‘To travel is to live’, a quote coined by Hans Christian Andersen and is one that resonates with me. I have been very fortunate to have explored outside of my home country and experienced the different cultures, architecture and landscapes of many countries. However, when calculated I have only travelled to 4% of the world’s countries. It makes me think about how much there is still to explore. That is why I have decided to compile a travel bucket list of places that are top of my list to visit if I got the chance. This list most probably is not the same list I would have made if I had thought about it yesterday and is likely to change tomorrow. But it’s a start.
Destination #1 – The Great Barrier Reef, Australia
My first destination on this bucket list had to be visiting the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. This has been on my list for years and ever since I became a qualified scuba diver and discovered a whole new world underwater it has only reinforced my desire to visit. This reef that is visible from space is built by one kind of animal: the tiny coral polyp. Thes polyps grow together like building blocks to create modular colonies – corals. I find this natural process phenomenal and its ability to support such a diverse range of life within its structure.
The desire to visit also stems from my father telling me about when he spent a year living in Australia on a dive boat. His stories sound incredible and only fuels the fire inside me to get on a plane and visit. The sad thing is it sounds like the Great Barrier Reef’s golden days are limited thanks to global warming and ocean acidification. We must take steps to preserve this wonder of the world.
Destination #2 – Barcelona, Spain
I must admit that I have technically visited Barcelona, but before you ask why it is on my bucket list, I feel I haven’t visited as it was simply a facilitator for an activity, this meant that I did not explore the city and discover the beauty it has to offer. I have also seen the incredible architecture that it has to offer and it captivated my attention. It is the architectural style Modernisme influenced by Antoni Gaudi at the turn of the 20th century that I have heard so much about and wish to see with my own eyes.
I am also a lover of the sea and this city provides both city sights and sandy beaches so it’s a win-win situation for me. I am also an avid rink hockey player in the UK and I would love to watch one of the top professional teams, Barcelona play a game at their arena called Palau Blaugrana.
Destination #3 – O’ahu, Hawaii
I have to be wholly honest with where the inspiration for this particular destination stems from. Thanks to the long-running remake of Hawaii Five-0 of which I am a huge fan of, is strangely enough set in Hawaii. In particular the island of O’ahu. The television series depicts Hawaii as an amazing place to visit and of course, I may be viewing the place through rose-tinted spectacles but it has to be in my top 5 destinations.
The diverse landscapes displayed through my television screen excite me massively with its sunny beaches and thick rainforest. It seems to be a perfect location for me, I think I might need more than just a week here to get my fix.
Destination #4 – Athens, Greece
Again this is, in fact, a location that I have already been to when I sailed the Greek islands and flew into Athens airport. But I feel that I saw nothing of the city apart from out of the window of our thankfully air-conditioned taxi from the airport to the port.
This particular city is steeped in architectural history. The most famous piece of architecture in Athens has to be the Acropolis, which sits at the highest point of the city. This steep-sided, flat-topped structure of limestone rises abruptly 100m from its surroundings and has become central to the city that builds up around it as every modern city does.
This heart of the city is somewhere that I want to visit, I am not overly sure what I will feel when I step onto the grounds and explore but it just feels right to be in my top 5.
Destination #5 – Machu Picchu, Peru
This particular destination choice owes it inspiration to a school friend of mine who visited Machu Picchu rather recently. She spoke very highly of the experience and motivated me to take a closer look into the location.
Machu Picchu offers one of the most substantial legacies of the fascinating Inca civilisation, an empire that once stretched for 4000km. However, the thing that captivates me is the experience of making your way to this location. As my friend did most tourists travel on foot along the paved, former Inca road known as the ‘Inca Trail’ or the higher-still ‘Salkanty’, which climbs heights of up to 4600m. It does not sound like a stroll in the park but that’s what I like, I prefer the adventure of a trip. I will not settle for a week of sitting around the pool.
There we have it, my travel bucket list, it was hard to narrow all the amazing places in mind down to just 5 but I feel rather content with the above list. Of course, visiting any of these destinations will not be as easy as it was previous to the pandemic. But can anyone be blamed for having some dreams of where they would like to go when it is safe for us to travel? This gift of time is simply making my mind wander and dream of the 96% of the world that is yet to be explored.
All the best.