Creating a so called ‘bucket list’ – a list of things to do before passing away – has become increasingly common in recent years. Whether it is done out of an increasing realisation of one’s own mortality or simply as a something to aim towards, the principle of a ‘bucket list’ is that it is unique to that individual – there are no right or wrong inclusions on such a list, which means some options are more realistic than others.
However, if you are considering the ‘great beyond’ and how you would like to view your life before passing on, why not include a few of life’s great luxuries on your bucket list and with that in mind, we look into the top 7 indulgences to try before you die.
Space – no longer the final frontier
For many, the final mystery in life is ‘crossing over’ from this life to the next but, sometimes mentioned in the same breath, is crossing the frontiers to space.
Long has space been the preserve of the fortunate few who have trained for years but now, as technology becomes more accessible and personal wealth increases, space no longer represents an experience which will elude those with the wealth and desire.
Virgin Galaxy is, of course, the brainchild of the entrepreneur and sometime adventurer Richard Branson. Although this is a commercial version of space travel it is as close as anyone, bar NASA astronauts, will get to the real thing.
You don’t just pay your money and turn up on the day wearing a pair of old overalls, though. Anyone who is accepted onto the flights undergoes three days of intensive training with the flight crew, in preparation for experiencing three times the speed of sound.
Upon reaching space, the engines are turned off and you’ll experience zero gravity while seeing what precious few can: space, in all of its glory. There is a strict admittance policy for this experience but if your appetite has been whetted, there is another option: a ‘near space’ experience. With no training required and none of the physical exertions to undergo, this is an experience for the whole family.
Ride the Orient Express – Refined Rail Travel
While modern rail travel is not often the most pleasant experience, for many it still holds nostalgic and evocative memories and what better way to indulge these than by travelling in the most refined train there is, the Orient Express.
Launched in 1883 amid great fanfare and gusto, their decadent features and lavish adornments became famous worldwide. With only the original carriages from the twenties and thirties still in service you can still experience the thrill of riding the Orient Express in all of its glory.
London, Venice, Paris and Istanbul are all possible destinations to choose from and, with the chance to admire the gorgeous countryside that you’re travelling through, is there any better way to get to your destination?
Private Dining in the Most Extraordinary Settings
Eating somewhere amazing has become easier over the years with the influx of great chefs to these shores, as culinary delights have become even more accessible.
If you want to experience the ‘ultimate’ in private dining, then one needs to broaden the search from the norm and consider dining somewhere ‘regal’. The Tower of London is at the very core of ‘historic London’ and, with it playing a central role in much of England’s history, few places can match it when it comes to ‘ambience’.
It isn’t just the fine dining which you will be treated to, nor is it just the 12,000 diamonds which are in close proximity – it is an entirely difference experience to anything you’ll have done before. Looked after by the Yeoman Warder and having a reception in the ‘Hall of Monarchs’, you will come away feeling like a member of the Royal Family.
Northern Lights – Nature’s Fireworks
Sometimes the very best of what is on offer is supplied by Mother Nature herself. A display of the Northern Lights is just that and every appearance is unique, never to be witnessed again. There are commonly three green bands with flickering curtains of light flashing across the night sky.
Of course, it is not just the actual event of the Northern Lights which appeals to people, reaching the location and the accommodation are much as part of the adventure as the event itself. Staying in lodges, using husky sledges and experiencing the wilderness of Iceland really do create a ‘once in a lifetime’ experience.
Holidaying on a Private Island
If the cold of Iceland does not appeal then why not consider the other end of the temperature scale and hire your very own private island? We return to Richard Branson and his very own Necker Island. For a princely sum, you can hire it out.
With a fascinating history and a list of the highest in society who have holidayed there, if you choose Necker Island you are in esteemed company. With a full complement of staff ready to service your every whim and no-one else for miles around, unless you ask them, you can experience what is like to be castaway on a desert island – in first class luxury.
Remember, Necker Island isn’t the only island available for private hire and closer to home there are a number of, and equally remote, islands off the coast of Scotland which would cater for any solitude you may seek.
A private island with more clement weather than often seen in British wintertime
Stay in ‘Not Just Any Hotel’
When choosing a hotel to stay in, there are a number of things to consider. Without a doubt, though, the one hotel in the world where there is no need to worry about any aspect of your stay is the Hotel President Wilson in Geneva. Billed as having “world’s largest and most luxurious suite”, staying here requires no deliberation.
With panoramic views of Lake Geneva, this Royal suite offers 12 rooms, all of which are fitted with their own marble en-suite. If you’re worried over security don’t be, this hotel has bullet-proof glass and its own private lift to take to you to the top of the hotel and your suite. Of course, in Switzerland there are a number of other refinements to partake in, from chocolates to hand-made watches but you would be forgiven for never venturing outside of this majestic suite.
Take to the Skies in Your Own Private Jet
Mention ‘private jet’ and what do you think of? Rock stars, Hollywood A-listers and Russian oligarchs we imagine but now you can experience flying at its most luxurious. This has actually become an increasingly popular way to travel with even a price comparison website created to cater for those who want to ensure they really are getting the most for their money.
Choose your private jet wisely and you’ll be offered on-board spa treatments and gourmet food – all with exceptional views in refined surroundings. You are able to charter the private jet to collect you from your nearest airfield – maybe even the local one – and, from there, the world is your oyster.
Tom’s travel writings are a testament to his insatiable curiosity and love for the road less traveled. Eschewing the typical tourist spots, Tom has built a reputation for uncovering hidden gems known only to locals.
From secluded mountain villages in the Himalayas to untouched beaches in the South Pacific, his adventures have taken him to the world’s most undiscovered corners.