When people find out that I love to travel, I always get asked “but where would you really love to go to?” and my answer is “everywhere!”.
For the past few years I’ve been keeping (and checking off) a bucket list of destinations and things I want to do and right now, I’m sitting at 200+ bullet points! These include countries that I want to visit in general, like Cambodia but within that, also places that I want to see when I’m there, like Angkor Wat. There’s also ‘Full Moon Party in Thailand’, ‘walk the Stairway to Heaven in Hawaii’ and ‘stand at the Equator’.
I also have a list of books which inspire me and help me put together my trips, which are well worth investing in –
1. The Bucket List – 1000 Adventures Big & Small – https://amzn.to/39BBBuo
2. Where to Go When – https://amzn.to/35Eu8cS
3. 1000 Places To See Before You Die – https://amzn.to/2XFpebb
I also have a Bucket List book (actually I have 2!) in which I’ve written down everything I want to do and details and information about each item both before and after I’ve completed it – I find it helps me not only remember all the things that are on the list but it also acts as a memory book for the things I’ve done so far. Again, I’ve found it to be a great investment – https://amzn.to/3oKAtuY
When the world finally reopens for business and I can get back to working on my bucket list, here’s a list of a couple of places that are right up there near the top.
This has been most recently added to the list. It’s somewhere I hadn’t actually considered before but thanks to a promotional feature in Wanderlust magazine in their Jan/Feb edition (buy it here https://www.wanderlust.co.uk/wanderlust-magazine/212/), it’s certainly up there. The article focuses on Tobago as opposed to its much larger sister, Trinidad and promotes not only the incredibly beautiful beaches but the culture too. With Tobago being so much smaller, you get so much closer to the locals and are able to really understand their way of island life and their culture which is exactly what I want from anywhere I go.
The scuba diving & snorkelling, kayaking, hidden waterfalls and Dutch East India Company history are too much to pass up!
I should have been in Japan in March 2020 but due to the pandemic, my trip was cancelled.
I travel once a year with my mum so this was to be our annual trip together.
We booked to visit Japan in March with the escorted tour company Travelsphere, to coincide with the cherry blossom season as this was a departure they had specially included.
This was to be a ‘splurge’ trip as it’s probably the most expensive mum and I have done (by far) but going by the itinerary for the tour (https://www.travelsphere.co.uk/tours/japan-land-of-the-rising-sun/), we judged it would be well worth it as it took in everything and everywhere that we agreed we both wanted to see. We don’t usually pay anywhere near as much when we travel together but this was to be a special trip.
My gran is 94 now and she had been urging us to go and had been dropping hints about articles in magazines she had read about Japan. She and my mum used to travel a lot together and it’s somewhere they never made it to, so she wanted to be able to see the photos and hear all about it.
Tokyo, Takayama, Kyoto, Osaka & Hiroshima are all areas that we should have been visiting and the Bullet Train, Sushi making demos and lake cruises are all things that we’re missing out on.
The plan is to hopefully rebook for next year for my 30th!
3. Atlantic Canada
Throughout my 4 years of specialising in Canada, this is one area that I didn’t get to see but it’s been way up there on the list, Nova Scotia in particular.
I used to put together itineraries for people wanting to visit this part of the world so I quickly came to know what to recommend, where to stay and what stops to make on a self-drive route which is really the only way to see Nova Scotia unless you’re doing an escorted tour (and even these are few and far between – trust me, I’ve searched for them!)
There’s incredible scenery, as there is with all parts of Canada but the towns themselves look beautiful too, from Halifax with its bustling Harbour & Waterfront to Lunenburg with its distinctive red waterfront buildings (also a UNESCO World Heritage Site). The Bay of Fundy has the worlds highest tides and is home to an abundance of marine life including 12 species of whales and I’d love to visit the famous Peggy’s Cove lighthouse which I’ve seen in so many photos. The Cabot Trail is a must-do here as well and at 186 miles long, has been voted one of the most scenic drives in the world weaving its way through Cape Breton National Park.
4. New Zealand
Now, I’ve been to New Zealand before but that’s no reason not to go back. You can read about this one here – https://readyforanotheradventure.co.uk/2020/12/30/im-going-on-an-adventure/.
