In making this list, we discovered that our favorite experiences were ones we really had to work for. Putting in the effort over several days always paid off bigtime, proving to us that more often than not, the juice is worth the squeeze.

Our last day with our amazing guide, Jackie, and our horses at Estancia Nibepo Aike.

A Lot of Thai Cooking Class in Chiang Mai!

  1. Horseback riding with Estancia Nibepo Aike: Nothing compared to how incredible this 4 day experience in Patagonia was. We will forever look back on it as one of the best things we've ever done.
  2. Scuba diving in Thailand: Conquering our fears of the deep, feeling weightless, and discovering a whole new world underwater provided incredible feelings of accomplishment! Special thanks to our fantastic instructor, Chris!
  3. W Trek: Gorgeous terrain, perfect weather, and sights like the Patagonian Ice Field made this 5 day excursion unforgettable.
  4. Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu - While we had some challenges on this (like Noelle's gastrointestinal problems), the reward of watching the fog roll over the famous archaeological site in the early morning sun was worth it.
  5. Galapagos Islands cruises: Even though our travel agent, Stalin, put a bad taste in our mouths, snorkeling with curious sea lions and friendly sharks in the middle of the ocean with new friends from all over the world made it all worth it.
  6. A Lot of Thai Cooking Class in Chiang Mai: Learning how to cook delicious Thai food with a local celebrity chef in her home, and getting to help support her son's field trip fund by buying a beer, was one of our favorite days in Asia.
  7. A Hungarian Wedding with our new friends, Arni and Inez: Do those Hungarians know how to party or what?! Leaving the party "early" at 7am and walking home as the street lights turned off will forever be our proof to our future children that we were once super cool.
  8. Free Walking Tours: We can't encourage these enough. Look online for a free walking tour everywhere you go! They're usually fantastic, led by excited people who want to show you their city, and worth the nominal tip. Try one in your hometown!
  9. Kuang Si Waterfall: Exploring one of the most beautiful sights in Laos with our new friends, Charlotte and James, was more than we could have asked for. It solidified for us that travel isn't just about seeing the sights, it's about making connections, forging new relationships, and sharing the experience with others you meet. We climbed the falls, slipped in the mud, swam in the pools, had our toes nibbled on by fish, and jumped off the high branch into the turquoise water below. What a fantastic day.
  10. Wine Tasting, Chateauneuf du Pape: Drinking famous wine in a centuries old cave with someone who is just about as knowledgeable as a master somm was a dream come true for Noelle.