Do you have a travel bucket list? In case you’re not familiar with the term, a bucket list is a list of things you want to do before you “kick the bucket”. Consequently, a travel bucket list is a list of places you want to visit before you die.
Mexicans are celebrating the “Day of the Dead” from October 31 to November 2, so today seems like the perfect time to write down a bucket list! As a big travel nut, my travel bucket list contains dozens of places. However, for the sake of brevity, I’m going to list my current top 10 here, ordered by continent rather than priority.
It looks like everybody but me has been to Prague by now, and I’ve heard it’s incredibly touristy. But ever since I saw the city in the first Mission Impossible movie in 1996 (don’t laugh), I’ve wanted to come here. I’ll probably visit off-season and check out other towns as well, like Český Krumlov, Brno and Kutná Hora.
Montenegro/Bosnia and Herzegovina
Those two countries were part of the ex-Yugoslavia. Every time I see photos I want to go there. Montenegro is composed mostly of mountains, valleys and canyons and home to the bayside city of Kotor, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. I don’t know much about Bosnia-Herzegovina, but images of the city of Mostar, with its fairytale skyline and Ottoman-style bridge make my mouth water.
Madagascar is a large island off the east coast of Africa, but it could also be another planet with those giant baobab trees, side-stepping lemurs and many other species of flora and fauna found only here. Bumping around the horrendous roads in this third world nation would definitely qualify as an adventure, but the stunning national parks and beaches would more than make up for it. As an added bonus (for me anyway) the population speaks French!
Tanzania & Zanzibar
I want to see the wildlife in the Seregenti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater of course, but also spend time on exotic-sounding Zanzibar, an island with languid beaches, good snorkelling, and a traditional lifestyle. The country is home to a vastly multi-cultural and multi-lingual population, and 3.6 million years old human footprints. Although I would like to “glimpse” Mount Kilimanjaro, I have no intention to climb it in this lifetime: the summit is at an altitude of 5895 metres!
This is one big country that I’ve been procrastinating travelling to. So many things to see, such a complex culture, and such overwhelming cities with all their people and pollution. I need to plan this one properly. I would like to visit Beijing and the Great Wall, Shanghai, Xian (maybe), Chengdu (for the pandas) and then spend most of my time in the southwest (Yunnan province).
The ruins of the ancient Nabataean city of Petra are one of those iconic landmarks you’ve seen in photos a thousand times before. I’ve been told that the whole site is quite large and deserves a couple of days. The desert of Wadi Rum is also something I want to experience. Apparently Jordan is one of the more progressive and safest Middle Eastern countries, and I want to check this out.
I’ve been to Turkey before, but only to Istanbul and Büyükada. There is so much more to see in this country. Cappadocia, with its phantasmagoric rock formations and cave hotels looks particularly appealing, and lends itself perfectly to one of my favourite activities: hiking! The roman ruins of Ephesus are some of the most important and best preserved in the world, and trekking along the Lycian Way on the Turquoise Coast would be lovely.
I don’t normally like cold and snow, but ever since experiencing Antarctica’s icy landscapes, I’ve wanted to see the Arctic as well. The Arctic is neither a country, nor a continent, and you can approach it from several directions. Even though I could restrict myself to the Canadian Arctic, I’m more attracted by the Svalbard Islands which belong to Norway. It would be super cool to see polar pears in their natural habitat!
I first heard about Bolivia and the otherworldliness of the Salar de Uyuni in 1995 and I’ve wanted to come ever since. The largest salt plain (salar) in the world is still at the top of my list for Bolivia, but I also want to see the cities of La Paz and Sucre, and hike on Isla del Sol in Lake Titicaca.
I’ve been to Chile, and I’ve been to the Argentinean side of Patagonia, but what I really want to do next is hike in Torres del Paine National Park. It won’t be cheap, and the weather may be harsh – they say you can experience all four seasons in one day – but I really want to find myself among this dreamy landscape of snow-covered granite peaks and glacial lakes.
Your turn. What’s on your bucket list?
(Photos on this page courtesy of Paul Marshman, The Travelling Boomer.)