Since I am celebrating the milestone of five years of travel this weekend I felt that it was time to look back at the past five years, but I had done that just a while ago (Looking Back: Five Years Ago I Quit My Job To Travel The World). So I decided to share the five best and worst travel experiences instead.
To be honest: I find it impossible to narrow it down to only a handful experiences – there are so many things that come to mind. Some are obvious, like my four-day trek to Machu Picchu or walking over the Golden Gate Bridge, exploring the Maya and Aztec ruins in Mexico, boarding down a volcano in Nicaragua, visiting Angkor Wat, touring Bolivia’s striking salt flats, hiking in Patagonia, spending time with elephants in Thailand (not riding them!) cruising through the backwaters of Kerala in Southern India or living in a farmhouse in Tuscany. I could easily find a favorite travel moment in all fifty countries I’ve visited, but I decided to share the five things that popped into my head immediately:
Climbing an active volcano in Guatemala
I’ve climbed several volcanoes over the years, but scrambling up the rock-covered steep side of Pacaya, an active volcano in Guatemala, was the most memorable one. The closer we came to the top, the hotter the ground became, until we finally saw glowing lava and were even allowed to climb into a small hole not far from the peak, which felt like a sauna and had me fear my camera lens as well as the bottoms of my shoes would melt. When we were resting on top of the volcano before making our way back down, some people were even making s’mores over the lava heat! Experiencing an active volcano that way was an unforgettable experience, and Guatemala is still one of the most beautiful countries I’ve visited.