Your Greatest Travel Memory

By Nomadic Matt | Published May 23rd, 2011

As I continue to get closer to the 5 year anniversary of my travels, I’m continuing to highlight your stories. You know my story but I wanted to hear from others about their travels – from why we left, to the ups, the downs, and the wisdom learned on the road. We started off with why people started traveling. Today, travel lovers from around the world take a moment to share with us their greatest travel memory:

“After a challenging full-day hike up Volcan Fuego just outside Antigua, I was rewarded with the most amazing sunset I have ever seen. Our small group sipped boxed red wine and watched the sky turn all shades of orange from above the clouds, the tops of volcanoes peaking through the clouds showing the path of the fault line in the distance.” – Stephanie

“I spent a month in 2009 on a boat travelling around the Falkland Islands, South Georgia, and the Antarctic Peninsula. Needless to say, I saw many spectacular things over those weeks, but on our very last day, under a blazing warm sun, we had the best sight of all. Just as the boat was turning to begin the journey back to Argentina, the bridge spotted a pod of about 200 orca whales up ahead. As I was running down to the bow to get a better look, one of the crew grabbed me and pulled me to the port side of the boat, where, leaning over the railings, we could see a huge Antarctic Orca a few feet below us, right next to the hull. Looking around, we saw dozens more. I ran along the side of the boat for a few minutes, following them as they swam lazily alongside, until I reached the stern, where I ran into some friends. We grabbed each other and screeched excitedly. I had left my camera upstairs, so I didn’t get a single picture of them, but in some ways, I wouldn’t change that – instead of looking at them through a lens, I was watching them with my own eyes, and every second is emblazoned on my memory. It was the perfect end to the most amazing month of my life.” – Susan

“Teaching a group of Kalahari Bushmen how to play Frisbee. I was co-guiding a travel writing safari at the time. We spent the day in the desert with a tribe of bushmen who still live as their ancestors have for centuries – sleeping in the sand, dressing in kudu hides, storing water for the dry season in ostrich egg shells buried in the ground. They’re incredible people who spent the day teaching us how they survive in the desert, and sharing some of their games and dances with us. I stood there wishing we could give something back to them. Then I remembered I had a Frisbee in my backpack. They had never seen one before, but were instant experts. (I’m sad to say I did not display the same level of expertise when they tried to teach me a spear throwing game.)” – David

“The most exciting was skydiving out of a helicopter while in Switzerland. It was a totally spur of the moment thing and I’m so glad I did it.” – James

“One of the greatest memories I have is when I snuck into the pyramids after hours. I had met an Irish man named Fred in a hostel in Egypt. He was a little eccentric but the most saintly man I have ever met. He began teaching me about eastern religion, Atlantis and the prophecies of Edgar Cayce. He believed that I would help him open a secret hall of records under the Sphinx. Long story short, we didn’t discover the records of Atlantis but we did discover many ancient hieroglyphs and a complex network of catacombs, which at times led us 30 feet beneath the sand. I never felt more like my idol, Indiana Jones.” – Lief

“Being pulled into a nude male protest in the main square of Mexico city!” – Oneika

“Sitting at a cafe perched at the top of Santorini island in Greece with my sister. It overlooked the ocean and volcanic islands from the cliffs above. Behind us were rows of white-washed buildings with blue domes. It’s the most beautiful place I’ve ever been to–I never wanted to leave. It was also the first time I had ever traveled alone with my sister. I just remember sitting there on that sunny day and being in awe of the beauty and history.” – Emily

“One time, I met the sailors on the Queen of Denmark’s private yacht in a bar in Copenhagen’s Vesterbro district. We talked until 4 am and they invited me to come and tour the yacht the next afternoon. No big deal.” – Allie (Editor’s Note: While doing a canal tour a few days ago in Copenhagen, I saw the Queen getting ready to leave this yacht in the harbor.)

“Hand feeding a sea turtle while scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef.” – Mike

“Swimming across a lake in the bush of Australia, overcoming fears of the poisonous creatures that might be swimming with me, to participate in my first-ever triathlon with my husband and two kids as my teammates. The four of us running and cheering together in that crazy event captured the degree to which traveling and spending 24/7 together made us a team.” – Sarah

“Getting the idea to do it.” – Jen

Skydiving in Kaikoura, New Zealand… my early 30th birthday gift to myself. Took every ounce of courage I had and I did it without a tour group or friend! Scariest and coolest thing I’ve ever pushed myself into doing!” – Crystal

“Getting engaged while houseboating on Lake Powell.” – Kara

“My first ever solo trip which was to the Fijian Islands. I was nervous, but ended up meeting so many great people with whom I partied, drank and snorkelled with for 10 days, and after I got home I felt like the world really was my playground, and that I could do anything from there on in and be OK. ” – Nicole

Editor’s Note: If you want to share your story for the upcoming posts, come over to my my original blog and submit your answers. Tell us your story. We want to hear it. I want to hear it.

I asked my readers a series of 6 questions about travel. Read their answers to the other 5 intriguing questions:
Why did you start traveling?
What’s the one item you can’t travel without?
What’s the worst thing that has happened to you?
What is your greatest regret?
What advice would you give to new travelers?

comments 7 Comments

Hey Matt,
thanks for featuring me in this! There are some great travel memories here. I can’t wait to get back backpacking to make some more great memories. Hope you enjoyed Norway! Where to next??
Safe travels,
Leif

NomadicMatt

I’m currently in Denmark until next week when I got to Amsterdam.

Too many good memories to choose! Maybe popping the cork on a bottle of champagne after all my friends and I survived running with the bulls.

NomadicMatt

That is something to definitely celebrate!

Thanks, Matt, for including my family triathlon in Australia memory! I love the memories above about Frisbee with the Kalahari and Santorini.

One of my favorite recent travel moments was realizing that the turn I just took after following my silly GPS unit dealing with road construction was going to send me over the Rikoti Pass in Georgia (number one highest road pass in Georgia). The problem was that it was dusk and the light was fading fast. I had already been driving for hours, going from Tbilisi to Batumi. Luckily I didn’t come upon any oncoming traffic as I navigated the countless hairpin turns up, over, and down the Rikoti.

Rachel

Wow Susan’s story gave me goosebumps!

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