Do you ever worry that you’ll never manage to see all of those magical things the world has to offer?
I do. I’m constantly anxious that I’m not doing enough, not living my life to the absolute fullest. It’s this frantic need to feel like I’m making the most of my time on this planet that causes me to forever work towards my next adventure.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m fortunate enough to have travelled to some amazing destinations and I’ve seen some incredible things. Before the age of 25, I’d visited over 30 countries. I’ve rode a camel around the Great Pyramids of Giza, haggled in markets in Hong Kong and spent two days exploring Vienna solo. But there’s always more to see, another country to discover.
Balancing having a career with travelling the world means that every three day weekend and company-approved holiday request is valuable, so I’ve started to prioritise travelling to the destinations I’ve always dreamed about. Having a steady income has given me more financial freedom than student life afforded me, but it also means less ACTUAL freedom to enjoy travel.
So I make sure that when I do get time to jet-set, I tick things off my Travel Bucket List.
I wrote my first Bucket List when I was ten, and it included the usual dreams of a geeky tween; seeing Britney in concert and going to Ibiza with my girlfriends. Over the years, I’ve scratched out and added items to my ever-growing list of things I want to do before I die, but these are the three travel experiences that have always featured on the list. Are they on yours?
My Top 3 Bucket List Destinations
Northern Lights, Sweden
I’m not exactly a cold weather, crunching through the snow kinda gal, and I’d almost always choose sunning myself on an exotic island over shivering in an igloo in the Arctic, but the Aurora Borealis is just so compelling that I’d forfeit a tan to see this captivating natural spectacle for myself. I’ve had a love affair with the sky’s secrets since my time in Australia and New Zealand, where I lay under a blanket of glittering stars feeling oh so #blessed. Nature’s light show is next on my list of out of this world experiences. Plus, huskies are cute!
Rio De Janeiro
I’ve always been fascinated by Latin America, and shaking my hips at the Rio carnival in a feather head dress is at the top of my Bucket List. The vibrancy of Brazil’s culture, the colour and happy cacophony of the festival and the stunning beaches all make Rio a destination where heaven meets Earth in my mind. From the imposing Christ the Redeemer Statue sitting atop Corcovado Mountain to the peak of Sugarloaf mountain, Rio’s breathtaking landscape convinces me it might just be my spiritual homeland. I plan to wear Rihanna’s exact outfit from the Rudeboi video if I ever get the chance to visit.
The rustic charm of Italy’s architecture, particularly in stunning Sorrento, appeals to most of us romantic travellers. It’s not just the thought of baking sun and olive trees swaying in the breeze that puts Italy at the top of my Bucket List. Italians are famous for their mouthwatering cuisine, and I want to eat ALL of the carbs on a plaza under those olive branches. Give me pasta, pizza and every type of bread in the panatteria. Mamma Mia! There are too many towns in Italy to choose from, so I want to do a bit of a road trip around Europe’s old boot.
Update: I did it! You can read about how I spent two days solo in Rome if you’re interested. Spoiler: I can definitely tick ‘Eat all the carbs in Italy’ off my Bucket List now!
Which destinations are top of your travel Bucket List? If you’re looking for inspiration, the experts at Lonely Planet have an excellent coffee table book listing 500 of the world’s best places to visit before you die.
Have you ever been lucky enough to behold the Northern Lights? If so, I’d love to hear about your trip in the comments, because I have NO idea how to plan mine!