Today I started thinking about my Bucket List, the Top Ten places in the world I would like to visit. I started a discussion about it at work and was intrigued to hear other people’s Top Tens. To be honest I would visit anywhere in the world given half the chance. On a number of occasions I have visited somewhere because it was convenient/flights were cheap/the weather was good at that time of year. Only a few places have I actually thought ‘I must visit that place’ before I die. I must add that just because a place might not have necessarily been on my ‘list’ doesn’t mean to say that I haven’t had a fantastic time and loved every second of being there. Riga is a prime example of that. Mr ESLT and I visited Riga almost 8 years ago and to be honest I had never even heard of the Latvia (shame on me) let alone Riga but flights were cheap so we went and it was an amazing 5 days.
However, I have also been in a position where this has backfired. We wanted two weeks in the sun in September a few years ago. Mr ESLT and I had decided on Taba in Egypt giving us easy(ish) access over to Jordan and Israel but when we spoke to the travel agent (last time we have ever asked a travel agent’s opinion may I add) she suggested Boa Vista one of the Cape Verde Islands would be ideal for what we wanted. Well I guess she was on commission because unfortunately it was the most boring and underwhelming trip I/we have ever taken. Unless you like nothing but uninterrupted sun for 12 hours a day and eating coughed over generic buffet meals I’d give it a swerve.
Even though I have never actually written down my Bucket List until now I think I have visited a number of places that would have been on it. I don’t like flying. That might seem odd considering the number of flights I take every year. Here’s my secret – booze! I digress…..so ever since I could remember I had always wanted to visit Australia. I think that’s because my mum watched Neighbours as I was growing up(!) However, I had always made the excuse that ‘I don’t like flying, I couldn’t possibly make the journey’ well last year I did it. I faced my fears and got on that big flying tin can and flew all the way from Heathrow London to Melbourne Australia. It was the best thing I have ever done. Unfortunately we only had four weeks to explore so we will definitely be back one day.
So other places that would have made the list if I hadn’t already been:-
- New York. I challenge this city not to be on everyone’s bucket list. Even though the media is saturated with pictures of New York and it’s attractions you don’t really grasp the scale and magic of it until you are there. I find it odd when people have visited and don’t like it, I personally love this place and need to go back as soon as possible!
- Thailand. A very generic answer granted. Mr ESLT and I visited Koh Samui and Bangkok on our honeymoon so this was one trip that we definitely did pick to take. I personally would go back to Koh Samui tomorrow, or any of the smaller villages/islands. I’m glad I visited Bangkok but I wouldn’t be in a rush to go back. I feel a bit ‘been there, done that’ about it.
- Australia, Sydney in particular. Don’t get me wrong I loved everywhere I visited in Australia but Sydney for me had always been somewhere I wanted to visit. So when Mr ESLT and I got the opportunity to do so last year it was amazing. To be able to see things like the Sydney Opera House and Bondi beach with my own eyes was unreal and being able to climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge was phenomenal and an experience that will stay with me forever.
So as of now (July 2015) here is my Top 10 Bucket List Destinations:-
1. Bali, Indonesia – visiting Bali has always been something that I wanted to do and I don’t particularly know why. I’ve just always thought it would be an amazing place to visit even though I don’t actually know anyone who has been (bloggy friends excluded obviously). For years Mr ESLT had his reservations about the place, in his words ‘its Australia’s Spain’. Anyway – I won! And we have flights booked and we fly to Bali in October. As a compromise we booked a private villa in Sanur which I believe is a relative quiet town. Of course we will travel around so we will see everything on offer just with the added luxury of our own space and private pool at the end of the day. Posts to follow……very excited.
2. Bora Bora, French Polynesia – after we have visited Bali later this year Bora Bora will definitely take over the number 1 stop and will probably stay there for many years to come. It is somewhere Mr ESLT and I want to go desperately to just chill out in a water villa for a couple of weeks. However when we do it we want to do it properly – no budgetary restrictions. So we have a deal. We’ll do it when we retire (well when Mr ESLT retires – he’s 9 years older than me). We haven’t decided whether to incorporate into a Round the World trip or simply to visit Bora Bora. Either way we have 25 years to decide!
