Life Begins At » Kicking it and loving it
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Kicking it and loving it

Creating your Bucket List is about seizing the moment, living for now, adventurism, escapism,and epicureanism – so now is the time to plan your experiences of a lifetime – and over the next two editions, The Retiree shows you how. So, what are you waiting for? Here are some exclusive tours that are both unique and unforgettable.

One issue you may find you have is – the bucket list appears to be bottomless.

Social demographer Mark McCrindle says the bucket list is an ongoing trend, where people compete and share achieving goals and doing unusual things. ‘’Everyone has pretty much realised that life doesn’t exist in an abundance of possessions. People are saying it is about experiences and doing something,’’ he says.

Creating a life by design, rather than just letting it happens to you, is the way of the future. Dr Stephen Juan, a retired Sydney University anthropologist says: ‘’There is a trend to do everything earlier. Why is that? Because the future is insecure for everyone…’’

Uncertainty about the economy and the environment, including natural disasters such as the recent floods, fires, and storms all over the nation, meant many people feel they no longer had the luxury of putting things off.

Skydive Sydney

There is a classic quote often heard in ‘bucket list’ circles. “People are dying at 40 and being buried at 80”. So now thousands worldwide are now living their life purpose thanks to designing a bucket list.

Psychologists say it is a good thing. They say, ‘wake-up’, get enthusiastic and become consciously aware of how you choose to live the rest of your life. You will start to live your life ‘on purpose’ by writing your bucket list and getting yourself a personal plan of action.

Those that have designed a bucket list have said that it was ‘life-changing’, says bucket list design expert Travis Bell, “It is like a pebble  in the pond. The ripple effect, not only affected their lives, but also the lives of the people around them.”

You might be thinking, why do I need to spend time writing a simple list of all the things I want to do before I die? It sounds so easy doesn’t it? The fact of the matter is that people don’t allow themselves the time, or more specifically, the thinking space to clearly articulate exactly what they really really want to do, and what would actually make them happy.

Dr Juan says the idea of having a list of things to do before one dies had always been in the consciousness, but now there was a tendency to have a list and tell people about it using social media. ‘’I call this the ‘been to’ phenomenon,’’ says Dr Juan. There is this desire to live a life that is as full, exciting, fulfilling and as purposeful as you can make it. And as the list goes on, there is an outline that begins to take shape of how a life well-lived can be.

Topping the bucket list categories is global adventure travel. Setting precedent for the global adventure tourism sector, the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) released a values statement – designed as a new prerequisite for membership in the near 900-member global community representing more than 80 nations – to ensure members of its community put effort towards nurturing, protecting and professionalising sustainable development of the adventure tourism industry, so if you are looking to begin a brand new list, the members of the ATTA is a good place to start.

Once just considered a rite of passage for gap-year students and the travel preference of early 20-somethings, one in ten Australians aged over 50 say they want to take a back-packing holiday, according to  Apia, the leading financial services provider for over 50s.

Apia’s in-depth report in to the thoughts and intentions of Australia’s fastest growing demographic group, Life Begins at 50, found that nearly 80 percent of over 50s say that travel is important to them and 70 percent already have their bucket list of places they would like to visit during their retirement years.

The most popular type of holidays for over 50s is the grand overseas adventure, with driving holidays, beach holidays, trips to the outback and cruises rounding out the top five types of holidays this adventurous group of Aussies group would like to take.

THE BENEFITS OF ‘ROUGHING IT’ AND GOING DOWN THE ROAD LESS TRAVELLED

Metaphorically speaking, someone who takes ‘the road less travelled’ is acting independently, freeing themselves from the conformity of others (who choose to take ‘the road more often travelled’), generally making their own choices, and perhaps leaving a new trail that will become the road more often traveled by others.

If you don’t know where you are going, it doesn’t matter what road you take. So it is important that you have a goal. You will never get there by being a flip-flop fish, swimming around lost in the big pond of life. Taking the road less travelled means being independent. And independence means, not being subject to the control of others.

