by Claire Martin and Greg Melville
Travel should transform. Choose your destination wisely, and then the voyage itself, the people you meet, the foods you sample, and the experiences you have will mean you've arrive in a whole new place-- physically, spiritually, philosophically. this kind of travel isn't exactly relaxing, but is mere relaxation every really that satisfying? Our purpose here -- on these pages, on this planet -- is to squeeze the maximum amount of joy, hilarity, challenge, and accomplishment out of our alotted time. What better way to do that than to travel to places that won't just be a change of scene, but rather, can provoke a change in you? We accumulated 50 such transformative travel experiences. maybe it's time to get lost, and find yourself.
The world's second-largest barrier reef, off the coast of Belize, brims with so much marine life that scientists have identified only a praction of the species living there. It's home to the world's largest West Indian manatee population, 500-plus species of fish, 65 kinds of coral, and a jamboree of sharks, turtles, and birds. It's such a diverse ecosystem that it was names a World Heritage Site-- and you don't even need scuba gear to appreciate its splendor. Just bring a mask and snorkel.
Why: The 185-mile-long reef, considered one of the world's seven underwater wonders, could soon go the way of Hanging Gardens of Babylon because it's under threat from warming temperatures and ocean acidification, among other factors. Do It: From $1,295 for 5 days, Slickrock Adventures, Long Caye at Glover's Reef Atoll, slickrock.com