Throughout the World, there are many wonderful places to travel to. Yet, some unique experiences remain secrets, only a few people having the chance to become involved with them.
On this page, I will describe some of the best travel experiences in the world I’ve had, examples that can easily provide inspiration and motivation for your future travels.
These types of situations should make us consider something. The best travel experience doesn’t necessarily mean that it is a positive and happy circumstance. Sometimes a life-threatening situation makes us think about life and makes us change our approach toward life and the way we think.
Please note: I’ve been traveling since 1999. So, some of the older photographs on this page are taken with more standard equipment and are of lesser quality than more recent images.
Best Travel Experiences
Berber Triple Marriage in the Sahara Desert
While living and working in the southeast Moroccan Sahara Desert for four years, I was fortunate enough to be invited to an authentic Amazigh (Berber) triple marriage in a small village called Hassilabied. My involvement with the local community allowed me to receive this special invitation, which was extended to me as a way to experience and learn about traditional Berber marriage practices in this region of the Sahara.
One of the grooms, who was a member of the local community, decided to have a traditional triple marriage ceremony so that the younger generation could witness and learn about these cultural traditions. It was a truly unique and special experience, and one that I will never forget.
The ceremony was held in a large tent, with members of the community coming together to celebrate the union of the three couples. There was music, dancing, and feasting, and the atmosphere was one of joy and celebration. It was a beautiful and heartwarming experience, and I felt honored to be a part of it.
Overall, my experience at the Berber marriage in Hassilabied village was one of the most memorable and enriching travel experiences I have had. It allowed me to connect with the local community and learn about their culture and traditions, and gave me a deeper appreciation for the richness and diversity of the Moroccan Sahara.
The fiancés arrived at the marriage campsite in Hassilabied village riding camels, while the grooms arrived in a four-by-four vehicle. From the clothes and music to the ceremony itself, the entire experience was absolutely fantastic. It was a unique opportunity to witness traditional Berber marriage customs and to connect with the local community. The atmosphere was one of joy and celebration, and I felt honored to be a part of it. Overall, it was a truly memorable and enriching travel experience.
Read the page: People of Morocco
Driving from Mitad del Mundo to Fin del Mundo
I embarked on a journey from the city of Quito, driving a car to Ushuaia, a city often referred to as the “end of the world” due to its location at the southernmost tip of Argentina and the entire continent. Along the way, I passed through the “half of the world” near the equator line, crossing over half of the planet’s continental landmass. The trip was 13,351 km (8,296 mi) and took me through some of the most memorable and breathtaking landscapes I have ever seen, including the Andes Mountains, the Atacama Desert, Patagonia, and Tierra del Fuego.
Driving this route on my own allowed me to fully immerse myself in the experience and to take in all of the sights and sounds along the way. It was a truly unforgettable journey that I will always treasure. The beauty and diversity of the landscapes I encountered were unlike anything I had ever seen before, and the sense of adventure and discovery I felt was truly indescribable.
Overall, driving from the “half of the world” to the “end of the world” was a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience that I would recommend to anyone who loves to travel and explore new places. The journey was long and at times challenging, but the rewards were more than worth it. I returned home with a greater appreciation for the world around me and with memories that will last a lifetime.
Read the page: Driving in South America
Being a monk in a Buddhist Monastery
Lumbini, Nepal is a special place for Buddhists, as it is the birthplace of the Buddha. The site is now surrounded by several Buddhist monasteries, and I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to spend some time living in one of these monasteries, experiencing the life of a monk firsthand.
The daily schedule included waking up very early in the morning, participating in Buddhist prayers and meditation, and eating healthy meals. My time in Lumbini was a truly transformative experience that helped to nourish my soul during a time of great need.
The peaceful and serene atmosphere of the monastery, combined with the opportunity to immerse myself in the teachings of the Buddha, allowed me to find inner peace and clarity. I was able to let go of my worries and concerns and focus on the present moment, finding joy and contentment in the simple pleasures of daily life.
Overall, my time in Lumbini was a deeply rewarding and enriching experience that I will always cherish. It provided me with a sense of connection to something larger than myself, and helped me to find a sense of purpose and meaning in my life. I will always be grateful for the opportunity to have spent time in this special place.
Feeding Wild hyenas in Harar
During a few days’ stay in Harar, I had the incredible opportunity to hand-feed a group of wild hyenas. It was a truly rare experience in which, after a ritual, these scavengers were called to approach and eat offered raw meat.
