2015 was all about first times in several epic adventures for us. Since we started pushing our limits and make ourselves go out, explore and travel more, we collected many unforgettable memories and we are ready for even more in 2016!
We haven’t visited 10xX countries, nor we have unlimited resources to try out everything we wanted to. But we had our own epic adventures and with the right mindset you can have yours, too. I hope our story of 2015 inspires you to try something new, to get out of your comfort zone and make some unforgettable memories as well. Everything else can wait. And since we don’t like to make everything about ourselves, even this post will be about you.
After each one of our 15 adventures in 2015 you will find a challenge for yourself.
Our goal is to show you that many adventures are easily achievable and to inspire you to try something new. You don’t have to be a millionaire or unemployed with a lot of free time to chase your own dream adventures. At least we are not. Everything is possible. So let’s get to it and make plans for 2016, shall we?
OUR 15 EPIC ADVENTURES IN 2015
and your 15 epic challenges for 2016
1. Going to the International Festival “Surva”, Bulgaria
In January we went to the biggest masquerade festival in Bulgaria – “Surva”. Every year groups of Kukeri and Survakari from Bulgaria and abroad gather together to present their original costumes and to recreate traditional customs. Kukeri are intended to chase away the evil spirits that’s why their costumes must be as scary as possible.
The costumes were really impressive! Now, the Surva festival is the forth Bulgarian element which is part of the UNESCO’s list of intangible cultural heritage of humanity. You can imagine how important is the festival in order to become part of that list. You can read more about the festival here.
Challenge: Do you remember those local or international festivals you always wanted to visit but never “got time”? Make a list and plan a visit to at least one of them in 2016!
* * *
2. Exploring Barcelona by foot, by its food and by bike
We visited Barcelona in April. We had only a few days there but I instantly fell in love with the city. Barcelona feels like home. I don’t know how to explain that but I really felt welcomed there. We explored the Catalan city in three different ways which helped us to get to know the city even better for the short time we were there.
Biking was extremely fun (and safe), walking was a must and made us enjoy the sights in a slower pace. And the food tour we did helped us understand the Catalan cuisine in more depth. So I would say that exploring a city in different ways is something that can help you feel the place better if you travel for short trips.
Challenge: Try to explore the first destination you visit in 2016 in at least two different ways – this could be by joining a food tour, bike tour, boat tour or any other way. It doesn’t even have to be a tour. You can make your own alternative way.
* * *
3. Skydiving for the first time
I mentioned that 2015 was the year of first times for us. Skydiving was probably the most exciting thing we did for the first time this year. Even though I went trough a terrible sickness after that the jump itself was the adventure I will never forget. I still can remember the adrenaline rush, the panic and excitement during the 5 minute flight. You can read all about our skydiving experience in Empuriabrava, Spain and watch the video here.
Challenge: Go skydiving! It’s worth it.
* * *
4. Kayaking for the first time
Kayaking was probably my second favourite adventure from 2015. I hate water and avoid it however I can but this time I was up for a kayaking trip in Llanca, Spain.
Kayaking for me was surprisingly liberating. The idea of you being in control and practically having no limits was something I didn’t expect to appreciate so much. I will definitely go kayaking in 2016! Any suggestions where?
Challenge: Embrace your fears and try something in 2016 you never thought you’ll try. Is it a water sport, is it an air adventure or something else?
* * *
5. Being professional at TBEX
TBEX is the biggest travel bloggers conference in the world. It’s a place where you can meet thousands of other travel bloggers, learn from experts, make connections and actually feel like professional. Events like this can open up great opportunities that will help you grow your business, hobby or even something completely different.
Challenge: Research what events are out there in your field of interest and make a plan to visit at least one of them in 2016!
* * *
6. Going on a boat ride
As I mentioned before, I hate water. I’m more afraid of deep water than hate it but however I call it’s the same for me. I went on a boat ride for the first time and it was actually a very comforting trip. It was peaceful to be in the water and don’t feel the land under your feet. It was something different that I would like to try again. I never thought that water can be so peaceful and, again, so liberating.
Challenge: Go on a boat ride in the first sea destination you visit in 2016!
* * *
7. Indoor skydiving in a wind tunel
Indoor skydiving was another memorable adventure from 2015. It was definitely not as impressive as the actual skydiving but it was still interesting new experience. What makes indoor skydiving so much fun is that you experience the real free fly experience and you are in control of your body and movements. The real skydiving gives you the adrenaline of the free fall, the wind tunnel gives you the adrenaline of flying.
Photo credit: ifyouwannagojustgo.com
Challenge: Is there a wind tunnel in your city or nearby? Try it out in 2016!
