By Meghan Pierce
There are places on this planet that are an absolute must-see and for many different reasons. Each of the destinations below possess their own charm and beauty and, at least in my case, an unbelievable fascination. From snow to flow, from expedition to leisure, from culture to nature, each of these geographic gems is worth a trip. Seeing is believing, and ultimately loving. If these destinations hold what they promise to be, I am going to love each and every one of them. Join me on a short virtual trip around the globe to get acquainted with these, I’m sure, amazing places to add to the bucket list.
I’ve been told that Arctic travel will take your breath away not because of the cold (though that may be a factor), but with its beauty. Considering that the average temperature in summer is 50—55F, in winter it’s a mere 32F average, bundling up is always going to be part of this trip.
Returning to the US from Europe last year, I took a flight with a layover in Rekjavik. This flight is the main reason for having Iceland on my bucket list. Leaving Rejkjavik airport at night, our pilot made a sweep over Grimsvoetn, the volcano that had erupted earlier that year, and let us see the lava flow. Beautiful!
The other thing I had gotten a glimpse of, at the airport, were the folklore sweaters the Icelanders are known for. They were absolutely gorgeous and perfect for the climate and I’m going to get at least one of them. The other thing I’ve heard a lot about is the unique wildlife in the land of “fire and ice.” I hear they have arctic foxes and seals, as well as the occasional visiting polar bear.
Welcome back, Cambodia! This is a country that has finally made it back onto the itineraries of travelers from around the world. After being avoided for its political unrest in the past, it is quickly growing to be more popular every year.
Not only the lush vegetation and its tropical climate speak to us, its historical sites are remarkable. One of my favorites has to be Angkor Wat. If you’re not into museums and the past, don’t worry, these temples have a way of capturing you anyway. Constructed in the 12th century, they have defied time and still stand strong, although, they have undergone extensive renovations in the 20th century, which concentrated mainly on the removal of the earth and vegetation devouring this architectural beauty. Today it is a symbol of Cambodia’s strength and resilience. This is a magical place and it will draw you in with all its intricate designs and beautiful carvings.
3: The Galapagos Islands
Galapagos travel opens the door on an amazing array of species, many of them prone to extinction. If you’ve heard of Lonesome George, the Pinta tortoise that died in 2012, you know what I am talking about. Even though the Darwin Research Station tried breeding from him, they failed and he passed away as the last of his kind to roam earth.
There are many other species facing the same destiny on the various islands of the archipelago and now is your opportunity to see them, before it’s too late and they too are forever gone. The colors and sounds of its inhabitants are not to be found anywhere else on the planet and are definitely worth a trip. Every one of these islands has a unique biotope waiting to surprise you with the species it harbors. If you love nature you will adore the Galapagos Islands.
This bucket list has a little bit of everything for pretty much anyone and will, hopefully, inspire you to pack your suitcase and start travelling the world. Mine is already packed and I plan on putting a check mark behind Cambodia when I come back.
The more you see, the broader your horizon. As a wise man once said:
“To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.” – Bill Bryson
Which other places would you add to your bucket list? Post your ideas below!
Meghan Pierce is studying to be an anthropologist, has an adventurous streak and loves to travel. In the interim she writes for the popular travel site G Adventures.