Some may say that the best part of traveling is looking forward to the next trip, and I understand the sentiment. During 2020 when we were stuck indoors it definitely brough some comfort to plan my next travel. And as a student on a very limited budget, I certainly spend a long time daydreaming. While I’m a big believer in not hesitating to do anything – life is short, do it now, etc. – there are also some trips I simply don’t want to rush. I want to do them when the time is right, when I have plenty of time and money to really make the most of them. So, for that reason as you can imagine, I’m developing quite the bucket list! Here are some of the places I most want to visit, and how I plan on seeing them.
1. Central and South America
I realise that this is about as vague as possible. South America is the biggest chunk of my to-do list in terms of travelling and I know that I will take many years to complete it. During my Spanish A Level I learned about various aspects of the history and culture of this amazing continent as well as a little bit about the variation in language, and I just have to see it for myself. I’d also love to sample some amazing food, as I quite honestly live to eat, and culinary adventure is one of my favourite things about travelling! If you haven’t seen the Street Food show on Netflix, I’d highly recommend it – it’s the perfect balance of food porn, wholesome tear-jerking TV, and wanderlust-inducing images. One series focuses on Latin America, and it was mouth-watering.
The Galapagos Islands
After spending a week on San Cristobal island in the Galapagos, I fell head over heels with life there and am desperate to go back as soon as I possibly can. I want to spend a few weeks on the same volunteering project, and visit all of the islands while I’m there, seeing all the sights and wildlife that the different areas have to offer. I’ll definitely know to invest in an waterproof or action camera for the next time I’m there, as the underwater views rival those above water! I’ll also do a little bit more research into the wildlife that can be found there, so I know what I’m seeing. And finally, I’ll leave my diary a little bit more open than I did the first time. Careful planning was very important on that trip, as I was 18 and it was my first solo venture, so I don’t regret anything, but it is something I would do differently next time.
On that note, I really should give the rest of Ecuador another visit. I liked the city of Quito while I was there but didn’t get much time to explore and, as the culture capital and surrounded by volcanoes, it sounds like I’ve missed some real gems! I’d also want to go to back Guayaquil (where I spent 24 hours stuck in a hotel room), Baños and the Quilotoa lagoon.
Peru has always been on my list. I was due to travel there but due to border closures I wasn’t able to (which was obviously for the best). That’s only made me all the more eager to visit though! I want to stay in Cuzco for a while and trek the Inca Trail, and after that who knows. The country has a wealth of incredible sights to offer and I wouldn’t know where to start!
Oh, to swim in a cenote in Mexico! I don’t ask for much.
In seriousness, Mexico is a country that a lot of people are wary of, and for good reason, but it also hides some amazing places. Mexico city looks incredible, as does San Cristobal de las Casas and los Pueblos Magicos. I’m fascinated by its history and the remnants of its past.
Costa Rica has amazing reviews from everyone I’ve chatted to – luxury tourists and backpackers alike. I think I’d like to volunteer a bit there too, perhaps with wildlife or small communities, before heading off to travel – I’m thinking San Jose, volcanoes and Monteverde reserve. Cahuita has a certain relaxed charm, too.
Next on the list is to return to Iceland. I was lucky enough to visit Reykjavik on a school trip some years ago and it was brilliant. The atmosphere of the city was so similar to England in some ways and yet so different. I felt really relaxed there. Having ticked off many of the more ‘touristy’ spots like the Blue Lagoon and the black beach at Reynisfjara, I’d love to go back and soak up more of local life. I’d still stray out of the city to take in the incredible landscape, of course, but on an evening or a relaxed morning, it would be lovely to hang around and check out the local cafe culture or food offerings.
I’ll say now I just love Spain, so as long as I have the time and money I will always revisit. I used to say I could see myself moving there, although having since moved briefly to Sweden, I now recognise I’m less suited to the southern climate and quite different culture. The thing is though, since I first published this post, I’ve ticked off a lot of this section! I’ve revisited Málaga, and been to Córdoba, Granada and Seville, among some other places that weren’t on this list because I didn’t even know about them! I have not yet returned to Salamanca or Barcelona though. I visited Barcelona for four days when I turned 18 – it was a great mum and daughter trip. But I do have a list of things we didn’t get to do that I want to tick off so another trip there is a must. I’d love to go back to see the completion of the Sagrada Familia (estimated 2026) as it’s hoped it will coincide with the centenary of Anthony Gaudi’s death and I can imagine there will be some sort of celebration. Also on the list is a visit to Montjuic Castle and a trip on the cable cars!
Costa del Sol
I’d always incorrectly assumed that the South coast of Spain is just full of beaches for tourists to drink and burn on, but it’s so much for than that. The mix of influences, both architecturally and culturally, is fascinating and some of the historic towns are simply beautiful. I’d love to hire a car and drive along the coastal road, perhaps exploring some of the smaller towns that I wouldn’t generally make a point of visiting. I think there are some true gems off the beaten track in Spain, and some of my best day trips there have been from simply looking at a map or finding a bus going to a place I didn’t recognise.
4. The UK
If I’ve learnt anything in the last couple of years, it’s never to ignore the beauty on your own doorstep. As soon as I can, I’m going to take a trip around the National Parks of the UK, staying in a mixture of hostels and campsites. I live in North Yorkshire so I’m perfectly situated to start in Malham in the Yorkshire Dales, before moving on to the Lake District, Loch Lomond and the Trossachs and the Cairngorns in Scotland. Coming back down, I’d visit Northumberland, the North York Moors and the Peak District in that order before heading into Wales to see Snowdonia and the Brecon Beacons. It would only be right after all that to finish with Exmoor and Dartmouth, of course.
Not that I’ve already planned it, or anything.