“There is this desire to live a life that is as full, exciting, fulfilling and as purposeful as you can make it”

Council of Australian Tour Operators Must Do List

Kakadu National Park

This region is a place of breathtaking beauty and incredible biodiversity. Steeped in Dreamtime history, Kakadu nurtures a staggering variety of landscapes and wildlife. Venture deep into the wilderness and discover gushing  waterfalls, deep gorges, shimmering waterholes and rocky outcrops adorned with 20,000-year-old art.

Blue Mountains

Covering over one million hectares, the World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains is rich in verdant rainforest, dramatic waterfalls, looming forests and an abundance of wildlife. Greet the iconic Three Sisters and wander the boardwalks to soak up this breathtaking area of Australian bush.

Uluru

Nothing will prepare you for seeing Australia’s most famous landmark for the first time. An important part of Aboriginal Dreamtime stories, this ancient monolith is a photographer’s dream as it changes colours with the sun; from dazzling orange to dusty purple.

Kimberley

From deep gorges and dusty outback roads, and lush rainforests to idyllic billabongs, the landscape of this beautiful region is truly enchanting. A trip to the Kimberly can be as active or relaxing as you wish – hike past the strange ‘beehive’ domes of the Bungle Bungle Ranges, explore underground caves at Tunnel Creek or simply relax on white sand beaches.

Sydney Opera House

Set against a backdrop of that famous bridge which spans the sparkling harbour, the Opera House is one of Australia’s most iconic sights. Those familiar sails, adorned with more than a million white tiles, host thousands of  events and performances each year. Catch a show to admire the ornate interior, or take in the spectacular view from a ferry.

Great Barrier Reef

See the world’s largest reef system – so big it can be seen from outer space! This World Heritage site, just off the coast of Queensland, is home to whales, dolphins, turtles, sharks, colourful coral and more than 1,500 species of fish. Go scuba diving or snorkelling to explore this incredible underwater world.

Clare Valley

This beautiful wine-producing region is famed for its delicious local produce, picturesque scenery, friendly people and, of course, its fabulous wine. Explore back roads lined with vines and go wine-tasting to sample the very best drops this region has to offer.

Daintree

With verdant tropical rainforest stretching to white, sandy beaches, the Daintree is nothing short of spectacular. This complex ecosystem in Far North Queensland is home to a prolific amount of wildlife including frogs, reptiles, bats and butterflies, as well as the highest concentration of primitive plants species in the world. Australia’s largest rainforest is a true natural wonder just waiting to be explored.

TwelveSWIM WITH DOLHPINS Apostles

Although there’s actually only eight ‘Apostles’, these spectacular limestone rock stacks are a popular tourist spot along Victoria’s Great Ocean Road. Formed by erosion that began 10-20 million years ago, the stacks rise majestically from the churning Southern Ocean. Hit the boardwalks, tracks and viewing areas for spectacular views.

Wineglass Bay

With its white sand, crystal-clear water and distinct crescent shape, Wineglass Bay on Tasmania’s gorgeous Freycinet Peninsula is a pristine paradise. It’s easy to see why it’s often voted as one of the top 10 beaches in the world! Hike a trail to the summit overlooking the bay for breathtaking views, or descend to the beach and set up camp. Go snorkelling to discover colourful fish and perhaps some playful dolphins.

“You will start to live your life ‘on purpose’”

The all-time top ten rides to ride

Members of The Australian Travel Trade Association, Mike and Denise Ferris, have travelled more than half a million kilometres over the last decade in search of the ultimate ride – a road fit for motorbiking that delivers as much in exotic culture as it does in breathtaking vistas, and as adrenalin-pumping as it is historical.

From their experience, they have put together this bucket list of the top 10 roads to ride, and is an accumulation of their two-wheeled experiences journeying to the ends of the earth aboard BMW’s, Enfields, Suzukis and Kawasakis.

1 CAPADOCIA, TURKEY

It is simply not possible to adequately describe the surrealistic landscapes of Capadocia. The unique geographical phenomenon is unlike anywhere else in the world with its spectacular topography of ‘fairy chimneys’, Troglydyte dwellings and subterranean cities – making this adventure like no other on the Turkish Treasures motorcycle safari.

