Here at Gunns Travels, I like to promote travelling in any form. Wether it is a long haul trip or short break away, I want to use this space to encourage anyone to get out and explore; to grow as an individual. On my journey so far I have had some amazing opportunities which I will share in this post. I wanted to pick out 10 (because the list could go on and on if I don’t put a number to it!) of the best travel experiences so far.
I want to show you what is out there and what is possible if you really want to do it. Like I have mentioned in previous posts, if you want something badly enough; make it a priority and focus. It’ll happen if you want it to.
I’ll start the list off with one of the experiences that has really shaped my travelling journey and me as an individual.
Volunteering in Nepal (1)
This was a no brainer to go on this list. My love for Nepal, the people, the food, the place and culture is in abundance. You can tell from looking through this blog, my social channels or if you hear me speak about it, that this holds a pretty special place in my heart. Choosing to volunteer was something that I always wanted to do, I had experienced it before but this was the first time I really invested in it – time wise. I lived and volunteered in Nepal for a little over 3 months; it is still one of my top memories to look back on.
I would encourage anyone to do some volunteering but research into i t properly. Don’t be a ‘voluntourist’, make sure you can invest time into the people you are helping when volunteering; even beyond the project itself. I have re-visited, supported and stayed in contact with the people I met because it is important that you invest in them and not just the short term experience.
Celebrating Holi Festival in India! (2)
There are a few celebrations that I had on my bucket list for some time. I always looked at the Holi Festival with such wonder and awe. It looked like such a great celebration to experience and get to understand. I remember booking my plane ticket to India and then realising I would be in the country for the festival.
The day came and it did not disappoint! The night before people made huge bonfires and smoke pillars filled the city of Jaipur where I was staying. The next morning I looked over the balcony of the hostel and saw people running through the streets covered in bright fluorescent powders and couldn’t believe it was actually happening! I met up with a friend and we rode a tuk-tuk out to a party that was happening and it was crazy. So much fun and everything I hoped it would be. It was really interesting learning about the meaning behind it all as well and getting to experience with locals.
I cannot recommend it enough if you are ever able to coincide your visit to India with the festivities, it really isn’t one to miss! The next date is Monday 13th March!
Seeing wild elephants in Kenya & Adopting one! (3)
My all time favourite film is: The Lion King. So it goes without saying that when I went to Kenya, I was a little bit excited. Now my favourite animal is an elephant. So getting to visit The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust was also pretty exciting for me. ‘You can just stand over there, they’ll be back from their morning walk soon’ *small grey blobs come strolling through the bushes in the distance with tall green escorts at their sides* The baby elephants arrived and started having a mud bath right next to us. It was so great to see elephants finally and we left having learnt a lot about what the trust supports and the conservation work they do. We left having adopted an elephant in support of the work DSWT provide.
We also got the chance to go on safari. There was a moment on a game drive where a wild adult elephant came right up to the jeep and I fulfilled my dream of seeing a wild elephant up close. Still makes me smile even when I write about it now.
Leading a team on development projects in Ghana (4)
A fantastic experience was volunteering 8 months of my time with VSO in Livelihoods projects in Ghana. I was a Team Leader for a team of 18-20 people over the course of 2 cycles and it challenged me in so many ways! I stayed with a host family for my duration and we worked in rural communities on livelihoods skills and in schools. It was an incredible opportunity and I cannot recommend anyone enough to apply to volunteer, you never know what could happen!
Volunteering responsibly is definitely something that I would actively encourage to anyone looking to do more productive travel with their time.
Camel desert safari (5)
One of my highlights from my trip to India has to be the incredible 3 day 3 nights desert safari through the Thar Desert in Jaisalmer. There’s something peaceful about being surrounded by nothing but sand for miles.
My favourite part of the whole experience was definitely camping – I say camping loosely as we pretty much put a mat on the sand and had a blanket – and falling asleep underneath the clearest night sky I have ever seen with a million bright stars above, I even saw some shooting stars! I’d really recommend looking up Jamin Desert Nomads if you’re planning on doing a desert safari when you visit Jaisalmer. Jamin is a really honest, helpful and friendly guy. Sujan is also a great camel rider/guide and the camels are looked after well.
Hiking to the top of a mountain for sunrise (6)
Whilst travelling around India I visited the scenic and serene town of Pushkar which sat atop a mountain. There was a huge holy lake that people travelled to see and lots of smaller mountains surrounding the town. I made a friend in the place I was staying and he asked if I wanted to hike at 5am to the top of one of them to see the sunrise. It was an early start and a long hike! But we finally made it to the top surrounded by monkeys and a few stray dogs that my friend knew – as he did this hike very regularly to see the sunrise! It didn’t disappoint, the town was still dark and so you could see a million little lights around the lake and jagged mountain tops as the sun started to rise behind them.
Sunrises and sunsets are awesome to witness anyway, but the location and the tranquility of it all made this a top travel memory for me.
If you haven’t checked out this tag on instagram – then I’d seriously recommend it. I started it with a friend in Nepal whilst we were volunteering; it was such a great way to encourage & inspire creativity. There are a lot of great shots by Renee included in the tag and you should definitely go check her out and follow! It is one of my best travel memories and helped me think way more about the shots I was taking.