With hyenas a part of Harar mysticism, this ceremony has been enacted for a few decades, passing from generation to generation. During the night, you can even hear the animals running through the dark, empty streets of this Muslim, Ethiopian holy city.
Read the page: Feeding Hyenas in Ethiopia
Crossing the Sahara Desert with a moped
Back in 2010, my friend Samuel and I decided to go on an adventure from Erfoud to the Erg Chebbi Dunes along the Algerian border, passing through the Tisserdmine army base. True, moto crossing the Sahara Desert on a Motobecane moped is not something you find yourself doing every day!
Read the page: Moped in the Sahara Desert
Joining the Central Asia Rally
In 2012, I participated in one of the most adventurous and alternative car rallies in the World. A few teams joined together at the Central Asia Rally to travel overland, all the way from Europe to Central Asia.
It is, indeed, a unique and top travel experience if you’re looking for different forms of wayfaring. Hungary, Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan accomplished in 14 days via 6500 kilometers (4000 miles) of endless dreams!
Visit the website: Central Asia Rally
Hot air balloon ride in the Valley of the Kings
During a stay in Luxor, I had an opportunity to ride a hot air balloon over the breathtaking Valley of the Kings. It was such an enlightening experience from an alternative perspective combining Egypt’s beautiful sunrise with farmers burning their fields, below.
Read the page: Visit Luxor, the World’s greatest open-air Museum
Living with an indigenous tribe in the Amazon
For four days, I had the chance to live with an authentic, indigenous Brazilian tribe. There, I was taught about Amazon Forest’s survival, local customs, and traditions.
Living with an indigenous Tatuyo tribe in the Amazon Rain Forest is possible while it is also a great way of familiarizing yourself with a completely different culture and way of living.
Read the page: Amazon Brazilian tribe
22 hours pick-up truck trip to Timbuktu
On a truly insane, rough 22-hour journey from Gao to Timbuktu, Mali, I traveled while mounted atop the cargo of a Mauritanian smuggler’s pick-up truck along with 18 other people.
All seemed well until a sand storm approached and we had to jump out of the truck bed at 1:30 AM while under the threat of the Malian army, at gunpoint. Indeed, it was a day’s worth of an unforgettable experience!
Read the page: Timbuktu, Mali – How To Get There The Hard Way
Exploring Antarctica with Shackleton and Scott
Along with a team of experts aboard the Ocean Diamond and en route along a 15-day Antarctica cruise, I had the pleasure of traveling in the company of descendants of two great explorers: Jonathan Shackleton, the cousin of Ernest Henry Shackleton, and Falcon Scott, the grandson of Robert Falcon Scott. How sensational is that?
Read the pages: Visit Half Moon Island and Antarctica Cruise 15-day Expedition.
Swimming with sea turtles in the Galapagos
Swimming with sea turtles proved to be one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever done in my life, snorkeling in the Galapagos is always a really great decision to take.
I highly recommend your sea turtle rendezvous to occur at San Cristóbal Island’s La Loberia Beach in the Galapagos Archipelago. You will never forget it!
Read the page: Galapagos Last Minute Cruises – What to Know.
Meeting local people and making new friends
When I travel, one of my goals is to meet people, to talk and discuss cultural differences with them, and even banal aspects of life, politics, spirituality, and religion.
By taking on this approach to making new friends around the world, I become wiser in familiarizing myself with other ways of thinking and living other than what I have been limited to or have even adopted. One of the most important Schools of Life, traveling never ceases in its teachings.
Driving in Iraq
In Amedi, I met a caretaker of a Syriac Orthodox church who invited me to drive his car and take him all the way to Barzani village to visit the Kurdish nationalist’s cemetery.
Due to the man’s old age, he had lost part of his eyesight and could no longer drive. So, instead of having his car parked in front of his house, he resolved the issue by finding a private chauffeur. Me!
En route, I also discovered many other villages and churches along the way. Beyond interesting, in this instance, the destination and the journey all offered incredible insight into the region’s struggle, history, and politics.
Read the pages: Driving in Iraq – Amedi to Barzan and Kurdistan Travel Guide – Northern Iraq.
Maracanã Epic Football match in Rio de Janeiro
I attended an unforgettable Maracanã football (or, soccer) match in Rio de Janeiro. Battled between the Flamengo and Fluminense teams, the match ended with a final score of 2-0.
The Flamengo team was victorious, this famous Fla-Flu game was an epic experience!
