Twenty of the world's top athletes and explorers share their wildest dream trips—a dazzling list of never attempted feats daunting to even these world-class competitors. For the rest of us, consider their must-do adventures—and start planning. —Kate Siber

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Photo: Freya Hoffmeister kayking on the ocean
Freya Hoffmeister has circumnavigated Iceland and Australia and is now working on South America.

Photograph by Greg Stamer

Freya Hoffmeister

Sea Kayaker

When asked if she has a dream kayak trip, Husum, Germany-based Freya Hoffmeister is unequivocal. “I’m not usually dreaming of trips, I’m usually planning and doing them,” she says. “If I’ve got something on my mind, I do it.”

Right now, that something is a nearly three-year circumnavigation of South America in three eight-month pushes, which began September 1, 2011. If she completes it, it will be the longest sea kayaking expedition ever undertaken and she will become the first person to circumnavigate the continent by kayak.

Of course, the challenges are numerous: She’ll start in Buenos Aires, traveling clockwise some 15,000 miles and 60 degrees of latitude, surfing monster waves, meeting untold sea creatures, and dodging ocean liners along the way. After that, she’ll decide what her next trip might be. “There are lots of continents waiting, but no one knows if I’ll do another one,” says Hoffmeister. “For sure I can make it if I want to.”

Next: See Freya Hoffmeister's Must-Do Trip: Kayak Vancouver Island, Canada

See the Ultimate Adventure Bucket List 2011

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Athlete Bio

Photo: Portrait of Freya Hoffmeister
Freya Hoffmeister

Sea Kayaker

After ten years of competitive gymnastics, five years of competitive bodybuilding, and working as the first German female tandem skydiving pilot with 500 jumps, Freya Hoffmeister turned her passion to kayaking. With her characteristic can-do spirit, she has since circumnavigated Iceland, New Zealand’s South Island, and, in 2010, became the second person ever to circle Australia.