Do It Before You Die: Our Top Picks

1. Northern Lights and Starry Skies

"We were looking up at the partly cloudy sky, hoping we would see something... I noticed a weird, white streak of light above us in the sky. The streak got brighter and and turned an intense color of green." 

Iceland. Photo by @bennettfilm

Iceland. Photo by @bennettfilm

"We all started screaming and jumping around. The three of us grabbed each other and jumped up and down "I can't believe it! I can't believe it!". It was one of the happiest moments of my life."

- Eric Bennett. See Eric's story here

Lighthouse in Iceland. Photo by @bennettfilm

Lighthouse in Iceland. Photo by @bennettfilm

2. Hike in the Himalayas

"There's something incredible about finding yourself between the largest mountains in the world. A feeling of insignificance and power, achievement and defeat, all at once."

Mt Everest. Photo by @bennettfilm

Mt Everest. Photo by @bennettfilm

"There is such amazing scenery along the way. The landscape is constantly changing, going from lush, wet jungle, to alpine, to barren, snowy mountain tops, then to dry, windy desert."

- Eric Bennett. See more of Eric's story here

Annapurna Circuit. Photo by @bennettfilm

Annapurna Circuit. Photo by @bennettfilm

3. Waterfalls and swimming holes

"The waterfall immediately drew me into the water! Watching the light change through the course of the day helped me get these magical shots. It was intriguing and ever so relaxing spending the day at Spa Pool."

- Tom Jessett. See Tom's story here

Spa pool at Karijini National Park, Western Australia. Photo by @trex.photography

Spa pool at Karijini National Park, Western Australia. Photo by @trex.photography

"Fairy Falls is a multi-tiered waterfall and one I had seen photographed many times... They were well worth the steep hike"

- Josh Nelson. See more of Josh's story here

Fairy Falls, Oregon. Photo by @jrad_photo

Fairy Falls, Oregon. Photo by @jrad_photo

4. African Safari

"Sunny, blue skies; diverse cultures; spectacular natural landscapes; pristine beaches, and of course, a diverse range of wild animals in their natural habitats. These are just a few reasons to explore Africa."

 - Japie van Deventer. See more of Japie's story here

Lion. Photo by @jaapdozer

Lion. Photo by @jaapdozer

Leopard. Photo by @jaapdozer

Leopard. Photo by @jaapdozer

5. Deep, vast canyons

"Feel the magnitude of this place and think about how small and humble we are compared to these unique rock formations."

See more of Julia's story here

Black Canyon, Colorado. Photo by @ahjulia

Black Canyon, Colorado. Photo by @ahjulia

Black Canyon, Colorado. Photo by @ahjulia

Black Canyon, Colorado. Photo by @ahjulia

 
 


Do It Before You Die: Visit Black Canyon, Colorado

julia pelio black canyon colorado thisworldexists this world exists

Do you have a favourite place on Earth? I think I just found mine. Situated in western Colorado, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is a hidden treasure of North America.

julia pelio black canyon colorado thisworldexists this world exists

The Canyon got its name because some parts of the gorge only receive 33 minutes of sunlight a day. It's incredibly steep, it’s more than 2000 feet tall and probably one of the deepest and narrowest canyons I have ever seen in my life.

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You can access the park from the South or North Rim. The South Rim has more to offer, like a visitors centre and picnic areas. We had no time to see both sides, so we only explored the North Rim, which is reachable only by an unpaved road (closed during the winter) but has many breathtaking view spots. 

julia pelio black canyon colorado thisworldexists this world exists

This park is less popular than Grand Canyon (and very different), so you won’t see many tourists - great for getting a deeper connection to the magical nature around.

julia pelio black canyon colorado thisworldexists this world exists

Take a moment and listen to the sound of Gunnison’s rushing waters. Feel the magnitude of this place and think about how small and humble we are compare to these unique rock formations. It is hard to imagine the age of Black Canyon rock is 1.7 billion years!

julia pelio black canyon colorado thisworldexists this world exists

This is a park I’d like to camp at and spend a few days to a week exploring. Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is just a must see if you are in this part of Colorado.

julia pelio black canyon colorado thisworldexists this world exists

Written by Julia Pelio. Photos by Arthur Pelio.

Julia is a THISWORLDEXISTS Adventure Ambassador. You can see more of her adventures on Instagram: @juliapelio or @THISWORLDEXISTS

 
 

Motorcycling From Mexico to Moab

It was a classic example of a motorcycle trip - plenty of gas stops, cigarettes, coffees, and classic rock. We began our adventure in San Cristobal, Ciapas. Unlike other motorcycle trips, we travelled one-way with all our stuff, instruments, and gear given to us. We left with $200 and knew we'd run out along the way.

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Leaving a place is half the work of a trip, there's always something holding you back another day, and then another. We just had to drive out of the city, whatever city that held a grip on us, and feel the countryside roads with the engine roaring and the wind quietening all trouble. 

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We built a one-wheel motorcycle trailer for our dog Patita who decided to go on her own trip in Mexico City, leaving a bit of sadness behind every time I'd load her part of the trailer with our backpacks. We were probably too ambitious to travel 3000 miles with a Belgian shepherd on the back of the bike. 

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We rode along the Mezcal roads of Oaxaca, drove through the big city of Mexico and into the desert roads of San Luis Potosi. We crossed the border through Laredo and spent a few days penniless travelling 60 miles at a time, playing music at gas stations. 

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Along the way people at gas stations and restaurants gave unexpected donations to our trip. Maybe because of the strange trailer we hauled or because there was a beautiful girl riding along, enduring the hot and long roads in good fashion. 

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Texas was boiling in June. Flat, hot, and with long stretches in between gas stations where we'd turn the engine off when travelling downhill while leaning forward to decrease the wind drag. Riding into New Mexico, we began to climb and wind around the canyons. 

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The flatlands were replaced by copper and ore canyons and Navajo gas stations made for much more interesting breaks. Driving straight up the Great Plains, there were dozens of deer off the highway and the great thirty wagon trains carrying stuff up and down the middle of the country.

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We climbed up into Colorado and stopped to camp one night in Durango. The roads were beautiful and the 70 degree weather made for the best riding of the trip. That was the last day of the first part of the trip, since Moab was only a few hours from the Utah border. 

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We made it to Moab, Utah in a week. It was our first long stop, where we met up with an old climbing buddy who showed us around the crags and helped us find work in town. 

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One could drive 1000 miles just around Utah and all empty canyon roads, camping in all the free spots, and enjoying the sights with no one to break the 70mph meditation. Moab was a great place to stop for a few weeks in anticipation of the next destination.

Written by Esty Pinto