1. The Aloha One: Hawaii
I was so disappointed not to make it to Hawaii during my travel month, but unfortunately it was too far away and I was very short on both time and money. I would love to make a big trip of it and visit Kaua’i, Maui, Oahu & Big Island all in one go.
2. The Big Kid One: Disneyworld
Disneyworld was another stop I didn’t quite manage to fit into my American travels, but I was in awe at Universal Studios Hollywood so it’s likely that I would be even more of a big kid at the magic kingdom. As much as I love solo travel, this isn’t really one you can go alone, so it’s a question of finding someone with the time and money to hop over to Florida. Any takers?
3. The One with the Lagoons: The Golden Circle, Iceland
For such a tiny country, Iceland sure has a lot going for it. I definitely want to spend at least a tiny part of my 20s hiking past waterfalls, lagoons, black sand beaches and boiling geysers. I may need to do some saving up first – the cost of living in Iceland is one of the highest in the world!
4. The Challenging One: Bibbulmun Track or John Muir Trail
I’ve always wanted to do a trip that is challenging and that really feels like an achievement (I swear this is only a tiny bit inspired by Wild). The Pacific Crest Trail might be a bit much for me to start with, but at 1000km over 8 weeks, the Bibbulmun Track in Western Australia seems like the right kind of difficult. Having fallen madly in love with California and Yosemite in particular, I would also love to spend 3 weeks hiking the John Muir trail through some of the most incredible scenery on the planet.
5. The Scandinavian One: Norwegian Fjords
I am making a quick trip over to Oslo this April, but I don’t think two days in the capital city will be enough for me to be done with Norway. I would also love to go to Bergen, to Tromso, to the Lofoten Islands and to chase the Northern Lights in Svalbard.
6. The Beach One: Cairns & The Whitsunday Islands
Australia is firmly on my list of places to go in 2019, and a trip to Cairns with a detour to the Whitsunday Islands is a big part of my Aussie dreams. As much as I love the fast-paced sightseeing and activity-filled kind of travel, sometimes it is nice to just lay on the beach and swim in a warm blue ocean. Cairns is also the perfect jumping off point (no pun intended) for a dive in the Great Barrier Reef. Sadly, time might be running out on that one, but it is a bucket list experience I would love to tick off.
7. The One with the Cherry Blossoms: Japan
I just missed the cherry blossoms in Washington DC, but one way or another I will welcome in the spring with carpets of pink flowers! I’ve always been fascinated with Japanese culture (and food) but as of yet I haven’t had the opportunity to go – maybe the 2020 Olympics will be the kick I need to get planning.
8. The Turquoise One: Banff National Park
If I had to pick one spot in the world to visit, it would probably be Banff National Park – it’s currently my computer wallpaper at work and I often find myself staring at it. There is something almost otherworldly about the turquoise water underneath the snow-capped mountains, and I would do (almost) anything to see it with my own eyes. Having visited Vancouver, I have a true love for the Canadian people and I need to spend more time seeing what else the country has to offer.
9. The One with the Alpacas: Machu Picchu
It isn’t just because of the alpacas that I want to go to Machu Picchu, but it sure is a bonus. I think I need to consider South America more as a travel destination because it is somewhere I have overlooked in the past, so hiking the Inca Trail would be the ideal introduction to a brand new continent. I am not sure if I can manage to smuggle an alpaca back across the border, but even if I can’t, the views over the ruins would be worth the journey.
10. The Foodie One: South East Asia
This one is going to get ticked off the bucket list this November, with the three week trip I have planned to Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Singapore. I am counting down the days until I am walking round Buddhist temples, floating through Ha Long Bay and eating my own body weight in rice and noodles. I am excited to see how some of the ‘authentic’ restaurants in London stack up against the real deal!
11. The One With the Adrenaline Rush: New Zealand
There are a million reasons I would love to go to NZ, and the extreme sports opportunities are just one of them! I think your 20s are the perfect time to make crazy decisions like skydiving in Auckland, rafting in Lake Taupo, exploring the Waitomo caves and ziplining in Rotorua. To add to ‘the challenging one’ from earlier, I would add hiking (part of) the 3000km Te Araroa trail to my travel bucket list.
