There is no better way to experience a new place like going on a long road trip.
From the seat of your car you can experience everything from pristine big city skylines to gorgeous scenery, sometimes all in close proximity to your friends and loved ones.
A key benefit of road tripping is your ability to get off of the beaten track and discover hidden gems off of the well worn tourist path.
There's a seemingly endless amount of stories told about people who go on unique journeys; the idea of someone leaving home, experiencing something profound and returning more enlightened and wiser than before. Road trips endure because they fulfill our need to see and explore the unfamiliar world around us.
Here is a short list of some of the most fabled, awe-inspiring road trips on earth:
Australia - Great Ocean Road
Known as one of the world's most scenic coastal routes, Australia's Great Ocean Road is an insanely beautiful stretch of road packed with towering ocean rock formations, pristine beaches and quick access to isolated rainforest areas.
It's a good thing you'll be visiting the area by car because this part of Australia is both vast and jam packed with amazing little nooks and crannies you don't want to miss.
2. Scotland - North Coast 500
Known as Scotland's answer to America's Route 66, the North Coast 500 is a road trip itinerary conceived by the North Highland Initiative, a non-profit organization established by Prince Charles to spread the love across less-visited parts of the Scotland.
North Coast road trippers can expect to be wowed by historic castles, charming fishing villages, towering ocean cliffs and memorable mountain ranges. There's an incredible amount of things to see and do in the Scottish Highlands, so make sure you give yourself plenty of time here.
3. South Africa - Bloemfontein to Durban
JRR Tolkein was born in Bloemfontein, and when you visit there you'll see the connection between the area's stunning landscapes and his magical writing.
Travelers on the route between Bloemfontein and Durban can expect to see endless sunflower fields and picturesque pastoral flatlands contrasted by some of the world's most impressive mountain scenery. The tiny city of Clarens sits halfway through the trek, and has 20 art galleries and a brewery.
Further along, be sure to stop at the world famous Golden Gate Highlands National Park. It's known for its sandstone formations and is a great spot to relax and check out the sunset. The areas above the park contain some of South Africa's best grassland areas and shouldn't be missed.
4. Mexico - Baja
Driving from Tijuana down to the tip of the Baja Peninsula is absolutely one of the world's most beautiful and exciting road trips, but it's certainly not for the faint of heart.
This part of Mexico is brimming with dilapidated roads, corrupt cops and violent drug cartels. Your reward for being crazy enough to take this road trip is access hundreds of miles of untouched beaches, cheap accommodations and a view into a part of Mexico that tourists rarely see.
The road down to the tip of Baja is longer than the state of California and gas stations are few and far between. Your cell phone won't work here. Be prepared with plenty of food and water.
5. Canada - The Trans-Canada Highway
The Trans-Canada Highway is the world's longest national highway and is without a doubt one of the best road trips in Canada and the world.
Connecting both of Canada's coasts, this trip is a great one to take if you're interested in getting a sense of who Canada is a nation, and to discover everything it has to offer. Expect to see everything from historic villages in Quebec to the Bay of Fundy which boasts some of the highest tides in the world.
6. Vietnam - Saigon To Hanoi
People traveling through Vietnam can expect to meet incredibly kind and welcoming locals, eat incredible ethnic food and to experience some of the most stunning jungle and coastal areas in the world.
This route shifts from sandy, coastal back-roads in the south, to meandering mountain passes in the central provinces, to the wonderfully obscure limestone landscapes in the north.
People traveling through Vietnam will find that it's easier to get from place to place by renting or purchasing a motorcycle. Some of the stretches of this road can be treacherous, so be as vigilant and safe as possible.
7.USA - Route 12, Utah
Utah's route 12 connects Capital Reef National Park to Bryce Canyon National Park and contains some of the most insanely beautiful landscapes in the world. The 124 mile trip will take you through elevations of 9,000 feet, and the route boasts some of the world's most stunning and strange rock formations.
Tons of blockbuster western movies were filmed along this route, and you can expect to see lots of wildlife in the part of Utah.
8. France - Back Roads of Provence
When lots of people think of France, they can't get past scenes of Paris, but France is a gorgeous country filled with stunning drives, incredible food and more than its fair share of culture.
This drive is notoriously peaceful. Think quiet villages, sunny fields and plenty of places to pull over for and have an impromptu picnic. This is a road trip where you'll want to slow down, relax and take your time. Drink some wine and eat some pungent cheese with the locals along the way.
9. Russia - The Golden Ring
Named by the USSR in the 60's, this route East of Moscow is packed with ancient churches, gingerbread cottages and unspoiled Russian countryside.
Moscow is an amazing place to visit, but travelers shouldn't miss out on road-tripping through the Golden Ring and experiencing everything it has to offer.
10. USA - Route 66
How could we leave out Route 66? Route 66 connects Chicago to Los Angeles and is absolutely the ultimate American road trip. Travelers can expect to see everything from ocean to desert, and skyscraper to mountain range. What makes Route 66 so great is that it represents so many different facets and people of America. Everyone from famous actors to cattle ranchers can be found on this trip. If you want a good idea of what America is really about, take a road trip through Route 66.
This is just a small taste of the multitude of Awe-Inspiring Road Trips Around The World but hopefully this has your motor running and your ready to start planning your next great road trip!