Travel

5 enriching ideas to think about before you travel again

From cultural immersions to serene retreats, here's a list of memory-making travel ideas to seek out on your next trip. Image: Unsplash

Whether you prefer luxe cruising or basic camping, there's no denying that travel frees the mind and spirit. Citro has put together some travel inspo ideas with a twist to get you thinking about the type of memories you want to make on your next trip away from home. Travel trends shift and evolve, as do our desires from the experiences we invest our time in. If you're after encounters to evoke passion, then read this short list of unique travel experiences worth adding to your bucket list.

Digging into history: embrace your inner Indiana Jones with archeological travel

If you want to get down and dirty, Projects Abroad offers volunteer archaeological field work opportunities at important dig sites around the world. If digging isn’t your thing, you can assist with field documents and restoration work. Sydney University also offers volunteer programs at Pella in Jordan. The cost is around $6000 and includes food, board, and local transportation transfers.

Closer to home, the outback’s Lake Mungo also beckons. About 760 kilometres west of Sydney, and home to Mungo Man and Mungo Woman who lived around 40000 years ago, they are the oldest human remains yet found in Australia. Experience Aboriginal culture and conservation initiatives on your own, or join organised discovery tours.

If it’s maritime history that floats your boat, The Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney is always on the lookout for volunteer conservation assistants, fleet maintenance personnel and model makers.

Image: Mehmet Turgut Kirkgov

Wild thing: see animals in the wild

Every continent offers wildlife safaris. We tend to think of Africa as the safari capital of the world, but Asia, North and South America, Europe, Antarctica and Australia, all offer up-close-and-personal wildlife encounters. From whale watching, to the big game reserves, and the penguin parade of the frozen wilderness of Antarctica, there are thousands of organised wildlife tours available, so we can list just a couple that come highly recommended.

The 13-hour Kantishna experience in Denali National Park is a bus-ride deep into the Alaskan wilderness, where other vehicles are prohibited. Denali is teaming with grizzly bears, wolves, moose, caribou, dall sheep and arctic squirrels. The on-board naturalist provides commentary and will stop the bus whenever something amazing bounces by. All refreshment is catered by the operators.

Kruger National Park in South Africa offers hundreds of safaris with a range of accommodation from camping to luxury. Within the more than 19000 square kilometres of wilderness, the tour operators will do their best to ensure you see your fill of lions, buffalo, elephants, hippos and rhinos. All hunting in Kruger has been prohibited, and as the animals have not yet signed up to the no-hunting agreement, bicycles and skateboards have also been outlawed from the parks.

Tasmania abounds with wild wildlife, like these wild seals. Image: Pascal Borener

Mine for a better time in the outback

Opal fossicking and living underground in the Australian outback at Coober Pedy, Lightning Ridge, and White Cliffs is a well-worn track for Aussies. The casual outback experience is particularly enticing for city-dwellers, and you might stumble upon a beautiful piece of rainbow. Opal miners are also gems worth finding – characters ever ready to wash the dust off their tonsils and spin a yarn or two.

Coober Pedy is known as the opal capital of the world due to the quantity and quality of its gemstones. Along with White Cliffs, its opals are the white or light variety, with those that throw up vivid colour patterns quite rare and expensive. Lightning Ridge is famous for its black opals, the rarest and most valuable of all opals anywhere.

White opal is the prized gem to uncover in the outback town of Coober Pedy. Image: Unsplash

The open road on other continents

Aussies love our road trips, and we all have our favourites, from the desert to the mountains to the sea. But what about a road trip in another land? Scenic New Zealand is easy to explore by road, and the food and wine are remarkable.

The western area national parks of the USA are diverse and spectacular: The Grand Canyon, Zion, Rushmore, Mesa Verde, Canyonlands, Death Valley, Yosemite, Yellowstone, to name just a few, each one extraordinary.

From the Dordogne in France to Lake Como in Italy is a journey of about 900 km, through mountains, rivers and charming villages. Stop for a bite to eat or overnight at Limoges, Lake Geneva, Mont Blanc, and finally, beautiful Tremezzo or Bellagio on Lake Como. (Just don't forget to drive on the correct side of the road!)

Awaken your senses with new scenery - this image is across the ditch in Twizel, New Zealand, a purpose-built townfounded in 1968 to house construction workers on the Upper Waitaki Hydroelectric Scheme. Image: Tonia Kraakman

Take a walking pilgrimage – the Camino

Walking  holidays offer a unique blend of spiritual reflection, physical activity, and cultural immersion. These journeys, often undertaken along ancient routes like the Camino de Santiago or the Shikoku Pilgrimage, provide participants with an opportunity to disconnect from modern life, fostering a sense of mindfulness and self-discovery through the meditative pace of walking.

The Spanish term 'Camino' means 'path' or 'way' and these journeys often ended in a spiritual shrine to allow the traveller to reflect after the arduous walk. Whether you believe in God or a higher power or not, these journeys follow a different pace to a traditional holiday where you cram as many destinations into one day as possible. Walking holidays often take you off the beaten path and allow you to discover hidden gems that might not be accessible by other means of transportation.

The benefits of a pilgrimage encompass improved mental wellbeing (and stronger legs). Follow the ancient routes of pilgrims to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. Bygone worshippers walked for penance or for gratitude to the burial site of apostle, Saint James the Great. You might choose to walk the Camino for spiritual fulfilment or to immerse yourself in European history, or simply for the challenge.

The Camino Frances walk is 800km, and takes about a month to complete. The Camino Portgueses is 240 km, the Camino Ingles is 120 km, or simply join the final 100 km of any route. Travel independently, finding hostel lodging along the way, or in a group with vehicle support, staying in guesthouses.

Camino is the Spanish term for 'the way' and offers a travel experience with a different pace. Image: Unsplash.

Citro member offer: 10% off Freely travel insurance

Freely have simplified travel insurance with a single bundled Explorer Plan that can you build upon with extra coverage. This way, you only pay for the coverage you need, on the days you actually need it. Travel insurance that’s backed by Zurich, so you can explore more with Freely. To buy your discounted policy, use this link and the code CITRO10. See terms and conditions.

Share your idea of a great adventure

We've only just scratched the surface of the incredible travel experiences out there, and now it's your turn to take the stage! We know that each one of you has a treasure trove of unique adventures and unforgettable travel experiences waiting to be shared. We want to hear about the unique experiences that you’d recommend for the rest of the community – share them in the comment section below!

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