For our extra adventurous Globe Aware volunteers who want to continue their time at a volunteer vacation destination, here are some of the most exciting events travelers can participate in for 2024.
10 unmissable events worth travelling for in 2024
Sitting back and spectating doesn’t always cut it. These 10 experiences — for 2024 and beyond — will get you flying, partying, painting, swimming, dancing and racing.
BY NORA WALLAYA
DECEMBER 20, 2023
One of the most rewarding ways to plan a trip is by building it around a specific event connected to a deep interest or passion. Taking part in something meaningful on your travels creates a unique connection with a destination that can lead to memories that will last a lifetime. Whether it’s testing your athletic derring-do in an ultra-marathon in Peru or whipping out your spray cans at a graffiti festival in Bristol, we’ve rounded up some of the most exciting events for you to participate in for 2024.
1. International Kite Festival
Kite-makers from around the world launch their creations at this jubilant celebration of the return of sunshine after winter. You’ll enjoy traditional styles from Japanese rokkaku (fighting kites) to Malaysian wau bulan (moon kites). Locals and visitors get involved, too — so bring your kite and join in. The festival takes place in Ahmedabad; Gujarat state’s largest metropolis and a UNESCO World Heritage City.
2. Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras
16 February to 3 March
A parade on 2 March — led by First Nations peoples, Dykes on Bikes and 78ers (the folks who founded Mardi Gras in 1978) — is the highlight of Australia’s foremost Pride event. The LGBTQ+ community celebrates love and community in a glittering ceremony, and visitors are encouraged to join the revelry. Actual glitter is banned for environmental reasons, and attendees are asked to pick up sparkle-wear at secondhand shops.
3. Ride Africa Kenya: Mara Calling
Rift Valley, Kenya
15-22 November 2025
Wheeling from Lake Nakuru to the Maasai Mara, this expert-led, 310-mile, seven-day route takes up to 60 cyclists through Lake Elementaita, Lake Naivasha, Hell’s Gate and Narok. It’s held to raise funds for the Child.org charity, which supports neonatal care in the country. Run in conjunction with the Kenyan Wildlife Service, the event can include a large number of animals sightings. Application required.
4. Jungle Ultra
Manú National Park, Peru
With racers facing 143 miles of dense Amazon rainforest — and even denser heat and humidity — this is among the toughest ultramarathons. Navigating such terrain demands resilience and determination, but the camaraderie of the trail team will keep you going. Peru’s nearly four-million-acre national park comprises diverse tropical habitats, including cloud forest and Andean grassland ecosystems. Application required.
5. Lakia-Jukola Orienteering Relay
This is one for old-school explorers, as your team of six needs solid map-reading and compass navigation skills for the overnight relay. It’s among the world’s most prestigious orienteering challenges, with seven legs of up to nine miles each — all amid some of Finland’s most dramatic scenery (“The terrain may surprise you!” declare the organisers). Sign up for the later legs to see in the sunrise. Application required.
6. 29029 Everesting
June to October
Amid concern about the environmental cost of summiting Everest, there’s a growing appetite for more eco-conscious approaches. Hiking group 29029 Everesting leads the way, its name representing the number of feet to Everest’s summit. You have 36 hours to repeatedly scale a mountain to the equivalent height; sites include Sun Valley, Jackson Hole, Snowbasin, Whistler and Mont-Tremblant. Application required.
Bristol, United Kingdom
From 5 may
Banksy’s graffiti-tattooed birthplace hosts one of Europe’s largest street-art festivals every other year, with the next instalment planned for 2024. Hundreds of local and international artists take part in painting sessions, with no professional experience required and artists of all disciplines and experience levels encouraged to apply. If that’s not your thing, there are plenty of spray-painting workshops and murals to keep you entertained.
8. Bosphorus Cross-Continental Swim
Turkey’s Bosphorus Strait has been an important maritime trading route since ancient times. Today, it remains one of the world’s busiest shipping channels. But for three days every year, it’s closed to traffic as 2,000-plus participants tackle its momentous cross-continental swim. Entrants traverse from Europe to Asia in an 11-mile journey, with the promise of a party at the end. Application required.
9. BA Tango World Cup
Buenos Aires, Argentina
August to September
Argentina is an ancestral home of the tango, and its capital is where the dance’s World Cup takes place. Alongside hotly contested competitions are public dances and workshops (amateurs are welcome), so you can perfect your ocho or simply enjoy the spectacle. Dancers, musicians and artists spill on to Diagonal Norte and take to an open-air stage over the two weeks. Application required.
10. Dacia UTMB Mont-Blanc trail running
26 August to 1 September
Lace up for the annual trail-running event, in which mountain-savvy athletes take on routes between Chamonix and Mont Blanc. The journeys vary in length, but all pack serious elevation gain and challenging terrain. The PTL, for example, takes the brave on what the organisers call ‘the adventure of a lifetime’, threading over 200 miles of alpine scenery, with 25,000-metre elevation gain. Application required.