A religious ceremony in Lalibela’s Rock-Hewn Churches
Attending a religious ceremony in Lalibela’s Rock-Hewn Churches is an incredible and unique travel experience.
During this Christian Orthodox celebration, there are prayers, music, incense, and Bible recitations. I attended this special ceremony at Bet Maryam Church.
Read the page: Visit Ethiopia – Historical Places
Fully crossing the Amazon River
Francisco de Orellana completed the first known navigation of the Amazon River’s entire length, as far back in time as the 16th century.
I followed his voyage from a point in Macapá, Brazil (near the Atlantic Ocean), to Iquitos, Peru, from there taking the Napo river all the way to El Coca, Ecuador.
With a schedule consisting of much of the same itinerary as the famous “conquistador”, I will never forget enduring nearly 600 hours aboard boats and sleeping on rocking hammocks.
Read the page: Travel Amazon River – 543 hours on Amazon Boats – Brazil, Peru & Ecuador.
Gaijatra, Festival of Cows in Tansen
While in the picturesque, southern Nepal town of Tansen, I was surprised to encounter the rather interesting Festival of Cows.
Locally known as Gaijatra, the streets were lined by thousands of people and live music performances while many young boys and girls arrived in traditional full dress.
A welcoming surprise, the entire scene was delightfully transporting!
Dubai by night from the top of the 2722 feet Burj Khalifa
While in Dubai (United Arab Emirates), one of the best experiences to have there is to ascend downtown Dubai’s Burj Khalifa building and dare the view from its observation deck.
The tallest building in the world, Burj Khalifa is 829.8 meters / 2722 feet tall!
It also ranks as the tallest existing structure, the tallest structure ever built, the tallest freestanding structure, and the tallest skyscraper.
This is the building with the most floors: 163, the building with the world’s highest occupied floor: 584.5 meters, the world’s highest elevator installation, the world’s longest elevator travel distance: 504 meters, the world’s highest nightclub: 144th floor, etc., etc.!
Not yet convinced?
Read the page: Visit United Arab Emirates
Romantic gondola ride in Venice
A Romantic gondola ride in Venice is one of many people’s Top 10 best travel experiences ever. Personally scheduling my navigation along the Grand Canal during sunset, so the building facades and labyrinthine canals took on a bit more of a romantic scene, my wife just loved it!
Read the pages: Driving in Italy & San Marino and Visit Venice Iconic City.
Swimming with Whale Sharks on Holbox Island
On Mexico’s Holbox Island, you can make amazing dives into the Mayan Riviera while swimming in 10 meters / 32 feet of crystal blue waters populated by whale sharks.
Meeting Afghan Troops in the middle of nowhere
While driving in Afghanistan on my own, I had the opportunity to meet Afghan troops patrolling the dangerous northern sections of the country. I found them to be very hospitable and friendly people while managing a highly demanding job.
Read the page: Visit Mazar-i-Sharif – Afghan city of the Noble Shrine
Visiting the Korean Demilitarized Zone DMZ
During my travels in North Korea, I was able to visit the most heavily armed region in the world: The Korean Demilitarized Zone commonly called The DMZ.
Read the page: Visit North Korea
Trekking Machu Picchu Mountain
To escape the crowded ruins of Machu Picchu, you can also consider scaling 3082 meters / 10111 feet up the sacred Machupicchu Mountain.
Although the ascension’s route may be a bit difficult, the spectacular view from above the ruins is breathtaking and rewarding! This part of the Peruvian mountains is beyond incredible.
Read the page: Visit Peru
Visiting Fatima Masumeh Shrine in Qom
Located in the Holy city of Qom, the Shrine of Fatimah bint Musa al-Kadhim, commonly known as Fatimah al-Masumah.
Considered to be one of the most significant Shi’i sites in Iran, it houses the shrine of the daughter of the eleventh Twelver Shiah Imam, Musa al-Kadhi, and sister of the eighth Twelver Shiah Imam, Ali ar-Ridha.
Upon entering the Mosque, watching thousands of people praying and worshiping such a place was incredible and unforgettable. Inside the mausoleum are several rooms, each leading to the main tomb area where you’ll find everyone pushing each other to touch the tomb, some even crying in their attempts.
Customarily, visitors should seat themselves, grab a Koran and enjoy this moment as an important pilgrimage for Muslims of the region. When invited inside the shrine by others, non-muslims can easily get in as long as they behave accordingly for the occasion.
