15 Places I Want To Travel To In 2015

Hong Kong

I’m not a big fan of travel bucket lists, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t places I don’t want to visit before all others. I think we all have those places in mind; dream destinations that may or may not ever become a reality. I know that everyone has a best of list for 2015, and so rather than just add to the fodder of not all that useful travel information I thought I’d share some places I would really like to see in 2015. Some of these are realistic and some are not, some will happen and others will not, but they all combine to create my favorite part of travel – the anticipation. Where would we be if we didn’t stare at a calendar and dream of a tropical beach or pine after visiting some cultural masterpiece in Europe? This list is a combination of places I have never been to and others that I’d really like to revisit and explore some more. If anything, this list provides a little more insight into my admittedly at times strange personality, so I hope you enjoy this glimpse into my ultimate travel goals. I’d love to hear yours too, so please be sure to list them in the comments section below.

These are in NO particular order, really I mean that. Except for number 1 – that’s always my top pick.

1. South Pacific/French Polynesia

My first real travel obsession and one that I STILL haven’t been able to check off the list yet, despite its prominence on similar lists year after year. When I was a kid I read Michener’s epic tome Hawaii, which set off a furious bout of wanderlust not just for Hawaii, but the entire South Pacific. Even though I am not normally a beach kind of guy, there is just something about the perfect waters of French Polynesia that gets my heart beating a little bit faster. Will 2015 be the year I finally make it to the beautiful islands of the South Pacific? Who knows, but I’m hopeful.

2. China

My only experience with China is visiting Hong Kong – I’ve never been to the mainland and I am frankly intrigued. It’s obviously a massive country and requires many visits to see properly, but I would like to at least visit to start the process of education and to see for myself Beijing, pandas and of course that large wall for which they are so famous. I have to be honest though, the food and language barrier both intimidate me.

3. Brazil

I’ve been to South America a few times, but only briefly and it’s a continent that I don’t feel like I know at all. But that doesn’t mean it hasn’t interested me, it has and near the top of that interest list is Brazil. From the massive cities to rainforests and jungles and of course beautiful coastlines, Brazil seems to offer visitors a little bit of everything. But crime, high prices and difficulties in intra-country travel have put off many would-be travelers. I’m curious to visit and see for myself whether or not these are real concerns, or fake media-hyped problems.

iceland

4. Anywhere to see the Northern Lights

Almost, I almost got to see the beautiful Aurora Borealis, but cloudy weather in Iceland foiled my efforts. Canada, Alaska, Iceland, Norway – these are all great locations from which to catch a glimpse of the eerie and colorful lights that seem to be en vogue at the moment. I don’t want to see them just because they’re currently popular, I want to witness first hand what honestly must be one of the most beautiful sights on the planet.

5. The FSRs

The Former Soviet Republics, these are a diverse group of countries that include everything from modern urban areas to plains that look like something out of a Game of Thrones book. No matter what though it’s hard to deny how intriguing they are. They can be difficult to visit though, both in terms of transportation and language barriers, which is probably why I haven’t been yet, but I hope I can see at least one of them this year.

6. Tasmania

Australia is one of those countries I could visit a thousand times and never get tired of the experience. It’s a special place but Tasmania in particular currently has piqued my interest. Slightly remote, amazingly beautiful and somewhat different from the mainland, Tasmania is an intriguing place. Of all of these destinations, I really do hope that I can make this one happen in 2015.

Elephant Botswana

7. More of Africa

Before my first visit, everyone always told me that Africa latches on to your soul and never lets go but I didn’t believe them until I experienced it for myself. There is something indefinable about this massive continent that just begs for travelers to return again and again and try to suss out what makes it so very special. I’m always happy to return to South Africa, one of my favorite countries, but I’d also love to see more of Africa, from Kenya to Namibia and who knows where else.

8. The Arctic

I love expedition style trips; my experience in Antarctica was one of the best I’ve ever had. It’s with this in mind that I’d love to plan a trip to the other side of the planet and see some of the Arctic regions for myself. Leaving from Svalbard I’d really enjoy seeing polar bears in the wild and the icy waters on top of the planet.