5. Svalbard island
I recently discovered Cecilia on Instagram, who shares videos of her life in Svalbard. I’m fascinated by it all – the wildlife, the landscape, the small town, and the weather. And polar bears! And the Northern Lights! The list goes on. Svalbard is visa-free, and you can get there simply by flying from Tromso in Norway. It seems quite tourist friendly, with several places to stay and companies offering tours. And I’m also really interested in meeting some of the people there; being on Norwegian soil, I know everyone will be very friendly, but there are also lots of inhabitants from other countries. I think this would make for a very interesting stay. Plus, I’ve come to realise just how much I love winter and would enjoy travelling more to colder areas.
I’ve never set foot in Asia (my first and only time leaving Europe was going to Ecuador) and Asia has so much to offer that it’s hard to know where to start. Again, this Street Food show that I like to advertise has a series focusing on Asia, and as a lover of Asian food, I couldn’t get enough. There is also such a wealth of rich cultural and historical tradition on this continent, and I love to learn as I travel, so it’s an obvious destination.
So the question is, where to start? For some reason, two places entice me in particular. I can’t tell you why as I’m not so sure myself, but if I’m interested, they seem as good a place to start as any!
I used to be obsessed with the Young Samurai series bt Chris Bradford – so much so that 11-year-old me started learning Japanese. I might have left that phase behind, but the fascination with Japan hasn’t disappeared. There’s something so interesting about the vast variation in lifestyle, especially between the bustle of Tokyo and the more rural areas. It would be especially interesting to visit multiple locations in one trip, so really appreciate all the different aspects.
Again, I’m not sure why Vietnam in particular, but if I have to start somewhere, I think this will be one of the first destinations I head to. Obviously Ho Chi Minh is on the list, and I’d also love to visit My Son and Hoi An. However, I also want to get off the track a bit, and once I’ve ticked off the major sights, it would be lovely to head somewhere less popular, perhaps a national park to soak up some nature.
Bonus: surfing and diving
If I’m going to visit all these places it seems only right to enjoy them to their full – especially the gorgeous oceans. To that end, I’d definitely like to learn to dive and maybe give surfing a go. I was quite put out – almost jealous – that I couldn’t join a dive when I was in the Galapagos, as that would have been a perfect way to get up close and personal with the fantastic ocean life there. One day, I’ll be able to! I also just love being on the water, and a day of surfing seems right up my street.
After boring you with the long – and ever expanding – list of places I’d like to go, I have to ask you – what’s on your bucket list? Leave a comment to let me know, and stay tuned for a post about my specific list of European cities that I’d like to visit!
Excellent post. I suggest You Finland. Can You imagine how it would be, to spend a night inside of the world’s biggest snow castle?
Best Snow Castle photos
What about meeting Santa and having a reindeer ride?
Reindeer rides and Santa
There is also once in the life time adventure in Finland which do not exist elsewhere. It is participating in a reindeer race, which is free for everybody?
Reindeer race 3
Happy and safe travels!
Wow! What amazing photos! Thank you for your recommendations and for reading my post! I definitely want to go to Finland now!
Iceland is amazing! Landscapes and people they’re just wonderful.
What about coming to Poland? 🙈
Ooh I’d love to! Where in Poland do you think I should visit?
Thanks for reading <3
I’m definitely going to have a look at visiting sometime!
Hi there, great post! I’m heading to America (NY, Houston, Orlando are some of the places I’ll visit) so this will be a great post to follow!
Thanks for reading!
Oooh this is very exciting! My main bucket list of places to visit are Spain, Italy and Switzerland (mainly more of Europe). I would love to live in Canada for some months, maybe on a horse ranch in the Rockies (dream job) and then when I’m older (eg can afford it) would love to travel Aisa particularly India, Sri Lanka and China. Basically anywhere that will have me! Even though I’m probably not going to be travelling much on my gap year due to medical issues, I may have one after uni or anytime really! Becca xx
Sounds amazing! Thanks so much for reading xx
I look forward to following your adventures in South America! F
The way you write I believe I am right there next to you
I loved this post so much… I really, really want to go to Costa Rica 🇨🇷 😍
Oh some great choices, I would love to visit Iceland too & Liverpool is on the list!
Re Spain, adore the culture & have been so many times, favourite coastal town Tossa De Mar! Beautiful! Here’s to exploring after lockdown!
Absolutely! Can’t wait to travel some more x
I’d love to visit Iceland too!! 😍i was so close to booking a trip for this March!
Aw shame it couldn’t happen! Hopefully sometime in the future x
I think we might have similar bucket list with the exception that mine includes the whole world 😊. I am ambitious like that😂. I hope you manage to visit all the places mentioned as soon as positive 😊. Thank you for sharing
Darina from daramiblog
That’s a perfect ambition to have!
just looked up cenotes hadn’t heard of them before – wow, it would be quite an experience swimming in one. Imagine finding one that isn’t touristy too. Some great places to travel to I can almost feel you chomping at the bit. Hope you can resume your travelling soon.
A quiet one without too many tourists would be amazing 😍
[…] updated version of My travel bucket list, which is always bound to change, but definitely expanded somewhat after my recent trip to Ecuador […]
Love your list 🙂 We have the goal of Central and South America also. It will take us a while – we have the plan to start in Mexico and work our way down 🙂
That sounds like a good way to do it! I’d definitely like to do some long-term travel there, not just short trips!
i LOVED this post, really useful. I also love Spain and I’m currently learning Spanish
That’s so cool! I love Spanish so much! I’m actually working to add a section of Spanish language resources to my site in the coming months!
These are some great places to include on a bucket list! Iceland is definitely up there for me! And I had no idea about the underwater views at the Galapagos Islands. Thanks for sharing! – Briana | https://www.NextDestinationUnknown.com/
Thanks for reading! I can’t rave about the Galápagos enough!
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