One hundred and seventy six days. That’s how many days until my next holiday! It’s not like I’m counting down or anything…
I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve slapped my hands on my desk, audibly sighed, and announced “I need a holiday”. With my hen do next month, wedding in July, and then three months of chaos at work, I don’t envision being able to take some time off for some sunshine or experience anytime soon. So, I’m watching those one hundred and seventy six days tick down and living vicariously through other people.
With every colleague returning from a sunny climate or a reel documenting a stranger’s adventures, my travel bucket list has been getting bigger and bigger along with my holiday envy. So I thought, let’s document it here on the blog! With less than five years to go until I hit thirty, it’ll be interesting to look back on then; to see where I’ve actually managed to go and see what I’ve added over time.
1. Amsterdam | Netherlands
It’s a strange one to put on a bucket list, considering I’ve been twice already. But both of those times were on University trips, when I was a broke student, staying in a hostel, and only interested in the scheduled bar crawls. This time, I want a much more grown up experience. I’m talking seeing the markets and travelling to tulip fields; eating at Tozi and getting street food; walking leisurely by the canals and galleries, and collapsing luxuriously into my hotel at the end of the day. Well, a girl can dream.
2. Caledonian Sleeper | London to Scotland
I’m marrying into a Scottish family so travel to Scotland isn’t a rarity. But my options of travel currently are – a nine hour drive up the entire UK; paying through the nose to take a tiny carry-on on a flight; or getting crammed into a train carriage with five station changes. Enter, the Caledonian Sleeper. It’s a bit more expensive than your regular train, but it’s an experience as well as travel. Simply put, it’s a sleeper train from London to Scotland. But, it has lounges, double beds, food, and best of all – you are sleeping through the long journey.
3. Ancient Ruins of Thebes | Egypt
I’m a sucker for some archaeology. Even better if it’s not been stolen by the British and I can actually see it where it belongs. So of course Thebes and nearby sites are up there, including the Valley of the Kings. The Valley itself is a large archaeological site, where the royals of Egypt were buried, and is now deemed a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. I might not be good with immense heat or climbing up hundreds of stairs, but I’ll do it for history.
4. Hay Festival | Wales
Despite the fact I lived about forty-five minutes from Hay-on-Wye for quite a few years, I’ve never been to the world famous book festival. My mum and I were booked to go in 2020 but you can anticipate how that went… Still, next summer has got my name all over it. I can’t wait to be surrounded by books in this bookish town full of bookish people!
5. London | England
London is literally on my doorstep and yet I’ve never had a staycation there. My fiancé and I have talked about having a long weekend in London for years – so much so, it’s planned to a tee. Get last minute show tickets, explore the V&A and Natural History Museum, visit independent bookshops, eat at Borough Market, and just take it all in.
6. New Orleans | Louisiana, USA
I like documentaries. Namely any to do with food, true crime, ghostly happenings, and culture. What one place is the epicentre of all four? New Orleans, baby. Whilst I’m sure attending Mardi Gras and other festivals would be incredible, I’d want to explore the city outside of that too. I just want to soak it all in.
7. Fjords Cruise | Norway
I have never been on a cruise in any form, not have I ever been hit with the desire to book one. That is, until I watched Brogan Tate’s cruise vlogs. Call me truly #influenced. I love the mixture of adventure and culture off the ship and true relaxation on the ship, from hikes and boating trips, stops at towns, and time spent in pools and spas. All big ticks for me!
8. Paris | France
Again, this is another place I have travelled to in recent memory. My fiancé and I went straight out of university; two broke graduates in the city of love. I’m thankful we got to visit Notre Dame before the fire, but we mainly did other touristy aspects. Now, I want to experience more. I mean, we stayed in Montmartre and didn’t even explore it; absolute rookies. As well as exploring Montmartre, I want to do a tour of the catacombs, visit Musée Picasso, the National Museum of Modern Art, the Moulin Rogue, Shakespeare & Co bookshop, and eat my weight in delicious food.
9. Pompeii and Herculaneum | Italy
The archaeology nerd strikes again. Pompeii and Herculaneum have been on my radar since I was a small child. I had large books on archaeology, and you could find me glued to the screen, watching videos of my grandparent’s Italy trips. Whilst Pompeii is the city we all know and have studied, Herculaneum was preserved under all of that Vesuvian ash and is in incredible condition. Of course I want to visit Pompeii, but Herculaneum is my number one spot.
10. San Francisco | California, USA
I’m sure Santa Monica beach is nice and it would be fun to see the Hollywood Walk of Fame, but LA isn’t number one on my “USA To Visit List”. It’s not even in the top three for my “California To Visit List”. I’m talking San Francisco! Everything about it appeals to me. From the literary culture to the landscape, Pier 39 to Lombard Street, it just seems like the perfect city to explore. And of course, as a true crime buff, a visit to Alcatraz is a must.
11. Tokyo | Japan
This is probably the only place on the list that both my partner and I will look at, sigh wistfully, and say “oh I’d love to visit one day”. I am the stereotype of a typical white girl, so of course there are two things that I am drawn to – seeing the cherry blossoms and seeing where Lost in Translation was filmed. But my dream to visit Tokyo is so much more than that. Admittedly, Japanese culture is not one I know lots about but it always sparks an interest, so where else is best to explore and learn than Tokyo.
Ahhh. Writing this list has managed to keep that wanderlust monster at bay, and my debit card sealed away (for now). Of course, there are other wonderful places I would love to visit. The Lake District, Greece, Spain, and Australia spring to mind. As does Hawai’i, but I’m not going to add to the over-tourism crisis and break the wishes of the residents there (ahem, Benefit…) There are so many other wonderful places on this Earth that I would love to go to, but these eleven are where I would go in an instant. Let’s see how many of them I can go to within the next five years!
Tell me, what are the top three places on your travel bucket list? And where is the best place you’ve travelled to? I’d love to know. Heck, you may even end up contributing to my own list…