Although I spent the best part of 2 weeks travelling around the South Island, I still didn’t see everything I wanted to. I never had the chance to visit Milford Sound & Fjordland National Park which has been on the list for years. I didn’t have time to hike in Mount Cook National Park; the closest I got to Aoraki was driving past Lake Pukaki and seeing it at the far end, so that’s something I need to rectify. I’d like to spend more time in Kaikoura too and do a whale watching tour.
I want to see the Wanaka Tree! I was SO close last time and I didn’t realise it – I stopped at Puzzling World in Wanaka to break up my drive from Franz Josef Glacier to Queenstown, forgot completely about the tree(!) and turned in the opposite direction and missed out on it entirely. My own stupidity is a reason in itself for wanting to go back! I didn’t visit the east coast of the South Island below Christchurch so didn’t see the Moeraki Boulders either.
Except for Auckland and Matamata, I didn’t see any of the North Island, though for the last trip that was intentional. This time round I’d love to see Coromandel and Wellington and maybe take the ferry from Wellington to Picton to continue on the South Island.
All I need is the time to do it!
Back to East Asia!
This has been on the list for a long time and eventually I’ll get to it. RideWorldWide are a horseriding company which offer tours all over the world and I always thought that this would be an incredible way to see part of the country. Its’ wide open expanses would lend itself perfectly to riding and would be in-keeping with the culture as the Mongolians themselves have always been superb horsemen.
The history of the country has always fascinated me too – Genghis & Kublai Khan & the Mongolian Empire as well as Marco Polo and the Silk Road.
Jamie and I had considered Rome as our first trip away together but settled on Vienna instead so this is still a city I haven’t been to. We had hoped to visit this year but at the moment that’s looking unlikely.
Rome has so much history (clearly I’m a bit of a history nerd) and I’ve always wanted to see the Colosseum. It’s such an amazing piece of architecture and there was absolutely nothing like it at the time of its construction.
Gladiators and everything about the concept is something that I’ve always been interested in, plus I’m a big fan of the film, as historically inaccurate as it’s likely to be!
From trekking to Everest Base Camp to visiting a Buddhist monastery, there are plenty of things I want to do in Nepal.
Everest has been on the list for a while but I don’t want to go to the top – Base Camp would be enough, just to say I’ve done it.
Everything you see and read about monasteries make them seem so serene and although I’m not religious, it’s a part of the culture that I’d love to experience for myself. I’d also like to paraglide over the Himalayas and explore the jungle on a jeep or an elephant safari.
8. Visit Peru plus trek to Machu Picchu
I don’t think a bucket list is complete without Machu Picchu least being on it.
Mum and I had discussed going to Peru for my 30th next year but we’ll have to see as we have other trips the reschedule!
There are various different routes to get there, of varying difficulty and length but I know that you also need a permit for the Inca Trail which sell out quickly. To be able to actually walk into a city like Machu Picchu, hidden in the middle of the mountains and completely abandoned would be amazing.
Though Machu Picchu is naturally what most people visit Peru to see, I’d also like to see Rainbow Mountain but only if I knew the weather was going to be good to get the full wow-factor as it’s a full day tour from Cusco with an early start and a hike.
There are over 300 islands in Fiji, the majority of which were formed through volcanic activity and I’d love to ‘island hop’. Each island seems to offer a slightly different experience and from what I’ve read, the outer islands are popular for scuba diving. Azure blue seas, palm tree-lined beaches, coral reefs….yes, please!
Paddle board from Denarau Island, visit Robinson Crusoe Island on a boat tour, relax on white sands with a cocktail and learn to surf – perfect!
10. New Orleans, USA
The city is a mash up of American, French & African culture, music, dancing, food and entertainment. It’s a really lively city and has a great atmosphere. I’d love to see the old French Quarter with its beautiful architecture and the nightlife along famous Bourbon Street.
A lot of books I read have been based in New Orleans (Monster Hunter Memoirs: Sinners, Monster Hunter Memoirs: Saints, Monster Hunter Memoirs: Grunge & Interview with the Vampire) so to go there for myself and not just read about it would be nice.
My brother visited New Orleans as part of a road trip across America a few years ago and really enjoyed it – I won’t lie, I was totally jealous!
He wore his kilt and never bought a drink all night!
“Life is short & the world is wide”.Anon.
What’s on your bucket list?
Let me know in the comments 🙂