The Modern Explorer’s Bucket List

Move over adrenalin-fuelled activities! Next year will see the coolest travellers ticking off gentler experiences that merge global exploration with self-reflection.

4 Dec 2017 — By Lightfoot Travel / Holidays / Travel
Mongolian children looking at a laptop

A new year comes with great intentions to make the next 365 days our most enjoyable, significant, and memorable yet. Included in this is our future travel plans, with many of us adding daring escapades onto our Bucket Lists. Yet times are changing and 2018’s travel must-do’s are evolving from a tendency towards radical activities and instead are taking on a more meaningful twist.

“Until recently, notable do-them-while-you-can experiences seemed to involve extreme events such as scaling national landmarks and pushing your body to its limits through dangerous exploration,” says Lucy Jackson, co-founder and director of Lightfoot Travel. “While these kinds of trips are not to be dismissed, today’s modern traveller is increasingly searching for adventures that provide a deeper personal insight and inspiration.”

Indeed, ‘transformative travel’ is the latest trend that will be taking us into pastures new while at the same time providing us with fresh perspectives, self-development, and a strong immersion within nature and culture.

“These days we’re bombarded with endless travel information and images, and this has made our minds more open and curious than ever,” continues Lucy. “Travellers now long to venture beyond the surface of what they see and to really immerse themselves in their surroundings. They don’t just want to ‘do’, they also want to ‘learn’.”

The implementation of what you learn upon your return is what makes a trip truly transformative. Here, we round up some of the most exciting travel options for 2018 that will not only update your Bucket List, but also your entire being.

Become a Family Member in Mongolia

a traditional Mongolian ‘ger’

Experience life as a local by staying in a traditional ‘ger’

When it comes to back-to-basics, you can’t beat Mongolia, especially if you submerge yourself in the native culture by setting up camp with a local family. You’ll stay in a traditional ‘ger’ (a traditional Mongolian felt tent), or a homestay, and help to work on the land, ride camels, milk cows, practice Mongolian cooking, try eagle hunting and gain an incredible insight into this country which is rugged, raw and fascinating. Add some Bactrian trekking and rich history lessons to your schedule on an itinerary such as this one.

Mongolian boy herding his flock of sheep/goats.


Embark on a Journey Of Change in Cambodia

Song Saa Cambodia

Accommodation in Song Saa – perfect after a day of saving the planet

The private island of Song Saa in Koh Rong, Cambodia, has a giant heart. Dedicated to creating a better world, it has so far contributed to the creation of Cambodia’s first marine reserve, the planting of mangrove forests to reduce greenhouse gases, and the funding of health clinics around the Archipelego. Wanting to spread the love, guests can take part in the community and conservation projects or pioneering 4-day philanthropic tours known as the Journeys of Change. It doesn’t get more transformative! For further details click here.

Song Sa Cambodia

Work on the land in Laos

hut in Laos

Contribute towards a better education system in Laos

In between exploring Laos’ temples, waterfalls and mystical caves, you can assist with the development of a local community and garner new skills in the rice fields. The Living Land is a cooperative of seven families which produces organically-grown vegetables for Luang Prabang’s finest restaurants. Not only does it work to educate the locals on more land-farming friendly methods, but it also welcomes travellers to join the fun. Profits are ploughed back into building better schools in the area. Find out more here.

Read our inspiration of the top 10 things to do in Laos here!

working rice fields in Laos

Search for Gorillas in Rwanda

Rwandan gorilla

Head to Rwanda to monitor these beautiful yet endangered species

For some meaningful monkey business join the striking Mountain Gorillas in their natural habitat at Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. Heading on an exclusive trek you can follow in the footsteps of these rare and critically endangered creatures, monitoring them as you go. The expert guides will take you to the best spots, sharing their intimate knowledge and wisdom throughout, allowing you to gain a first-hand insight into their fascinating habitat and behaviours. Log on here to get your trip started.

Teach & learn in Bali

girl learning traditional balinese crafts

The Green School by the Ayung River near Ubud, Bali, is like no other. It offers an educational curriculum that also teaches children about ecology, sustainability, respect for nature, love for themselves, and a greater awareness of the wider world. It welcomes volunteers to join the party, offering you a unique experience where you can hone your communication and teamwork skills alongside learning about the working styles and personalities of different cultures. For more details log on here.

Lightfoot Travel is a luxury tour operator with offices in Singapore, Hong Kong and Dubai, specialising in designer holidays around the world. Tel: Hong Kong +(852) 2815 0068, Singapore +(65) 6438 4091 or  [email protected]

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