Read the page: Visit Iran
Joining the Caucasus Challenge Rally
In 2008, I participated in a 7500 km / 4660 mi adventurous automobile rally across Europe. The voyage took me from Hungary all the way to the Caucasus region of Georgia, then through Armenia and into the troubled region of Nagorno Karabakh.
As one of the selected travelers representing the leading Virtual Tourist travel website while driving a 25-year-old Russian Moskvitch, this crazy 11-country border-hopping adventure was an experience of a lifetime!
The 2008 Rally Route traversed: Hungary, Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Albania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia.
Visit the website: Caucasian Challenge
Climbing the Cerro Blanco sand dune
The world’s largest sand dune, Cerro Blanco, is located in southern Peru, near the well-known city of Nasca. Here, you can trek the five-hour climb up the dune escalating to an elevation of 2100 m / 6889 ft. Then, take an exhilarating slide down on a sandboard!
UN army escort in DRC
Read the page: African Bread Recipe – the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Évora – Tambacounda Expedition 2004
The name Évora Tambacounda 2004 references an overland expedition starting in Évora, Portugal, and ending in Tambacounda, Senegal.
This journey of over 13000 km. took 32 days, round-trip, through Portugal, Spain, Morocco, the Moroccan Western Sahara, unprotected Western Sahara regions, Mauritania, Senegal, and The Gambia.
Visit the website: Evora Tamtabounda.
Mauritania Desert Expedition
Although I’ve been to Mauritania seven times, one of my most unforgettable trips indeed occurred with my Moroccan friend Moha.
We explored the desert on a four-by-four, from Morocco all the way down to Chinguetti, Mauritania. For desert lovers, you can be sure Mauritania’s conditions are as harsh as its name sounds.
Read the pages: People of Mauritania and Ben Amera.
Kung-Fu training in Iran
Kung-Fu TO’a is a modern, Iranian martial art developed by Ibrahim Mirzaei in the 1960s. Having practiced this style of Kung-Fu since 1994, I was welcomed to join classes at Esfahan and Qeshm Island Kung-Fu TO’a school during my first trip to Iran, in 2004.
Children Summer Volunteering in Kazakhstan
During the Summer of 2004, I volunteered as a child mentor in Almaty, South Kazakhstan. My job consisted of taking care of children while offering art workshops and teaching English in a summer camp.
Army Escort Somalia Taxi Ride
Read the page: Somaliland Travel Guide
South Sudan Independence
Actually congratulated by a border immigration officer for the accomplishment, I can say “I was the first Portuguese national to cross the border of South Sudan”. I was also the first travel blogger to enter the newest country in Africa.
I traveled to South Sudan to participate in the 11th July 2011 Independence Day celebration, but the border was closed due to national security.
The next day, I reentered the country to find everyone still jubilantly partying on the streets of the capital, Juba.
Read the page: South Sudan Travel Guide
Working on a Farm in up State New York
Flight Over Mount Everest
Whale Watching in Iceland
Read the page: Visit Iceland.
Hitchhiking West Africa
In 2002, I hitchhiked all the way to the border of Senegal, crossing the Moroccan Western Sahara and the Mauritanian Desert.
So far, I have lived in Finland, Brazil, Turkey, Portugal, Morocco, Poland, Ukraine, and the United States.
Leaving the comfort zone back home is, indeed, a fulfilling experience that enriches our spirit, towards ourselves and others, while endowing life with a multitude of practical information.
I can say, above all, living abroad is the absolute best self-development practice, ever.
Being Invited to stay with a nomad Kazakh Family
Read my page: Nomads of Kazakhstan
Crossing through the Idlib Province during wartime
Crossing the newly reopen M5 highway connecting Damascus to Aleppo through the Idlib Province since it was closed for many years due to the civil war was a situation that made me think about many things in life.
Due to the ongoing fighting in Idlib, which I saw in the distance, for almost 30 km, I heard bombs and black smoke on the horizon.
People on motorcycles, tanks, and army trucks were all heading to the frontline. A particular section of the road was barred by the Turkish army. Consequently and all vehicles had to go on a shortcut.
While crossing a destroyed village, a Syrian Army tank fired just 20m from my car. The noise was tremendous, and like something I’d never experienced before.
This road was eventually cut two days after due to rebels gaining terrain and occupying the villages near Saraqib.
We often complain about many things we take for granted, while in other war thorn parts of the world, people do really have nothing.
I deeply hope you enjoyed reading about my best travel experiences and got inspired to make your own.