Snorkelling The Great Barrier Reef (8)
Another bucket list item I always wanted to do and it lived up to my expectations! Deep blue water and crystal clear reefs. We snorkelled and swam with multi-coloured fish, turtles & sharks!
Diving at The Great Barrier Reef! Bucket list ✅ #australia #barrierreef #diving #ocean #goodvibes #hangloose #gnarley #bucketlist #wanderlust #travel #traveller #travelblog #travelgram #igers #insta #inspire #igaddict #igtravel #instacool #tb #tbt #instagood #instamood #naturalworld #natgeo #natgeotravel #travelbloggers
Skydiving over a beach in Aus! (9)
Ignite that inner daredevil in you – do a skydive. It will honestly be one of the best experiences you can have. And skydiving over The Great Barrier Reef couldn’t be a better place to do it. I booked with Skydive Cairns who were great and really reassuring, the skydive cost £120 (with a beach landing) which is pricey but worth it. Again if you want a photo or video of it you’ll have to pay around £80 – which isn’t bad as its a one-off (unless you get the bug for it!) but depends on your budget and if you want to go on any other tours while you’re in Cairns.
Quick Prices: Adult with Beach Landing £120 $180 | Video & Photos £80 $120
Beach paradise 🌴🙌 —————————————- For more travel stories visit my blog @ www.jackgunns.com/blog 🌎 —————————————- Next stop on the journey is 📍Shanghai 🇨🇳 ✈️ —————————————- #ttot #beautifuldestinations #travelblog #TLpicks #BDteam #beautifuldestinations #wanderlust #goexplore #mytinyatlas #livefree #exploretocreate #gunnstravels #worldtravel #instago #planetearth #nakedplanet #discover #justgo #passionpassport #travelawesome #wanderer #travelgram #LP #earthvisuals #wanderlusters #traveltribe #positivevibes ✌️
Meeting everyone so far! (10)
Lastly, none of my experiences would have been what they are without the colourful, interesting bag of people I have met so far! There have been too many to mention but now I have friends and family all over the world thanks to travelling 👌#positivevibes
They have had a massive impact on how I think, what I do and how I want to continue to live. You can take something from everyone you meet and learn a lot just by having a conversation with someone.
The Chief, Kweku Boateng, Nana of the community of Afranse. I got my local name from him and it happened to be the same as his. He also happened to be the host father of my host mother (my host grandfather I guess?) and so I would see him everyday. Everyday I greeted him in the mornings with a handshake and ‘Yeija, palcho Marche’ – good morning. Those are eyes that have seen a lot of things in thier life I’m sure. It was a great experience staying in his home. #portraits #travel #africa #ghana #travelblog #stories #memories #igtravel #blackandwhite #chief
Meet Maadwoa – one of my host sisters during my stay in Asamankese, Ghana. An endless source of laughter, mischief and fun. Her personality was as big as that smile – probably bigger. I will miss her drama and energy for everything everyday, definitely one of the big personalities I met. #ttot #travel #africa #ghana #portraits #travelblog #peopleoftheworld #exploremore #connect #positivevibes #worldtravel
Meet Jamin, one of the many friends I met whilst in Jaisalmer. He’s from a village in the desert and owns 30 camels. He started working whilst he was young and self-taught English by interacting with tourists. He gave me a lift through the desert on his motorbike and taught me his motto of “chai, chillum & chipatis”. Definitley recommend going on a safari deep into the desert, one of the best experiences! #ttot #portraits #india #travel #locals #stories #people #connect #explore #desert #nomad #camels #instagood #instatravel #igers #nikon #bokeh #smile #jaisalmer
This is the first portrait of a series I’m calling ‘Memories, Places & People’s Faces’. I want to create a photo collection of portraits & moments whilst I travel. First up is Prayash, who I met whilst staying at a guest house in Bhaktapur. He works there whilst attending some college classes and managing his radio show. If you’re ever in the area then tune into 107.9fm every thursday 3-4pm for some debates and slick tunes. Prayash dreams of becoming a media personality and enjoys exploring to see new views like the one behind him. He took me to see his home village and the incredible view from Nagarkot, thanks man! RJ Prayash #ttot #portrait #travels #travelgram #travelblogger #smile #people #nepal #instagood #instatravel #igers #wanderlust
A day in the life of a volunteer in Nepal is up on my blog – link in bio – ✌️🙏 #doyoutravel #welltravelled #natgeotravel #vscotravel #volunteer #volunteering #ivhq #travelbug #traveller #travel #travelblog #travelgram #peace #photography #photooftheday #natgeo #nepal #asia #natgeohub #igdaily #ignation #igtravel #instagood #wanderlust #moments #routine #mytravelgram #makingfriends
When in doubt, travel. It’s amazing how much you find out by leaving the comfort of home ✈️👌#backpacking #wanderlust #instagood #travel #traveling #traveller #travelgram #igers #igdaily #igaddict #igtravel #instaquote #quote #life #motivation #wanderlust #dance #tribal #africa #kenya #culture #festival #instalike
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