8 travel experiences to have once and only once

2014-05-28 07:21
A little while ago, we put a piece together about the world’s worst ‘tourist traps.’  

The list included things like a gondola ride in Venice, going to Temple Bar in Dublin and seeing the Mona Lisa in Paris’ Louvre.  

Although these may be super popular tourist attractions, they’re all kind of overrated for various reasons – from being too pricy to attracting too large crowds.

However, they also create something of a catch-22 for travellers: you kind of want to avoid them, but you also really don’t want to miss out on something that started out as being quite legendary indeed.  

Inspired by Huffington Post, we’ve decided to take a bit of a softer approach and check out eight places/experiences that while, yes, they have been overly hyped up, they are totally worth visiting/doing… but only once.  

Agree? Disagree? Have something to add? Tell us in the comment section below!

1. Go to AfrikaBurn



There’s really something exceptional about this fiery Burning Man-esque festival that has been taking place in the Tankwa Karoo for the past four years. We’re sure you’ve seen the photographs – people in fantastical costumes cycling through flat desert scenery and others half-naked kicking up dust while they dance.

It seems like an almost mystical affair – what with the gifting system, whimsical artworks all around and people living out their fantasies of freedom for a couple of days.  

So, if you’ve ever wanted to experience something simultaneously earthy and out-of-this-world, AfrikaBurn is an absolute must.

However, going more than once seems a little extravagant to us. Why? Well, we’ve heard that the magic of your ‘first burn’ could never be recreated. So, maybe you shouldn’t try... (but, of course, we could be wrong).     

2. Climb Kilimanjaro



Mainly just because summiting this iconic African peak once is impressive enough already. However, if you can do it again – go ahead!  

3. Go to any of the famous festivals



Oktoberfest in Germany, La Tomatina in Spain, Songkran in Thailand and Ibiza – all incredible festivals, all overflowing with all sorts of fun, but all also super duper crowded and slightly messy.

Definitely worth checking at least one of them (but why not all of them?) out once and then living happily ever after with the great memories, crazy photos and, best of all, the knowledge that you never have to experience it again.  

4. Ride the London Eye



The famous, modernized Ferris wheel ride offers visitors to England’s history-rich capital an incredible 360 degree, bird’s eye view. But at £29.50 (roughly R520 at R16.20/pound) a ride, it’s not something you’re necessarily going to want to do every time you’re in London. Also, if you’ve seen the view once, it’s breathtaking enough to last a lifetime.  

5. Stay at a mega resort



Spending a holiday indulging in the fabulousness of resort life (think Club Med) could be loads of fun – there are activities a-plenty, drinks and food on demand and so many new people to meet. However, we think it could get rather tedious, not to mention tiring… therefore, limiting yourself to one, and only one, of these type of holidays would probably be wise.    

6. Take a cross-country roadtrip… really slowly



Road trips are the business! Especially if you take a leisurely pace and enjoy all the sights and sounds along the way. However, they can also be quite draining, rather expensive and put pressure on interpersonal relationships with your fellow travellers. Definitely a must-do once in your lifetime! But don’t push your luck for a second go.  

7. Fly business class



If you’re just an ordinary cattle class traveller, like most of us, chances are good you’ve never enjoyed the luxury of business class. However, we think it’s one of those things every frequent flyer should experience at least once.

So, whether you have to rob a bank, swindle airline staff into upgrading you or simply save up forever and a day, just do it! As for the only once part? Well, if you can manage to not have your money or your luck run out after your first time, we’re all for doing it again and again… and again!

8. Try finding inner peace at an Ashram in India



Thanks to Elizabeth Gilbert’s ‘Eat.Pray.Love.’ the idea of heading to an Indian Ashram to ‘find yourself’ has tickled the fancy of women (and probably a few men too) around the globe.

However, the ascetic lifestyle followed by ashram-dwellers is not for everyone. If inner peace is what you’re after, though, it’s probably worth a shot. Whether you find it or not, we doubt it’s the type of holiday you will take more than once (unless you’re a devoted yogi). 

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Read more on:    travel  |  travel international

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