Writing a travel bucket list seems almost impossible. There are so many places that I want to go to, but it will be difficult to see them all. Even though it's a tough task, jotting down a list of the top places you want to see is very useful. It helps you to focus on what you want to get out of travelling, and life in general.
A lot of my travel destinations are part of general life goals, and I use my list to keep reminding myself of how much I want to achieve them. Some of them are physical challenges I want to do, because I like to stay active whilst travelling. Other destinations might have mouth-watering food, spectacular views or simply just have something magical about them. They say you should spend money on moments and experiences over material things, I guess that's why so many people choose to travel.
When you get cheap flights or an amazing deal to a certain destination it can be very tempting just to pack up and leave. You can obviously take advantage of deals, but at the end of the day you need to keep in mind what's most important, and the real reasons you want to go to a particular destination. So, after much procrastination, swapping and final edits, here is my complete list (for now) of places I want to go to before I leave this planet.
Yellowstone National Park, USA
To see the wolves
I am absolutely crazy about dogs, which means I am naturally interested in Wolves. I have studied canine behaviour and have a burning desire to see these wonderful creatures in their natural habitat. I first heard about Yellowstone National Park when I was reading a book about Wolves by Sean Ellis, an animal researcher. In the book he talks about living with a wild wolf pack in Yellowstone. A colleague who works with dogs I know told me she was going last year, and I was insanely jealous.
Yellowstone is National Park in America that's ideal for outdoor and wildlife enthusiasts. I want to set foot in the 3,500 square miles of wilderness and see the geysers, dramatic canyons, volcanic scenery and wildlife. Here you can see Bison, Elk, Antelope and most importantly, if you are extremely lucky, Wolves.
Walking under waterfalls and seeing the Northern Lights
So technically I have already been to Iceland, but I was 17 and on a school Geography trip. I got to walk on a glacier, swim in the hot springs of the Blue lagoon, see the Northern lights from a hot tub and go trekking through the breath-taking scenery. However, my memory is a bit blurry because I was so young and should have been more aware of my surroundings.
Ever since this trip I have wanted to go back. I also know a couple that lives there who could show us all of the hidden gems. Iceland really is something special and it deserves more of my attention. When I go back I would like to see more of the capital, see the Gullfoss waterfall and camp underneath the stars.
The Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
Seeing the unique animals Darwin described
Another destination that is high on my list of places to visit is The Galapagos Islands near Ecuador. Charles Darwin arrived here in 1835 and knew these islands were something special. I have been writing my first novel on and off over the last five years, and it actually mentions the Galapagos Islands. After reading up on them I decided I have to add them to my list. They showcase Darwin's theory regarding natural selection.
There are some very fascinating and somewhat strange creatures to be found here including marine Iguanas, Tortoises, Galapagos Finches, Penguins, Seals, Blue-footed Boobies, Hawks and Lizards. Darwin once described the islands as ‘a little world within itself', that sounds like a perfect place for me to go and escape to and appreciate the wonders of the natural world.
San Francisco, USA
Kayaking under the Golden Gate Bridge and sampling the culinary scene
There's just something about San Francisco that commands my attention. Maybe it's the magnificent Golden Gate Bridge, the colourful Victorian houses or the excellent culinary scene. I have been told it has a similar vibe to Brighton, where I lived for almost four years. San Francisco is supposed to be laid back, open minded and cultural. It has diverse neighbourhoods to explore, a pretty bay and so many things to do. I also really want to see the infamous Alcatraz, that's featured in so many films and stories.
Ha Long Bay, Vietnam
Sailing around and relaxing on the idyllic beaches
One of my best friends, who is also a keen traveller has been to Vietnam and this amazing country really won her over. See my interview with her here. Since she went I keep hearing about how beautiful it is, how tasty the food is and how many unique experiences are on offer. I want to see Ha Long Bay, a breath-taking UNESCO World Heritage Site, learn about the history of the war and see the floating markets of the Mekong Delta. Click this link for more on my Vietnam dreams.
Panama City, Panama
Trekking through the rainforests and exploring a culturally diverse city
Panama is fast becoming the place to visit in 2015. It's very popular with travellers and those looking for something a little bit different. I want to go there mainly to trek through the rainforests, you can see some wonderful wildlife and go birdwatching in Panama City National Park.
Panama's historic Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site sounds like a fascinating place to visit with traditional Spanish Colonial architecture. Panama Canal is supposed to be a spectacular feat of engineering, it's 50 miles long and opened in 1914.
Other things I want to do in Panama include unwinding in Boquete, a charismatic laid back village in the Chiriqui Highlands, explore the 1000 miles of gorgeous coastline and hike up Volcan Baru, Panama's highest mountain. Panama hasw plenty of outdoor activities on offer, from zip lines to white water rafting and an endless selection of water sports.
Corn Islands, Nicaragua
Escape to a Corn Island and try volcanic boarding
Nicaragua is another up and coming destination, despite it being peaceful for years it is still the least visited nation in the region. That might be about to change. There's one activity I really want to try in Nicaragua, volcanic boarding. After hiking up the volcano you can launch yourself down the volcanic sands on a sand board and reach speeds of up to 50 miles per hour.
Visiting the capital, Managua and also Granada would be on my itinerary. I would want to see all the fascinating sites (Catedral Vieja,Teatro Nacional Ruben Dario) and take a look at the Colonial architecture. The Corn Islands also sound idyllic, but I hear they are quite difficult to get to. The street food is also supposed to be delicious, with lots of local treats to try.
Uncovering my family heritage and learn about the history
My Grandad is Polish, yet I have never once set foot in Poland. Apparently I have some relatives living near Warsaw so it would be lovely to meet some of them. I also want to go to a few Eastern European cities including Krakow and Tallinn. Warsaw, the capital of Poland is a city with an interesting history and Poland's cultural centre. I want to see the Gothic churches, museums and landmarks including Wilanow Palace, The Royal Castle and The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Go whale watching and explore stunning national parks
Alaska is filled with jaw dropping landscapes that stretch for miles and an abundance of wonderful wildlife making it ideal for nature lovers and active holidaymakers. Alaska is full of wonders, from Glaciers bigger than other US states to volcanic valleys and even rainforests. It's an epic wilderness that I want to hike, climb and kayak my way through.
I want to visit Kenai Fjords National Park, Mount McKinley and Prince William Sound. Whale watching is definitely on my list of things to do before I leave this world, in Alaska you can see Orcas, Humpback Whales, Grey Whales and Beluga Wales. I would also want to visit Husky Homestead where you can see Husky puppies and learn about sled dogs.
See the art and architecture and sample the food and wine
I definitely haven't spent enough time in Italy. One of the destinations in Italy I am dying to see is the romantic riverside city of Florence. I want to wander the streets and take in the renaissance art whilst tucking in to a delicious Italian ice cream. Other things I would do in Florence include watching some live jazz at Piazza Della SS Annunziata, walk up the steps at Oltrarno for incredible views and walk along the Arno river.
But ten is not enough
There you have it, my top 10 places I want to visit. However, there were a few destinations that just missed out on a place. Here are a few other places that would make it into my top 20.
- The Grand Canyon, USA
- Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
- Berlin, Germany
- Mexico City, Mexico
- Havana, Cuba
- Machu Picchu, Peru
- Mount Fuji, Japan
- Barcelona, Spain
- Krakow, Poland
- Toronto, Canada
Hope you feel inspired by my bucket list and wish me luck in my chase of ticking every item off.