* * *
8. Burning our feet during the Nestinari dances
Nestinarstvo is an old Bulgarian tradition of barefoot dance on live coals by Nestinari. They do it as a mean to purify themselves with the fire’s healing powers on the day of St. Constantine and Helena in Bulgaria (June 3rd). The original dances occur every year in a small village of Bulgare near the Black Sea coast. In 2015 we decided it was time to attend the ritual and see it by ourselves. It was impressive and spectacular, although very commercialized. Nestinartvo is also part of the UNESCO’s list of intangible cultural heritage of humanity.
After the trained fire dancers did their routine they let the visitors to try and walk on the coals. Some believe it’s for health. Krasi also went through the coals. Twice! Needless to say, his feet burned like crazy and for over a week he tried to recover from the burns. Lesson learned. But still, seeing an important custom like this one was worth it.
Challenge: Do you know of any local rituals, customs or tradition of big importance you’ve never visited? Add them to your bucket list in 2016.
* * *
9. Visiting a sacred place
On our way to Nestinarski dances in Bulgariawe visited an impressive natural phenomenon and Thracian rock sanctuary – Beglik Tash. It consists of huge megaliths arranged and carved by a Thracian tribe and later used for religious ceremonies. There are many sacred rock carvings, a carved sun clock and each rock had a meaning. It was such an interesting place.
Challenge: Visit at least one important religious or sacred palce in 2016!
* * *
10. Visiting our first Castle
I’ve always found Castles appealing and fairy tale-y. In 2015 we visited the beautiful Castle of Ravadinovo in Bulgaria and it was our first time. It was exactly as I imagined – massive, impressive and with many strange small details that make the whole castle even more attractive. You can read more about the Castle of Ravadinovo in Bulgaria in my post here.
Challenge: Research and find the nearest castle in your area and go explore it in 2016!
* * *
11. Attending our first big folklore festival in Bulgaria
We visited the Rozhen festival near Pamporovo, Bulgaria in June 2015. It is the biggest folklore festival in the country and it attracted thousands of visitors. It was great to see in one place so many traditions, dancers, singers and happy people in general. During the festival we had time to explore the area and visited 5 super cool places near Pamporovo.
Challenge: Attend a local traditional festival in your country or any country you visit in 2016!
* * *
12. Watching movie on a rock
It was one of those things that I’ve never really thought that even existed. We watched a short movie on Momchilova Fortress near Pamporovo and it was really fun and impressive. It costed only 2 EUR and it’s a shame that more people aren’t going to see it. And the surrounding fortress itself is also worth exploring. Read about Momchilova Fortress and how to watch the movie on a rock here.
Challenge: Research about some not so typical adventure nearby and give them a try!
* * *
13. Hiking the Vazov ecopath in Bulgaria
You can see that we had many adventures in Bulgaria in 2015. Our goal is to explore as much of our country as possible. Don’t get fooled by the size of the country. It has tons of opportunities for great adventures to have and places to visit. Vazov ecopath is just one prove of that. It’s a spectacular 3-4 hours hike with amazing views. It is one of my top places for hiking and it’s just 1 hour away from the capital Sofia. You can read more about my favourite Vazov’s ecopath here.
Challenge: Go on a short hike at least once each month in 2016! It’ll be worth it!
* * *
14. Hiking the 7 Rila Lakes in Bulgaria
When you hike the Seven Rila Lakes you pass by each one of them from the lowest to the highest one. That’s what makes the hike so unique – you start with one, then two, three of them and when you get to the last one – The Tear, you can see all seven of them in a unique harmony with the mountain. That’s why the Seven Rila Lakes are a favorite place for many visitors of Bulgaria.
Challenge: Come to Bulgaria and hike the Seven Rila Lakes for that stunning view!
* * *
15. Remembering the Communism times in Bulgaria by visiting the Buzludzha monument
I was born after the Communism era in Bulgaria (which ended on 10th November 1989) and the topic is very controversial here, but I still find it interesting to know about those important parts of our history. Buzludzha monument was the headquarter of the Communist party but since ’95-’96 nobody is taking care of it and it is slowly destroyed if. Who knows it will be there in 10 years. The story is super interesting and I recommend you to read it here.
Challenge: Visit a historic monument in your country that represents an era or an event which is long forgotten or controversial!
* * *
Try to appreciate everything you do in 2016. Because everything has a meaning and if you are open to embrace it, feel it, you will be able to grow, to be fulfilled. Travel as much as possible because travel teaches you to appreciate small things more.
What adventure do you want to experience in 2016? Comment below.
Follow Travelling Buzz on Facebook for more travel inspiration!