Establishing a travel bucket list is one of the driving factors of why I love to travel so much. Any time I get some down time at work, I hop onto Google and just start surfing around for new places to go, or fun things to do.
This has lead me to amassing a pretty hefty bucket list, not just for travel, but for life as well. For this post, we will just be sticking to the travel side of the house.
My bucket list is long, but I will be shortening it down to my top 10 destinations and activities. Who knows, maybe you’ll get some ideas too!
A travel bucket list should contain all the places you want to go, no matter how crazy or unrealistic you might think they are. The purpose is to motivate yourself, and have clear, visible goals as to what you want to accomplish before you die.
For example: If you have always wanted to go to Japan during cherry blossom season, you could put that on there. That’s on mine as well, and I have talked about it for a while, but I’ve never really put the idea onto paper, so I never give that idea a serious revisit. But, once it is properly established and written out, it’s almost like it holds you accountable.
The thing you want to remember is, is that this won’t happen overnight. I know personally I try to take a trip once a year. That’s really all I can comfortably afford. And most of the things on my bucket list are pretty hefty, not something I can save up for over the course of a year.
That’s why they are on my bucket list and not my “next trip” list. They are something I will save up for over the course of a few years, and something that will slowly be crossed off as my life progresses.
If I somehow hit the lottery, then that process will be sped up a lot, but until then, long term goals it is.
Destinations don’t have to be the only thing on your bucket list either; include some things you’d like to see as well.
Now I don’t mean “I want to see Japan.” That would be considered a destination. I mean something like “I want to see the northern lights,” or, “I want to see the changing of the guard.”
As you can see (no pun intended), these are different than destinations. This is actually witnessing a certain event take place, not necessarily tied to a specific location.
The Ring Road in Iceland is number one on my bucket list. I have had a few friends visit Iceland, some even traveled part of the Ring Road, and their trips inspired me big time.
Just seeing their pictures of the relatively small parts of Iceland they did see completely blew me away. It was like each different place they visited was a whole ‘nother country or world.
The thing about the Ring Road is the fact that it is very long; about 828 miles long (1,332 km). Now, you could probably bust out this distance in a few days, but why would you? Iceland roads can be dangerous depending on the weather, and not only that, there is so much to see along the way.
When I go on this trip, whether I do it alone, or with someone, I will be taking my sweet time. There are plenty of car rental places in Iceland, so finding a car won’t be too entirely difficult.
Once I do find my car, I plan on doing a 10 day trip around the Ring. Ideally, I’d like to go during a season where I can see the Northern Lights. This would mean, I’d like to go around the October-November time frame.
Iceland itself is pretty cheap to get to flight wise, but if I plan on going during “on-season,” it’ll cost me a good chunk more all around.
That is why this is a long term goal of mine, and something I’m super excited to experience!
I know, I know, this may be considered a tourist trap, but I think this would be an insane experience.
See, I’m a huge tropical vacation kind of guy, and Bora Bora is right in my wheelhouse in terms of experience. Not so much price, but that’s why it’s a long term goal!
Not only will I get to wake up to that beautiful water, but there are also tons of outdoor adventures and activities and can take part of. More specifically, I’d love to do things like jet-skiing, snorkeling, dinner cruises, and off-roading.
All that put together makes for an amazing, amazing vacation!
This has been on my bucket list the longest out of all of them. I have always been fascinated by ancient ruins and history, and Machu Picchu is both of those combined.
I later realized that Machu Picchu is part of a longer system of ruins, and all those ruins are connected by one long hike called the Inca Trail.
The Inca Trail is a 26 mile (43 km) hike through Peru. Over the course of four days, you’ll see all sorts of stuff, ranging from six ancient ruins, jungles, forests, and mountains.
Machu Picchu is actually one of the Seven Wonders of the World, which is like two birds, one stone because I also want to visit all seven in my lifetime, too.
Easter Island has always been super mysterious to me. They are famous for their statues, called moai.
Many people, including myself, thought that these statues were just heads. Turns out, archaeologists discovered that they have bodies as well! How the Rapa Nui people did it back then, I have no idea, which is why this is all the more crazy and mysterious to me.
Most of the moai were carved between the years of 1100 and 1680, according to the archaeologists.
