I have traveled to a lot of places, but I still have a travel bucket list. I will get to my list, but as you read, think about what’s on your own travel bucket list.
First, let’s talk about the difference between travel and vacation. There’s a lot of articles on this subject, the main point being that travel involves more than changing your location, it means delving into the local culture to become a participant, not just a spectator. I personally think it also means going a bit outside of your comfort zone. I can fully appreciate sipping cocktails poolside at a resort in Cancun, but how about a day trip to some local Mayan ruins? or trying lunch outside of the resort, I am sure there are some yummy things you are missing.
I think a lot of people who have not traveled are intimidated when you say “travel”, but why?
- They think that means overseas or very far away. Not necessarily, you can experience travel in your own country and even close to home, whether through eating local food specialties, exploring historic trails, a local history museum or visiting a natural wonder.
- They think it means somewhere exotic or physically challenging. You don’t have to tackle an ascent to Mt. Everest or go spear fishing in the South Pacific to have a great travel experience.
- They think it’s expensive. There are plenty of places to look for travel deals for international and national travel, but also Groupon for local travel.
- They don’t know where to start. I really like Tripadvisor for finding reviews on places to stay, things to do and restaurant recommendations. Ask your friends and consult travel blogs. Use a travel planner, especially for your first big travel experience. Most planners will ask you for ideas on what you like to do and build a customized itinerary from there.
So, what’s on my travel bucket list?
- Iceland – I love places with geothermal spas and Iceland definitely delivers. Oh yeah, there’s also some amazing Northern Lights. Living in Scotland, I hope to check this one off my list soon. There are cheap 2 hours flights through several budget airlines direct from Edinburgh.
- Nepal – I am not sure if it’s the striking landscape, ancient culture or the fact that it was pretty much closed to the rest of the world until the 1950’s, but Nepal just seems slightly mysterious, yet inviting.
- Myanmar (Burma) – also a mysterious place that was closed to tourism until fairly recently when a military government was replaced with a civilian one. I want to visit before chain hotels and restaurants take over. It’s landscape is dotted with golden pagodas.
- Galapagos Islands – who wouldn’t want to step back in time to see a protected ecosystem that inspired Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution? I mean, come on. That protection also means a trip there can be quite pricey, since the number of tourists is limited in some areas.
- Many places in South America – I have never been to South America and want to dip my feet into its culture, history and food, Chile, first? or perhaps Brazil?
Now, have you thought about your own bucket list? what’s on your list? maybe start with the trip to Paris you never took for your honeymoon or an anniversary? what about that trip to explore the family roots in Poland or Russia? you can start with something in your home country or local area. I would love to hear from you!
In researching this I came across a great Susan Sontag quote, “I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.” Susan Sontag (1933-2004)