travel wish list

The 2014 travel bucket list

After spending some time updating my calendar with all of the unmissable events for the year ahead (I have six weddings alone for 2014 and scattered all over the world!) I already have a rough idea of some of the key travel highlights for the year ahead. However, after a couple of Twitter chats with my favourite travel tweeps in the UAE, plus plenty of reading of all of the obligatory bucket list articles in all of the travel magazines this month, I have now compiled my own bucket list – some definite goals for 2014, others part of a wish list that I hope will form part of my spontaneous travel this year. Thought I’d share them here in the hope that I can get some tips and recommendations myself!

1. Australia, specifically Townsville, Queensland, and Melbourne, Victoria. A good friend of mine is getting married in Melbourne next month and for that reason I want to take this trip, and I never made it further south than Sydney when I travelled before so am looking for any recommendations on things to do. Meanwhile my brother moved to Townsville two years ago and I haven’t seen him since so I am keen to include a week’s stay thereat least as part of this trip. I did pass through Townsville when I travelled the east coast of Australia, but never saw more than the bus station! Returning now a qualified diver, I am looking forward to exploring the beauty of Magnetic Island though (if I can overcome my fear of sharks there!)

2. Barcelona, Spain. After extending a business trip to Milan in order to have a long weekend exploring a little of Italy last year, I made a vow that whenever I was in the UK, I would jump on a cheap EasyJet flight and explore another little piece of Europe. Well the decision of where to go has been pleasantly taken out of my hands this year as some friends of mine are getting married near to Barcelona one week after my cousin is getting married in England, and I’m keen to attend both, probably also choosing to take a road/rail trip across to Portugal to visit my dad who has recently moved there.

3. The Lake District and The Cotswolds, England. While we’re on the subject, I also have the wedding of one of my closest friends to her lovely Nepalese fiancée which involves a ceremony in The Lake District and one in Nepal. I’ll take some extra time to explore the Lake District as I don’t think I’ve been back there since Sixth Form geography field trips! I’d be keen to hear any recommendations for good walking tracks to explore, and the same for The Cotswolds which I’m planning on visiting during the same visit – making the most of the English countryside in what I hope will be beautiful sunshine!

4. Burma. I have been to Nepal several times now, and I am very much looking forward to another visit for the wedding, but this time I will tack on a trip to Burma after the event is over. I know very little about the country but I had already looked into travelling there during my last trip to Nepal. I’m pretty sure the lovely tour operators who arranged my trip to Tibet from Nepal would be able to arrange this for me, so that I can experience a little more Himalayan mountain kingdom than is possible in the sadly highly-restricted and oppressed Tibet.

5. Africa. One of the continents I have yet to set foot on, I was keen to visit Africa at the end of last year, and had been planning a safari in Kenya/Tanzania for the wildebeest migration. For once though, I took the sensible route, opting to forgo a holiday for the sake of my newly launched business. Now that this is becoming more established however, I hope to put this back on the radar this year, with a similar trip, or even a bigger holiday exploring South Africa.

6. Maldives. If I’m honest with myself, I think I’m being overly ambitious with my wish list here as I don’t think I’ll have the time to be able to take so many trips this year! However, if I can/could, I will fit in a dive trip to The Maldives to play with the manta rays. After my first pure dive holiday to Sipadan, Borneo last year, I am keen to have a similar experience where I can relax and indulge in one of my favourite pastimes, only punctuated by eating, drinking and sleeping – so will be keeping my fingers crossed for some downtime!

Some of these destinations may not be to everyone’s taste but to me it is the perfect mix of action, adventure, relaxation, culture and the outdoors, and I will therefore try my hardest to complete as many of these as possible. If anyone has any advice or tips, then please do share as I’d love to hear, and wish me luck in my attempts!