By day Co-Editor Keri is a freelance journalist and copywriter, but spends most of her free time either travelling or planning her next trip!  A complete travel fanatic, she has a love of tropical climates, wildlife and afternoon tea (hence the creation of her Global Afternoon Tea Challenge!)

Once in a lifetime travel experiences have been at the forefront of my mind recently as I’ve been trying to decide on a special trip this year to celebrate my 40th birthday.

I’ve been lucky enough to have some amazing travel experiences over the years already, but hitting the big ‘four oh’ has got me thinking about all the ‘wow’ travel moments I still haven’t experienced. Off the back of this I decided to create a proper travel bucket list, which I’ve saved on my desktop to keep close at hand.

Unsurprisingly, for those that know me, most of the experiences that have ended up on that list involve a hell of a lot of money, so I don’t expect to be crossing one of these off every year! However, I plan to use these travel dreams as motivation to keep working hard and earning good money as a freelance journalist and copywriter to hopefully save enough to push out the boat and treat myself to a once in a lifetime travel experience possibly every landmark birthday (I’m thinking the fives and the ohs – whaddya think?)

The beautiful Varadero beach.

Late last year I wrote about ten of my dream travel experiences, so the list is off to a good start, but now its always close to hand, when I discover something that makes me want to head straight to Tripadvisor to book flights and check out hotels, I can add it to the dream list.

Sadly I left it too late to organise some of those dreams for this year’s special trip, but having stalked, I mean followed Emily from the Cosy Traveller’s recent Tromso trip via her Insta stories, complete with jaw-dropping Northern Lights and husky sledging, my winter wonderland dream is still very, very high on the list.

Once in a lifetime travel experiences
Image credit: Emily Ray
Once in a lifetime travel experiences
Image credit: Emily Ray

I’ve also added a few new additions, including a trip to a bioluminescent beach. Having done some research you can find them all over the globe, from Japan and Tasmania through to the USA and Puerto Rico, but interestingly I may not actually have to travel that far to tick this one off. That’s because I discovered somebody even got to see this phenomenon in Anglesey, Wales!

bioluminescent beach

However, I’m prepped to tick off the first thing from my bucket list, as I’ve just gone and booked my celebratory 40th trip. This once in a lifetime travel experience is having a private villa on an (almost) deserted tropical island!

I’ve booked a stay for Justin and I at Koh Jum Beach Villas, on a relatively unknown tropical island in Thailand. We’ve got our own private villa overlooking the sea and with a mostly left untouched island to explore I can imagine it’ll be utter bliss! To get there we have to take a longboat or speedboat from the mainland of Krabi and then we’re free to completely unwind in our own private paradise!

Koh Jum Beach Villas Thailand

Koh Jum Beach Villas Thailand

It’s going to be utterly amazing and I can’t wait to go, although it’s not until October. In the meantime I’ll keep on adding to that bucket list – lets hope I live to a grand old age that allows me to get through it all!

What makes your list of once in a lifetime travel experiences? Have you already been lucky enough to tick them off, or are your amazing adventures yet to come?


Once in a lifetime travel experiences


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By day Co-Editor Keri is a freelance journalist and copywriter, but spends most of her free time either travelling or planning her next trip!  A complete travel fanatic, she has a love of tropical climates, wildlife and afternoon tea (hence the creation of her Global Afternoon Tea Challenge!)

43 thoughts on “Once in a lifetime travel experiences

  1. Wow, that looks/sounds amazing! That sort of location would definitely be high on my own “once in a lifetime” list!

    High on my priority list (and all currently out of reach) are to visit my friend in New Zealand – which would have to involve a visit to Oz and some nice stopovers, so time is an issue as well! – San Francisco, Thailand, and I have recently developed a yearning to go to Japan. And anywhere warm and sunny!

    1. Why are they all out of your reach Ania? Surprised you didn’t consider the NZ one when the job change happened…

      1. TBH I did consider NZ at that time, but there were a few factors that meant it wasn’t quite the right time to do it. It’s definitely a consideration for when I finish this contract though – watch this space!

        Can’t wait to hear all about your trip when it happens – it looks like absolute paradise!

    1. Kinda am Shikha – still, got 10 days in Turkey to look forward to yet, and wherever we end up going with the kids in the summer!

  2. OHMOGOSH! That private Thai hotel sounds sooo luxurious! What a way to celebrate your big 4-0! I should start thinking about doing something like thiat for my husband’s big 4-0 in a few years!! #CityTripping

    1. Plan ahead my dear – I left it all till the last minute and the whole thing’s been very stressful lol!

  3. That looks amazing! I am writing my must see places list as we speak in anticipation of my 40th next year. Happy birthday to you in advance! #mondayescapes

  4. That Thai Hotel looks amazing! We did a bioluminescent kayak trip in Puerto Rico and it was amazing. I can’t wait to read about your Thailand trip!! #CityTripping

    1. Oh that must have been AMAZING! Would you recommend Puerto Rico then? We’ve talked about visiting a few times over recent years…

  5. What an amazing list!! Love the idea of staying on a tropical island too – not many people can say they’ve done that! I think your post has set off something within me – It’s made me realise that I just want to create special memories and stories that I can one day tell my kids/cats!

    1. It’s totally the way forward Emily. This year we’re selling tonnes of our crap to spend on experiences and we don’t really do big bday pressies now, we go away instead.

  6. a private island sounds amazing – you’re going to have a great birthday!! I’ve also never heard of bioluminescent beaches before but they sound beautiful… where in the USA did you hear they are?

    1. Ah man I can’t remember now Sarah – I think it might have been California, but can’t say for sure. Sorry!

  7. I’ve seen the lights once and tried many times to see them. Even when all the way to Lapland and it was a big light show BUT the sky was covered in clouds. So disappointing but I’m sure I’ll see them again in my life time… they are too magical to give up trying. Great photos.

    1. That’s the thing isn’t it Lillian, its a bit of luck really, no matter how hard you plan. Emily had sooooo much luck, those pics are amazing!

  8. Nice experiences! I didn’t know there is bioluminescense in Morro Bay. I have to check that out. For what I have read, the lagoons in Puerto Rico are dark because of the destruction cause by Hurricane Maria (I am from there). I hope the light comes back because getting into bioluminescent waters is an incredible experience. #WanderfulWednesday

  9. We have always wanted to see the Northern lights but never got there, it because I choose hot every time but I think I need to just get it booked, thanks so much for linking up #MondayEscapes

    1. It’s tough isn’t it though Sarah – I’m a sunshine lover too! After my Cortina break though I’m loving the snow more and more…

  10. What a tempting list- and i am all for celebrating big birthdays with trips. I’ve been husky sledding which was amazing but somewhere like Tromso for the Northern lights and seeing a bioluminescent bay would be incredible.

  11. Wow, what a great trip to celebrate your birthday! I spent two weeks travelling in Mexico with friends for my 30th… I definitely am on board with doing incredible trips for the big birthdays! Or any birthday at all 😉

  12. SO great to have a running bucket list going! I really need to write down my dream experiences somewhere- once you write something down it’s so much more likely to happen! And your 40th birthday trip sounds like it’s going to be such a hit! Have so much fun! Can’t wait to read about it!

  13. How I would love to see the Northern Lights! Like you, I’m fascinated by this phenomenon. Did you know you can bio-luminescence in a lough in Southern Ireland too? A small business organises nighttime kayaking trips, and this is high on my list of family adventures.
    Happy birthday 😉

    1. Whoop! I’m glad to hear it – I might fill in the gaps and do something for all the bdays inbetween lol!

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