A question I often get asked is: “So, where will you travel next?” I’m the type of person who is already planning where to go next the minute I get home from a trip. It’s very exciting for me to brainstorm ideas of travel destinations. The world is a big, beautiful place, and there’s so much I want to see and do!
“I haven’t been Everywhere, but it’s on my list.” -Susan Sonntag
Indeed, I want to visit ALL the countries. There isn’t a place I don’t want to visit, although I know there are countries where I shouldn’t or can’t visit. My list of places to visit is pretty long, but I’ve managed to pick 13 countries to add to my short list. Check out the pictures below, which I guarantee will spark your wanderlust, too! Here is the list of countries that I’d like to visit within the next 10 years (in no particular order):
I’ve always been fascinated by Indian culture. The food is one of my favorite ethnic cuisines. I love the flavors, colors, and spices. I even went through a phase where I watched all the Bollywood movies available on Netflix, and fell in love with the music and lively spirit of the people. I’d like to visit in March for Holi festival (the festival of colors) when everyone throws colored dry powder and colored water balloons at each other. Sounds like fun to me! My itinerary would include traveling the Golden Triangle circuit (Delhi, Jaipur, and Agra). I dream of seeing the impressive Taj Mahal, especially at night under a full moon, and taking in all the sights, smells, and sounds of this fascinating country. If I can, I’d love to also travel to the sacred waters of the River Ganges in Varanasi, and further down south to relax at the beaches in Goa.
Oh, Maldives, I’ve been dreaming of you all my life! I’ve been lucky to have visited some amazing beaches in my life, but there’s just something about these small islands in the middle of the Indian ocean that is calling to me. This would be the ultimate, unplugged beach vacation. Most of the islands are private and have resorts on them with overwater bungalows, nearby reefs for snorkeling, and are only accessible by seaplane. SEAPLANE! I’ve also read that there are beaches here that glow in the dark because of thousands of bioluminescent organisms in the water and that you can swim with whale sharks year-round. Cool! I’m definitely saving all my pennies for this dream vacation. I better visit soon, since I heard these islands are slowly sinking and might disappear within the next 50 years. FOMO over here.
3. Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Dubai is known for its ultramodern architecture, luxury shopping, and lively nightlife. While I do appreciate interesting architecture, this destination is a little out of the ordinary for me. I don’t do any lavish spending, and I’m definitely not the type of person to stay up all night dancing and partying at a club. Yet somehow, this city intrigues me. I’m very curious to visit this ethnically diverse metropolis and get a glimpse of the lifestyle of the rich and the famous. It’s shiny and pretty and so unlike any other place I’ve been before. I’d definitely want to go up to the top of the 16-story tall Burj Khalifa (world’s tallest building), window shopping at the Dubai Mall (the largest shopping center in the world), marvel at the Burj Al Arab hotel where rooms cost up to $24,000 a night, visit the indoor ski resort where you can ski on real snow in the desert, and sandboarding on dunes and ride camels on a desert safari. It all sounds very exciting and I hope to visit someday.
Kilts, bagpipes, highlands, castles, stunning landscapes, sheep, lake monsters…need I say more? I might say this about every place, but Scotland really is a country I’ve wanted to visit since I was little. It’s looks like land of fairy tales! From navigating the old cobblestone streets of Edinburgh, riding in a train across the Glenfinnan viaduct (made famous in Harry Potter), playing a round of golf at St. Andrews (the home of golf), staying the night in a castle, trying to spot the Loch Ness monster on a lake cruise, following in the footsteps of William Wallace and spotting film locations from Braveheart, there’s something for everyone. Oh, and the accent, yes, the Scottish accent. I picture myself visiting in the fall when the leaves are turning colors and the weather is crisp and clear. I’ll be wearing an oversized wool sweater, plaid shirt, and my Hunter wellies. Perfection.
5. Bali, Indonesia
Bali, Bali, Bali! Another place I’ve wanted to visit for a long time. I hear the beaches are great, the culture is alive, the monkeys are cute, and the rice paddy landscapes are beautiful. I would want to stay in a traditional Balinese hut, make friends with the locals, do yoga in a tree house in the rainforest, visit the Buddhist temples, and interact with rescued elephants at the wildlife park.
6. South Africa
I actually don’t know much about South Africa, other than the fact that I’d love to visit and learn more. I’ve seen pictures of people’s travels there, and it looks amazing. I’d definitely want to visit Cape Town, Johannesburg, and go on a wildlife safari in Kruger National Park. Other things on my list to do: hike to the top of table mountain, explore the Cape Town harbor, visit the Cape of Good Hope, and cage diving with great white sharks.
