5 exciting adventures to add to your retirement bucket list

Robin Williams famously exclaimed in 1989’s Dead Poet’s Society: “Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary!”. Life is short and you should seek to fill it with memories and new adventures.

If you have planned right for your pending retirement, you’ll likely find yourself with a secure income and plenty of savings, and hopefully enough to do a fair bit of travelling with your newfound free time.

Read on to learn about five destinations that may provide the perfect escape for your retirement adventure.

1. Discover the magic of the Waitomo Glowworm Caves as you traverse New Zealand

The land of the long white cloud is the closest approximation of the magical world of Lord of the Rings that you can find. The country is home to sprawling valleys, rivers, volcanoes, mountains, and beaches — a natural wonder situated in the South Pacific.

The northern Waikato region has plenty of majestic natural beauty for keen explorers to discover.

If you land in Auckland and make your way slightly south to the city of Hamilton, you’ll find plenty to do in and around the city.

The Waitomo cave system is a must-see for any avid explorer. The caves were discovered by Maui tribespeople and have been a tourist attraction for more than 130 years.

The Waitomo Glowworm Caves are a magical sight to behold. Visitors progress from the upper, decorated cave chamber before descending towards an underground river that can be traversed by boat. This subterranean voyage takes in tunnels of glowing lights, as thousands of native glowworms light up the ceilings with their natural bioluminescence.

The Waikato region is also home to “the Shire” and “Hobbiton” as holidaymakers can visit the sets from the film franchise.

2. Dive down to the underwater museum off the coast of Cancun, Mexico

If your idea of fun is a belly full of burritos and margaritas while you lounge around the beach, a trip to Cancun, Mexico might be right for you.

The city is situated on the Yucatán Peninsula overlooking the Caribbean Sea and has a lively tourist offering. Its coastline has at least 10 beaches that qualify for “blue flag” status and the deep blue waters are home to all kinds of exciting activities.

Apart from jet skiing and parasailing, Cancun also has a diverse range of scuba diving opportunities including a dive down to the MUSA underwater museum of art. The museum is the brainchild of founder Jaime González Cano and is made up of three galleries showcasing around 500 concrete sculptures.

It partly celebrates the diverse talent of Mexican sculptors and partly acts as an alternative scuba location to the surrounding coral reefs, in doing so, helping the environment recover from years of tourism trade.

Cancun itself has a vibrant nightlife with plenty of tequilarias and mezcalerias, as well as some excellent restaurants that highlight the local cuisine.

Outside the city, there are plenty of Mayan ruins to explore for the history buffs out there as well as jungle exploration activities.

3. Conquer the glaciers and lakes of Chile’s Aysen region

The Aysen region sits along Chile’s portion of Patagonia and is an adventurer’s paradise. Aysen is home to vast glaciers, crystal clear lakes, and the region’s iconic Marble Cave system.

The Marble Caves can be found along the waters of General Carrera Lake and can only be reached by a kayak journey. Once there you can navigate your way round a maze of marble archways carved out by thousands of years of gentle water erosion.

You can combine exploring the Marble Caves with visiting the nearby San Rafael Glacier, an eye-catching wall of ice hidden right in the middle of a mountainous rainforest.

After a long day of traversing the Patagonian terrain, you might find yourself wrapped up on the decks of one of the region’s wooden lodges, overlooking the sunset and enjoying some fine meats reared by the region’s gauchos.

4. Get lost among the trees of the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove near Kyoto, Japan. 

In between the bustling metropolitan cities of Tokyo and Osaka lies the much more traditional Kyōto, Japan’s former capital city and the seat of the emperor for nearly 1,000 years.

The city’s centuries old architecture has largely been kept intact despite the widespread destruction that laid waste to other Japanese major cities during the second world war.

The city’s historic value cannot be underestimated with a vast selection of temples, palaces, and castles to visit. Kyōto is also home to traditional shopping districts, natural spas, and lowkey sake bars.

If you visit the city in late March or early April, you’ll find the local cherry blossom trees in full bloom, leaving the city with a luscious pink backdrop.

A short hop from the city is the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, a forest that is considered of Japan’s natural wonders. It’s calming landscape is the perfect escape for individuals looking to wander and switch off their minds for a day.

5. Bask in Lapland’s northern lights and winter sun

The northern lights can be experienced across different locations in polar region, including parts of northern Scotland, but one of the best places to enjoy them is the Lapland area of Scandinavia.

A good base for your Nordic journey might be the city of Tromsø in northern Norway. The city has plenty of exciting wintery activities to undertake including sleeping in igloos, reindeer experiences, arctic treks, and whale watching.

The city is also home to an unusual natural phenomenon between the months of May and July each year, in which the area is exposed to near constant daylight.

Visiting in the winter months gives you the best chance of seeing the aurora borealis in it’s all beauty but visiting in the early summer means you can take part in some traditional Nordic “winter sun” festivities.

The midnight sun can feel ethereal, as the city’s nightlife comes to life with events and late-night shopping. You can also take in the enchanting sounds of the Midnight Sun concerts at Tromsø’s Arctic Cathedral, which typically begin at about 11pm at night.

Get in touch

Preparing for a series of retirement adventures takes careful planning and ensuring you have the right funds set aside to protect your income while still allowing you the flexibility to splurge on an exotic holiday or two.

For advice on your retirement plans, please get in touch with us at helpme@aspirellp.co.uk or call 0117 9303510.

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