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Adventures Of A Lifetime: My 12 Best Travel Moments Of 2013I’ve been fortunate enough to have taken a life’s worth of trips of a lifetime and put together vast catalogs of exotic and exciting memories. But what really stands out, and what will leave the most lasting impression, isn’t the staggering scale of landscapes or the lavish architecture of lodges. Don’t get me wrong: I like a high thread count, a five-course dinner and a sybaritic spa afternoon, but that’s not what leaves the most indelible memories.
Instead, those memories come from (the luxury version of) what Paul Theroux had in mind when he wrote about how travel transforms us, or what Mark Twain meant when he advised us to “throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor.”
My most incredible moments went beyond the “experiences” that every resort chain is promising these days, and allowed me to see myself as the glamorous heroine in a dramatic story or forced me to see the world around me differently. They gave me the satisfaction of achieving a difficult task, or the intoxication of being pushed ever so slightly outside my comfort zone. They made me laugh. Or they just felt really darn good.
They weren’t headlong adrenaline rushes: not bungee jumping or cage diving with sharks (though I’ve done one of those things and am totally open to the other). The thrill wasn’t in my racing heart but in the joy of discovering something unexpected.
Check the slideshow to see what I’ll still be talking about decades from now. (Disclosure: I had these experiences as a guest of the resorts or operators offering them.)
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