12. The Sandy One: Marrakech
Another one that is getting ticked off this year is Marrakech: I will be spending this August bank holiday eating tagines, searching for a bargain in a souk and riding a camel across the Sahara desert. Flights to Marrakech from London were very cheap for a holiday weekend and our beautiful hostel (with pool) came in at around £20 per night, leaving more money to spend on our travels.
13. The Watery One: Baltic cruise
A Baltic cruise is (hopefully) on the to do list for next August, and I think I will either love it or hate it. One thing that is certain is that I will definitely put on about 50 pounds in carbohydrate weight in the space of two weeks! Cruising fits quite neatly into the way I like to travel, with a journey to lots of destinations rather than two weeks in one place. The stop I am especially excited by is St Petersburg – my brother has spent so much time in Russia and I have to admit that I am more than a bit jealous. I don’t think I will ever catch up to him in that regard, but two days in St Petersburg is a step in the right direction.
14. The Highland One: Isle of Skye
It’s been a dream of mine for a while to ride a horse across the highlands and pretend to be Claire Fraser in an episode of Outlander. It may be a problem that i have never once ridden a horse, but the ‘going to the highlands’ part is fairly achievable. While I would love to do many stops in Scotland, it’s the Isle of Skye that already has my heart. It isn’t too often you find such rugged landscapes that have been completely untouched in hundreds of years, and Skye seems to be the perfect place to experience that.
15. The Underwater One: Bali
After a (fairly) successful snorkelling trip in Key West, I think I am ready to take the plunge (pun intended) and go scuba diving. I know there are so many places in the world to go diving, but swimming with the rays at Manta Point and navigating through the wreck of the USS Liberty seems pretty unbeatable to me. It took me a little while to get the hang of snorkelling though, so maybe it’s best for me to start in the kiddie pool rather than the open ocean!
16. The Scenic One: Patagonia
Argentina had never been high on my list of travel dreams until I saw photographs of Torres Del Paine national park. Similar to Banff it has tropical blue lakes, jagged mountains and snow-capped peaks as well as glaciers, icebergs and frothy waterfalls. Maybe it’s because I grew up in such a flat area, but I truly am a sucker for a nice mountain range.
17. The Glowing One: Puerto Rico
Some of my friends took a trip to Puerto Rico in 2016 and since then I have been hooked on the idea of going to Vieques to kayak through the bioluminescent bay. Puerto Rico has a whole lot more to offer too: from the vibrant streets of San Juan to the white sand beaches of Culebra. Puerto Rico is also home to the only rainforest in US territory, so for a country the size of Connecticut it has it’s fair share of ecosystems for me to explore.
18. The Safari One: South Africa
One of my best friends lives in Pretoria, so SA has been in the back of my mind for the past few years now. As well as climbing Table Mountain and strolling past the colourful houses of Cape Town, I would love to take a safari in Kruger National Park. A big part of this would be meeting the elephants – I would love to do this in South East Asia but am nervous about making the wrong decision and contributing to animals being held in terrible conditions, so doing this in South Africa’s largest game reserve seems like a safer bet.
19. The One with all the Stars: The Atacama Desert
One of my best memories from my trip to California was lying on the grass under the shadow of the Sierra Nevada’s watching the Milky Way make it’s way slowly across the sky. Since then I have moved to London, and I can’t remember the last time I saw more than a handful of stars in the sky. The Atacama Desert in Chile is supposedly the best place in the world to see the night sky, and I am willing to cross half the planet to get back the awe-inspiring feeling of being a tiny speck in an enormous universe.
20. The Spontaneous One: Who knows?
I can plan and make lists all day long, but sometimes the best trip is the one you don’t expect to take. I need to remind myself not to get caught up in bucket lists and great ideas, and instead to keep my eyes open for the opportunities that arise. After all, you only regret the opportunities you don’t take.