Journeys of a Lifetime

Venture to some of the world's most amazing destinations

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Journeys of a Lifetime

Fairbanks, Alaska is the best location to see the aurora borealis in the USA

Fairbanks, Alaska is the best location to see the aurora borealis in the USA

Fairbanks, Alaska is the best location to see the aurora borealis in the USA

Fairbanks, Alaska is the best location to see the aurora borealis in the USA

Although there are endless amazing destinations and adventures to experience in your life, several adventures are truly one of a kind and, potentially, life changing. These journeys should definitely find their way onto your bucket list.

Marvel at Northern Lights

Seeing the aurora borealis is a celestial experience that will change your perspective of the world. While the northern lights can be viewed from many locations on earth at high latitudes, according to National Geographic, there are seven best places to glimpse this natural phenomenon. Some of these locations are:

The northern lights decorate the sky in Iceland

Iceland

Iceland is not only one of the best locations to view the northern lights, but also one of the most idyllic travel destinations in the world. The best time to see the northern lights in Iceland is between late August and early April.

Fairbanks, Alaska

The Denali National Park Near Fairbanks, Alaska is the best location in the United States to see the auroras. The lights are at their height during the time frame of late August to mid April.

The aurora borealis streaks across the night sky in Tromsø, Norway

Tromsø, Norway

Tromsø is the largest  urban location in northern Norway and is surrounded by impressive fjords and the Lyngen Alps. Visitors seeking to observe the auroras should plan their trip between mid-September and late March.

Yellowknife, Canada

Located along the banks of the Great Slave Lake in Canada, Yellowknife is a fantastic location to see the phenomenon. This area of Canada is ideal at its high latitude and low amounts of light pollution. This location even has its own Aurora Village that caters to tourists. The best time of year to see the lights is between mid August to late April.

Train Ride Through the Alps

Winding viaducts form portions of the Bernina Express’ track

The Alps are home to some of the tallest peaks on the European continent and in the world. Although there are towering ranges around the globe, many even taller than the Alps, this mountain range sweeping through central Europe has some of the world’s most picturesque scenery. The combination of mountains with fields of wild flowers, lazy streams flowing with milky water through green valleys, and log cabins and bell-laden cows dotting the hills create a world of wonder.

The Glacier Express passes by some of the tallest mountains in Europe

There are many scenic train rides through these mountains worth traveling on, however, the two most scenic journeys through the Alps are undoubtedly the Glacier Express and Bernina Express in Switzerland. The Glacier Express spans an eight hour journey from west to east between Zermatt and St. Moritz. Along this route, riders are exposed to the stunning views of the Alps and pass by such points of interest as the Matterhorn and Landwasser Viaduct. The Bernina Express takes passengers from north to south across the country. The route stretches from Thusis down to Lugano in the Italian-speaking region of Switzerland.

 

“I got lost riding through the Alps one time and thought I was going to die in Switzerland.”

— Rachel Maile, AMHS Senior

Explore the Ancient World in Egypt and Jordan

A young boy rides a camel in front of the Treasury in Petra

Although many locations throughout the Middle East have become increasingly dangerous places of turmoil, the nations of Egypt and Jordan are among the safest and most low-risk options for travel in this region of the world. Luckily, these two nations boast some of the world’s greatest physical record from the ancient world.

The best way to travel through Egypt is to take a cruise down the Nile stopping at ports along the way and traveling with a tour company. Tour companies offer inexpensive journeys through the country which visit all of the major sites including Cairo, Luxor, Valley of the Kings, and the temple of Abu Simbel. Egypt is currently a particularly ideal location to visit, as the 1 billion dollar Grand Egyptian Museum is set to open in full swing in 2019. The museum will feature over 100,000 artifacts and, for the first time, the full collection of artifacts from King Tut’s tomb.

The Great Pyramids of Giza

Equally interesting, Jordan is home to one of the world’s most famous archaeological sites, Petra. Impressive facades of buildings from this lost civilization adorn the sides of cliffs in deep ravines and passages through the desert. Petra was a crossroads of the ancient world, having connections to civilization in Egypt, Rome, and Greece. This site truly stuns viewers with its beautiful structures carefully carved from the rock which leave you wondering, how did they build it? Petra is best and most easily accessed via tour companies who leave from the country’s capital, Amman.

 

Cruise the Greek Isles

The white buildings with blue roofs of Santorini create one the most picturesque settings in the world

While the entire Mediterranean Ocean and surrounding nations are worth cruising around and visiting, the coastline, sea, and islands of Greece’s Mediterranean shore are arguably the most exquisite. Typically, cruises around the Greek Isles visit such ports as Mykonos, Athens, Santorini, and Thessaloniki. While sailing between these stops with a major cruise line is a great option, you can also take individual boats between islands and cities. Island hopping by boat on your own time and agenda is a wonderful option to consider for travelers seeking to visit locations out of the way of tourists.

The beautiful Aliko Beach in Naxos, Greece

By sailing around the Greek Isles, you can become immersed in all aspects of Greek culture, food, history, and natural beauty. Some of the most picturesque scenery in Greece is found on Santorini where white-washed buildings with blue roofs overlook the deep blue waters of a bay formed by a volcano eruption in the 16th century BC. Santorini is touristy, and visitors seeking quiet beauty should consider such locations as Ithaca, Samothrace, Naxos, and Kythira. If taking a major cruise line suits your style of travel more, consider Norwegian or Royal Caribbean cruise lines who offer cruises visiting many diverse ports.

 

Find time in your life to relax, explore, and get to know the world. I hope these destinations inspire you to go on a great adventure, and maybe, these journeys end up on your next travel itinerary.

 

 

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