Where is it? That one place you most wish to travel? Can you picture it in your mind? Have you memorized the famous photographs of natural landmarks and timeless architecture? You might even be the type who knows which restaurants you will patronize. Or maybe you’ve already chosen the perfect hotel, with gorgeous views and lush accommodations.
Here is my travel bucket list. 10 places I wish to see before I die. (Truly it should read: “10 places I wish to see in the next few years,” as I’m realistic that travel gets harder with age and some of these destinations aren’t exactly cane-friendly. Besides which, I’m a very impatient person. Either way, you get the gist.)
Koh Tao, Thailand
The phrase “one night in Bangkok” comes to mind. And that’s exactly what I mean. Just one night in Bangkok, if only to satisfy the phrase. But that’s not where I want to spend my time. Koh Tao is the place to go for diving, rock climbing, and hiking; its nightlife and first-class resorts aren’t bad, either!
Easter Island, Chile
The world’s most frustrating mystery. How the heck did they do it? And why? Agh! It drives me mad. I must see for myself these amazing feats of man: 887 moai (statues) that stand guard over the island’s secrets.
(Here is a link for those interested in the National Geographic special: Mystery of Easter Island. It was a fascinating piece that posed a theory as to how the Polynesians created what is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.)
Machu Picchu, Peru
Described by UNESCO as “an absolute masterpiece of architecture and a unique testimony to the Inca civilization,” this 15th century citadel rests in the clouds, taking its place as a giant in history.
Queenstown, New Zealand
This is the place for the daredevil in me. Offering the world’s highest cliff jump, Queenstown is famous for its outdoor activities amidst breathtaking views. Skiing, bungee jumping, skydiving, boating, and river rafting feed your appetite for adventure, as well as fine dining – another notable aspect of this Kiwi city. Count me in!
Crystal blue water that perfectly matches the celebrated blue rooftops. Delicious Mediterranean fare – including boatloads of hummus – enjoyed on a secluded terrace overlooking the sea, quaint fishing boats in the distance. How romantic!
Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
Known for the world’s largest concentration of wildlife, The Serengeti National Park is the perfect introduction to the natural wonders of sub-Saharan Africa. With thousands of wildebeest, zebra, buffalo, giraffe, and elephants roaming free, it is called “the land that moves on forever.” And a must-see for a wanderer like myself. Whether you wish to camp out or retreat to a five-star lodge (yes, please!), this is the place to go.
A cultural center just north of Marseilles, this is the perfect artist’s retreat filled with grand architecture and superbly fattening food!
A blending of two distinct cultures that brought so much pain and also, so much beauty. History comes alive in a land of contradictions.
Where to start? The food, the culture, the architecture… Once controlled by Berber tribes who traded slaves, gold, and ivory, Marrakesh now trades in tourism, offering mazes of markets intermingled with historical palaces and extravagant tomb complexes.
I’ve dreamt of the legendary pyramids since I was a child. Magical, mysterious, and mesmerizing. In high school I studied the art of embalming. (Seriously fascinating stuff.) And in college I wrote about the architectural genius of the civilization. But truly, I just want to touch them. To touch history. To sink my feet in the epic sands that bore such magnificent fruit.
And there you have it. My current list. I hope to knock off one or more of these awe-inspiring places soon. But that doesn’t mean I will be satisfied. Never! Each place I venture becomes a part of me and inspires me to see another. Because there is always more to explore.
Don’t be offended if your list looks drastically different from my own. That’s the beauty of travel. It’s personal. Meant just for you. It feeds your soul. (Sorry, that was cheesy, but it’s still true.)
So share your list with me! Perhaps your dreams will inspire my own!
P.S. The Caroline Islands are an addendum to this list, mostly as a novelty. I am still trying to ascertain how to get there/what they have to offer. But for my name’s sake, I must try!