It’s no secret that I’m always dreaming about travel possibilities. Like a drug addict, travel consumes me. I could be in the middle of an enthralling conversation with a celebrity and I’d still find a way to direct my thoughts to new destinations. Working on sponsored posts for companies like Contiki has only increased my travel obsession. Have you ever wondered what places top the list for travel writers? Contiki has asked me to think about the most popular destinations for people to travel in the New Year. While my own personal list might not statistically be the most popular destinations, I’d bet that most of the places have a spot on your list. This year, Namibia, St. Lucia, Germany, Latvia, and Austria topped my list of favorite travel destinations. Here are my top bucket list picks for 2015. I haven’t visited any of these destinations, which is why they are on my 2015 list. I may not be able to visit them all, but the more unrealistic we are with our dreams and goals, the more we are able to achieve. I’m putting them out into the universe and we’ll see how it goes.
Thailand topped our 2014 list. We made arrangements to take a family vacation there this November but opted for a last minute change to Hawaii because of the long flights with a toddler. After several, successful international trips with Athena, Thailand is back on the list. It’s a wondrous kingdom with Buddhist temples, exotic wildlife, fascinating history, unique culture, spectacular islands, and delectable foods. From traditional Buddhist festivals and wild Thai New Year celebrations to spectacular national parks and an array of land, sea and air activities, Thailand is worth the long flights.
I won’t go another year without visiting Australia. With its vast and varied landscapes, fascinating sites, unique wildlife, and white-sand beaches, Australia has a huge appeal for those who seek something new. I dream of diving the Great Barrier Reef, exploring the Outback, climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge, getting up close and personal with the unique wildlife, and surfing Bondi Beach. Australia is a whole world of new adventures in one location. My only worry is that I’ll have to move there to get my fill of Australia.
3. Ecuador & the Galapagos
The largest mega-diversity on the planet makes its home in Ecuador, the center of the world. I imagine walking and diving among giant tortoises, descending into the deep jungle, surfing the rolling waves and exploring volcanoes. Islands, rainforest, Andes and seas, 4 worlds are waiting for me in Ecuador.
The sharp contrast between forests and deserts on the coast, deep ravines and towering snow-capped mountains in the Andean highlands, densely forested slopes and huge plains of thick vegetation in the Amazon jungle and the magnificent testimony to an ancient civilization at Machu Picchu all draw me to Peru. I will walk in the footsteps of the Incas and experience one of the highest items on my life bucket list, Machu Picchu.
Ice? Frigid cold? Glaciers? Isn’t that why I left Canada and moved to California? Yet Antarctica has always been on my list. Often described as magical, surreal, unforgettable, life-changing, and a glimpse of nature at its purest, Antarctica provides an unparalleled setting and atmosphere. But the arrival is only part of the draw to Antarctica for me. The journey is even more of a destination. Aboard Bark Europa, I want to be part of the sailing crew to Antarctica, crossing the Drake Pass and seeing the brilliant white shapes of floating icebergs on the horizon.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
Maybe these places aren’t on your list. Check out Contiki for more inspiration or explore Bucket List Publications for previous adventures. What new destinations are on the top of your 2015 bucket list?
***This post was sponsored by Contiki but all thoughts and opinions are my own.***