Ireland! Rainbows, leprechauns, shamrocks, celtic dancing, corned beef, rolling green hills, cliffs, castles, shepherd’s pie…oh my! After spending a few days exploring the sights of Dublin (St. Patrick’s cathedral, Trinity College- Book of Kells, Grafton Street, etc), I’ll head out in my rental car (keep to the left) to drive across the Irish countryside. I’ll stop at Bed & Breakfasts for the night along the way. I’ll definitely follow the Ring of Kerry drive, kiss the Blarney stone, walk along the Cliffs of Moher, go horse jaunting in Killarney, and a pony & trap tour of Aran Island of Inish mor. I’d also love to visit Northern Ireland, to explore Belfast, the Giant’s causeway, and walk across the famous rope bridge.
8. The Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
The Galapagos Islands seem so exotic to me! They are remote, pristine, picturesque, full of unique wildlife, and relatively untouched. It would be so cool to see all the interesting animals that live there, cruise past volcanoes, mangroves, and caves, and explore the islands on land and under the sea. Good thing I’m Scuba certified! I’ve always wanted to be a National Geographic explorer, and this would be my chance. There are lots of different kinds of animals that you can see here, including animals that don’t exist anywhere else in the world. I think it’s great that you can walk around the islands and see giant tortoises, blue-footed boobies (not a typo!), penguins, big iguanas, and seals up-close. Word on the street is that these animals are not skittish at all and you can get really close to them. It would also be interesting to visit the Charles Darwin Research center and learn about wildlife, evolution, and you know, science.
Because fjords. Call me crazy, but I’d want to visit Norway in the winter. Most people associate vacations with warm weather, but I’d love to experience this beautiful country with snow-capped mountains, glaciers, and for another chance to see the northern lights (we weren’t so lucky in Iceland)!! A cruise through the fjords is a must, as well as venturing out into the wilderness on a dog-sled to try to spot polar bears, reindeer, and arctic foxes! The scenery looks spectacular!!
Konnichiwa! I love all things Japan! Mt. Fuji, temples in Kyoto, beautiful Zen gardens, Hello Kitty, Ramen (the authentic stuff), bullet trains, anime, samurais and ninjas, bonsai trees, karaoke, futuristic Tokyo, sumo wrestling, Japanese fashion, Kabuki theater, square watermelons, self-cleaning toilets that play music, etcetera, etcetera. I would love to travel to Japan in the Spring to take part in the annual Cherry blossom festival. So amazing! I’ve picked up a few phrases in Japanese over the years, and I’d love to spend a few weeks there learning more.
11. Patagonia, Chile
I will never ever get tired of beautiful scenery. I hear the scenery in Patagonia (a region shared between Chile & Argentina) is just stunning. There are so many outdoor adventures you can have. Skiing? yes please! Hike on glaciers, kayak on the gulf, spend some time at an authentic estancia (ranch) in the countryside, or relax at a secluded resort in the middle of the mountains. I would love to spend some time here away-from-it-all.
12. New Zealand
I can’t even with this one. New Zealand has been my dream destination as long as I can remember and my go-to answer to the question, “If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?” I hear it’s one of the safest and most beautiful countries in the world. That’s great! Because I’m going on my very first solo trip there at the end of this year, and I’m so excited my dream is coming true. What I have to look forward to: horseback riding in Glenorchy, touring Lord of the Rings film locations, a speed boat ride through Shotover Canyon, road trip through the South Island, kayaking on Milford Sound, hiking in the Remarkables mountain range, exploring the lupin-lined shores of Lake Tekapo (see picture above), visiting the sights of Christchurch, Wellington, and Queenstown, swimming with dolphins in Kaikoura, bungee jumping, geothermal pools in Rotorua, a feast with Maori villagers and a Haka dance, hot water beach, and much more. This country is full of adventure, culture, and all things nature.
Myanmar, formerly Burma, is unspoiled, authentic, affordable, and mystical. It’s called the “Golden Land,” because the landscape is scattered with gilded pagodas. They say it’s like traveling back in time to how Thailand was more than 30 years ago. You wont find any creature comforts or conveniences you’re used to at home, but you will find incredibly friendly people, delicious food, affordable traditional accommodations, gorgeous landscapes and cultural sites. I picture it like the set for the movie The King and I with Yul Brynner. From the pictures I’ve seen, it looks truly breathtaking.
Well, there you have it. I am looking forward to planning these trips and visiting these incredible places. You’ll notice that most of the places I want to visit are mostly centered around scenery, nature, animals, and culture. I just can’t get enough of spending time outdoors and admiring God’s artwork. I’ve been to many amazing cities, but I’m hoping in the future to go to places where I can unplug and travel with more purpose, reflection, and gratitude. This world is truly a remarkable place and I can’t wait to explore what it has to offer.
I hope I’ve inspired you to start planning a trip of your own, whether to one of these countries or to where intrigues YOU the most.
What places are on your travel bucket list??
Want to save this list for future reference?