Visited in May 2016

Read: 25 Photos That Will Make You Want to Visit Iceland

Iceland looks magical to me – mountains, fjords, hot pools, volcanoes and the midnight sun. The people sound interesting too – great readers with a passion for literature and poetry and the highest per capita rate of book and magazine publishing in the world.

The Top 10 on my Bucket List for Adventure & Travel

Spectacular Selfoss


The end of the South American continent holds enormous appeal with its incredible mountain peaks and glaciers in a remote setting. I’d love a combo platter of backpacking, trekking with stays at lovely lodges and sightseeing by boat. I’d pray for windless days too.
Note: Visited January 2019
You can see the Fitzroy Towers from the Patagonia Ecodomes

You can see the Fitzroy Towers from the Patagonia Ecodomes


If you’re a serious hiker you’ve probably dreamed of doing the Snowman Trek. I certainly have. This 25 day (minimum) trek takes you across 11 passes and includes some of the country’s most dramatic scenery. Too bad Bhutan is such an expensive country to visit.
"Smiling faces in Bhutan"

Smiling faces in Bhutan – Photo credit: Ryanne Lai on Flickr

Nahanni River, Northwest Territories, Canada

Canoeing the Nahanni River, a UNESCO world heritage site, would take you through deep canyons, some deeper than the Grand Canyon in a pristine river environment. I need two weeks and better white water canoeing skills before I attempt this. Later in the summer when the bugs have died down would be the time to go.

"Mason's Rock on the Nahanni River"

Mason’s Rock on the Nahanni River – Photo credit: Mike Beauregard on Flickr


Note: Visited February 2018

I’ve dreamed of a trip to Morocco for years. Ideally I’d want a month so I could hike the Atlas Mountains and meet the Berber people, camp in the desert and explore a host of cities that look very interesting including Fez, Rabat, Marrakesh and Essaouira.

Read: A Trip to Morocco’s Sahara Desert

The Top 10 on my Bucket List for Adventure & Travel

Camels enjoying lush growth in the Sahara Desert

Charleston, South Carolina to Savannah, Georgia

Note: Visited in April 2012

Read: 10 Things to do in Charleston, SC

A combination of exploring old plantation houses, kayaking swampy waters and walking on barrier islands sounds like a relaxing way to spend a week or two. I’ve read lots about the area but only passed through on the interstate. It’s time to see for myself what southern hospitality is all about.
The Top 10 on my Bucket List for Adventure & Travel

Wandering the pretty streets of Charleston

Copper Canyon, Mexico

I’ve stared longingly at travel itineraries for the Copper Canyon for about eight years now. If I ever go I’d start with a train ride on the El Chepe before heading off on multi day hiking trips into deep canyons. Hopefully I’d meet some of the Tarahumara people too – the people that are world renowned for their long distance running ability. I’m not so sure the area is safe right now – since it’s so close to drug country.
"Copper Canyon"

Copper Canyon – Photo credit: Nathan Laurell on Flickr

Haida Gwaii (formerly the Queen Charlottes), British Columbia

Note: Visited in August 2014

Read: Trip Highlights Kayaking Gwaii Haanas in BC

Sea kayaking the wild waters in and around Haida Gwaii is a dream trip for kayakers. Abundant wildlife including whales, bears, basking sharks and sea birds along with a trip to the hotsprings would make this 7-10 trip complete.
The one thing holding me back is the thought of a prolonged period of rain – always a possibility in the Pacific Northwest.
Landing on SGang Gwaay - a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Landing on SGang Gwaay – a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Lofoten Islands, Norway
Years ago I went to a slideshow on the Lofotens, a group of islands above the Arctic Circle in Norway. Ever since I have wanted to kayak the waters in the peak of the summer and stay in the fisherman’s cottages.

