Ultimate Topdeck Experiences

You know those moments? The ones when you’re travelling and something amazing happens and you think, ‘sh*t, I’m gonna remember this forever’? Those ones where you’re completely being yourself, for once, with people around you who are totally there for it, and for you?

Bam. That’s what it’s like to feel real. And you know what? It’s a feeling we could all use a little bit more of in life. That’s why we’re so hell-bent on creating travel experiences that foster that lil’ feel real flame burning away inside all of us. It’s all too easy to get bogged down in the daily grind, work, uni, family, gym, alllllll those commitments that you sort of just have to do. But travelling? It’s a way to add fuel to the fire. To give you a chance to leave it all behind and see what the real world has to offer.

The proof is in the pudding, people. So. Read on for some of our most spine-tingling Topdeck moments and jump straight into the minds of some of those who’ve lived it and loved it. Burn on, lil’ flame. Burn on.

Chasing the Northern Lights in Iceland

Noel, Iceland Explorer

Chasing the Northern Lights in Iceland

‘Standing in the snow, wrapped up in every layer of clothing I brought with me, every breath I took appeared as a bellow of steam. I was in The Westfjords region of Iceland looking up at the night sky.

‘Like a massive river of vibrant awesomeness, this lime green light was flowing over a mountain range ahead of me – like a stream flowing across the sky. What first was one line stretching across my vision became this swirl of vibrant light. I was completely hypnotised by the fact the sky was, effectively, dancing in front of me!

‘It was the most amazing way to spend my birthday – being able to witness nature’s greatest light show.’

Staying Overnight in a Desert Camp in the Sahara

Nellie, Moroccan Explorer

Staying overnight in a desert camp in the Sahara

‘It’s breathtaking – literally – climbing a mountain of a dune to watch the sunset. And it’s also beyond beautiful. Watching the red-orange sky melt into the sand is worth every second of the one-step-up, half-a-step-back slog up the dune.

‘Some of us (read: one of us… read: just me) forgot their camera AND phone in the camp and just remembered to bring a beer along for the journey. Honestly – I wasn’t even mad as I sipped my well-deserved brew watching the sun disappear into the sand.

‘Of course, there was one way in for us, and one way out – camel! Winding up, over and through the towering dunes it’s super clear that you could get absolutely lost in this maze. But thankfully, our guides knew exactly how to get back to camp.

‘The whole sky opens up at night – and with so little light pollution in the desert, the sky is littered with stars. Who cares if I didn’t see a shooting one?’

Wandering through the Lost City of Petra

Zach, Jordan Adventure

Wandering through the Lost City of Petra

‘Petra normally conjures up thoughts of Indiana Jones – and you will certainly hear a few people humming the tune on your way to this Wonder of the World! But for me, one of the most incredible parts of this experience is the combination of Mother Nature’s power and human ingenuity.

‘As you walk through a large crevasse (the remnants of an ancient earthquake), you feel like you’re passing between two pieces of a jigsaw being put together by giants – only to be confronted around every corner by incredible monuments and mausoleums that stand as testament to a vibrant human existence.

‘I spent eight hours walking around Petra soaking it all up – and I would do it all again.’

Flying over the Grand Canyon

Anna, California Calling

The Grand Canyon is something you just grow up knowing about. You see it on TV shows, American films, your mates visit and tell you all about it… It’s familiar. Just one of those places you have to go see, right? No biggie.

‘Wrong. MAJOR biggie. ‘Cause you know what? Nothing can quite prepare you for the reality of what it’s like to see the GC in all its glory.

‘I chose to do a Maverick plane flight over the Canyon before doing a Pink Jeep tour of the South Rim. It’s 6am, it’s hot, I’ve been up since 4am in anticipation and I’m getting sleepy. We board an old metal plane, a Cesena I think, but it feels more like a cargo plane than a passenger plane. I was feeling like a true explorer in this big metal bird!

‘We’re given a hilarious safety briefing and asked to bear with the heat – they can’t turn the AC on until the engine starts. I feel like I’m being cooked. Then, suddenly, with a choke and a rattle, the engine kicks off, the AC jumps into action and… I fall fast asleep.

‘I wake up about 10 minutes into the 45-minute flight, slightly confused as to where I am, then I look out the window. WOW. Vast plains of yellow, red and brown, with deep caverns, mountains, rivers, lakes and trees. Just as I start to think we’re above the desert, our captain explains that we are flying OVER the Canyon itself, and gives us details into its diverse ecosystem. It just goes on… and on… and on….

‘Once on the South Rim, I’m able to get up close and personal with the Canyon’s interesting flora, fauna and wildlife as my guide talks me through everything in detail. As we move to the edge of the Rim, I feel great sense of awe – it’s big. REALLY bloody big – and I feel tiny. The sheer scale of what my little brain is looking at blows me away, and before I can stop myself, I look at my guide with wide eyes and say, “It’s bigger than I was expecting!”. I cringe as my guide laughs in that knowing way.

‘Pro tip? The most dangerous creatures on the Rim are squirrels. No jokes. Avoid. At. All. Costs!’

So, there you go. These are just a teeny-tiny handful of the unbeLIEVABLE experiences we’ve got going on on our trips. Feeling inspired? Head over to our destination pages and browse to your heart’s content.

Jessica Morris
Jess is a London-based grammar fan, language enthusiast and all-round dweeb. As Topdeck’s Content Executive, she’s lucky enough to combine her love of words and passion for travel on a daily basis.