My Travel Bucket List (inevitably only part 1)

13 Sep

Update, December 2017: I’ve now been to some of these places (WHOOP) so thought I’d update this post 🙂 The stuff in red is part of the update.
Original post: So, I’ve been thinking about all the places I want to see before I die. That’s a lie, I’d like to see them before I turn 30. I don’t plan on EVER having kids so I guess I can fly off aged 50 at a moment’s notice, but let’s face it, it’s better to me youthful and free spirited (and not worrying about a mortgage) when you do these things, right?

I’m putting together a list of all the places I want to visit; some are sights, some are cities, some are countries. But something about each of them intrigues me and I love learning about different places and cultures. When I went to Botswana, rather than the pretty sights and a sun tan, I was most enthralled by elephant graveyards and stories of poachers, eating warthog and lotus flowers plucked from the Okavango Delta, discovering that Cola is easier to get hold of than water… may not seem interesting to you, but I feel like I’ve really experienced the place.
Anyway, enough rambling: on with the list. Hell, let’s go all ‘centred’ too.

1. The Amazon Rainforest (South America)

Ok, ok: I’m well aware that when I go to the Amazon Rainforest I will NOT be able to take a photograph as beautiful as the one above. But LOOK at the place. The incredible ecosystem, the wildlife – sure, most of it is creepy and crawly and scary – but what a place to be scared. I’ve wanted to go to South America ever since my friend went a few years ago and she seemed to have an incredible time. Did you know that over 50% of the world’s species are thought to be native to the Amazon Rainforest? I think the rapid decline of the rainforest is also something to spur me on; I’d love to see the place while it’s still there in it’s (almost) entirety. Just imagining sailing along the waterway into the basin. Amazing. Might have a little wander around the Inca ruins while I’m “in the area” too.

2. The Taj Mahal (India) – BEEN!

If some fella built this for me, needless to say, I’d be pretty impressed. I was impressed, but honestly? Not as much as I thought I’d be. Like… SUCH huge expectations were going to be hard to meet. But in no way would I say it’s something to miss! I’m not a morning person, but sunrise at the Taj Mahal would be able to get me out of bed at Stupid O’Clock. I’d also love to visit India to try and see a Tiger in it’s natural habit, although according to people who have been on these national park tours, it’s quite a rare occurrence. Yeah, I didn’t get to do this. Dehli doesn’t really interest me that much when I think of India. It’s Agra and Jaipur that intrigue me the most. As well, of course, as the Ganges. So the Ganges in Varanasi were SUCH A HIGHLIGHT. Way better than I thought it would be. And Jaipur was also pretty spectacular. But it was Pushkar, which I hadn’t even considered, that really bowled me over.

3. The Dead Sea (Israel/Jordan) – DONE

The Dead Sea fascinates me. When you think of the middle east, let’s face it, most people think about turmoil and bloodshed. However, tucked away at the lowest point on Earth is the world’s biggest spa – full of salt and goodness. It did make my skin feel awesome. And unfortunately, the Middle East still has super negative connotations, but I’m so glad I went to Jordan all the same – it was totally safe and a wonderful experience. Just being able to float in between Israel and Jordan, in such peaceful tranquility, must be an incredible experience. Actually, it hurt and was pretty stressful. One of those experiences that you appreciate more once it’s over! It’s more surreal then relaxing! I would, genuinely, love to visit the middle east and I think this would be the perfect reason to go.

4. Sicily (Italy)

Alright, this may be partly to do with The Godfather. But after a little more research than just watching three films, I’ve decided Sicily is the kind of place I’d never even think about going (lots of pretty buildings and landscapes, nothing to do). However, then I found out about the amazing Citta Del Mare resort slide. Looks incredible. I also like the idea of Sicily because, to me, it doesn’t seem to overrun with tourists. Wanna go to Italy – visit Milan, Rome, Venice. But I’m off to Sicily folks.

5. Seattle (North America) – currently planning to go July 2018!

I am well aware that Seattle is a rainy city in Pacific Northwest. But Seattle, sort of, defined my teenage years. Like a lot of kids I adored Nirvana: Kurt Cobain being something of a misunderstood grunge God to me. Frasier is one of the best TV shows ever – true, when I go I won’t be able to afford the kind of restaurants these fictional guys eat in, but it’d make me feel a part of it. I would like to point out now, Sleepless in Seattle has not influenced this choice at all. Bleugh. But.. Twilight may have done. DON’T JUDGE ME. But when I was about 17 I read the Twilight books, got all my Uni mates to read all the Twilight books, and then dropped any interest in them as soon as the film was announced. I now know better. Yet I’m still going to Seattle. Haha.

6. Tokyo (Japan)

I’d love to go to Tokyo as it seems quite literally like a different world. True, it’s a big ol’ city like London or New York, but its history, architecture and the lifestyle  and culture of the people there are so far removed from what I’m used to. The tech, the food, the nightlife… it would be a great experience. I feel like it’s the kind of place where I’d definitely need a companion to go with though. One day…

7. Cuba – BEEN

Naturally, the political history fascinates me.  I went while Fidel was still alive, so had limited, but some interesting, conversations about him with the locals! However, according to people who’ve been there, it’s like stepping back in time. Classic cars everywhere – amazing. This was pretty cool. Cuba is beautiful, inexpensive (well, once you’re there) and full of history. Paradise on the beaches and “locked in time since the revolution” (according to traveller’s reviews). Fascinating stuff. I adored Cuba. 

8. Lake Malawi (Malawi) – might go here this year too! If not, DEFFO next year.

I joined my tour group in Africa just after they’d left Malawi and every single one of them said it was the high point of their tour. I mean – what more reason do I need other than THAT water? Apparently the people are amazing, the culture is rich and varied and the scenery is second to none.

9. Puerto Princesa Underground River (Philippines)
You know what? I’m not sure this is on my bucket list anymore. Don’t get me wrong, it would be super cool to go to… but I’d probably replace it with Banff National Park in Canada (gorgeous lakes and hiking) or the Bolivian Salt Flats.

The subterranean river flows through underground caves and opens up into a lagoon with crystal clear water. I would LOVE to sail through the caves – would be such an incredible experience. It was recently dubbed one of the ‘New 7 Wonders of the Natural World’.

10. The Great Pyramid of Giza (Egypt)

Sorry to be all obvious, but seeing the Pyramids (and the Nile) would be incredible. Ancient Egyptian history always interested me and I think seeing the only remaining Seven Wonder of the Ancient World would be pretty cool.

Care to share your ‘Bucket List’ locations? I’m always searching (usually Skyscanner) for awesome places to add to the list so I know exactly how poor I’m going to end up after all the travelling. If you’ve been anywhere particularly awesome let me know!


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