9. Myanmar

Closed off to foreigners for years, Myanmar suddenly finds itself as one of the hottest new travel destinations in the world. It’s not its trendiness that appeals to me though; it’s the photos I’ve seen my friends take. The people, the temples and the countryside all look like something out of a movie – it’s just that beautiful. While traveling there definitely comes with some headaches, I’d be happy to take those on to experience the country before the rest of the world changes it too much.

Wat Arun Bangkok Thailand

10. Thailand and Bhutan

Thailand is one of my favorite destinations and it’s been a few years since my last visit so obviously it’s time for a return. This time though I’d like to also include a trip to not-so-far-away Bhutan. One of the most mysterious countries in the world I think, everyone I know who has visited has left the country changed in some way or the other. It’s intrigued me for a long time and while epic hikes don’t sound all that great, this nation in the clouds is one I’d definitely like to experience for myself.

11. Alaska

I’ve been to almost every state in the Union, but the 49th state has eluded me. I’m not exactly sure why either, but I just haven’t managed a visit to this massive and beautiful place. Chatting with family members though, it looks like a cruise up there may be in the works and so finally I’ll be able to experience the glaciers and quirky communities that make this last frontier of America so very appealing.

perfect sunset

12. Scandinavia

There’s just something about Scandinavia that appeals to me on a very base level. I’m not sure if it’s the people, the sense of style or the societal organization, but whatever it is I just feel like I belong there. Sadly though I’ve only skimmed the surface and have lots more to see and do. Norway is near the top of my list, but so is Stockholm in Sweden. I’ve been to West Sweden before but never the capital city, and it’s a place that I think will be one of my favorites once I finally do manage to visit.

13. American West by car

Although I’ve technically visited almost every state, I don’t feel like I’ve really SEEN my own country. Its impressive size means that lifetimes could be spent exploring America and still things would be missed. What I haven’t done yet and would love to try this year is an epic road trip through some of the Western states, including stops at a few of our amazing National Parks. More than a century ago the US began the conservation movement and our National Park system was the first in the world to recognize the inherent societal value these pristine wildlands possess. So they’re important. Add in quirky roadside stops and I really think this adventure will be a personal favorite.

Lake Rotorua New Zealand

14. New Zealand

I visited New Zealand several years ago but it was a brief visit, just a week, and an intensely busy one. I would like to once again see the Land of the Long White Cloud and hopefully bring my partner along with me this time. There’s something just so very special about New Zealand that makes it an extraordinary place to visit. I’m not sure if it’s the natural beauty or the quirky people, but it makes an impression and I have yet to meet someone who didn’t leave having fallen in love.

15. India (Maybe)

India is one of those places that evokes a visceral reaction from people who have visited – they either love it or hate it, there is no middle ground. I honestly don’t know if I would like it or not and up until now I haven’t felt prepared enough to visit. But I think I’m ready mentally to see what the subcontinent is really like. I would want to travel there though in very specific ways and see very specific things and it’s owing to this level of particularity that I’m not sure it’ll happen and frankly, I’m not completely convinced that I want it to. But we’ll see!

What are some dream destinations you’d love to visit in 2015?

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By: Matt Long

Matt has a true passion for travel. As someone who has a bad case of the travel bug, Matt travels the world in order to share tips on where to go, what to see and how to experience the best the world has to offer. Also follow Matt on Twitter, Facebook and

38 Responses

  1. Lesley Fenton

    I have lived and worked or visited every province of Canada, except Newfounland. That would be part of my to do list this year or soon. I lived for six years in the Canadian Arctic. The Aurora Borealis was a glance upward any night when then air was crip an cold. I recommend that portion of your list to you although I believe they are in vogue now because the sun is cooperating.we are even seein them in Calgary at times just now. I am going to return to India when I get a chance. My first trip there was a year ago and to fell in love ( and shed some of my limiting beliefs). It is hard work though for those of us who are considerably older than you though. And, in my opinion,you cannot select out just what you want in India. Every aspect bleeds into every other. I wish for Greece and Turkey ….love antiquities and good. The architecture in Istanbul becons. I wish us both luck, but I think you will at least take me some places I never thought of.

