Experience the Natural Wonders
of the World

Truly, all of nature is a wonder. So, when we can appreciate it in our daily lives, it makes visiting amazing sites, like those listed among the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, that much more awe-inspiring. That covers two of the main reasons why we travel--to feel awe and inspiration!

Show Mother Nature some Love

Globe kiss blue sky red lips You can take the perspective of appreciating it before it's gone, if you like. Tell your friends that because of global warming, you all need to take that Antarctic Cruise (or Alaskan Cruise), experience a real rainforest or see endangered species in their natural habitat before you can't anymore.

We like to take a more positive approach and appreciate nature's amazing spectacle because it makes us feel good. And the more love we give it, the longer and more often we can feel good! It's selfish, really. But we also like to aim big, but start small. So first, the bigness:

Seven Natural Wonders of the World

Victoria Falls, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Africa

You've probably heard of the Seven Wonders of the World, but there are now Seven Natural Wonders of the World too. There are even seven for each continent. UNESCO's World Heritage Sites list also includes 183 natural sites among its list of over 900. That's a lot to appreciate! A lot of choice too.

Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA

There are other lists, but they all agree on the following obviously amazing choices: The Great Barrier Reef, Mount Everest, The Grand Canyon, Rio de Janeiro Harbor and Victoria Falls. Those five alone cover Australia, Asia, North America, South America and Africa -- most of the world!

Adventure Travel by Ecosystem

The World Wildlife Fund has identified 19 ecosystems with the greatest biodiversity. They include places you don't have to be a scientist or even an intrepid explorer to visit, such as:
  • The Amazon - the world's largest river basin covers nine South American nations.

  • The Galapagos Islands - way off the coast of Ecuador, this is where Charles Darwin made the observations that became the basis for his evolutionary theory.

  • The Caribbean - where the MesoAmerican Reef stretches along the coasts of Mexico, Guatemala, Belize and Honduras.

  • The Arctic - covers eight countries from North America, across Scandinavia to Russia. You can see the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) from there too!

  • The American South - rich with cultural and natural wonders, the freshwater regions that empty into the Atlantic and Gulf coasts are globally significant.

  • The Congo - The Congo Basin hosts the world's second largest rainforest and spans across six African nations.

  • The Mekong - This region spans six countries: China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.

Ecotourism and Sustainability

Global sand in hands

You can travel in a way that is eco friendly, and you can also go to places of ecological interest. Doing either or both can be considered ecotourism.

There is also sustainable travel, which takes into account not just the natural environment, but the ethical impact upon the surrounding communities as well.

Some ways to do this might be to:

  • Purchase a carbon offset for the amount of energy used getting you to your vacation spot

  • Choose lodging that utilizes solar energy, wind energy or other renewable energy.

  • Try Voluntourism - volunteer abroad and get experience, and get to travel while helping others.

The goal is to leave every corner of the world a better place than you found it--or at the very least, no worse off.

You can support these ideals in your daily life as well. Start with general green living practices like remembering to recycle and using clean energy whenever possible to reduce your carbon footprint.

Then you can also make sure to purchase household and food items that support fair trade, health and beauty products that are both ethical and eco friendly, and choose companies that have a good corporate social responsibility program.

When we use the green power of our dollar to support products that are sustainable, we make sure that there are still plenty of natural wonders for us to enjoy!

Click here to return to the Spiral Whirled Travels HOME page.

Or continue your journeys and visit our World Culture page.

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