The list of places I want to go keeps growing, much like the list of books I want to read. That said, here are some of the top contenders, in a very loose ranking.
Up Next: South Korea, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Australia
Then: Mexico, Paris Olympics + Central Europe
Top Fifteen Travel Goals
- South Asia & the Himalayas: We’re talking Tibet, Bhutan, and Nepal. I’ve been doing some research in this region, because a friend and I have been talking about going, and it looks incredible. Such beautiful landscapes and amazing cultural sites. Plus, I’d like to see Mount Everest from a safe and comfortable distance!
- Egypt & Jordan: Who among us hasn’t gone through an Egypt phase? I desperately want to see the pyramids and the Nile and the massive temples all throughout the country. I want to go over to Jordan so I can visit Petra and pretend I’m in an Indiana-Jones-style adventure, and then I want to see Wadi Rum and float in the Dead Sea. I haven’t been anywhere in the Middle East yet and this seems like the perfect place to start.
- Chile & Easter Island: Being that this is a fairly remote island off the coast of Chile, it’s quite expensive and the logistics can be challenging. That said, I’ve been dreaming of it for years, and it would be a good region for my next foray into South America.
- Georgia: Not the U.S. state. No, we’re talking about the literal birthplace of wine, with villages dotted next to the mountains and ancient monasteries. This whole region is on my list, actually. I know Armenia is supposed to be beautiful as well and I definitely want to explore Baku in Azerbaijan.
- New Zealand: For such a small country, New Zealand has an astounding amount of natural beauty. I want to go to the glowworm caves and travel up and down the country, taking in mountains and lakes. Plus, everyone I’ve ever met from New Zealand has made me want to visit even more.
- Machu Picchu: One of the wonders of the world, and one of my top priorities in South America. I can’t imagine the work that went into building such a society on the top of a mountaintop, but I’d love to go experience it for myself! There are lots of other amazing sites in Peru that I could do as part of such a trip.
- Argentina: The birthplace of the tango. World class wineries. Glaciers, penguins, and clear blue lakes in Patagonia. What’s not to love? Also, after Ecuador, I am convinced that South America is absolutely amazing. Clearly, I’ve got to get back down there, since it features heavily on this list.
- Namibia: There are a lot of amazing countries in Africa that I want to visit, but Namibia captures the imagination in a way that few others do. The landscapes are utterly unique and I would love to explore this region.
- Greenland: I want to go dog sledding here, and ideally walk on a few more glaciers. We learned about Greenland when I was on study abroad, because they are still officially under Danish rule, but I want to see as much as I can of this remote territory.
- Mongolia: I initially thought I would do this as part of the Trans Siberian Railway, but that’s looking untenable for the foreseeable future. The wide open spaces and fascinating culture mean this is still on the priority list even if I can’t use it as a launching point for Lake Baikal.
- Rwanda: This is one of the first places I want to see in Africa. I am fascinated by how countries deal with recent conflicts, so I want to go to some of the museums and monuments, and of course there’s gorilla trekking and the magnificent landscapes across the region.
- UAE & Oman: I know the UAE sometimes gets knocked for feeling fake, but I absolutely want to stand in the world’s tallest building and walk on a man made island. Also, Oman looks gorgeous and underrated and would make a great addition to the trip!
- Uzbekistan: I’ve been to Tashkent and Khiva in the past and loved them, but the focus of that trip was definitely Turkmenistan. So I haven’t visited Bukhara or Samarkand, which are the bigger Silk Road sites and they look incredible. Also, I find Central Asia fascinating and can’t wait to get back to the region.
- Colombia: I watched a show set in Colombia recently and it looks SO beautiful. I also love seeing countries that have recovered from recent dark history, and Colombia’s transition from the drug trade has been so fascinating. I find the story of Pablo Escobar’s hippos really interesting and would kind of love to see one?
- Madagascar: This is one of those that I know is tough to get to and tough to get around once you’re there, but I’ve seen pictures and it looks incredible. It’s always interesting to see the countries that are isolated, and the animals go through an entirely different evolution from the rest – it feels a little like Africa’s version of the Galapagos!