2 LEH TO LAMAYURU, INDIA

This road leads to a 1,000 year old Buddhist gompa (monastery) built in the traditionally accepted manner and clinging to an impossible hillside. It travels through stunning mountain hues and breath taking vistas  described as ‘other-worldly’. The atmosphere, culture and history of this road are unique and the journey is one that is not easily forgotten. Ride the road to Lamayuru as part of the Himalayan Heights motorbike tour.

3 WESTERN FJORDS, ICELAND

Listed as one of the world’s best kept secrets, the Westfjords is comprised of untouched and largely uninhabited peninsulas, waterfalls, rugged cliffs and rolling green hills and mountains of exquisite natural beauty. On the Inspiring Iceland tour ride through this area in the Icelandic summertime to capture a glimpse of the awe-inspiring midnight sun.

4 THRUMSING LA, BHUTAN

The highest pass of Bhutan, the Thrumsing La is considered one of the most beautiful in the Himalayas. This superb road leads into a national park, through pine forests and rhododendron trees, weaving up, down and around, past small villages, terraced mountain landscapes and verdant valleys.
Explore Thrumsing La as part of the Shining Shangri-La motorbike tour of Nepal and Bhutan.

5 MOQUEGUA TO COPACABANA, PERU

This ride leads up the steep incline of the Andes and right to the shores of Lake Titiaca, which borders Bolivia and is renowned as the highest navigable lake in the world. Crossing several 4000 metre passes, this road is a fusion of culture, history and stunning scenery. Journey to the heartland of the Incas as part of the Awesome Andes motorbike tour.

6 THE ZOJI LA, INDIA

Riding from Drass, apparently the second coldest town on the face of the earth, the Zoji La is a 3,529m steep and narrow pass descending into Sonamarg, the Switzerland of India. The road then continues on through the Vale of Kashmir to beautiful Srinagar. Snow-capped peaks, raging torrents, stark vistas, and lush green meadows make this road a scenic and extremely memorable path to ride. Explore the Zoji Lla as part of the Himalayan Heights motorbike tour.

7 DA DES GORGE, MOROCCO

The spectacular peaks and magical gorge that this road runs through were formed by melting water from the snowfields of the Atlas Mountains. Ride through diverse landscape, from lush palm groves (palmeraies) to sheer mountain walls, unique rock formations and nomadic villages. Experience the beauty of Morocco and the Dades Gorge on the Moroccan Magic tour.

8 GREAT DOLOMITE ROAD, ITALY

The dramatic rocks, grey spires, snow-flecked Alps and green meadows of the  Dolomites, make this a treasured mountain travel experience. A twisting journey through historic Alpine villages and ski fields on a superb riding surface, the Dolomites is a must-do ride for all adventurous motorcyclists. Travel through the Dolomites as part of the Dalmatian Delights motorcycle safari.

9 SINOP TO AMASRA , TURKEY

With more corners and curves than most riders will do in a year, this days ride leads along the lush, green hills and high cliff faces of Turkey’s Black Sea. The combination of the azure sea and bright green foliage makes this journey one of the most delectable in the world. It ends in the small town of Amasra with its old cobbled streets, Byzantine gateways and historical castles. Visit Turkey as part of the Turkish Treasures motorbike tour.

10 KHARDUNG LA, INDIA

Acknowledged as the highest motorable road in the world,reaching a dizzying  elevation of5,600m. Made primarily of loose rock, dirt and snow, the pass is located in the Ladakh region of India and is the gateway into the Shyok and Nubra valleys. The 40km stretch of road offers jaw-dropping views of the deep valleys and narrow twisting paths below. Explore Khardung La as  part of the Himalayan Heights motorcycle safari.

FERRIS WHEELS

Born out of a passion for adventure and excitement, no matter your age, Ferris Wheels is an Australian based motorcycle safari company. Run by husband and wife team, Mike and Denise Ferris, Ferris Wheels aims to constantly push the boundaries of adventure travel offering journeys that encourage a true cultural experience. To explore these roads on your own adventure, head to www.ferriswheels.com.au