Since Easter Island is mostly secluded, the only way to get there is to catch a flight from Santiago, Chile. They fly one flight per day, so it will most likely be a trip to Santiago and then make a day trip to Easter Island.
I had a few opportunities to see Stonehenge, but I never took it. I wish I would have, but I guess I’ll just have to make a trip back!
Stonehenge is just like Easter Island in the sense that it’s very mysterious. Stonehenge even more so! That is why I wanted to go see it so bad, I love those mysterious unexplained things.
I visited London with the plan to go and make a trip out to Stonehenge, but we only had a weekend, and Stonehenge is a bit of a trip outside of London, so I had to unfortunately scrap those plans.
This history is a whole lot more real, considering there are still people alive today that experienced it. The terrors of WWII can still be felt today, and I’d love to take a road trip to visit as many of these WWII monuments or ruins as I can.
As you can probably very well tell by now, I love history, and it doesn’t get any more real than WWII history, especially considering a lot of the monuments in France still have bunkers and other structures still standing.
I don’t have the exact road trip planned out yet, but I know a few destinations so far that I want to see. I’ll be taking my time with this one, to really indulge in as much history as I can.
The Romantic Road is a 220 mile long route in Germany, connecting some of the most “Germanesque” routes, according to many travelers. So take that with a grain of salt, but while I lived in Germany, I talked for a few German citizens, and they all said Rothenburg was their favorite city in Germany.
Rothenburg happens to be on the Romantic Road, so I guess that holds some weight. The cool thing is, it is loosely based off an old Roman trade route. The idea and execution for establishing the Romantic Road came in the 1950s as a way for Germany to build its tourism business back up after World War II.
So, originally, a lot of American Soldiers and their families were the ones trekking the Romantic Road, however, over time it got more and more popular.
Taking your time and exploring some of the only remaining walled medieval towns in Germany, as well as a plethora of other castles just sounds like a mind-blowing experience.
I got my information from Romantic Road Germany, a great website that is packed with information on how to complete the Romantic Road without using a travel group.
Kamakura is a smaller city in Japan, less than two hours away from Japan. The cool thing about Kamakura, to me at least, is that is considered a pretty quiet and relaxing Japanese experience.
Not only is it packed to the brim with ancient temples, shrines, and monuments; there is a beach as well! So, if I get tired from exploring all day, I can easily go and relax on the beach. One of the main reasons why I want to go to Japan in the first place was to see the beautiful cherry blossoms.
The best time to see them is early April, so when I travel there, it will be within the first or second weeks of April.
Greece is one of the most interesting places in the world, to me at least. They are very well known for their architecture and their contributions in many fields such as mathematics and philosophy.
Greek culture has influenced countless civilizations over its long history.
Now, their food is to die for. I have eaten at a few Greek owned and operated restaurants, and just thinking about it makes my mouth water. I could not even begin to imagine how the food straight from Greece would taste, whether it was seafood or some grilled meats, you can’t possibly go wrong.
The reason why I want to take a cruise is because I feel it is the most efficient way of seeing not only mainland Greece, but also the islands. I may not be able to divulge 100% into the experience because I’ll be on a time crunch, but it will still be 100% worth it.
This one is a bit unexpected, but yes, I would love to visit Antarctica. I feel like it’s a place not many people get the chance to visit. One of my long term goals is to visit all seven continents, and this will be the hardest piece of the puzzle.
Antarctica is a vast, remote, and extremely cold piece of land. There isn’t anything to do there unless you are there working to support a scientific function. So this will not be a very long trip, but one very much worth it.
So how will I get there?
Well, Swoop Antarctica offers a wealth of information on Antarctica and the different ways to get there.
I will most definitely be taking a cruise there. I would like to be one of the few that have reached the Antarctic Circle, and a cruise is how that’s going to happen. It needs to be booked 12-18 months in advance considering how few trips they make there.
Starting at $7,500 per person, it’ll be something I really have to save for moving forward.
There are many, many more places out there that I want to see, but these are my top 10 travel bucket list destinations and experiences. I hope to knock out a vast majority of them in the next five years, but I am in no rush.
There is plenty of life to live, and plenty of Earth to see!
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