A little while ago I set out my bucket list for exploring Oxford in anticipation of calling it home for the school year. Of course, there’s a whole wide world out there to explore as well, and so I set myself the rather difficult task of narrowing down my top 10 bucket list destinations. I stuck to countries because any more specific and I’d start doing bucket lists for each city! So without further ado and in no particular order, here is my current world travel bucket list.
ITALY: This country has been on every travel list I’ve ever made, and for good reason! The food, art, history, and landscape hold such an appeal to me that I’m almost tempted to not explore the country for fear of ruining the magic (almost!). I’d also like to think that I could at least survive somewhat in Italy, because I can understand French, some Spanish and a smidge of Latin, so clearly I have to put it to the test.
ICELAND: So I’m slightly obsessed with this country and everything in it, especially because it seems like a photographer’s dream. The land of fire and ice is the perfect place for me – I much prefer the cold and I find volcanoes and geography in general fascinating. Icelandic folklore is also amazing (gnomes, trolls and elves abound) as is its history. I may or may not already have adventure itineraries planned out for this place, so I’m determined to go!
THE UK: This one I can cross out pretty soon, which is extremely exciting! The UK as a whole is on my list because it’s full of interesting places to visit. Like Iceland, I feel like I’m made for Britain – cold, rainy days are my favourite, I arguably drink too much tea, and I could live off of British TV. I’m also half Scottish so I feel obligated to visit, but the geography of Scotland is just too beautiful to not explore and I actually like the sound of bagpipes!
THE NETHERLANDS: Amsterdam has always captured my imagination, mainly because of the canals but also because it’s an interesting place in general. The country also has a lot of intriguing geographical, historical and artistic points that I love. Plus the Dutch love Canadians so I’m sure I’d feel right at home!
MOROCCO: The colours of Morocco have always been a huge draw for me, as well as the Sahara. Chefchaouen is one of the cities that I’m dying to explore, because it’s all blue! The sights, smells, and tastes of this country are just too vibrant and interesting to not investigate (it’s also relatively close to Europe so maybe a possible extended weekend visit will be possible while on exchange…?)
SOUTH AFRICA: From Northern Africa to South Africa, this continent has so much to offer and ever since travelling to Kenya I’ve definitely wanted to go back. African wildlife is just incredible and the geography is so varied that it has something for everyone. South Africa in particular has two oceans meeting as well as mountains that are a hiking enthusiast’s dream.
NEW ZEALAND: If you hadn’t noticed by now, I love geography and New Zealand is certainly an interesting place from a geographical perspective. Not to mention it’s a book-lovers paradise because of J.R.R Tolkien’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ and ‘The Hobbit’ coming to life everywhere you turn!
BRAZIL: Home to the lungs of the Earth, the Amazon is so incredibly interesting and important that I feel like I have to explore it! Brazil is also home to Iguazu Falls – an amazing looking waterfall – and Rio de Janeiro – a vibrant and exciting-looking place. Also, Brazilian music and Carnaval seem to be too much fun not to experience!
COSTA RICA: Like Brazil, Costa Rica has rainforests that I would love to explore, as well as mountains and volcanoes in need of hiking. It looks like ecotourism is a huge part of the Costa Rican mentality, so sign me up! I’d also be able to practice my Spanish, which is never a bad thing.
THAILAND: Of all the Asian countries, I think Thailand is at the top of my list (but of course, being me, I’d love to visit them all). Chiang Mai is one city in particular that has caught my eye, probably because it’s not as big as Bangkok but still has a ton to see and do. The rice terraces of Thailand always make for beautiful photos, and I’d actually really like to know more about how they work and what they mean to the culture. A visit to this country would also mean an abundance of Thai food, which is not a bad thing at all!
Bonus – ANTARCTICA: I’m perfectly aware that Antarctica isn’t a country, but if there is one place on Earth that I am determined to get to before I die, it’s this place. It’s expensive and can be difficult to get to but I think it would be worth every penny and near heart attack. I’m fascinated by Antarctica and all it’s icy, penguin-y glory so I must visit it!
So there we have it – my world travel bucket list that spans literally the entire planet!
An interesting thing I’ve noticed about my list is that there are quite a few hot, humid countries on it. Irony abounds because I hate the heat, but I can’t help it if some of the most interesting things to do and places to visit only thrive in humidity!
Another thing I’ve discovered is that the sense of sight is really important to me – it’s the art, colours, or landscape of a place that really stand out to me – which clearly just emphasizes my right-brained-ness and appeals to my creativity. It also shows my love of the physical environment of an area, proving just how much of a geography nut I am!
In reality, pretty much every country is on my bucket list, so really this is a brief top-10 list. I’d love to know what’s on your own travel list!
P.S. The flag images are from flaglane.com and the Antarctic Treaty flag is from Wikipedia.