3. Halong Bay, Vietnam – this is somewhere I have seen in pictures and dreamt about. Yes, many say it’s a tourist hot spot but as if anyone who has ever visited Vietnam has ever said ‘oh no I’m not visiting Halong Bay, it’s full of tourists’ because surely by definition you are a tourist everywhere you visit if you’re not from there originally? Anyway, a 3 week tour of Vietnam is on the cards for next May. 3 weeks may not seem long to explore a country but as that is half of my annual leave entitlement for the year we will have to be selective regarding where we visit. All I know at this point is Halong Bay will certainly be one of the places.
4. Niagara Falls, Canada – Somewhere which has always been high on my list and realistically is one of the easier ones to visit. Mr ESLT and I have discussed visiting Niagara on a number of occasions but have decided it’s a long way to go just for a couple of days at the falls so we would like to include it in a visit to another part of America/Canada. We both love New York so next time we visit it could be a lovely add on to that trip. Also, Mr ESLT’s favourite film is Jaws so we were thinking of combining Boston, Martha’s Vineyard and Niagara. We just need to find the time to fit this in.
5. Easter Island, Chile – I would love to visit this Chilean Island especially to see the Moai (sculptures/statues) on the island. It’s just the distance from the UK that is an issue for me. If I was on a Round the World adventure this island would be on the itinerary. Unfortunately, I do not think that I can warrant travelling for over 25 hours just to visit this island at the moment. Maybe something to add to our retirement adventure or if someone could recommend a South American tour route which could take in Easter Island easily?
6. Transylvania, Romania – this is probably the most achievable location on my list as a few budget airlines offer flights for under £100 per person from England to Romania. You may think that I am a fan of horror movies because this is on my list. This couldn’t be further from the truth – I hate horror movies, I’m such a wimp. The reason Transylvania is on the list is because it looks eerily beautiful and I love the architecture and design of the castles in the area. This is one that could be ticked off as early as next year, time permitting.
7. Nice, France – another easy and quick place for us to get to. I’d love to spend 3 days in Nice followed by 2/3 days in Monte Carlo, Monaco. I am prepared for the fact that this wouldn’t be the cheapest city break but for a special occasion i.e. wedding anniversary/birthday it would be very doable. Living in East Yorkshire any trip always starts with a 2 hour journey to the airport however our local airport (Humberside Airport) often do special weekends to Nice so I will be keeping my eye out for one of those over the next couple of years.
8. Vienna, Austria – I know this would be up near the top on Mr ESLT’s Bucket List. Another one that is very doable from England as again a number of budget airline fly direct to Vienna for reasonable prices. We almost booked for the upcoming New Year but decided on Berlin, Germany at the last-minute. Again, this wouldn’t be the cheapest city break in Europe however maybe for Mr ESLT’s birthday next year(?) I’ll keep my eyes peeled for good deals on flights and accommodation. Failing that we could fly to Munich in Germany and get a train across to Vienna.
9. Botswana, Africa – this used to be Kenya, Africa but because of recent political tensions I thought I would change it to Botswana. Either would be awesome as I would love to go on safari. My best friend is getting married next month and as part of her honeymoon is going on safari in South Africa. This has triggered a giant bout of jealousy in me. I love animals and to see the Big 5 in their natural habitat is something I MUST do at least once in my lifetime.
10. Nashville, USA – this may seem like an odd one to add as number 10 but it’s somewhere I really want to visit. Nashville is, as I’m sure you know, the home of country music. I’ll be honest I’m not a fan of country music but I am a fan of the clothes, style and accent. Also I love the TV show Nashville (sssh don’t tell anyone) and I’d love to see a live performance by a Country artist at the Grand Oprey. I’d love to combine a trip to Nashville with trips to Memphis and New Orleans too.
Have you been to any of these places? Are they worthy of being on my Bucket List? Where’s on your Bucket List – feel free to add a link to yours in my comments section. Let’s share ideas!