    Reply
  2. Mark

    I’m one of those who loved India so much so that I can’t wait to go back. Best piece of advice I can offer is this: Leave your ego at the door. Try not to get frustrated. Loved Delhi for its chaos, Udaipur for its tranquility and Amritsar for its spirituality.

    Reply
  3. rupal

    Good list. Matt, I have been reading your blogs and I think you will love India. You should definitely visit.

    Reply
  4. Sandra

    I think most people hate India because the reality of the country doesn’t always match their ideal of it… My husband is Indian and I have a whole new insight of (some of the) culture that helps to keep things in perspective, I guess. Plus, you can’t take a whole country for granted if you only visited some areas of it. If you decide to go, I’ll love to read about it 🙂

    Reply
  5. Allan

    Great list Matt. Been to some of those places in 2014 and loved every moment of it. This year I am going for an adventure in Patagonia (Argentina/Chile) in Feb/Mar, visit Croatia,Montenegro, Greece,and Austria in May. Also in the 2nd half of 2015 I plan to explore Canadian Rockies, do the Everest Base Camp, and experience Japan. I am very excited and can’t wait! Cheers for all our travels in 2015!

    Reply
  6. No

    your #1 is my #1 – will get there some day. I did Princess inside passage Alaska cruise & highly recommend it – breaching whales & helicopter ride to dogsled camp & steering the dogsled in Juneau, Skagway took 6-passenger plane ride over Misty Fjords & landing on water (female pilot pulling it over to little island to walk around on), taking train from Skagway to British Columbia & small bus back (stopping when any wildlife appeared for photo op, including black bears), day sail thru Tracy Arm Fjords viewing sea lions on icebergs, mist & waterfalls & it left from Seattle – loved that city. Also loved the Scandinavian cruise I did several years ago. This year I did Baltic Capitals cruise, which included Stockholm – had been to Sweden before but not Stockholm & it is beautiful – harbor is breathtaking, loved walking downtown – go to Ice Bar & Abba Museum when you visit.

    Reply
  7. Katie

    Great list!

    Let me know if you need some recommendations on the FSRs! Keep in mind, though, that many tend to be very homophobic (I was in Georgia right after Obama announced he supported same sex marriage and talked to a couple guys there who were just absolutely appalled). The Baltics would be easiest from all aspects as they’re the most Westernized – lots of English spoken and great transportation systems. Georgia, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan are all great now b/c they no longer require visas for Americans to visit, but a bit more challenging – however, I met people throughout my travels in the FSRs who spoke absolutely no Russian and managed to get along just fine.

    Reply
    • Matt Long

      Well I wouldn’t be going to celebrate Pride or anything. 🙂 Thanks though for the tips!

      Reply
  8. Kim

    Great list, which makes me want to travel even more. And yes, definitely India, depending on the area you go, the atmosphere is so different. For me, the very first time was in Ladakh which is also called Little Tibet and I highly recommend it for its great people and amazing landscapes.
    Have a great year of travel and more and keep posting, your blog is such a blast!

    Reply
  9. Steve Olsen

    Your list is similar to mine in many ways, but I have been to Myanmar and I recommend it a lot! It is a great place and I think now is the time to go! What are you waiting for? 🙂

    Reply
  10. Angela Barros

    Great list! It makes me so eager to travel myself!

    I lived in Rio de Janeiro from January – April 2014 as a single woman. I was there studying Portuguese and felt relatively safe – I did have familiarity with the language and stuck close to friends. Brazil is an extremely diverse country with each of the different regions having it’s own culinary traditions and beautiful places to visit. I highly recommend when you get the chance to go make sure you explore more than just one area.