Bryce Canyon and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah

Note: Visited in October 2012

Read: Hiking the Fairyland Loop in Bryce Canyon National Park

We’ve all seen the inspiring photographs of Bryce Canyon. Now I’d like to see the area for myself on foot, possibly on bike but definitely with a camera in hand.
Then I’d head off to the more remote red rock canyon country of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. A former colleague raved about the place and called it the best place he’d ever hiked. I’d sleep under the stars, and feel the silence of this country – sometime in April – before it gets too hot.

Hiking the Fairyland Loop in Bryce Canyon National Park

Are any of these trips on your bucket list?




Leigh McAdam is a Calgary based writer, author, photographer and social media enthusiast with over 57,000 followers. Her blog: HikeBikeTravel is frequently cited as one of the top travel and outdoor adventure blogs in Canada.

Author of Discover Canada: 100 Inspiring Outdoor Adventures
Co-author of 125 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta

This Post Has 17 Comments
  1. I’ve been to Iceland and it is truly singular. It’s so weird during the summer when the sky goes directly from dask to dawn.

    I think Bhutan is on everyone’s dream list!

    1. I agree – Bhutan is always popular.
      I am very much hoping to go to Iceland for 2 weeks next July. All the blogs I see about Iceland & the photos suggest it is truly an unusual but incredibly beautiful place to visit.

  2. Great choices! The marvelous Atlas Mountain is a perfect destination. A mecca for trekkers with its dramatic scenery. I’ve been there, experienced a bit of the berber culture and recommend it. I’d love to go to Bhutan too.

  3. Wonderful list; I especially want to see Patagonia and Bhutan. Charleston’s kind of a funny choice though–it’s ok, but I wouldn’t go very far out of my way to get there–at least till you’ve gone to all the others. And I’m always a sucker for NZ–North and South!

    Hope you get to all of them one day!

  4. Lots of people would join me on a trip to Bhutan or Patagonia.. Sometimes I want to explore more a tad closer to home. The Charleston to Savannah area has appeal for its history, its swampy waters which are calling me to kayak …once, the offshore barrier islands that haven’t succumbed to an ugly building boom, some quiet backroad biking and the Southern hospitality. Stay tuned because I’m going there next April.

  5. If you don’t want to worry about getting rained on in the Pacific NW, just go during the summer. You’re not going to get any prolonged rain between late June and early September. Maybe that’s different up in Canada, but I kind of doubt it.

  6. I lived in Vancouver for 10 years. Most summers were good beginning in mid July but there were years when it rained an extraordinary amount – even in summer & I know the Pacific NW is similar. Thanks for stopping by.

  7. Bhutan trekking is top of our list at the mo along with Kathmandu to Tibet cycle. I trekked through Patagonia a few years back and it’s still my top memory. We stayed in an eco camp for a couple of nights – glamping style – in an insulated igloo shaped tent with a proper double bed and fleecy sheets. It had a clear roof for star gazing. Then we trekked and stayed in conservation huts along the way with three wonderful people from BC, Canada who we are still in touch with today. Wonderful memories.

  8. @Tracaey I really like the sound of Patagonia glamping. Our plan is the visit that part of the world in January 2014. And Bhutan is another few years out but the Snowman Trek is high on my wish list.

  9. Bryce – meh, but goatpacking cross country in the Escalante is superb.

    Done Tybee Island in high wind and rough seas. Breaking through the surf into the Atlantic was exciting. I have to credit the nice responsive sea-kayak as well as a little skill for staying safe.

    For me an irresistible place is Sulawesi. To see the natural history of Wallacea and its animist societies would be an experience of a lifetime. Far more endemic species than the Galapagos islands and spectacular diving besides, including the strange critters one finds while muck diving.

    1. @GW Since writing the post I spent 3 or 4 days in Escalante and loved every minute though I just want to go back for more. Also went to Savannah and Charleston but Tybee sea kayaking sounds like an interesting challenge. I had never even thought of Sulawesi but will have to look into it more as it sounds wild and very interesting.

  10. I live on the edge of the Grand Staircase, and there are places in there that are truly awe inspiring. Remote and quiet.

    Everybody talks about Bryce Canyon but I prefer Zion National Park.

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