As you all know, I’m all about travel. It makes you richer in ways that saving the money you spend on travel cannot. It teaches you things you can’t learn in any book. It’s my favourite. Many of you will not know that I’m also all about physics – particularly “Space stuff” and natural phenomena, which is why when I saw that TranSun were running a competition to win a trip to see the Northern Lights and all you have to do is write a travel destination bucket list, I had to enter. I basically spend my days dreaming up travel wishlists anyway, so what’s to lose?
Let’s get our wanderlust on. In no particular order, my travel bucket list is:
Go big or go home, right? Since I was teensy I’ve always been fascinated by Antarctica and now I’m older I’m passionate about the conservation of this amazingly beautiful sub-zero paradise. I owe it to my dear Grandad, Shredded Pete as we called him (seriously, he was ripped.) He’d sit me on his knee watching documentaries about Polar Bears, Penguins and their jepoardised landscapes, and he’d tell me about the importance and delicacy of these wildernesses. It’s one of the last true wildernesses and somewhere I have always dreamed of setting foot. It’s a lengthy journey – flights to Buenos Aries, ships on the choppiest, coldest waters – what an adventure! It also isn’t cheap, so whilst it’s a dream of mine it might require a small mortgage to achieve. Still, if dreams were easy to achieve they’d just be plans wouldn’t they?
2. Jasper, Canada.
From one beautiful wilderness to quite another. It’s been a lifelong goal of mine to visit Canada and drive one edge to another. No big deal, it’s only a few thousand miles right? If I had to choose one location though, It’d be Jasper,which is a beautiful and unassuming town in the Canadian Rockies. In my dream trip, Jasper is the base for travel to the North, where I’d drive some sort of hardy RV through Yukon territory and Alaska. When I was younger one of my best friends was Canadian, from Edmonton, which is close to Jasper. He brought home photographs of his trips to Jasper National Park, and nearby Banff National Park (note I mean nearby in terms of the vastness of Canada) and those photographs lit a fire in me – the sort that can only be extinguished by the crisp, cool mountain waters of Maligne Lake.
3. Peru, all of it.
I’m a sucker for ancient landscapes, so Peru seems like an obvious choice for a bit of history.
Machu Picchu is perhaps one of the most famous and beautiful ancient ruins, the remains of a 15th century Inca city sits high in the mountains where you must endure grueling treks and altitude sickness to visit. I like the idea of proving my worthiness to visit such a site, and it’s a journey which has attracted me for many years. After paying homage at Machu Picchu, I’d head to Lima using local transport (read: teeny little buses) to visit Saksaywaman, the ancient Inca capital city.
Peru also hosts the fascinatingly inexplicable Nazca Lines – huge pictures on the ground, only visible by plane – spread across the Southern Peruvian desert. These ancient geolgyphs were made by moving the red stone from the desert floor to expose the white ground beneath – but they’re so gigantic and well choreographed its hard to imagine how an ancient civilisation might have created them without aerial views. That’s another discussion though.
Besides the utterly mindblowing ancient cultures to learn about, Peru is obviously famous for its coffee – and I’m famously a coffee addict – so trying some proper Peruvian local coffee would be a simple but very well received pleasure. One of their most popular dishes is Ceviche, too, which is absolutely lovely if you have it prepared properly. It’s basically raw fish cooked by citrus juices. Yum!
So, there’s my travel bucket list. Obviously the Northern Lights would be on there too – what a spectacle! Whilst some may strive for big cities and bright lights (that’s just as valid) I find my heart beats for things the world has already prepared for us. Vast landscapes with lagoons, glaciers, snowcapped mountains. People are capable of astonishing things – take air travel and cityscapes – but our planet is capable of so much more, and I want to immerse myself wholly in every bit of it.
Where would you go if your travel wishes were granted?