I’m constantly asked about my travel bucket list, to the point where I wrote a post explaining why I don’t believe in travel bucket lists. Simply put, I want to go anywhere I haven’t been before. I love exploring and learning and there are no bounds to that. That being said, a friend recently pressed me on the point and I acknowledged that I do have a short list of places I want to visit. These places are not necessarily on the horizon, but rather are key experiences I want to have at some point in my life. (in no particular order)
1. Antarctica – This is probably at the top of everyone’s list, and not without good reason. In today’s world, it’s pretty easy to travel to just about any location in the world, except for Antarctica. The seventh continent remains a mystery to most and an object of curiosity for those of us who love experiencing the best Mother Nature has to offer. I desperately long to visit Antarctica to witness firsthand the majestic beauty that I know this far flung continent possesses.
2. Nauru – In both undergrad and graduate school I studied international relations. One of my professors was an eccentric Englishman who always taught using hypothetical case studies. In every single instance, the country he used in these examples was the teeny tiny South Pacific nation of Nauru. I have no idea why he used Nauru, but in so doing he instilled in me a lifelong curiosity about this island nation. Since then I’ve researched Nauru and have learned that it looks like a pretty great place, definitely worthy of a visit. I’m not sure when or how, but I will at some point in my life I will visit Nauru and promptly let Professor Ward that I have done so.
3. African Safari – This is, I am sure, another travel experience that most people dream of enjoying one day. I’ve been to Northern Africa, but never Sub-Saharan and the idea of riding around in a 4×4 in the wilds of Tanzania, Botswana or South Africa on a photo safari is pure travel magic in my opinion. This is one of the few travel dreams that has been around for decades, and I am sure will continue on to inspire future generations of travelers. No matter how small the world may get, Africa will always capture the imaginations of millions of people around the world.
4. Japan – Japan is another one of those closed boxes that has long intrigued travelers. I think it’s the unique contrast of adherence to ancient tradition and the ultra-modernity that intrigues me the most. I will be in Tokyo next year, but for just three days, which is not enough time to explore anything other than the capital city itself. I would love to return on a dedicated visit to learn more about the history of this fascinating country, from the smallest village to the massive metropolis of Tokyo.
5. Scandinavia – Again, this is a personal thing, I’m not sure Scandinavia is on the top five list of every traveler, but it is one of those regions I have long wanted to explore. Sadly though, I just haven’t found the right opportunity. Everything I know about this part of the world though has me convinced that I will love every second of my exploration. In preparation I’ve read The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and memorized the IKEA catalog. Sorry, pickled herring just isn’t going to happen.
What’s at the top of your travel wish list?