Life-changing trips: 17 places that can reshape your world
By Griffin Shea, for CNN
9 minute read
10:06 AM EST, Fri November 27, 2015
Denali National Park (Alaska) —
Home to North America's highest peak, as well as moose, caribou and deer, Denali National Park is a place to lose yourself in a landscape little touched by time.
Sitting astride the divide between Europe and Asia, Istanbul is surrounded by a region in turmoil. But the city is a joyous reminder that it doesn't have to be that way.
Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
Bagan, Myanmar —
The capital city of the first Myanmar Kingdom, this enormous Buddhist complex on the Irrawaddy River contains more than 2,500 intricate monuments dating to the 10th century. It's a slip in time to an Asia that no longer exists in many other places.
Sailing the Caribbean —
Hiring a private sailing yacht in the warm waters of the Caribbean is easier than it sounds, made worthwhile with quiet days on the open sea and stops at islands that can still feel newly discovered.
Kenzo Tribouillard/Getty Images/File
Holi festival (India) —
The riot of color that is India's Holi festival is enjoyed around the world (Spain is pictured here). But it retains a special significance in Mathura, the spot revered as Krishna's birthplace.
GERARD JULIEN/AFP/Getty Images
Great Barrier Reef (Australia) —
With more than 3,000 individual reefs interspersed with hundreds of tropical islands, the Great Barrier Reef is unmatched by any other reef system. It's size is a reminder of the vast scale of the Earth's oceans and the fragility of its ecosystems.
Not everyone gets to declare love in Paris. Once a year though, they can at least declare their love of chocolate when confectioners and cocoa experts celebrate tastes and creations at the city's Salon du Chocolat.
Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images
Kyoto, Japan —
On the flip side of Japan's tech-loaded supercharged urban culture are its peaceful palaces of calm -- the Buddhist temples and shrines. In Kyoto, the old imperial capital of pagodas, visitors can embrace mindfulness and meditation. Or just take a pleasant walk.