My top 5 bucket list travel goals
Ever since I can remember, traveling the world has always been in the forefront of my mind. I’m not sure if this desire to travel was instilled by my mum and her desire to experience more of the world, or if it’s always been there. I don’t really ever remember a time where I didn’t want to travel.
Over the years, my bucket list has changed, naturally.
Backpacking around India in 2009 was a massive bucket list tick. Watching the sun set in Bali, another tick.
When I was in my early teens, I remember my great grandmother telling me about a flat top mountain in South Africa that she had recently visited, and that on cloudy days, fluffy white clouds would sit on top of the mountain as if draped in a natural tablecloth. When I saw Table Mountain for the first time during my first visit to Cape Town, I felt like I was transported back to my great grandmothers living room, re-living it through her eyes. Tick.
The instinctive desire to travel and experience the world in every way possible, is almost definitely why I decided to leave the UK and live life as an expat in the Middle East. Having already visited over 25 countries, how has my bucket list changed and where are my new travel goals?
1 – Myanmar
This place really only caught my attention about a year ago through Instagram. Like many other aspiring travellers out there, I often turn to Instagram for inspiration, and follow a number of travel influencers. I remember coming across an image that made me stop scrolling and take a deeper look. A dreamy landscape of towering pagodas shrouded in early morning mist with hot air balloons floating above as if by magic. I have to go there. I need to see this place. A little digging through Instagram and boom, Bagan in Myanmar is at the top of my bucket list. There is a part of me that hopes that when I witness that sight for myself, that I might experience some sort of inner-peace, like a quiet calm. I’m not sure yet why I think I need to experience that, and hopefully, traveling to Bagan will help me understand this feeling a little better. I feel like, I might have a moment. And if I do, I will be sure to let you know.
2 – Hong Kong
My uncle was born in Hong Kong and my mum lived there when she was a child. Do I need any other reason than this to want to visit Hong Kong? My granddad was posted out in Hong Kong back in the 60’s and they lived there for around 2 years. Ever since I heard the stories about how my family lived there, I’ve felt a strange kind of pull towards the place. Also, I just want to go and stuff my face with yummy Chinese street food, I hear its amazeballs! On the subject of food, I would be interested to know of any type 2 diabetics that may have travelled to this part of the world. How did you manage your diet, whilst also not missing out on all the good food?
3 – Patagonia
I grew up in a small North Welsh village, with no fast food joints, a cinema that screened films 3 months after their release date and no ethnic minorities within a 50-mile radius. A beautiful yet rugged small corner of the world reserved for those looking to explore outside the boundaries of London, Birmingham and Manchester. In school, we were always told stories of a faraway land, somewhere called Patagonia in South America. The only other place on the planet where you can speak Welsh. You see, there is a small Welsh colony hidden somewhere between the mountains in Patagonia and I have always dreamed of traveling there and searching for that small Welsh town. I would love to be able to tell the Welsh folk back home that this place really does exist. That us few Welsh speakers in Wales do have fellow family in faraway lands. I would love to be able to discover this place and share its story.
4 – Japan
Until I read the book, Memoirs of a Geisha when I was at university, Japan was never somewhere that I had ever really given much attention to. Reading that book all those years ago has ensured that Japan is still firmly up there on my travel bucket list. Have you ever read a book that’s inspired you to travel?
5 – Philippines
So, until I started working in the Gulf, I can’t say that I knew that many Filipinos or had ever thought about visiting. It always seemed to me like a place on the edge of the world, just out of my reach, a place for dreaming about only. When I started my first job in Qatar, I found myself working closely with a Filipino colleague. We became good friends, best friends. He would regularly show me pictures and videos of the Philippines, and tell me stories of why ‘It’s more fun in the Philippines’. He would show me family holiday pictures, tell tales of endless nights spent under the stars, and slowly, I began to feel a longing to visit this place. All those islands, untouched beaches and miles of white sand. We actually made a pact that I wouldn’t visit the Philippines without him. Well, Come on Cris, it’s time to honour that pact and meet me there. Soon.
So that’s my top 5 bucket list places. Places that I hope to visit this year. As I make my way around the world, and hopefully visit all of these places, I will keep you posted and let you know if they were the magical places of my dreams. Also, as I visit these places, and many more along the way, my bucket list will change, will keep evolving, and I too will hopefully evolve.
Are any of my bucket list places on your list? What are your bucket list travel goals?