I have always been an adventurous traveler. I love exploring on my own and discovering the hidden gems found within a city or area that aren’t common touristy stops. Friends and family have told me I am fun to travel with because of my child-like excitement when I discover something new. Yep, that’s me, just a kid in a candy store when I travel. Who else do you know that would get excited about singing with the guy in the subway who is trying to make a buck? Oh yeah, I love the subway in NYC but that’s just me. I’m easily entertained.
Much of my travel time now is spent working. I am researching, discovering and rating areas, resorts and tour operators so that I offer comprehensive, honest advice to my customers. I say “much of my travel time” because I cannot go anywhere that I don’t find myself wandering and seeking the new and unusual.
As a travel agent, I am somewhat surprised that until now I have not officially written down a travel bucket list. Of course, I’ve always had a list of places and things that “must be done” in my lifetime. While chatting with new clients one of the questions I always ask them is what and where their dream travel experience would take them. I have recently asked myself the same question and the following is my list of the top ten. These are not necessarily in order of preference. Given the time and opportunity, I would jump at the chance to visit any and all of them.
1. Mexico – Yes, there are still places in Mexico and things there that I have not experienced so it is always first in my thoughts. Riviera Nayarit tops the list for the luxury resorts and the ruins of Teotihuacan is a very close second. There are also the culinary tours that beckon me. Mexico has such a diverse offering of adventures, luxury, relaxation and excitement that it can literally fill anyones wish list.
2. Dive the Great Barrier Reef – I have a deep love for the ocean and being able to “swim like a fish”. The beauty of the coral reef and maybe the excitement of a Minke whale trip would be awesome. I would make this a land and sea package since there are so many unique and fascinating things to see and do in Australia. I could go into a huge wishlist of things to do but then my list would quickly become an encyclopedia.
3. Visit the Holy Land- I would love to take a guided tour of the Holy Land. This is one trip I would probably not explore totally on my own. There are just some travel experiences that are best planned by experienced tour operators and for me, this is one of them. To be able to walk where Jesus walked and to see where the roots of Christianity began are the deciding factor for me, personally.
4. A Castle Tour – A visit to Scotland and/or Ireland with a castle tour is definitely on the list. Since I was a little girl, I have always been fascinated by castles and the mystery of Scotland and Ireland. The countryside is beautiful and the people are overly friendly and expressive. From the pubs and small country inns to the farms and cities, I can’t think of a more fun opportunity to rent a car and take off exploring.
5. Greece – I can’t wait to plan a tour of the Grecian islands. From Athens, to Mykonos, to Santorini, to Crete, it would be a whirlwind of beauty, history and incredible food. Delphi, Olympus, Temple of Poseidon, the Acropolis, the list just goes on and on.
6. Paris in Spring – Ok, I’m a true romantic and have always wanted to be in Paris in the Spring not that any other time of year would not be just as memorable. Of course a couple of days at the Louvre and a day trip to Versailles are must-do’s among the million other things to see and do.
7. Rio De Janeiro for Carnival – I don’t even need to explain this one. Mardi Gras was a blast but take into account the beauty of Brazil, the beaches the unspoiled forest and then Carnival in Rio. Wow…
8. Tahitian Islands – Home of the original cabana on the water. There is just something about being able to see the tropical fish through your living room floor that intrigues me, not to mention having room service delivered via small boat. The islands are so beautiful and in most cases unspoiled by commercialism. You can easily island hop from resort to resort to make this a fantastic luxury getaway worth planning.
9. Tuscany, Italy – I don’t know what makes this addition to the list more impressive, the art or the cuisine. Imagine being able to see works of da Vinci, Giotto, Botticelli and Michelangelo in one of the top five rated museums. For a food lover, the opportunity to learn to cook true Italian cuisine at one of the many cooking classes offered is reason enough to make the top ten list.
10. Egypt – I know the travel advisories are tough right now but how can you have a top ten bucket list without Egypt? The pyramids, cruising the Nile and even diving the Red Sea. The opportunities for adventure are as diverse and the country itself. I could easily spend a month long holiday just trying to fit everything in.
Thanks for taking the time to share my top ten travel bucket list with me. I welcome your thoughts and hope that you will share some of yours with us. You can find me on Twitter and Facebook. Come on by and say hello.