    Reply
  11. Nataly Braun

    Hey Matt!
    Great list! What do you think of Kyrgyzstan? People don’t usually put it in travel wishlist, but it is just stunning! It has the second highest mountainous lake (Issyk-Kul) in the world. People there are welcoming and still represent nomadic traditions in some regions. I visited twice and was completely awesome, so i wanted to ask about your thoughts on it 🙂

    Reply
    • Matt Long

      Never been, but I included it on this list by naming FSRs

      Reply
  12. Grace @ Green Global Travel

    Great list! I know what you mean about Scandinavia, I have felt that way about it for years and still haven’t explored it fully. Good luck on your 2015 travels!

    Reply
  13. Fabiana

    You are going to have an awesome year for what I can see here.

    I am detrermined to see the northern lights this year.

    Reply
  14. Joanna

    Scandanavia is excellent, try the Flam Railway to get a taste of the Fjords from Oslo to Bergen. Tasmania and New Zealand are great – have you done North and South Islands of NZ, loved Dunedin and Christchurch (admittedly before their earthquake troubles). My sister made the move from Perth to Tasmania 5 years ago and has never looked back – cold in winter though – but not as cold as North Eastern US at the moment. Wasn’t a fan of India – but my husband and I are the first to admit we don’t do travel in Asia well.

    Reply
    • Matt Long

      what great experiences you’ve had!

      Reply
  15. Ryan

    Ahh, India hopefully for you! I’ve never been but I am so stoked about getting to explore it for a month or so while doing the Rickshaw Run. And you are very right about New Zealand having something special about it, I even wrote the damn country a love letter because of it haha. I miss New Zealand, and I never even saw much of the South! After India, I don’t know what will come next, but now that the Euro is bottoming out I may do more, but also maybe Thailand again. I was only in Myanmar for a couple of intense days with orphanages and camps, but I want to go back and truly explore. Great list sir.

    Reply
  16. Robert Connor

    Hi Matt,
    My family travels to thailand and south korea when we can, so we hope you make all the destinations for 2015! If i ever retire travel blogging would be my next adventure!

    Reply
  17. Peggy

    Great list – I can vouch for Myanmar and the Northern Lights – I went dog sledding in Tromso, slept in a traditional lavvu and sat on a snow bank waiting for the lights – absolute magic and highly recommend it!

    Reply
  18. Analeigh

    Hi Matt,
    Great List! But it seems all over the world! Maybe you can add Taiwan in your 2016 list! 😀

    Reply
    • Matt Long

      Already been, check out the Destinations archive to see my posts 🙂

      Reply
  19. Wayne Farrell

    Don’t worry about the food in China – it is simple delicious! I’d never eaten the whole of a vegetable (the leaves, root, stalk) before until I tried real Chinese food. In the UK we usually ‘go out for a Chinese’ which consists of simple noodles, bamboo shoots and some pork/chicken which is in a sauce that tastes the same. But not in real mainland China – oh my, the food is incredible – it’s light, delicate and full of depth. Especially the food in Sichuan (which can be a little hot). Or try the dumplings in Beijing – very good, amusing to look at too. Back home I’d eat Pumpkin, but in China we had the actual pumpkin leaves fried with a little garlic and mystery seasoning – amazing!

    I should stop really…..I’m salivating all over my keyboard.

    @WFarrellPhoto

    Reply
    • Matt Long

      Great to know, thanks so much for sharing!

      Reply
  20. Fiona

    I have just stumbled upon your blog. Thanks for sharing your tips. We’re trying to travel to many places in between running our own travel destination in Wales, UK. 😉 So all tips are gratefully received!

    India was amazing. I was concerned about going to what is still described as a 3rd world country (but isn’t!) and the begging, but it was much better than I feared and beautiful. I have travelled extensively in Europe, I am lucky to say, so my visions of “other” locations of the world are rather influenced by the news and media. However, Mumbai and Bengaluru are such contrasting locations (hubby was on business, hence the choice) and I cannot wait to go back to see other parts of that massive country. As others have said. Go with an open mind – they have such an interesting culture.

