#MyGreatestAdventure: Travelers share tales of life-changing trips

This story was originally published on November 2015.

(CNN)"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did."

When it comes to travel, this well-worn aphorism rings true.
Taking the first steps of an adventure can be daunting, but hitting the road can have a powerful effect: opening minds, presenting fresh perspectives and altering the course of one's life irreversibly.
    And these seismic changes can take place within a single trip, a single place -- even a single moment.
    We asked you to share a life-altering travel experience using #MyGreatestAdventure and your response was remarkable.
    Affirming, touching and dripping in wanderlust, your stories were truly inspirational.
    Scroll through the gallery above and take a look below for some of the best we received.

    1. A trip that celebrates lost loved ones

    Otherwise known as Arnette, Round the World Girl shared what was perhaps the most poignant story submitted, explaining how a trip to Indonesia had a profound affect on her.
    "While I was traveling in Bali, a local friend Made asked me if I wanted to attend his grandfather's cremation ceremony," she says.
    "For the Balinese, a 'ngaben' is the most important ceremony in one's life and means cremation of the dead. It is when the soul is released from the body to go to heaven and be reincarnated.
    "The idea of watching this in person was something I was not sure I was ready to watch, if at all.
    "One of the things that prompted my round-the-world trip was the death of my husband and best friend Eric, and then mother.
    "After Eric's death six years ago, I became interested in how people grieve and how other cultures perceive death.
    "We followed a procession to the cemetery and sat around for several hours. During a lull we ate some lunch, children were running around playing games, and men and women sat in groups and chatted away.
    "It was like no other funeral I had ever witnessed.
    "A priest performed some ceremonies, offerings were made, and then the bodies were then placed in a funeral pyre and burned.
    "I looked around and did not see one sad face in the crowd. The Balinese believe in reincarnation and that newborn children are vessels of the spirit of their deceased ancestors."
    She adds: "The whole event was spiritual and beautiful. It was such a contrast to funerals I had attended at home. I kept thinking of my loved ones but not with sorrow.
    "Attending the 'ngaben' was almost like a release from my own shroud of sadness and loss.
    "I would have never imagined that while on my travels I would watch a cremation in person.
    "And as my last day and experience in Bali, a place I hold so dear to my heart, this was definitely a life changing moment on my travels."

    2. A trip that captures the beauty of the world

    Chris Burkard is a world-renowned nature photographer and artist, whose urbane clients belie his love for the rugged outdoors.
    He can usually be found either with a camera or a surfboard to hand, exploring the harshest environments nature has to offer.
    "I have spent these last few years of my life obsessing on these glacial rivers. It's a personal project that has taken me high into the air to look down on these sediment flows that come from the glacier.
    "I have attempted many times to shoot this river during the right time of year, when the colors are in full affect.
    "After a lot of failed attempts it finally came together. I will never forget this experience.
    "The photos were more than just a simple picture but raw emotion in a landscape.
    Documenting these places had such a huge impact on me as an artist and in a lot of ways it changed who I was as a person.
    "From that point on I knew I had to be more than just a simple observer of nature.. .but I had to be willing to defend it also."

    3. A trip that reconnects family across generations

    A photo posted by @beworldtraveled on

    For @Beworldtraveled, family became the inspiration for an epic adventure.
    "In 1938, my grandmother and great grandmother took a 128-day trip around the world. I never knew my grandmother took this trip until she passed away and I found an old worn photo album in a box," she said.
    "This is my favorite photo in the album of my grandmother on a camel in Egypt, as she visited the pyramids at Giza for the first time. Following in my grandmother's footsteps, I visited the pyramids 70 years after my grandmother was there."

    4. A trip that restarts a life

    "Our greatest adventure was when we made the decision to quit our jobs, sell everything and set off for an open-ended trip around the world," says San Franciscans Chris and Danika (aka @nodestinations), who made the leap into the unknown in March last year.
    "We gave up our 'old way' of doing things and opened our eyes to just how amazing and diverse our world is.
    "After being on the road for almost two years now, travel is now part of our DNA, and it all started in Rome, Italy; our very first destination.
    "In Rome we learned to adjust our outlook on life from being 'always busy,' to 'always in-the-moment.' From savoring the simplicity of perfectly ripe tomatoes to discovering the joys of daily 'aperitivo' and connecting with distant relatives we had never known.
    "We've had many exciting adventures during the past two years while traveling to over 75 destinations around the world, but Rome will always be our greatest adventure."

    5. A trip that creates amazing images

    Not to be outdone, many of you also took to Twitter to share snaps of the trips that meant the most to you.
    @SashaEats negotiated Alaska's wild landscapes like a pro:
    Larissa Clark took to the seas:
    Elleanor Tricia managed to make sandboarding look easy:
    And Roxanna Corona and friend conquered the peaks of Yosemite: