Travel guru Ryan Pyle reveals the places you must visit to find a unique, unforgettable adventure.
The world is a big and beautiful place, and sometimes you just want to be alone. The great thing about traveling is that you can pick and choose the moments you want total isolation, or when you want to travel in packs and enjoy the social elements of meeting new people. I love the isolation. It feeds my soul!
When I want to get off the beaten track I often travel in off-peak seasons or when I know the weather will be a bit iffy, as it allows me to find those moments of isolation that allow you to immerse yourself in local culture and with the natural environment around me.
Below is a list of a few places you need to check out the next time you are looking for an adventure.
Mustang Kingdom, Nepal
Is Buddhism something that interests you? Try the Mustang Kingdom in northern Nepal for a glimpse into Tibetan life and culture as well as jaw dropping landscapes. Also known as the Forbidden Kingdom, this remote world exists in Northern Nepal along the border of Tibet. It’s a region that is hard to get to, expensive and well worth the cost and time. Enter in to landscapes that will blow your mind, and make you forget what century you are in.
Wagah Border, India
Do you want to hang out with 20,000 crazed Indian tourists? Best to check out the Wagah Border crossing between India and Pakistan. This is not precisely isolation, but you’ll definitely feel in a different world. This border crossing is a unique experience. More show than standoff between Nuclear Powers, the display that is put on during this event is equal parts memorizing and exhausting. Be ready to dance, cheer and stand on the edge of nuclear neighbors.
The Salkantay Trail, Peru
Have you always wanted to visit Machu Picchu but didn’t know how to avoid the crowds? Aim for the Salkantay Trail and walk the routes of the ancient Incas. Everyone has heard of the epic Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu but few take this epic and beautiful alternative route, which leads travelers along the most stunning trekking that the Peruvian Andes has to offer. Make note to pay your respects to the giant Salkantay Mountain, with is massive glaciers and dangerous slops. When you arrive at Machu Picchu, you’ll also be sure to remember the amazing journey.
Two Medicine Lake, Glacier National Park, Montana
If freezing cold temperatures and snowshoes don’t scare you, head for Glacier National Park in the winter – but be sure to keep moving so you don’t freeze to death. The vistas are worth the effort. Two Medicine Lake, in the South Eastern corner of Glacier National Park, is a popular destination for tourists in the summer. But in winter, while the park is still open, is when it becomes truly epic. Strap on some snowshoes and explore the silence and jaw-dropping experience that is Glacier National Park in the depths of winter. Magical. Magical. Magical. Be safe out there.
Want to climb mountains and understand World War 1 history? Head for the Italian Dolomites – be sure to bring your harness and your helmet.
Cortina (actually, its complete name is Cortina D’Ampezzo) is a posh ski resort for the “who’s who” of Italy, but during the first world war, it was the scene of horrific events as Austria and Italy battled for alpine supremacy. You can actually trek along the frontlines that were so desperately fought over. The journey will include a via ferrata (protected climbing route), rock climbing, exploring tunnels and an open-air museum that is everything you’ve ever wanted to see. Where else is there an open-air museum that you can explore on two feet with a bit of sweat and a bit of grit? ■
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