    I’ve since travelled to Vietnam and would definitely recommend it. Such a different culture to Europe – and they’re so welcoming!!!

    And you should definitely go to Stockholm. It is the most beautiful place. I’ve been lucky enough to visit in both winter and summer, and it was equally beautiful! (And stylish!)

    Thanks again for your tips.

    Reply
  21. Alex @ TRVL 101

    I visited the Republic of Georgia this past year, and I loved it! The food, the culture, it was all so unique. Not to mention their language, which sounds like a mixture between Turkish and Russian. I’m traveling to Qatar in May and I could not be more excited. This is my first middle east trip and I definitely expect it to be a culture shock.

    Reply
  22. Jenna

    All great and few definitely are on my to visit list. New Zealand especially!

    And I can also say with a certainty that the Northern Lights are absolutely beautiful, afterall I see them every winter as I live in Finland. 😉 I have to say that you shouldn’t forget Finland as a travel destination. Most seem to prefer Norway & Sweden and I’m quite sure partly it’s because we as a country have no idea how to promote… As a result most even don’t know we exist at all 😀

    Reply
  23. solomon

    Great list Matt. You should also consider visiting Uganda in East Africa, may be in 2016. This is an amazing country with plenty to see and do. You could enjoy cultural tour experiences, adventure safaris an mountaineering if you are a fun.

    Reply
  24. Solomon

    Great list Matt. Yous should also consider visiting Uganda in East Africa, may be in 2016. This is an amazing country with plenty to see and do. You could enjoy cultural tour experiences, adventure safaris an mountaineering if you are a fun.

    Reply
  25. Erin

    What area of Alaska are you interested in visiting? From the talk of a cruise I am assuming you are looking into Southeast? As a born and raised SE Alaskan, I would suggest skipping any cruise line and look into taking our ferry system, Alaska Marine Highway. Great way to visit the little communities that are not on the regular cruise route. 🙂

    Reply
  26. Yvonne

    I am Swedish and married to a Kiwi, so of course I recommend both of these countries… We have travelled a lot, but so far never to South America. We also went to Georgia in 2013. Loved it, beautiful and fantastic hiking. Don’t miss the South Island if you go to NZ, we especially love the rugged and (sometimes) rainy west coast. India is a bit of a culture shock, but if you enjoy asia give it a go. A trip there is never dull! We think Indonesia is a bit of a forgotten destination, there is a lot more to it than Bali. I can recommend Borneo, especially the south we’re we went on a fantastic river cruise up to an orangutang sanctuary.
    So little time, so much to see…
    In two weeks we’re going to Iceland for a 9 day holiday, including Vestmanneyjar. I am really looking forward to that!
    Happy travels!

    Reply
  27. Steven Lawrence

    Great List!

    I personally agree with you that there is so much to explore in our own backyard! Alaska by itself offers endless miles of untouched parks and wildlife. A lot of people don’t realize how beautiful America can really be because we tend to get so caught up in life that we never take the time to appreciate what is really in front of us.

    As far as the western U.S. goes, we’ve read a lot about Yosemite and the John Muir Trail. If your into hiking and have about a week to spare on your trip, it’s definitely something worth seeing at least once in your life.

    Thanks for the post and keep them coming!!

    ~Steven
    feedmelocaleats.com

    Reply
  28. Bill Macleod

    I was in the 49th state in June for two weeks flew into Anchorage picked up the RV then went up to Fairbanks and then down to Homer. Loved every minute.
    Bill from Scotland

    Reply
  29. Mira

    I’m going to Myanmar next month. My 50th country to visit. Super excited 🙂 I would recommend Finland.

    Reply
  30. Rizqah

    Awesome list. and don’t get me started on how amazing the pictures look!

    Reply
  31. Martin

    Maybe you should add Germany 😉 I can show you some really awesome areas, so if you are interested just give me a ping

    Reply
    • Matt Long

      I’ve been many times, please check out the Germany section of my site.

      Reply

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